Applicant Faqs

  • Whose income do I count? / What if I don’t have any income?
  • Most applicants will provide their own income, the income of their spouse or partner, and any income or benefits their children (under 18) receive. This includes income from your job, child support, benefits or assistance programs, etc. Do not count income for roommates or adult children (18 years or older) who live with you.

    If you do not have any income of your own, you will need to ask the person supporting you to fill out a Financial Support Form (PDF) and provide a utility bill with his/her name on it. This will count as documentation for your proof of income and residency. Note: If you don’t have a printer, you can ask for a copy of the support form when you come into the office for your application steps.

  • How do I get a new or replacement social security card?
  • You may be able to request a replacement of your social security card online — see if you qualify Social Security Administration.
    If you don’t qualify to use the online service, or you are requesting for a child, visit the same page as above (Social Security Administration), then scroll down to the section ‘How To Get A New, Replacement Or Corrected Card’.

  • How do I get a new or replacement driver’s license?
  • To get your Texas driver’s license or state ID card visit You’ll see options to renew, change address, or reinstate a license.

  • Do you look at my parents’ income (for recent high school grads living at home)?
  • No, you will not need to provide any information on your parent’s income. Instead, ask your parent to fill out a Financial Support Form (PDF) and provide a utility bill with his/her name on it. This will count as documentation for your proof of income and residency.

    Note: If you don’t have a printer, you can ask for a copy of the support form when you come into the office for your application steps.

  • What if I can’t find my taxes? / What if I didn’t file taxes?
  • If you’ve lost your copy of your taxes, you can get a transcript of your taxes from the IRS by calling (800)–829–1040. Transcripts will be mailed directly to you in 2-3 weeks.

    If you did not file taxes in the past year, we will have you fill out and sign a Tax Declaration Form (PDF). If you don’t have a printer, you can ask for a copy when you come into the office and fill it out there. We’ll add it to your file.

  • Why am I being asked for so many documents?
  • It’s true, we do ask for a LOT of documents. Believe it or not, we try to ask only for documents when absolutely necessary. But here’s why we ask for so much information: We get our funding from government agencies, big foundations, and other private donors. To show that we are using the money responsibly and only in the way we’ve said we would, we have to prove each and every applicant is a real person, who really lives in our community, and meets all of our qualifications.

    At least twice a year we go through a rigorous audit to verify we are documenting our program correctly and storing information safely. We document every aspect of our decision to accept a new student because as soon as we’ve done that, we are able to commit thousands of dollars towards their education. And we LOVE paying for our student’s college, and seeing them succeed!

  • How do I use Adobe Scan? / How do I turn my documents into PDFs?
  • We recommend Adobe Scan to our students and applicants because it is FREE, and it can turn your paper documents into PDFs using the camera on your phone. Below is a tutorial video to help you get started. Get the Adobe Scan app

    Note: There are several other apps that can create PDFS, like Dropbox for example, and you are welcome to use any app you trust to securely scan and store your personal information.

    Remember, if you ever struggle with technology (and who doesn’t), just ask us for a low-tech way to keep going. For example, if scanning documents at home isn’t working for you, bring your documents with you to your assessment (Step 2). You can use our copy machine while you’re here. We’ll show you how.

  • Do I have to take the assessment? Even if I'm already in college?
  • The short answer is: yes. Every applicant has to take an assessment. It counts as part of your application.

  • When Should I Apply?
  • Capital IDEA has three application periods a year. Use the application calendar below to help you plan when to apply.

    Recommended apply by date: March 31.
    Start classes in late May to early June

    JAN – MAR | Applications accepted for Summer.
    APR | LATE applications accepted for Summer. If possible, we’ll start you in Summer, but your start date may get pushed back Fall.

    Recommended apply by date: August 5.
    Start classes in late August

    MAY – JUL | Applications accepted for Fall.
    AUG | LATE applications accepted for Fall. If possible, we’ll start you in Fall, but your start date may get pushed back to Spring.

    Recommended apply by date: December 10.
    Start classes in mid to late January

    SEP – NOV | Applications accepted for Spring.
    DEC | LATE applications accepted for Spring. Your start date may get pushed back to Summer.

  • What happens if i miss the apply by deadline?
  • If you miss the deadline to apply for a specific semester, don’t worry, your application will be considered for the next semester.

