Oklahoma Scholarship & Grant Programs
Tuition, textbooks, fees, supplies, room and board. The cost of higher education really adds up, making some prospective students feel like college may be out of reach. But thankfully, Oklahoma residents have a handful of resources available to them that can help pay for postsecondary education.
STATE NEED-BASED GRANTS
Oklahoma offers two financial need-based grants to its residents, the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) and the Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant (OTEG).
- Award amounts up to $1,300 per academic year.
- Open to full- and part-time students seeking an undergraduate degree.
- Eligibility limited to students with a 1700 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or lower.
- Undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements may be considered.
- Award is $2,000 per academic year.
- Open to full-time undergraduates who have not previously earned a bachelor’s degree. Recipients cannot have exceeded five years of postsecondary enrollment since receiving their first OTEG award.
- Family income must be $50,000 a year or less.
To apply for either grant, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which can be obtained from a high school counselor, a college financial aid office or online at www.fafsa.edu.gov. Because of limited funding, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
STATE ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
Academic Scholars Program
Oklahoma’s top high school students may be eligible for up to $5,500 through the Academic Scholars Program. The scholarship can be used to help pay for tuition, room, board, books and other fees.
- Students qualify by meeting at least one of the following criteria:
- Achieve National Merit Scholar, National Merit Finalist or U.S. Presidential Scholar designation.
- Score at or above the 99.5 percentile on the ACT or SAT.
- Be nominated by the public college or university they attend according to criteria set by the institution.
To receive the award, students must enter college in the first fall semester following high school graduation.
Award amounts vary based the method through which the student qualifies and the institution the scholar attends. Recipients enrolled at Oklahoma public colleges or universities are eligible for a tuition waiver in addition to the scholarship.
The scholarship is renewable as long as the student remains enrolled full time and maintains at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.
- Students who qualify based on ACT or SAT scores should obtain an application from their high school counselor or download one from the website.
- Students may also request a form by calling the State Regents Office at (800) 858-1840 or 225-9239 in Oklahoma City.
- Students who qualify based on National Merit Scholar, National Merit Finalist or U.S. Presidential Scholar status should apply by contacting the institution they plan to attend.
Eighth-, ninth- and 10th-graders who study hard and stay out of trouble may qualify for the Oklahoma’s Promise program. Open to students whose family income is less than $50,000 a year, it offers a full-tuition scholarship to students who attend a public college or university in Oklahoma and who agree to and follow a set of conditions. Students attending a private Oklahoma institution may qualify for a partial tuition scholarship.
In exchange for the scholarship, students agree to take 17 units of high school coursework that will better prepare them for college, to keep up with schoolwork and to participate in Oklahoma’s Promise activities designed to help them get ready for college. They also agree not to skip school, abuse drugs or alcohol or commit criminal or delinquent acts.
Other eligibility requirements:
- Students must enroll while in eighth, ninth or 10th grade. Homeschooled students must be 13, 14 or 15 years old.
- Students must be U.S. citizens and Oklahoma residents.
- Family income must be less than $50,000 at the time of enrollment and less than $100,000 before the student enters college.
- Homeschooled students or students who attend a non-accredited high school must achieve a 22 or higher composite score on an ACT test taken on a national test date.
- Online applications are available here. Signature forms and documents supporting financial information should be mailed to the address on the site.
- Paper applications can be obtained from a high school counselor or via the website.
Regional University Baccalaureate Scholarship
Oklahoma residents who have an ACT composite score of at least 30 or those who achieved a designation of a National Merit Semifinalist or a Commended Student may qualify for a $3,000 scholarship and a resident tuition waiver at one of the following Oklahoma universities:
- Cameron University.
- East Central University.
- Langston University.
- Northeastern State University.
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
- Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
- Rogers State University.
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
- University of Central Oklahoma.
- University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
The scholarship is available for up to eight semesters or until the student has earned a baccalaureate degree. The award is good only at the university that made the offer and cannot be transferred to another institution.
To apply, students should contact the university they wish to attend. Deadline for applications is set by the universities.
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program
To be eligible for the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, students must score a composite 32 on the ACT or a combined 2130 on the SAT. The selection committee also considers a student’s leadership positions, school activities, academic honors, community service and employment. Recipients receive $1,500, and the scholarship may be renewable for up to three more years of study.
Applications may be obtained from a high school counselor.
Future Teachers Scholarship
The Future Teachers Scholarship was created as an incentive to draw more qualified teachers and professionals to critical shortage areas in the state’s public schools. In exchange for a renewable scholarship worth up to $1,500, recipients agree to teach for at least three years at an Oklahoma public school in one of the critical shortage areas.
To be a candidate, students must be Oklahoma residents and be nominated by the institution in which they are enrolled. Students meeting one of the following criteria may receive a nomination:
- A cumulative GPA ranking in the top 15 percent of their high school graduating class.
- An ACT or SAT score ranking in the top 15 percent for high school graduates of the same year.
- Admission to a professional education program at an accredited Oklahoma institution of higher education.
- An undergraduate record of outstanding success based on the institution’s guidelines.
Full- and part-time students are eligible, but full-time students are given higher priority.
To apply, students should contact the financial aid office at the institution in which they are enrolled. Institutions then submit nominees in priority order to the State Regents Office.
Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program (TSEIP)
Another incentive designed to fill teacher vacancies in Oklahoma’s public schools is the Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program. Recipients who meet the guidelines receive reimbursement for eligible student loan expenses or an equivalent cash benefit. To qualify, students must:
- Have graduated from an accredited Oklahoma teacher education program.
- Must be certified to teach math or science.
- Must agree to teach math or science at an Oklahoma secondary public school for at least five years.
