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A College Degree: Why Not You? Why Not Now? A Quick Guide for Adult College Students

How Do You Pay for College?

Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities continue to be among the most affordable in the nation. And, despite some common misconceptions, financial aid is available for adults returning to college or entering college for the first time.

Financial aid includes scholarships, grants, work-study and loans. In addition to government-supported aid, many businesses provide tuition reimbursement programs to their employees. Surveys show that many employers want an educated workforce and are willing to help pay for it. An educated workforce is vital to Oklahoma’s economic future.

The first step in applying for student financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form required to apply for financial aid. Forms are available at college or university financial aid offices or online at

Check with the financial aid office at the college or university you’re interested in attending to see about other financial aid options. There are also numerous Web sites on the Internet that will point you in the right direction.

Be very leery about Web sites that charge for information about student financial aid!

Loans should only be used as a last resort after you have exhausted other avenues of financial aid. For more information about student loans, visit the Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program at or call 405.234.4300.

You may also qualify for certain federal tax credits or deductions for some of your college expenses. To learn more, check out IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education,” or visit

Grants and Scholarships
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education administer several scholarships and grants to help adults pay for college, including:

Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant Program - Awards grants to Oklahoma students who need money to meet part of the cost of attending college. Students must complete the FAFSA and demonstrate financial need.

Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant Program - Awards grants to full-time Oklahoma undergraduate students who want to attend one of the state’s private colleges or universities. To be eligible, a student’s family income must be under $50,000.

Tuition Waiver - An arrangement offered by Oklahoma colleges and universities to waive tuition costs for students who meet certain qualifications.

National Guard Tuition Waiver - Awards scholarships to National Guard members and enlistees who want to earn a bachelor’s degree at an Oklahoma public college or university.

Scholars for Excellence in Child Care - Ensures that eligible child care professionals in the state of Oklahoma have an opportunity to attend a community college to further their education while earning a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, Certificate of Mastery, and/or an associate degree in child development or early childhood education.

Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program (TSEIP) - TSEIP is a legislative program that reimburses eligible student loan expenses or pays an equivalent cash benefit to individuals who graduate from an Oklahoma accredited teacher education program, receive teaching certification in math or science and agree to teach in an Oklahoma public secondary school for at least five years.

For more information on the scholarships and grants listed above, email, call the Student Information Hotline at 800.858.1840 (405.225.9239 in Oklahoma City) or visit Oklahoma’s higher education Web site at

The table below should help you determine what kinds of college costs you can expect to pay in Oklahoma.

Costs for Part-Time Students*
Research Universities
Regional Universities
Community Colleges
Technical Branches
Resident Tuition
Mandatory Fees
Average Academic Service Fees
Books and Supplies
*2006-07 estimated average costs at Oklahoma public colleges for Oklahoma residents, based on six credit hours per semester