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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: April 2, 2009

Sen. David Myers

Senate Committee Passes Bill Extending OHLAP Scholarship Program

Hundreds of more Oklahoma students could be eligible for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), also known as Oklahoma’s Promise, under legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. David Myers is the Senate principal author of House Bill 2249 expanding the eligibility requirements for the state’s free tuition program.

“It’s more important than ever in these hard economic times that we do all we can to help Oklahoma families be able to send their kids to college. This is something that not only benefits the scholarship recipients but the entire state when those students become working adults earning far more than they probably ever could have without a degree,” said Myers.

Currently, only those children whose family annual income is below $50,000 are eligible for the program. HB 2249 would allow applicants’ parents to use $43,000 in adjusted gross income and would also adjust based on family size. Therefore, the children in a family of four with an adjusted gross income of $57,000 would qualify, as would children in a family of six with an adjusted gross income of $64,000. Families would also be allowed to use a three-year average of their annual income in order to qualify for the program.

“Larger families have more expenses than smaller ones and, therefore, their money doesn’t stretch as far, but their children shouldn’t suffer for it and miss out on this incredible opportunity that will positively impact their lives,” said Myers. “By using a sliding income scale and accounting for family size, hundreds more middle-income Oklahoma families will be able to benefit from this tremendous program.”

It is estimated that HB 2249 would increase the number of eligible students by 1,100 in 2013.

The measure now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Myers' Office: 405-521-5628

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