Oklahoma’s Promise: Paving the Way to a Brighter Future

High school students walking out of school and laughing.


What is Oklahoma’s Promise? 

Oklahoma’s Promise is a scholarship program designed to pave the way for students who want to pursue higher education without worrying about the cost. This program offers a unique opportunity for eligible students who enroll in the 8th, 9th, 10th  or 11th grade. By maintaining a minimum GPA, taking specific high school classes and staying in good legal standing students can unlock the doors to affordable higher education.  

Oklahoma’s Promise is committed to helping everyone get to college. They can cover the full cost of tuition at any Oklahoma public college or university and a portion of tuition at private institutions. This program acts as a beacon of hope for countless Oklahoma students who might not otherwise be able to afford college.  


The high value of going to college 

Why go to college? College is a transformative journey that shapes individuals into well-rounded, creative, critical thinkers. Through exposure to new ideas, cultures, and perspectives, as a student, you will develop a greater understanding of both yourself and the world around you.  

While helping you hone specific career skills, college also equips you with soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork. These skills make you more desirable to employ, provide higher earning potential and lead to greater career satisfaction.   

College also helps build relationships with peers, professors, and professionals in their field. These connections can lead to internships, job opportunities, collaborative projects and a greater sense of your career path ahead.  


Meet Hannah—Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship recipient   

As an Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship recipient, Hannah DeLeon was able to achieve what would have otherwise not been possible—attending college.  

With the help of her school specialist, Hannah submitted her application in 8th grade. When she received her award letter, it motivated her to work hard all through high school because she knew she wouldn’t have to worry about paying for college.  

Click here to read to Hannah’s complete interview! 


When to apply for Oklahoma’s Promise 

 You can apply for Oklahoma’s Promise as early as 8th grade or as late as 11th grade. Funding is first come, first serve to eligible students, so the sooner the better. The deadline for this year’s application is July 1st, 2024.  


Other sources of financial support 

If you don’t qualify for a full Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship, there are many other opportunities to help keep the cost of college down without turning to student loans:  

  1. Create a 529 savings plan.
  2. Check out national scholarships to begin applying as soon as possible.  
  3. Ask around at local community centers, religious organizations and employers—many of these places offer scholarships to their employees and customers.  
  4. Apply for FAFSA.
  5. Research work-study opportunities.


GEAR UP for your future 

College is important and there are many resources available to help you get there. Talk to your GEAR UP specialist today for help with all the specifics of higher education and applying for Oklahoma’s Promise. 

Want to dive deeper into college financial planning and the path to college? Check out Episode 2 and Episode 5 of GEAR UP’s Higher Ed Hacks podcast to learn more.  


Contact your GEAR Up school specialist. 
Apply for Oklahoma’s Promise.
Listen to GEAR UP’s Higher Ed Hacks podcast.