Ten Oklahoma high schools have been named “Oklahoma’s Promise 2017 State Champions” by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The schools lead the state in the number of graduates who met the requirements to receive a scholarship through Oklahoma’s Promise, a state program that allows students from families whose annual income is $55,000 or less to earn a scholarship for college tuition.

“For more than two decades, over 80,000 Oklahoma students have been afforded the opportunity to pursue their college education through the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Our Oklahoma high schools have done an exceptional job encouraging and supporting their students’ participation in Oklahoma’s Promise. The State Regents commend these schools for their outstanding work and dedication to both students and Oklahoma’s future.”

High schools named Oklahoma’s Promise 2017 State Champions are:

Class B

  • Champions: Covington-Douglas, Grandfield, Lomega and Moyers, with seven Oklahoma’s Promise graduates each.
  • Runners-up: Coleman and McCurtain, with six Oklahoma’s Promise graduates each.

Class A

  • Champion: Stringtown, with 11 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
  • Runner-up: Moss, with 10 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.

Class 2A

  • Champion: Dove Science Academy (Oklahoma City), with 31 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. This is Dove Science Academy’s sixth consecutive year as a champion.
  • Runner-up: Northeast Academy (Oklahoma City), with 20 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.

Class 3A

  • Champion: Douglass (Oklahoma City), with 34 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
  • Runner-up: Okmulgee, with 26 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.

Class 4A

  • Champion: Broken Bow, with 35 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
  • Runner-up: Clinton, with 32 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.

Class 5A

  • Champion: Santa Fe South (Oklahoma City), with 67 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. This is Santa Fe South’s ninth consecutive year as champion.
  • Runner-up: Southeast (Oklahoma City), with 58 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.

Class 6A

  • Champion: Union (Tulsa), with 152 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. Union has been the Class 6A champion for six consecutive years.
  • Runner-up: Broken Arrow, with 87 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.

Recognized by many as America’s best college access program, Oklahoma’s Promise was created in 1992 by the Legislature to help more Oklahoma families send their children to college. 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. 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 $55,000 when they apply. A student’s family income also must not exceed $100,000 each year the student is enrolled college.

To receive the scholarship at graduation, students must achieve a minimum 2.50 GPA in 17 core courses that prepare them for college and an overall GPA of 2.50 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 (3.44 average GPA) 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 and degree-completion rates. In addition, Oklahoma’s Promise college graduates get jobs and stay in Oklahoma after college at a higher rate than non-Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.

In order to receive the scholarship in college, students must be U.S. citizens or lawfully present in the United States by the time they begin college.

For the high school graduating class of 2017, approximately 6,000 students met the program requirements to be eligible for the scholarship. During the current 2017-18 year, about 18,000 students are expected to receive the scholarship in college.

Since 1996, when the first students in the program entered college, more than 80,000 students have received the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship. By law, the program has a dedicated funding source that helps ensure that the program is fully funded each year.

For more information about Oklahoma’s Promise or to apply online, visit www.okpromise.org. Information is also available by emailing okpromise@osrhe.edu or by calling 800-858-1840.