The Oklahoma Legislature is close to passing a bill (SB 529) to make Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships available to more students. Available since 1996, these scholarships cover the cost of tuition for in-state students at an Oklahoma public college or university if students complete a series of college-readiness requirements before high school graduation and maintain a passing GPA once in college.
Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships have become a critical part of college planning for low and moderate income Oklahoma families as they are guaranteed to students who meet the income guidelines and complete the requirements. Expanding access to the program is necessary if Oklahoma wants to compete in the new economy where most high-paying jobs require advanced education.
Currently, students are eligible for the scholarship if their family’s income is below $50,000 at the time they apply. SB 529 would raise the income limit to $55,000 in 2017-2018 and then to $60,000 in 2021-2022. SB 529 has passed both the House and Senate, but the Senate still needs to approve House amendments or work out the language in conference committee. The bill is close to the finish line, which is good news for college-bound students and for the whole state.
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