The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently named 11 Oklahoma high schools “Oklahoma’s Promise 2010 State Champions” for leading the state in the number of graduates who qualified to receive Oklahoma’s Promise, a state scholarship that allows students from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less to earn free college tuition.
“These high schools have done an exceptional job supporting Oklahoma’s Promise and promoting the program to their students,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Oklahoma’s Promise helps thousands of students achieve the dream of a college education by encouraging more students to aspire to attend college by preparing themselves for academic success, and by providing them with financial assistance.”
High schools named Oklahoma’s Promise 2010 State Champions are:
- Champions: Buffalo, Mason and Tipton with 10 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runners-up: Maud and Moyers with nine Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champions: Achille and Soper with 16 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Canton with 15 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Panama with 21 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Pioneer-Pleasant Vale with 19 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Dove Science Academy, Oklahoma City, with 43 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering, Oklahoma City, with 34 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champions: Broken Bow and Santa Fe South, Oklahoma City, with 41 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Classen School of Advanced Studies, Oklahoma City, with 38 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Booker T. Washington, Tulsa, with 70 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Northwest Classen, Oklahoma City with 61 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Champion: Broken Arrow with 122 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
- Runner-up: Putnam City with 88 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates
Oklahoma’s Promise was created in 1992 by the Legislature to help more Oklahoma families send their children to college. Its goal is to prepare students academically for college and to provide them financial assistance.
The scholarship pays tuition at any Oklahoma public college or university until the student receives a bachelor’s degree or for five years, whichever comes first. It will also cover a portion of tuition at an accredited Oklahoma private institution or for courses at public technology centers that are approved for credit toward an Associate of Applied Science degree at a public college. The scholarship does not cover the cost of fees, books, or room and board.
To be eligible for Oklahoma’s Promise, students must apply during the eighth, ninth or 10th grade, and their family’s annual income must not exceed $50,000 when they apply. Beginning with college students receiving the scholarship for the first time in 2012, a student’s family income must also not exceed $100,000 at the time the student goes to college.
To receive the scholarship at graduation, students must achieve a minimum 2.5 (C+) GPA in 17 core courses that prepare them for college and an overall GPA of 2.5 or better for all courses in grades nine through 12. Oklahoma’s Promise graduates also must attend class regularly and refrain from drug and alcohol abuse and delinquent acts.
Students completing the Oklahoma’s Promise program continue to be successful academically, with high school GPAs that exceed the state average, ACT scores that exceed those of their comparable middle- and lower-income peers and higher-than-average freshman college GPAs. The college-going rate of Oklahoma’s Promise students exceeds the state average for high school graduates. They also have above-average full-time college enrollment, persistence rates and degree-completion rates.
In order to receive the scholarship in college, students enrolling in the program after July 2, 2007, must be U.S. citizens or lawfully present in the United States by the time they begin college.
Since 2005, close to 10,000 students from each 10th-grade class have enrolled in the program, with the 2010 graduating class exceeding 10,000 students.
During the current 2010-11 year, more than 20,000 students are expected to receive the scholarship at a cost of $58.3 million.
For FY 2012, the State Regents have approved a funding estimate for Oklahoma’s Promise of $63.2 million, when nearly 21,000 students are projected to receive the scholarship. In 2007, the Legislature approved a permanent, dedicated funding source for the program from the state’s general revenue fund. This change ensures the program will be fully funded each year from a stable source of revenue.