Our Support Makes College Free


The Career Expressway by Capital IDEA pays for college tuition, textbooks, childcare, and more. We also help you find your first job in your new career. We’re with you from start to — HIRED! Use the checklist below to see if you qualify. If so, take the first step towards earning your FREE degree by signing up for our next information session: CareerUp»

Qualification Check List

  • You are 18 years or older. No maximum age limit.
  • You have a GED or High School diploma.

  • You have not completed a college degree, associate degree or higher.
  • You are a resident of Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, or Caldwell County. (Caldwell residents can apply through 9/30/2024.).

  • You qualify for in-state tuition because you’ve lived in Texas for 12+ months.
  • You are a US Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • You meet our income-based qualification (follow the 3 steps below to find out).

Step 1: Calculate Your Monthly Income

If you already know your monthly income, skip to the next step. If you’re unsure, use this calculator to help you figure it out.

Step 2: Compare Your Monthly Income

Use the chart below to compare your monthly income to the maximum income allowed for your household size. If you’re below the maximum, that means you meet our income eligibility requirements!

Household Size200%
Maximum Monthly Income
Income guidelines are based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines which are updated annually. Last update January 22, 2024.

Have questions?

Visit our FAQ page to find answers like: 'Am I considered single or married?' or 'Whose income do I count?'. Or use our contact form to Ask Us »


English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Capital IDEA’s Career Expressway program covers tuition for English Level 3 and 4 at Austin Community College. If you're ready for Level 3 or above, you can start now: Apply Now 

If you need Basic English, Level 1, or Level 2 English, complete those classes at Austin Community College and apply to Capital IDEA when you’re ready for Level 3. ESOL Academic Program at ACC 

How do I know what level I'm at?

Take the ESOL assessment and keep your receipt. Capital IDEA will reimburse you for the testing fee at Step 4 of the applicaiton process.
ESOL Assessment Steps at ACC 


Dedication and Commitment

In addition to the qualifications above, applicants should demonstrate a dedication to completing one of our programs and commitment to giving back to the community upon graduating.

If you have any questions: Call 512.457.8610 or use our form to Ask Us» and we'll get back to you with answers soon.