Scholarships and Financial Aid
The College and Career Center provides this page as a resource for information on scholarships and the all-important FAFA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Included on this page is information about Tulsa Achieves, which pays up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for a maximum of 63 college credit hours through Tulsa Community College.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form that the federal government, states, colleges, and other organizations use to award financial aid.
Completing and submitting the FAFSA is FREE and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school, including monies that are grants or loans.
Grants are based on income and do not have to be paid back. Loans collect interest and must be paid back. Submitting your FAFSA application is your key to accessing grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and federal student loans.
Completing the FAFSA is a requirement for Tulsa Achieves and is the final check for Oklahoma’s Promise eligibility. Everything starts with the FAFSA, so make sure you complete the application during your senior year and every year you are in college.
FAFSA opens October 1st and closes June 30th yearly.
- An FSA ID to sign electronically
- Social Security number
(it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA!)
- Your driver’s license number if you have one
- Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal tax information or tax returns including W-2s, 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and other records of money earned
- Records of your untaxed income (if applicable), such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits
If you are a dependent student, then you will also need most of the above information for your parent(s).
Apply for scholarships early and often. Some scholarship deadlines are as early as a year before you start college. You do not need to wait until you have made your final decision about your school to apply. Do not worry if you missed out on some of the earliest scholarship applications because there are numerous scholarship opportunities out there with a wide variety of deadlines.
The College and Career Center shares scholarships opportunities in Canvas announcements, as well as Facebook. Some scholarships are very quick and easy to apply for, but others take a little more time. Meet all deadlines because missing one could disqualify you.
Tulsa Community College helps eliminate the financial burden of attending college by providing additional funding to fill the "gap" between financial aid and the cost of attending college.
For eligible students, Tulsa Achieves pays up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for a maximum of 63 college credit hours. As a gap-funding program, Tulsa Achieves pays any remaining balance after all state, federal and private aid and grant funding have been applied. The student is only responsible for the cost of books!
Tulsa Achieves students begin their coursework the fall semester after high school graduation and may continue in the program for 63 credit hours of three years, whichever comes first.
Tulsa Achieves Requirements:
Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident of the U.S.
- Non-citizens are eligible for the My Dream/Mi Sueño Scholarship, which provides up to $2,000 per semester for up to 3 years or 60 credit hours.
- Live in Tulsa County
- Have and maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average
- Enroll at TCC the fall semester after they graduate and every fall and spring semester while attending
- Provide TCC with ACT or SAT scores, four-year high school transcripts, and Free Application for Federal Student Aid and Tulsa Achieves Application (FAFSA)
- Complete three-fourths or more of their college classes and fill out the FAFSA every year
- Complete 40 hours of community service each year
Students who have lived in Tulsa County from ninth through 12th grade will have 100% of their tuition and mandatory fees paid; 10th through 12th grade, 75 percent; 11th and 12th grade, 50 percent; and 12th grade, 25 percent.
Mandatory fees are those that all TCC students pay and do not include program-specific fees, such as fees for certain classes.
Applications are available at www.tulsacc.edu , in TCC registration offices, and at Union High School’s College and Career Center. Please make note of the application deadline which varies slightly from year to year.
Types Of Financial Aid
In the United States, everyone has the right to a free public education, but not a free college education. The Federal government and most colleges agree that students and their parents are the ones most responsible for paying for college.
The philosophy behind financial aid is that everyone should pay what they can out of income and assets (your EFC), and then financial aid, including any outside resources, makes up the difference. The only way you can pay less than your EFC is if you get so many outside scholarships that they exceed your financial need. This is highly unlikely.
At many colleges a “B” average can put you in the running for merit money. Sometimes a separate application is required; sometimes your application for admission is enough. Don’t count yourself out by not applying; apply and let the college decide!
Private colleges give more financial aid than public ones, but their tuition is usually higher as well. Public colleges award less aid, but taxpayer support keeps their tuition lower. Since a high-priced college often awards more assistance than a low-priced one, a particular student might end up paying the same out of pocket cost at both, or even less at the college with a higher sticker price. That’s why you shouldn’t rule out your “dream college” as too expensive until you find out if it wants you and what kind of financial aid package it will give you.
Financial Aid Terminology
(Money that does not have to be repaid.)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- National SMART Grant
- Institutional grants
- State-sponsored grants
(Money earned by working.)
- On-campus (work for the school)
- Off-campus (private nonprofit organization or a public agency)
(Money that does not have to be repaid.)
Any scholarships you informed the school about, as well as those the school has to offer, will be included on your award letter.
(Money borrowed that must be repaid.)
- Federal Stafford Loan (subsidized)
- Federal Stafford Loan (unsubsidized)
- Federal Parent PLUS Loan
- Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- State loan programs
- Private loan programs
- Other loan programs
It’s usually in your best interest to accept subsidized Stafford and Perkins loans that are part of the aid package; the repayment terms are good and the government pays the interest while you’re in school. Unsubsidized loans—such as unsubsidized Stafford, PLUS loans, and private loans from a bank—should be studied more carefully to make sure the terms are acceptable.