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

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2017

 

Governor signs bill modifying school eligibility for Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant

The Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant provides annual $2,000 stipends for Oklahoma students attending certain qualified private and independent, not-for-profit colleges and universities. The governor signed Senate Bill 600, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Katie Henke, this week to clarify that eligible institutions must have been granted not-for-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Education before July 1, 2012. Smalley said the change closes a loophole that was allowing certain institutions not intended for the grant to qualify for it.

“This bill will prevent for-profit trade schools who aren’t regionally accredited from changing to not-for-profit and then being eligible for these funds,” said Smalley, R-Stroud. “It’ll also guarantee that academic rigor will be maintained within the degree programs offered by the regionally accredited colleges and universities.”

Those institutions that are eligible for the grant are private or independent, not-for-profit colleges or universities that are based in Oklahoma, meet approved program and accreditation standards as determined by the State Regents, and are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association on Colleges and Schools or a national accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

“I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate and House for helping get this important bill to the governor’s desk and for helping ensure that the purpose of the Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant program is protected and continues helping eligible Oklahoma students be able to better afford a college degree,” said Smalley.

Subject to the availability of funds in the Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant Trust Fund, the State Regents can award a $2,000 grant per academic year or $1,000 per academic semester from the Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant Trust Fund. The program began in the 2003-2004 school year.
To be eligible for a grant, a student must be an Oklahoma resident, have enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student in an eligible college or university. Their parents’ income from taxable and nontaxable sources must be less than $50,000 per year or the student’s income, if independent and self-supporting as

determined by the State Regents consistent with federal financial aid regulations. The student must pay more tuition than is required at a comparable public institution of higher education and pay no less than the regular tuition required of all students enrolled at their institution. They must maintain at least minimum standards of academic performance as required by the enrolling institution.

Eligible institutions include Bacone College, Family of Faith College, Mid-America Christian University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Oral Roberts University, Southern Nazarene University, Southwestern Christian University, St. Gregory's University, the University of Tulsa and Randall University.

For more information contact:
Sen. Smalley: 405-521-5547

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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