Financial Support for Hispanic Students and the FAFSA and Oklahoma’s Promise Applications
(For a Spanish translation of the page, go the bottom right can click on “Select Language”)
There is a lot of financial support available for Hispanic students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who live in Oklahoma that we have listed on this page. While undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid and some Oklahoma scholarship programs, other scholarships and grants are available. Many are listed at the end of this section that will help you get started researching these scholarships opportunities.
Both documented and undocumented students living in Oklahoma are eligible for in-state tuition regardless of your parent’s immigration status. Some colleges also offer work/study programs whether or not you are documented that can pay as much as half of your college expenses. Many students attending Oklahoma colleges are able to pay all or most of their college expenses with a combination of scholarships and work/study programs.
The first financial aid program you should research is the Oklahoma’s Promise. This scholarship program has paid tuition to Oklahoma’s public vocational schools and colleges for 100,000 students.
Here is a Hispanic student commenting on how this Program helped her go to college and pursue a career as a dentist:
The new family income limit for students applying is $60,000 at the time of registration. But families can later make as much as $100,000 and retain the student will still retain the Promise scholarship. Eighty five percent of students in Tulsa Public Schools meet the $60,000 family income limit. Students can apply and know if they are accepted during eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh grade.
Must be an Oklahoma resident
Must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in high school and stay out of trouble.
Must complete 17 hours of required courses. The TPS Workforce Ready / College Prep curriculum includes all the courses that meet the State Regents’ requirements. Here is a link where you can see the courses the Regents require you to take for Oklahoma’ s Promise OK Start.org. These are also courses that are required for admission to most Oklahoma Colleges.
- A FAFSA application must be filed with the Regents your senior year of high school and after each year you are in college to maintain your tuition payments.
How to complete the Oklahoma’s Promise Application
1. Video Instructions on How to Fill Out the Oklahoma’s Promise Application
2. Written instructions on how to complete the Oklahoma’s Promise Application
We suggest using your smart phone to complete the application. That way you can take pictures or easily scan the documents required and then upload them rather than having to mail them or locate a scanner. .
To get started, go to https://www.okhighered.org/okpromise/
Then click on the red “Apply Now” button in the upper right-hand corner to begin.
This will take you to a page that lists the nine requirements for Oklahoma’s Promise including a 2.5 GPA. After you have read them, go to the bottom of the page and click on the blue box that says [Apply Now] This will take you to to the Sign In page.
If you do not have an account, hav click on the bottom box [ CREATE AN ACCOUNT]. TPS encourages students to use their TPS e-mail and password, so they are easy to remember. Once you have signed in, you will see a page that lists Promise application requirements for parents and students and OK’s Promise Scholarship Benefits. This is the first page of the four- part application. This first page once again describes the requirements for Oklahoma’s Promise. Read through the requirements and go to the bottom of the page and make sure to click the blue [Agreement] button. Not checking this box is one of the most frequent reasons an application is labeled “Incomplete”.
After you have checked the blue [Agreement] button, click on the [Save and Continue] button at the lower right and you will go to a page where the student will find items for both the student and parent to complete including contact information, the student’s social security number and a confirmation number that is issued to the student when they first apply for a username and password. Make sure the name of the parent matches the tax returns, W-2s or any legal documents appointing an adult as the student’s guardian.
The third part of the application is the parents’ family income, which will be verified in the fourth and last step by submitting a copy of a tax return, W-2 other financial documents. We suggest you go to the video before you fill out this part of the form. It answers the many questions that can come up because of circumstances like divorce, income levels that do not require filling a tax return, adoptions and guardianships.
Guardians do not need to submit financial information only legal documents that show a court has appointed them guardian.
- YOUR FINANCIAL AND PERSONAL INFORMATION IS NOT SHARED. Only the staff at the OK Regents for Higher Education who run OK’s Promise see your application.
- The student must be a U.S. citizen and resident of Oklahoma or lawfully present in Oklahoma. Parents DO NOT need to be US citizens.
To start the process of submitting documents online without a scanner, lay the documents you want to attach to the application flat on a table and take a picture of them with your cell phone. You will later be prompted to upload these photos.
If you are using a computer, send the pictures by e-mail to the computer you are using for the application. Click on the photo attachments in the e-mail and drag and drop them on the computer’s desktop.
To upload these documents, there is a blue link at the bottom of the application summary page just below the Mailing address and Fax number: okhighered.org/SEFT/Okpromise.aspx. Clicking that link will take you to the final page called “Send your files securely”where you can upload your document files. You then:
- Fill in the student’s e-mail address and then the Student’s Name.
- Copy and Paste the “Captcha Code” into the empty box and then hit “Send Your Files”
That’s it! In a few minutes, you will get an e-mail saying they have received your updated information. Please forward a copy of that e-mail along with the name of your school and the year you will graduate high school to Bill Langdon at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take you off our contact list and alert your high school counselor.
