The 2008 Oklahoma Legislature approved a law change to delay implementation of the new second income limit for one year until 2010-11. For students receiving the award for the first time in 2010-11, the income of the student’s parents may not exceed $100,000 at the time the student goes to college (impacting primarily high school graduates of 2010 and thereafter). To enroll in Oklahoma’s Promise in the eighth, ninth, or 10th grade, a student’s family income still must be under $50,000 at the time of application. The Legislature also created a taskforce to examine the program’s income requirements and to make recommendations to the Legislature for consideration in 2009.
The 2008 Legislature also delayed the implementation of new college GPA requirements for one year. The college GPA requirements were also slightly modified. Based on the new law, for students receiving the award for the first time in 2010-11, a minimum college GPA of 2.00 will be required for courses taken through the sophomore year and a minimum 2.50 GPA for courses taken during the junior year and thereafter. The taskforce mentioned above will also review the award retention requirements in college.
Another new law approved by the Oklahoma Legislature in the 2008 session provides that certain legally adopted children may participate in Oklahoma’s Promise based on expanded income limits. The new provisions apply only to students adopted while in the permanent custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services or in the court-ordered custody of a licensed, private, non-profit child-placing agency or federally recognized Indian tribe. For adopted students, no income verification will be required at the time of application in the eighth, ninth, or 10th grade (proof of legal adoption is required). However, the adopted students will be subject to a second income limit at the time the student enters college. For students adopted between the ages of birth and 12, the second income limit will be $150,000. For students adopted between the ages of 13 and 17, the second income limit will be $200,000.
Under current law, all Oklahoma’s Promise high school graduates must start college within three years of high school graduation to receive the award. Under a new law passed in 2008, students that cannot meet the three-year deadline to start college due to active military service may receive an extension to the three-year limit. This provision applies only to students serving in the U.S. Armed Services, the Reserve Corps of the U.S. Armed Services and the Oklahoma National Guard.