Frequently Asked Questions

For High School Seniors

I’m graduating in May. Is there anything I need to do?

If you have moved and are graduating from a different high school than where you were when you enrolled in Oklahoma’s Promise, you will want to check with your counselor or the Oklahoma's Promise office to be sure that we have the correct school on file for you. It is also very important that you go over your course work to make sure that you have met all of the requirements of the program. You may want to use the Oklahoma's Promise Curriculum Worksheet (Excel, 23k) to record your grades and make sure you have taken the right courses. After Oct. 1 of your senior year, you will need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please refer to the question, “Am I required to complete an application for federal financial aid (FAFSA) each year in college?” for more information. Oklahoma’s Promise sends the final paperwork to the high school contact person at the end of April each year. After final grades are posted, the school will complete the Oklahoma's Promise Program Verification and mail it to our office with a copy of your final transcript. (Keep in mind that your school may have to prepare these documents for a large number of students, so this may take some time.)

Am I required to complete an application for federal financial aid (FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year in college?

Yes, all Oklahoma's Promise students must complete the FAFSA each year they are enrolled in college. The information from the FAFSA will be used to determine whether or not your parent's federal adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $100,000 (or your income if you are officially determined to be financially independent of your parents). For any year that the income exceeds $100,000, you will not be eligible to receive the program benefits. Any year that the student does not receive the award because their income exceeds the income limit will count toward the five-year period of scholarship eligibility. It's also important to remember that Oklahoma's Promise will only pay for a portion of your total college costs, and you will need additional money to help pay for your education. The FAFSA is the best place to start. Also see the question below "How does the second income limit work?"

How does the second income limit work?

Prior to receiving any program benefit in college, the federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of the student's parents (or the income of the student if the student is officially determined to be financially independent of their parents) may not exceed $100,000. Each year in college Oklahoma's Promise students will be required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will be used to determine whether the federal adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000. For any year that the income exceeds $100,000, the student will not be eligible to receive the program benefit.  Any year that the student does not receive the award because their income exceeds the income limit will count toward the five–year period of scholarship eligibility.

When will I know if I’m eligible?

Upon receiving the final paperwork from your school, the Oklahoma's Promise office will evaluate your transcript and notify you in writing. Our goal is to notify you within two weeks of receiving the final paperwork however, due to the large number of graduating Oklahoma's Promise seniors each year, it may take a little longer. We will be working as fast as we can. You may receive your award letter prior to us checking the second income limit. If you receive your award letter and have successfully filed the FAFSA and the college cannot verify your eligibility, you should contact the Oklahoma’s Promise office to be sure we have the correct Social Security number (SSN) on file for you.

When will I know if there is funding available?

In 2007 the Oklahoma Legislature passed major legislation creating a dedicated funding process for Oklahoma's Promise. This law allows Oklahoma's Promise to be funded "off the top" from the state's General Revenue Fund each year. This change helps ensure that the program will be fully funded each year from a stable source of revenue

How will the college or university know that I am an Oklahoma's Promise student?

Keep in mind that we do not know where you are planning to attend college, so it will be up to you to let the college or university know that you are an Oklahoma's Promise student (If you complete the Oklahoma's Promise high school requirements, you will receive more information in your award letter packet.). The colleges and universities have electronic access to verify eligibility; however, it will not show up to them until the transcripts are processed in the Oklahoma’s Promise office and the second income limit has been checked. This is going on throughout the summer. If you have received your award letter and have successfully filed the FAFSA and the college cannot verify your eligibility, you should contact the Oklahoma's Promise office to be sure we have the correct Social Security number (SSN) on file for you

Will Oklahoma's Promise pay for remedial courses?

Beginning with the 2018-19 academic year and each year thereafter, the Oklahoma’s Promise award will not be allowed for payment of noncredit remedial courses.

I’m planning to attend college out of state for a year and then return to Oklahoma. Can I still get Oklahoma's Promise when I return?

Yes. Though you cannot receive the Oklahoma's Promise award for courses taken at an out-of-state college, you can receive the award if you later return to Oklahoma for college. However, your five years of eligibility will begin with your first semester of postsecondary education whether you receive Oklahoma's Promise or not. For example, if you start at an out-of-state university the fall semester following high school graduation, your five years begins then. If you stay there for a year and come back to Oklahoma the next fall, you will have only four years left of Oklahoma's Promise eligibility, or until the completion of your bachelor's degree, whichever comes first. If all of your out-of-state credits transfer back to your Oklahoma college, you should still have time to complete your degree. When you transfer back to Oklahoma, you will need to notify the financial aid or scholarship office at the college you plan to attend that you are an Oklahoma's Promise student and send a copy of your transcript to the Oklahoma's Promise office.

The college/university that I am planning to attend is showing a dollar amount for Oklahoma's Promise on my preliminary award letter. Does this mean that I will receive the scholarship for sure?

No. Please keep in mind that this letter is only “preliminary.” The scholarship is not certain until your eligibility is confirmed by the State Regents’ office. In addition, the amount is estimated and could change depending on the final number of semester hours in which you are enrolled and the tuition in effect at the time you start college. The letter is provided as a service to help you understand your financial aid.

How much money will I receive?

The amount of your Oklahoma's Promise award depends on which college or university you will be attending and the number of semester credit hours in which you enroll. Oklahoma's Promise pays tuition at public colleges and universities for the actual number of semester credit hours you take. It will also pay a portion of tuition at accredited private colleges and universities or for approved programs at public technology centers supervised by the Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education. Programs must meet the requirements to be eligible for federal student financial aid.

In order for the institutions to get an accurate amount for your Oklahoma's Promise award, they must know the final number of hours you are enrolled in for the semester. They will bill the Oklahoma's Promise office sometime after the first drop/add period, which is usually about two weeks after the semester begins. However, if you have total financial aid that exceeds your total cost of attendance, then your Oklahoma's Promise award may be reduced or eliminated. It is possible to receive the Oklahoma's Promise award in the future if your financial aid status changes

Can I use Oklahoma's Promise with other scholarships, grants and tuition waivers?

Yes. Oklahoma's Promise is considered a “cash” scholarship rather than a tuition “waiver”. The award amount is always calculated based on the amount of actual tuition. If you have a tuition waiver or another scholarship that must be applied to tuition, Oklahoma's Promise can be applied elsewhere in your total cost of attendance. (Some schools call this your financial aid budget.) However, if you have total financial aid that exceeds your total cost of attendance, then your Oklahoma's Promise award may be reduced or eliminated. It is possible to receive the Oklahoma's Promise award in the future if your financial aid status changes. Note: “Cost of attendance” includes tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.

What are the requirements for keeping my Oklahoma's Promise award in college?

See the Scholarship Conditions page and the FAQs for College Students.