If you are a TPS student and need further help, YPNG has one-on-one, bilingual workshops where a bilingual instructor can answerer your questions and help you complete the application. To register for a one-on-one workshop, go to the “Events” pulldown at the https://ypng.co homepage and you will see sign up pages for these events. TPS students can also send short questions to email@example.com. Please include the student’s name, student id number, the school the student attends and the year of high school graduation.
3. Videos of Students attending Oklahoma Colleges with the help of the Promise program
- Oklahoma State University https://admissions.okstate.edu/cost-aid/videos/oklahomas-promise.html
- Langston University https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avuWJVBJ0xM
- Seminole State University https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEpzEQUjCSw
- University of Central Oklahoma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iryTfdrNo3g
4. Other Information on Oklahoma’s Promise for High School Seniors
- Individual College Promise Information
- University of Oklahoma http://www.ou.edu/financialaid/typesofaid/sooner-promise
- Northeaster State University https://offices.nsuok.edu/financialaid/TypesofAid/OklahomasPromiseatNSU.aspx
- Oral Roberts University http://www.oru.edu/financial-assistance/resources-available/grants.php?locale=en
- University of Central Oklahoma. https://www.uco.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/oklahoma-promise
- The University of Tulsa https://utulsa.edu/financial-aid/grants/#state-funds
- Tulsa Community College http://www.tulsacc.edu/admissions-aid/aid/financial-aid/types-aid/scholarships/oklahomas-promise
- Oklahoma City Community College http://www.occc.edu/financialaid/pdf/oklahomas-promise-fact-sheet.pdf
- Redlands Community College https://www.redlandscc.edu/content/oklahomas-promise-ohlap
- Rose State College https://www.rose.edu/content/admissions-aid/financial-aid-scholarships/oklahoma-s-promise/
- East Central University https://www.ecok.edu/current-students/paying-college/financial-aid/financial-aid-faq
Tulsa Achieves – Pays Tuition to Tulsa Community College
Tulsa Achieves is a funding program that provides up to 100 percent of tuition and fees to eligible Tulsa County residents who are graduating high school seniors and enroll at Tulsa Community College the fall after they graduate. The program pays for up to 63 college credit hours or up to three years of college, whichever comes first. Every documented high school graduate wi is a Legal Resident of the US living in Tulsa County, including public, private or home-schooled students, with a 2.0 GPA or higher grade point average is eligible.
There are other eligibility requirements you must meet to be accepted and to maintain your eligibility while you are going to TCC. You will see that that one of these requirements is filing a FAFSA when you apply for the program and each year to maintain your eligibility like the Oklahoma’s Promise program and other scholarships and grants based on family income.
Speaking of FAFSA, eligibility for most other kinds of scholarships and financial aid programs is ususally determined by each college’s financial aid office using data from the Federal Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). Students and their parents will need to learn how to fill out this form that requires family income information from the student’s parents and have a completed form ready to submit with your application. Here is a Spanish language videos showing how to fill out this form. YPNG also has a section on how to fill out this application in English on its Scholarship and Financial Aid page under the HS College Prep pull down.
Some of the general categories of places where Hispanic students can go to research opportunities for scholarships and financial aid:
- Non-profit Organizations
There are several groups dedicated to helping Hispanic students attend college. The dollar amounts of the scholarships and grants vary, and some may require applicants to have specific majors and career goals. Check with each organization for its requirements. Here are some places to start:
Hispanic Scholarship Fund https://www.hsf.net
The HSF is the largest Hispanic-focused scholarship-granting organization in the country, awarding millions of dollars in scholarship money each year to Hispanic high school and college students. In addition, it offers awards to students at community colleges who are planning to transfer to four-year colleges.
Most of the scholarships require that applicants:
* Be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
* Be of Hispanic descent (at least one parent must be fully Hispanic or both parents must be half Hispanic)
* Be currently enrolled full time in school
The above criteria can change depending on the scholarship, so check the HSF Web site for specific details. You can also find a complete list of scholarships, requirements, application deadlines, downloadable applications and tips for applying.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute (HSFI)
The HSFI is affiliated with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, acting as the public policy and awareness branch of that organization. It also administers a scholarship program for community college and university students who are pursuing degrees in environmental science, math, science, computer science and other specific fields. Awards are typically between $2,000-$3,000. Check their Web site for more details.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
In addition to awarding their own scholarships for high school and college students who demonstrate strong community leadership, the CHCI also publishes an extensive list of scholarships on their Web site.
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
With approximately 115,000 members throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the country. Since 1998, the LULACNational Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $10 million to high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students.