To apply, students should contact the TSEIP coordinator at their college or university to receive a TSEIP Participation Agreement. Completed forms must be returned to the coordinator no later than the student’s graduation date. At the time of application, students must be enrolled and maintaining satisfactory academic progress in a math or science education degree program.
Other Specialized Aid
Chiropractic Education Assistance Scholarship
Oklahoma residents studying chiropractic care at an accredited out-of-state school may qualify for a scholarship worth up to $6,000. To be eligible, the student:
- Must have been an Oklahoma resident for at least five years prior to application.
- Must be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment at an accredited chiropractic school.
- Must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
To apply, first-year students must provide a statement from the institution that the student as been admitted, and continuing student must provide current transcripts. For application forms, contact the Chiropractic Education Assistance Scholarship, Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education, at (800) 858.1840 or 225-9239 in Oklahoma City or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
George and Donna Nigh Public Service Scholarship
Oklahoma residents interested in a career in public service may qualify for a $1,000 George and Donna Nigh Public Service Scholarship. As a condition of the scholarship, recipients participate in public service seminars offered by the Nigh Institute.
Recipients are selected solely on a nomination process. Oklahoma colleges and universities are invited to submit one nomination for the award per academic year. Students eligible for nomination are:
- Undergraduates enrolled full time at a public or private Oklahoma university.
- Enrolled in a degree program for a public service career.
- Showing exceptional academic achievement based on GPA, class rank, honors and other factors.
Heartland Scholarship Fund
The Heartland Scholarship Fund provides $3,500 to $5,500 to dependent children affected by the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City. To be eligible, students must be a dependent child of a victim killed in the bombing or a surviving dependent child injured in the building’s day care.
The awards may be applied toward tuition, room, board, books and other fees.
Students apply by contacting the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education by calling (800) 858-1840 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Independent Living Act (Foster Care Tuition Waiver)
Oklahoma residents who have been in or are in the foster care program may be eligible for a tuition waiver at a public Oklahoma college, university or career technology center.
Eligible students must have graduated within the previous three years from an accredited high school or the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, or must have completed GED requirements.
Tuition waivers are available to students up to age 21 who have been in DHS custody for at least nine months between ages 16 and 18. Waivers will be available until the eligible student reaches age 26 or receives a baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first.
Application information is available by contacting the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education at (800) 858-1840 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Guard Tuition Waiver
Oklahoma residents in the Oklahoma National Guard may receive a full resident tuition waiver for an Oklahoma college or university if they:
- Do not currently hold a baccalaureate degree.
- Meet admission and retention requirements of the institution they plan to attend.
- Have been certified in good standing by the adjunct general
- Are bona fide members of the Oklahoma Guard at the beginning of the semester for which they are applying for a scholarship or by the scholarship application deadline determined by the institution they attend.
- Are not concurrently enrolled in high school.
Waiver recipients must:
- Be enrolled in a program of study leading to an associate or baccalaureate degree.
- Be enrolled a minimum of six hours in the fall or spring semester, or three in the summer term.
- Submit a plan for degree completion with the Oklahoma National Guard.
To apply, students must submit a Statement of Understanding and Certificate of Basic Eligibility, signed by a commander or representative of the National Guard, by the deadline set by the institution they plan to attend.
Scholars for Excellence in Child Care
Oklahoma’s child care professionals who meet certain guidelines can continue to work while improving their child care skills through education. The Scholars for Excellence in Child Care program provides financial assistance through stipends and scholarships for coursework toward an associate degree in child development and early childhood education as well as Child Development Associate (CDA) or Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) credential assessment.
To be eligible, child care professionals:
- Must work at a one-star plus or above OKDHS or tribal-licensed child care facility with a minimum of 10 percent subsidy children. Due to limited funds, however, employees at federally funded child care programs or school-age programs are not eligible.
- Must have worked at a child care facility for at least three months or have taken Entry Level Child Care Training (ELCCT).
- Must work as a teacher, family child care provider, director or assistant director at least 30 hours per week.
- Must earn $15.50 an hour or less.
Application forms may be downloaded from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education web site.
SREB Academic Common Market
Oklahoma residents wanting to pursue a degree program not available at an Oklahoma college or university might find the cost of out-of-state tuition a roadblock on their way to their chosen career path. But the Southern Regional Education Board has a program that might help. The Academic Common Market is an agreement among the 16 states that make up the SREB to provide in-state tuition to out-of-state students studying in degree programs not available in their home state. The SREB web site has a searchable list of eligible degree programs, but students interested in a program not listed may request the program be reviewed for inclusion.
To apply, students must write to the college or institution offering their degree program concerning admission via the ACM agreement. Once accepted to the program, students should complete and submit the Application and Residency Certification Form (www.okhighered.org/student-center/financial-aid/acm-application.pdf) to:
Academic Common Market Program
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
PO Box 108850
Oklahoma City, OK 73101-8850.
Students will qualify for the waiver of out-of-state fees once Oklahoma residency has been determined and a letter of certification is sent to the student and the institution.
May T. Henry Scholarship Foundation
The $1,000 May T. Henry Scholarship is open to an Oklahoma resident pursuing any field of study as long as they:
- Will attend a college, university or technical school supported by the state of Oklahoma.
- Have graduated from an accredited high school or equivalent institution.
- Are not related to any member of the selection committee.
To apply, submit the application form no later than April 1. Recipients will be notified by the end of May.
William P. Willis Scholarship
The William P. Willis Scholarship is available to Oklahoma residents attending Oklahoma two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Award amounts, application deadlines and guidelines for selection vary by institution. To apply, students should contact the financial aid office at the institution they attend.