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June 21, 2006 :: Deadline for Popular College Scholarship Program Approaching

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June 30 is the deadline for students who just finished 10th grade to sign up for one of Oklahoma’s most successful and popular state college scholarship programs.

The Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), also known as “Oklahoma’s Promise,” is a scholarship program that allows high school students from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less to earn free college tuition. The scholarship is good for up to five years at any public college or university in the state. It will also cover a portion of the tuition at an accredited private institution or for select courses at public technology centers.

“Our state is fortunate to have one of the country’s best scholarship programs. OHLAP changes the futures of Oklahoma families by providing an opportunity for a college degree that might not exist otherwise,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “We refer to it now as ‘Oklahoma’s Promise’ because it’s a commitment that works two ways: students promise to get ready for college and our state promises to pay their tuition.”

To earn an Oklahoma’s Promise – OHLAP scholarship, students must sign up for the program in the eighth, ninth or 10th grade. They must attend class regularly, take a 17-unit curriculum and pass those courses with at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA), and achieve an overall G.P.A. of at least 2.5. Students must also agree to stay out of serious trouble and avoid drugs and alcohol.

Since its inception, more than 63,000 students have enrolled in the program. An estimated 15,000 students will receive Oklahoma’s Promise – OHLAP scholarships this coming fall, with that number expected to increase to more than 21,000 by fall 2009.

The Oklahoma Legislature created OHLAP in 1992 as an incentive for middle and high school students to commit to academic success and prepare for college.

For 2006-07, the scholarship is expected to cost $37 million, up from $27 million in 2005-06.

Students who just completed their sophomore year must act quickly to meet the June 30 deadline. To save time, students are strongly encouraged to use the online application at www.okpromise.org. More information about the program is also available at that Web site, or students can call 1.800.858.1840.