  • How do I show proof of where I live (residency)?
  • Provide one of the following: lease, mortgage, or utility bill. As long as your (or your spouse’s) name is on the document, any one of these will count as your proof of residency. You will be providing these anyway to document your living expenses.

    What if my name is not on the lease, mortgage, or utility bills?

    — If you are being supported by someone (like parents or relatives, and have no job), ask the person supporting you to fill out the Financial Support Form (PDF) and provide one utility bill showing his/her name. This will count as your documentation for residency and living expenses.

    — If you are renting or sharing expenses with someone (or living with parents but have a job), you will need to provide ALL three items: 1. A verification letter from the person you are living with (see below), 2. One proof document: a utility bill or copy of lease/mortgage, 3. A piece of (any) mail with your name on it showing the home address. These items count toward documenting your living expenses as well.
    Instructions for Letter: The name on the letter must match the name on the proof document (utility bill or lease). The letter can be as simple as: (Name of applicant) lives with me at this address (give address). He/she contributes $____ monthly to household expenses. Full name, signature, address, and phone number.

  • Can I reapply to Capital IDEA? (former student)
  • If you are a former student of Capital IDEA, and you are ready to return and finish your degree, the answer is ‘YES!’ you can reapply. You will go through the same steps as before, and you must meet the same qualifications. This time, your interview will include questions about your previous attempt at school and how you’ve prepared to return to school this time.

    Get Started by attending a CareerUp ».
    Or consider Applying Online ». You’ll need a computer or smartphone with internet.

  • What if I started applying but didn’t finish? Do I start over?
  • If you applied to Capital IDEA more than a year ago, you’ll need to start the process over: Apply »

    If you applied less than a year ago, email the Outreach Team and let them know you’d like to continue the application process. They will review your application and let you know which documents need to be updated and what your next step is.

  • What if I have a criminal background?
  • You can apply to Capital IDEA even if you have a criminal record as long as you meet our other qualifications. However, you may be ineligible for certain careers that require licensing.

    As part of your application paperwork, you will submit a criminal history from DPS. If the career you choose requires licensing (healthcare and some trades), you will be asked to submit an application to the Licensing Board for your chosen career. If the board finds you eligible for licensing, Capital IDEA can accept you. If you can’t be licensed, then we will not pay for your education in that career, and you may have to consider a different career choice.

    You will request a Texas Personal Review – Full Review (service code 11FT12)
    To get started, be sure to use the Texas DPS approved vendor site: IdentoGO »
    Or for more information about the process of getting your criminal background check, read the Texas DPS Personal Review PDF »

  • Am I considered single or married?
  • Here is how we define single and married when talking about your household size and income eligibility:

    Single: not legally married, and not living with someone with whom you have children.

    Married or living with a partner: Legally married, file taxes as married, or living with someone with whom you have children.

  • How do I get my college transcript?
  • Transcripts can be requested through the school’s registrar’s office. You can often request your transcript online. Try visiting the college’s website and search for ‘registrar’s office’ or ‘transcript request.’ Some schools require written consent before processing your request and will not offer online services. In that case, try calling or visiting the office in person.
    If your college no longer exists, you will have a more difficult time obtaining transcripts. Start with this information sheet: Guidelines for Obtaining Student Transcripts or Records from Private Institutions (pdf)

  • How do I get copies of my high school diploma or GED certificate?
  • To get a copy of your high school transcript, contact the registrar’s office at the school you graduated from. They should be able to get you a copy of your transcript. If you have difficulty getting your request filled by the school, you can try an on-line service like www.needmytranscriptcom.
    For GED certificate, visit the Texas Certificate/Transcript Search to obtain a printable PDF containing the Certificate of High School Equivalency and test scores for $5. The printable PDF will include a diploma-style certificate suitable for framing and a transcript with test dates and scores. The certificates and verifications must be printed during this transaction, so be sure to use a computer that is connected to a printer.

  • How do I get a new or replacement birth certificate?
  • If you need to replace a birth certificate for yourself or a family member who was born in Texas, you can order replacement birth certificates through the Texas Vital Records Department.

    Order online at
    Order in person at 1100 West 49th Street, Building R, Austin, TX 78756.
    Order by phone 512-776-7111.

    For individuals born outside of Texas, you will need to search for the right department in the state they were born in. For example, type “birth certificates New Mexico department of health,” into a search engine like Google or Bing. Look for websites that end in .gov to ensure you are getting the government agency and not a third party agency which will charge you more for the same service.



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