The dollar amounts of the scholarships vary, and some may require applicants to have specific majors and career goals. Many require a minimum GPA of 2.7 to 3.0. Visit LULAC.org for a list of available scholarships, eligibility requirements and more.
Hispanic College Fund (HCF)
The HCF is primarily geared toward students who plan to study business, but it does offer scholarships based on other fields. You can also find information on other scholarship-granting organizations, along with their contact information. Visit HispanicFund.org for more information.
Corporate/Association Scholarships and Grants
Many professional organizations offer scholarships, fellowships and grants to encourage minority participation in their specialized field. Research the professional associations in your intended career, as well as leading corporations. Even if scholarships or grants aren’t available, you may find internship opportunities and networking contacts.Some corporations ask for a post-graduate work commitment, so be sure to review all requirements before getting involved. Below are two professional organizations that have scholarship programs in place.
Hispanic National Bar Association https://hnba.com
The Hispanic National Bar Association is a non-profit association representing the interests of Hispanic American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. It offers fellowship and scholarship opportunities for students planning to enter the field of law.
National Society of Hispanic MBAs.
They offer several scholarship programs for Hispanic students interested in pursuing a career in business. Some are geared specifically for MBA candidates, but other scholarships are more general.
Golden Door Scholars
Golden Door Scholars is an organization committed to not only helping DACA and undocumented students afford college, but also ensuring that these students find rewarding careers after graduation.
Past Golden Door alumni stay connected to the program, and mentor current scholarship students, helping them find internships and other professional opportunities. In the past five years, the organization has awarded scholarships to 158 deserving students.
Golden Door boasts an impressive roster of partner schools, including Oberlin College, Tufts University and Smith College. If you’re interested in applying for a scholarship, you can check out their application online. If you’re an employer who’s interested in potentially hiring DACA college graduates, head to Golden Door’s website for more.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund has awarded over $500 million dollars in scholarships, empowering Latinx students to reach for the educational opportunities they deserve. Though not specifically designed for undocumented students (The HSF is open to applicants of all Hispanic backgrounds), it does allow applications from DACA students and Eligible Non-Citizens, as outlined by FAFSA.
In addition to awarding scholarships, the HSF also boasts a variety of programs aimed at helping its alumni turn their college education into a rewarding career. Events like their Career Symposium, Finance Conference, and Entertainment Summit allow scholars to connect with mentors, explore internship and job opportunities, and participate in career-oriented workshops. Students looking to apply can head to the HSF’s website for more information. If you’re interested in supporting the HSF’s efforts, you can learn more about volunteer opportunities, or make a donation.
QuestBridge is a national nonprofit that empowers low-income students, by providing them with scholarships to some of the nation’s top schools. The organization extends its arms to undocumented students, with the majority of its partner universities accepting scholars who don’t possess current U.S. visas.
Questbridge has an impressive roster of partner colleges, including schools like Brown University, Yale University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, making this scholarship program a great opportunity for high-achieving, undocumented students.
If you’re an academically advanced, low-income, high school senior, you can apply for the QuestBridge National Match Scholarship. This remarkable scholarship covers the full cost of tuition with no student loans, as well as room and board. If you’re a low-income high school junior, looking to get a head start on college admissions, consider applying to the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars Program. Finally, if you’re not a student, but interested in supporting the organization’s important mission, you can make a donation.
Education for Fair Consideration
Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) is an organization that aims to empower undocumented youth, through a series of programs that help students achieve their educational goals, and pursue the careers of their dreams. One of E4FC’s most successful initiatives is their New American Scholars Program, a scholarship fund for low-income, immigrant students living or attending school in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization awards scholarships up to $7,000 dollars, which help deserving students pay for tuition and other college expenses.
TheDream.US is one of the nation’s largest college access and scholarship programs for Dreamers. In just three years, the organization has committed over 49.6 million dollars in scholarships, to help over 1,700 Dreamer students. With a network of over seventy five partner colleges, TheDream.US is determined to help immigrant students fulfill their dream of achieving a college education. The organization has a fantastic reputation, and recently made headlines when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, donated a $33 million scholarship grant.
Applicants must be have either Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to apply, and may apply for one of the organizations two main scholarships.
The National Scholarship
The National Scholarship is for high school or community college graduates who qualify for in-state tuition at one of the organization’s partner colleges, and provides up to $29,500 in tuition assistance.
Mi Vida Mi Futuro
Here is a Spanish language video for TPS’s Hispanic families that discusses some of the many scholarships and financial aid available to TPS students. The video also includes Hispanic students currently attending the University of Oklahoma who graduated from TPS high schools and comments by one of OU’s Hispanic recruiters. There are also presentations by Hispanic recruiters from Tulsa Community College and Tulsa Tech who discuss scholarships programs for TPS graduates that will pay for all your tuition to their schools. These programs and Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program mentioned in this video are discussed in more detail on this page along with how to apply.