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Union High School named 6A OK Promise Champion six years in a row

Originally posted February 1, 2018

For six years and counting, Union Public Schools has been recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education as the Oklahoma’s Promise 2017 State 6A Champion for having 152 seniors from the class of 2017 qualify for the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship.

Oklahoma’s Promise, also known as the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), is state funded.  It allows students, from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less, to earn a scholarship to an Oklahoma public college or university or it can be used to pay for a portion of tuition at eligible private colleges in Oklahoma.

“I am pleased to proclaim that Union High School is the 6A OK Promise Champion for the sixth year in a row,” said Lisa Witcher, director of Secondary Education for Union Public Schools. “This achievement is a testament to the hard work of students academically and the educators who guide and support them.” In 2016, 129 seniors qualified for scholarships, 158 in 2015, 174 in 2014, 166 in 2013, and 128 in 2012.

Beginning in the eighth grade, Union’s academic counselors work with families and begin signing students up for eligibility in the Oklahoma’s Promise program. Counseling teams continue to support students throughout high school monitoring student enrollment, student grade point averages, and cheering on each student.  As Union students enter their senior year, the academic counselors team with College and Career counselors to ensure that every student eligible has his or her paperwork completed and sent to the regents.

Overall, 10 schools were named champions statewide. The schools lead the state in the number of graduates who met the requirements to receive a scholarship through Oklahoma’s Promise.

“For more than two decades, over 80,000 Oklahoma students have been afforded the opportunity to pursue their college education through the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Our Oklahoma high schools have done an exceptional job encouraging and supporting their students’ participation in Oklahoma’s Promise. The State Regents commend these schools for their outstanding work and dedication to both students and Oklahoma’s future.”

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.

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 2017, approximately 6,000 students met the program requirements to be eligible for the scholarship. During the current 2017-18 year, about 18,000 students are expected to receive the scholarship in college. 

Since 1996, when the first students in the program entered college, more than 80,000 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.

For more information about Oklahoma’s Promise or to apply online, visit www.okpromise.org. Information is also available by emailing okpromise@osrhe.edu or by calling 800-858-1840.