Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grants are available to many undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and who have not already earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. A Federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances such as when a student completely withdraws before the 60% point of the term. (See the Return of Title IV Policy of the Financial Aid Policies section of this catalog.) Federal Pell Grant cannot be issued at more than one school at a time. Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) corresponding to the correct term of enrollment to apply. A new FAFSA is required every academic year to continue federal aid opportunities. The Financial Aid Office uses the results of the FAFSA to determine eligibility. Amounts can change yearly and will depend on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA, the cost of attendance (COA) as determined by enrollment status and yearly direct and indirect costs, and attendance for a full academic year or less. If eligible, a student may also receive up to 150% of the scheduled Pell Grant for an award year, making it available to many USAO students in the fall, spring, and summer terms.
The Federal Pell Grant is available for no more than the equivalent of 12 full-time terms, or 600%. This is referred to as lifetime eligibility used, or LEU. US citizenship is required for the Federal Pell Grant, and all other federal aid programs.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are available to those students who are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant based on the FAFSA’s EFC, but meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements and 1) the student’s parent or guardian was a member of the US armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, and 2) the student was under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least half time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death. The application and maintenance process are the same as for the Federal Pell Grant and the amount of the IASG is equal to the maximum Federal Pell Grant amount for the award year. However, the amount cannot exceed cost of attendance.
Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship (CFHS)
The Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship is available to Pell eligible students whose parent or legal guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer, and the student was under 24 years old or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death. The student must collaborate with the Financial Aid Office to document eligibility. Those who qualify are eligible to receive the Pell Grant at the maximum amount for the award year for which the determination is made. In subsequent years, the student continues to be eligible for the scholarship, provided the student continues to have a Pell-eligible EFC and continues to be an eligible student. In addition, eligibility for all other Title IV aid is determined on the basis that the student’s FAFSA EFC is zero. For the purposes of this program, a public safety officer is 1) as defined in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b); or 2) a fire police officer, defined as an individual who is serving in accordance with State or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency and provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency, or at a planned special event.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG or SEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program provides additional need-based grants to Pell Grant eligible undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students must enroll in at least half-time status in eligible credit hours for consideration. The Financial Aid Office has substantial flexibility in determining the amount of FSEOG to grant students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment. Priority is given to those students with exceptional need (those with the lowest EFC scores) and those who apply early. USAO is allotted a limited amount of FSEOG each year and cannot award funds above this allotment. The amount of FSEOG received can be affected by other gift/grant aid in the overall financial aid package. Renew the FAFSA each academic year as early as possible to maximize opportunity for FSEOG.
Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG)
OTAG (Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant) is a limited fund from the State of Oklahoma and is made available to students with the highest unmet need. OTAG recipients must also be residents of Oklahoma and eligible for the federal Pell Grant. Due to funding limitations, not all Pell eligible students can receive OTAG. Early application is encouraged. The amount of OTAG offered can be affected by other gift/grant aid in the overall aid package. Section 407 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act requires that states notify students that grants such as OTAG are a part of LEAP (Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership) and are funded by the federal government and the state.
Oklahoma’s Promise (OKP or OHLAP)
Oklahoma’s Promise is a unique program for students in the State of Oklahoma. Students must enroll in the State program while in grades 8 through 11. Homeschool students must enroll at ages 13 through 16. Family income requirements at the time of enrollment are set by the State of Oklahoma and eligibility is determined by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) and the Oklahoma’s Promise program. Some students may qualify due to special income provisions set by OKP and State policies. High school completion requirements and yearly income checks must be met prior to receiving program benefits in college. A yearly FAFSA is required to determine each academic year’s income eligibility. More information on Oklahoma’s Promise is available at okhighered.org/okpromise/. Oklahoma’s Promise is generally the value of tuition each term; but does not pay for remedial coursework or the full amount of “locked tuition”. It also cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance, so final amounts may be impacted by other gift/grant aid in the overall financial aid package.
Federal Work Study
Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for eligible undergraduate students with unmet financial need in their overall financial aid package. Priority for work-study jobs is given to full time students. The base rate of pay for most work-study students at USAO is $8.00/hour. Students cannot begin Federal Work-Study until employment paperwork is complete and approved, and a signed Permission Slip is submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Permission Slips are issued for each term of eligibility, at the start of the term. Students and supervisors are required to report and submit the time worked for each pay period the student is eligible, on the appropriate time sheet due date. Pay is issued bi-weekly directly to the student. Time sheets for Federal Work Study are available from the Financial Aid Office.
Students who have eligibility for and are interested in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program can review available work study employment opportunities, as well as area part time non-work-study employment openings, by signing up with the “Handshake” platform at https://joinhandshake.com/. All students may check with the Financial Aid Office regarding their eligibility or other questions regarding this program. Placement in a position is based on the availability of jobs.