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Frequently Asked questions

How can I help my child prepare for college?
Develop or review your child's plan for college, including course work, grades and college requirements.

What courses should my child take to prepare for college?
Your child can increase his or her subject matter knowledge and get a head start on college by completing Advanced Placement courses and exams. Many colleges and universities award college credit to students who successfully complete AP courses and exams in high school. Contact your child's counselor to see if his or her school offers AP courses.

However, it's not just taking or passing courses that prepares your child for college or the working world. The key to his or her success is learning the subject matter in those courses. For an outline of the skills and knowledge your child should obtain from high school courses, ask your child's counselor to see a copy of ACT's Standards for Transition brochure.

What types of colleges are available?
There are three types of postsecondary institutions: colleges, universities, and career and technology schools.

Colleges are institutions that grant associate degrees for transfer to four-year institutions or for career preparation. Two-year colleges are known as open-door institutions because performance standards (standardized test scores or combination of class rank and grade point average) are not required for admission.

Universities usually offer four-year degrees, as well as graduate and professional degrees. They may also offer two-year degrees.

Career and technology schools offer education and training in technical fields. Students can also earn college credit at Oklahoma career and technology centers that participate in the Cooperative Alliance program.

How can I help my child choose a college?
Find out all you can about Oklahoma colleges and universities. Visit a college campus with your child, take a campus tour and attend a campus play or other activity. This will give you both an opportunity to become familiar with campus life. You should also encourage your child to analyze his or her abilities and interests. Help him or her make the connection between career and study options.

When should the FAFSA be submitted?
Each year a new FAFSA form is available for that school year, typically from July 1 to June 30. Complete the form as soon as possible after Jan. 1 once you have completed your income tax statement. To receive state aid, such as the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant, the application must be submitted by May 30.

How do scholarships, grants, work study and loans differ?
Scholarships are awarded for a variety of reasons, such as financial need, academic achievement, special talents, career plans or participation in community service projects. Some scholarships are free, but others require the recipient to fulfill certain responsibilities.

Federal and state grants are typically awarded on the basis of need and do not require repayment.

The federal work study program provides minimum-wage jobs at colleges or universities for students with financial need. Eligibility depends on when the student applies, the student's level of need and the funding level at the institution.

Loans are not necessarily based on need and must be repaid with interest. For more information about loans, contact the Oklahoma College Assistance Program at 855.737.2965.