Seven Oklahoma high schools have been named “Oklahoma’s Promise 2020 State Champions,” leading the state in the number of graduates who met the requirements to receive an Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship.
Oklahoma’s Promise is a state program that provides an opportunity for students from families whose annual income is $55,000 or less to earn a tuition scholarship for college or certain programs at public career technology centers.
“These seven Oklahoma high schools are to be commended for serving as champions for their students,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The State Regents and I applaud their efforts. Since 1996, more than 95,000 Oklahoma students have taken advantage of the opportunity to pursue their college education through earning the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship.”
High schools named Oklahoma’s Promise 2020 State Champions are:
- Champion: Indiahoma, with seven Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. This is Indiahoma’s second championship.
- Runners-up: Boise City, Leedey, Tupelo and Varnum, with six Oklahoma’s Promise graduates each.
- Champion: Fort Cobb-Broxton, with 12 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Runners-up: Keota, Sentinel, Thomas-Fay-Custer and Weleetka, with 10 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates each.
- Champion: Wilburton, with 18 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Runner-up: Hulbert, with 15 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Dove Science Academy (Oklahoma City), with 35 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. This is Dove Science Academy’s 10th championship.
- Runner-up: Sequoyah-Tahlequah, with 31 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast (Oklahoma City), with 46 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Runner-up: Broken Bow, with 43 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Santa Fe South (Oklahoma City), with 116 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. This is Santa Fe South’s 12th consecutive year as champion.
- Runner-up: Tahlequah, with 63 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
- Champion: Union (Tulsa), with 167 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates. Union has been the Class 6A champion for nine consecutive years.
- Runner-up: Putnam City, with 103 Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
Recognized as one of the top college access scholarship programs in the nation, 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 up to five years, whichever comes first. It will also cover a portion of tuition at an accredited Oklahoma private institution or public career technology center. The scholarship does not cover the cost of fees, books, or room and board.
To be eligible for Oklahoma’s Promise, students must apply during the eighth, ninth or 10th grade, and their family’s annual income must not exceed $55,000 when they apply. A student’s family income also must not exceed $100,000 each year the student is enrolled in college.
To receive the scholarship upon high school graduation, students must achieve a minimum 2.50 GPA in 17 core courses that prepare them for college and an overall GPA of 2.50 or better for all courses in grades nine through 12. Oklahoma’s Promise graduates also must attend class regularly and refrain from drug and alcohol abuse and delinquent acts.
Students completing the Oklahoma’s Promise program continue to be successful academically, with high school GPAs (3.48 average GPA) that exceed the state average and ACT scores that exceed those of non-Oklahoma’s Promise students. The college-going rate of Oklahoma’s Promise students exceeds the state average for high school graduates. They also have above-average full-time college enrollment, persistence and degree-completion rates. In addition, Oklahoma’s Promise college graduates are employed and stay in Oklahoma after college at a higher rate than non-Oklahoma’s Promise graduates.
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 2020, more than 6,000 students met the requirements to be eligible for the scholarship. During the current 2020-21 year, about 15,000 students are expected to receive the scholarship in college.
Since 1996, when the first students in the program entered college, more than 95,000 students have earned 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.