Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2015
Sen. Corey Brooks
OHLAP modification bill passed by full Senate
The Senate passed a bill Tuesday to provide the
State Regents of Higher Education more flexibility when deciding
students’ eligibility for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access
Program (OHLAP). Sen. Corey
Brooks is the author of Senate Bill 137, which would direct
the Regents to create an appeals process for students denied OHLAP
because of their families’ special financial situations.
“The purpose of the OHLAP program is to help provide free
tuition to any Oklahoma student who wants to get a college degree
and meets the qualifications. However, many students have been denied
the scholarship because of their parent’s Social Security
disability payments or nontaxable military pay including combat
pay, hazardous duty pay and active duty basic allowance for housing
benefits among other payments,” said Brooks, R-Washington.
“This bill will allow the Regents to review these special
cases to ensure that the state isn’t keeping someone who truly
has a financial need from getting a degree.”
Currently, in order to qualify for OHLAP, a family’s taxable
and nontaxable income cannot exceed $50,000 annually. SB 137 would
allow the Regents to review cases where a family’s income
includes nontaxable military benefits or federal Social Security
Administration payments due to the death or disability of one or
both parents. If the family’s income is found to be less than
$50,000 excluding those benefits, the student will be eligible for
the OHLAP program.
SB 137 will now go to the House for further consideration.
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