17 Resources Oklahoma Residents Should Know About Paying for College
Many people tend to get overwhelmed when thinking about how to pay for college. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Luckily, there are many resources available to Oklahoma residents that make the process a little bit easier. Between grants, scholarships, and loans, there are many options to help you pay for college depending on your unique financial situation.
Are you ready to begin your college journey? Then let’s talk about the four steps you should take to fund your college education in Oklahoma.
Step 1: Apply for Federal Funding
The first step for anyone seeking financial aid is to fill out the FAFSA. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Although it might seem a bit tedious to fill out, the FAFSA is a very important step in the financial aid process. Just by filling out the form, you will automatically be qualified for some federal grants, federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and some state grants.dfs
Because FAFSA can be complicated, feel free to check out our step-by-step guide that will walk you through every question.
Keep in mind, some grants might have application deadlines that you don’t want to miss, so the sooner you fill out the FAFSA, the better. You can even apply before you know which school you’ll be attending.
Step 2: Apply for State Funding and Scholarships
As we mentioned above, just filling out the FAFSA automatically qualifies you for some grants and scholarships, but not all.
The colleges you apply to will look at your FAFSA and automatically qualify you for certain state programs available to you. You will see these results in your financial aid letters.
You can also do some research on your own to see what other programs might be available.
To begin your search on state funding, you may want to browse the OK College Start website. This website offers helpful advice to Oklahoma residents who are planning for college. You can visit their financial aid planning tab and read through the basics of financial aid, as well as determine your eligibility for different types of financial aid.
Oklahoma grants include:
Along with grants, Oklahoma offers a number of scholarships for residents.
Oklahoma scholarships include:
- Oklahoma's Promise is for students whose parents’ income is less than $50,000 a year, and who are taking college preparatory classes.
- Academic Scholars Program is for students who achieve the National Merit Scholar, National Merit Finalist or U.S. Presidential Scholar designation, or for students who score at or above the 99.5 percentile on the ACT or SAT.
For information about Oklahoma grants and scholarships, you can check out CollegeGrant.net.
Step 3: Apply for Institutional, Local, and National Scholarships
High school guidance counselors can be a great resource when it comes to finding local scholarships, so be sure you regularly check in with them to stay up to date with scholarship opportunities.
You can also do your own searches online. Tons of different scholarships are out there, you just have to find them. You can check out the websites of Oklahoma colleges or call their financial aid offices for more information.
You can also search for scholarships online by many different factors, including major, scholarships for women, sports scholarships, etc.
Many Oklahoma colleges have specific scholarships for students attending that school. For example, here is a list of scholarships for students attending Oklahoma State University.
CollegeScholarships.com has a wide variety of scholarships available to Oklahoma residents.
Also, Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search is a constantly updated scholarship database. It can be a big help during your hunt for scholarships.
Another great resource for scholarships is Big Future by College Board. Besides just scholarships, Big Future can be a super helpful resource when it comes to picking a major or even finding a career.
Step 4: Apply for a Private Loan
If you’ve gone through your options of grants, scholarships, and federal loans, a private loan can bridge the gap of the remaining difference that you’ll need.
Before taking out an Oklahoma private loan, check out our free NitroScore tool. It will help you determine if a private student loan is the way to go or not. Plus, it’s so simple to use.
All you have to do is enter a college and a major, and the tool will calculate your total cost of education. It will also tell you your projected salary after graduation and your potential loans needed.
From there, you will receive a score that will tell you how easy or hard it might be to repay the loans you take out.
You can customize the results of the score by selecting different majors or adding other factors such as savings and scholarships.
After utilizing the NitroScore tool, you can find out which of our highly trusted loan partners can give you the best rate.
Thanks to all the resources available, a college education is an attainable goal for all Oklahoma residents. Start planning for your future today.