Seven Oklahoma high schools were recently named “Oklahoma’s Promise 2013 State Champions” by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for leading the state in the number of graduates who qualified to receive Oklahoma’s Promise, a state scholarship that allows students from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less to earn a college tuition scholarship.
“Oklahoma’s Promise is continually recognized by many as America’s best college access program. For more than 20 years, this program has helped thousands of students achieve the dream of a college education by preparing them for academic success, and by providing them with financial assistance,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These high schools have done an excellent job of supporting and promoting the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program to their students. The State Regents commend them for their hard work and dedication to students and to Oklahoma’s future.”High schools named Oklahoma’s Promise 2013 State Champions are:
- Champion: Cement with 10 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Coyle with nine Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Soper with 15 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Wright City with 14 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Dove Science Academy (Oklahoma City) with 24 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Northeast Academy (Oklahoma City) with 21 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Sequoyah (Tahlequah) with 25 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Westville with 24 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Santa Fe South (Oklahoma City) with 61 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Broken Bow with 51 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Southeast (Oklahoma City) with 61 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Tahlequah with 60 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Union (Tulsa) with 166 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Broken Arrow with 129 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
Oklahoma’s Promise was created in 1992 by the Legislature to help more Oklahoma families send their children to college. The scholarship pays tuition at any Oklahoma public college or university until the student receives a bachelor’s degree or for five years, whichever comes first. It will also cover a portion of tuition at an accredited Oklahoma private institution or for courses at public technology centers that are approved for credit toward an Associate in Applied Science degree at a public college. The scholarship does not cover the cost of fees, books, or room and board.
To be eligible for Oklahoma’s Promise, students must apply during the eighth, ninth or 10th grade, and their family’s annual income must not exceed $50,000 when they apply. A student’s family income also must not exceed $100,000 at the time the student goes to college.
To receive the scholarship at graduation, students must achieve a minimum 2.5 (C+) GPA in 17 core courses that prepare them for college and an overall GPA of 2.5 or better for all courses in grades nine through 12. Oklahoma’s Promise graduates also must attend class regularly and refrain from drug and alcohol abuse and delinquent acts.
Students completing the Oklahoma’s Promise program continue to be successful academically, with high school GPAs that exceed the state average, ACT scores that exceed those of their comparable middle- and lower-income peers, and higher-than-average freshman college GPAs. The college-going rate of Oklahoma’s Promise students exceeds the state average for high school graduates. They also have above-average full-time college enrollment, persistence rates and degree-completion rates. In addition, Oklahoma’s Promise college graduates get jobs and stay in Oklahoma after college at a higher rate than non-Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
In order to receive the scholarship in college, students must be U.S. citizens or lawfully present in the United States by the time they begin college.
Since 2008, about 10,000 students from each 10th grade class have enrolled in the program. However, that number is expected to decline in future years.
During the current 2013-14 year, about 18,900 students are expected to receive the scholarship in college at a cost of $60.5 million. This is a decrease of about 700 students from the 2012-13 year.
For the 2014-15 academic year, the State Regents have approved a funding estimate for Oklahoma’s Promise of $61 million. About 18,300 students are projected to receive the scholarship, an estimated further decline of about 600 recipients compared to 2013-14.
In 2007, the Legislature approved a permanent, dedicated funding source for the program from the state’s general revenue fund. This change ensures the program will be fully funded each year from a stable source of revenue.For more information about Oklahoma’s Promise or to apply online, visit www.okpromise.org. Information is also available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-858-1840.