Nine Oklahoma high schools have been named “Oklahoma’s Promise 2016 State Champions” by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The schools lead the state in the number of graduates who met the requirements to receive a scholarship through Oklahoma’s Promise, a state program that allows students from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less to earn a scholarship for college tuition.
“The Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program has helped more than 75,000 Oklahoma students achieve the dream of a college education,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The State Regents commend Oklahoma high schools for their exceptional work to encourage student aspiration and strengthen student preparation for academic success.”
High schools named Oklahoma’s Promise 2016 State Champions are:
- Champions: Kinta, Red Oak and Timberlake, with eight Oklahoma’s Promise graduates each.
- Runners-up: Coleman and Coyle, with seven Oklahoma’s Promise graduates each.
- Champion: Hollis, with 11 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Runner-up: Mason, with 10 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Preston, with 24 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Runner-up: Panama, with 23 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Dove Science Academy (Oklahoma City), with 28 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. This is Dove Academy’s fifth consecutive year as a champion.
- Runner-up: Oklahoma Centennial (Oklahoma City), with 26 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Santa Fe South (Oklahoma City), with 68 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. Santa Fe South has been the Class 4A champion for eight consecutive years.
- Runner-up: Broken Bow, with 39 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Southeast (Oklahoma City), with 78 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. This is Southeast’s fourth consecutive year as the Class 5A champion.
- Runner-up: Del City, with 56 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Union (Tulsa), with 129 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. Union has been the Class 6A champion for five consecutive years.
- Runner-up: Broken Arrow, with 107 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
Recognized by many as America’s best college access program, Oklahoma’s Promise was created in 1992 by the Legislature to help more Oklahoma families send their children to college. The scholarship pays tuition at any Oklahoma public college or university until the student receives a bachelor’s degree or for five years, whichever comes first. It will also cover a portion of tuition at an accredited Oklahoma private institution. The scholarship does not cover the cost of fees, books, or room and board.
To be eligible for Oklahoma’s Promise, students must apply during the eighth, ninth or 10th grade, and their family’s annual income must not exceed $50,000 when they apply. A student’s family income also must not exceed $100,000 at the time the student goes to college.
To receive the scholarship at graduation, students must achieve a minimum 2.50 GPA in 17 core courses that prepare them for college and an overall GPA of 2.50 or better for all courses in grades nine through 12. Oklahoma’s Promise graduates also must attend class regularly and refrain from drug and alcohol abuse and delinquent acts.
Students completing the Oklahoma’s Promise program continue to be successful academically, with high school GPAs (3.43 average GPA) that exceed the state average, ACT scores that exceed those of their comparable middle- and lower-income peers, and higher-than-average freshman college GPAs. The college-going rate of Oklahoma’s Promise students exceeds the state average for high school graduates. They also have above-average full-time college enrollment, persistence rates and degree-completion rates. In addition, Oklahoma’s Promise college graduates get jobs and stay in Oklahoma after college at a higher rate than non-Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
In order to receive the scholarship in college, students must be U.S. citizens or lawfully present in the United States by the time they begin college.
For the high school graduating class of 2016, approximately 6,000 students met the program requirements to be eligible for the scholarship.
During the current 2016-17 year, about 18,000 students are expected to receive the scholarship in college at a cost of $65.4 million. This is a decrease of about 200 students from the previous year.
For FY 2018, the State Regents have approved a funding estimate for Oklahoma’s Promise of $74.3 million. About 18,000 students are projected to receive the scholarship in 2017-18.
Since 1996, when the first students in the program entered college, more than 75,000 students have received the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship. By law, the program has a dedicated funding source that helps ensure that the program is fully funded each year.
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