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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?
An overview of the courses high school students must take to enroll at an Oklahoma state college or university is available in the College Planning Section at OKcollegestart.org. Your child can get a head start on college by completing concurrent enrollment courses and Advanced Placement courses and exams. For more information about the courses your child should take, contact your child's school counselor.

What types of colleges are available?
There are three types of postsecondary institutions: colleges, universities, and career 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 technology schools offer education and training in technical fields. Students can also earn college credit at Oklahoma career technology centers that participate in the Cooperative Agreements 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. If you aren’t able to visit in person most Oklahoma colleges and universities offer virtual tours.¬†You should also encourage your child to analyze their abilities and interests. Help them 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. To receive state aid, such as the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant, complete the form as soon as possible after it opens on Oct. 1. For more information about the FAFSA, visit StartWithFAFSA.org. The site provides students and parents with information about specific FAFSA topics and allows them to ask questions, watch FAFSA video tutorials in English or Spanish and download publications. New topics and answers to important questions are uploaded weekly.

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 financial aid, contact the Oklahoma College Assistance Program at 877.688.4357.