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June 9, 2003 :: Deadline for State Grant Program Extended for College Students in Military

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Oklahoma college students serving as part of our nation’s military who were either deployed to the Middle East or reassigned following Sept. 11, 2001, will now have more time to apply for a state-supported, student financial aid program.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently approved a one-time exception to the deadline for submitting Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) applications for the coming year to accommodate students ordered to active military duty and for active personnel whose duty station was changed as a result of a military mobilization.

Students returning from qualified military assignments will have 60 days from the time of return from their assignment to submit their OTAG applications by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The final deadline will be Jan. 15, 2004, rather than June 30, 2003.

OTAG is a need-based grant program for Oklahoma residents who attend colleges, universities and career technology centers in Oklahoma. The maximum annual award at public institutions is currently 75 percent of enrollment costs or $1,000, whichever is less. Students at private colleges may receive up to $1,300.

In addition, the State Regents also approved an exception to the five-consecutive-year limit on the use of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP) scholarship for students falling under the same post-9/11 scenarios.

For those students already in college and receiving an OHLAP scholarship, the five-consecutive-year limit will be extended commensurate with the amount of time lost as a result of their military service.

“The State Regents are very sensitive to the needs of our students in the military who have served so bravely here in the U.S. and abroad since 9/11,” Chancellor Paul Risser said. “They have put themselves in harm’s way to defend the freedoms that all Americans enjoy. Extending these deadlines and time limits are ways we can recognize and thank them for that sacrifice.”

All students affected by the policy changes for OTAG and OHLAP must submit a copy of military orders or other appropriate documentation that confirms their military assignment and supports their eligibility for the exceptions.

For more information on the OTAG extension, please call toll free at 1.877.662.6231 or 225.9378 in the Oklahoma City area. Additional information regarding the OHLAP extension can be obtained by calling 1.405.225.9152.