Oklahoma Student Loans in 2024: What You Need to Know

While many students receive scholarships and grants, these kinds of financial awards can leave students with only a portion of their college tuition and expenses paid for. Oklahoma student loans can help bridge this financial gap, creating opportunity in higher education where there may not have been otherwise.

Federal and private student loans are available to Oklahomans, in addition to unique financial aid programs offered through Oklahoma institutions. Unlike many scholarships and grants, student loans are not based on merit, nor does a student need to demonstrate financial duress to qualify for every loan. First time college-bound students, graduate, and non-traditional students are all welcome to apply.

To better understand student loans in The Sooner State and how they can meet your financial needs, explore the guide below to gain information about state-specific student resources, the importance of FAFSA, and choosing a loan that fits your educational path.

How to Apply for Student Loans in Oklahoma


Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA, is one of the most important steps Georgia students and their families can take to pay for college. The FAFSA is used nationwide and is a mandatory step to determine the kind of federal aid a student receives. Additionally, it opens the door to a variety of financial aid opportunities.

Financial aid options available through the FAFSA include:

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal grants
  • Some state grants
  • Federal Work-Study Program

To guide students and their families through the application process, we created this interactive FAFSA guide that walks you through the application steps and how to answer each questions the best way possible.

Institutional Loans at Oklahoma Colleges and Universities


In Oklahoma, some schools have loan programs that are specifically available only to students attending their college or university.

You’ll want to check with your school’s financial aid office to see if any might be available to you.

For example, the University of Oklahoma offers the following loans for their students:

  • The Lew Wentz Merit Loan Program
  • Robert B. Lewis Technology Loan
  • Murray Case Sells Loan
  • James A. Robey and Medora Robey Loan
  • Sallie B. Clark Loan

Most loan programs are need-based. Students should apply for loans directly to the school in a separate application. (That is, these loans are not awarded based on FAFSA.)

Institutional loans often have unique terms as well such as shortened repayment terms and interest waivers for students who earn a 4.0 GPA, so it’s important to read all the fine print.

Student Aid and Debt

About half of Oklahoma college grads have student loan debt, with an average balance of $25,856, but they tend to acquire far less debt than the national average of $37,172.

With strong access to financial aid, both Oklahoma residents and out-of-state students have numerous educational opportunities at their fingertips at a lower cost and wider range of options than many other states in the U.S.

In fact, Oklahoma ranks 5th in the country for college affordability, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Students in Oklahoma Awarded Student Loans

Federal Student Loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers two federal student loan programs: the Direct Loan Program and Federal Perkins Loan Program. Eligibility for both programs is determined by a students FAFSA application.

1. The Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program offering four different types of loans for students with and without financial needs. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Loans offered to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Financial need is not a requirement to be eligible for this loan.
  • Direct Subsidized Loans: The Direct Loan option is available to students who demonstrate financial need and helps cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school. Unsubsidized and subsidized student loans are also referred to as Stafford Loans.
  • Direct PLUS Loans: These include the Parent PLUS Loan and Grad PLUS Loan. These options are available to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. The borrower should not have an adverse credit history and the maximum award of the loan is the cost of attendance minus other financial aid awards which is determined by the school.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans: This option allows students to combine all eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.

2. The Federal Perkins Loan Program is offered to students with exceptional financial need. Under this program, the school is your lender.

Federal students loans offer options for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds and generally speaking, are a safe bet offering good interest rates and repayment options for student borrowers.

How to Apply for A Private Student Loan

If you’re in need of additional financial aid, consider taking out a private loan to acquire the remaining funds you need for your college education. Before taking out any private loans, play around with our free NitroScore tool to get a better idea of the size of loan needed, and which of our highly vetted loan partners can offer you the best rate.

The tool will ask you to enter a college and major into the boxes provided. It will use that information to calculate your total costs, salary after graduation, and potential loans needed. From there, you will receive a score that tells you how easy those loans will be to repay based on your projected salary. Further customize your results by including information about scholarships, grants and savings. You can also compare different college or major combinations to get a better idea about which options fit your financial situation.

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