Promises Kept in Oklahoma
SREB review of financial aid program
Oklahoma’s Promise is an effective college scholarship program that meets its goals and helps the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education increase education attainment in the state, according to a report from the Southern Regional Education Board. The report cited Oklahoma’s Promise as “an example of how a state can invest valuable resources in its students and see a strong return on that investment.”
Oklahoma Promise students outperform their peers on measures from high school to college and into the workforce, said Cheryl Blanco, SREB vice president for postsecondary education, who led the project. SREB conducted the review at the request of the Oklahoma State Regents. The report summarizes findings and offers recommendations for increasing support for and participation in the program, including:
- Continue funding so Oklahoma’s Promise can serve all eligible students.
- Conduct a study of students who enroll but do not persist, to identify causes and make recommendations on how to increase completion rates for these students.
- Promote concurrent enrollment for Oklahoma’s Promise students in their senior year of high school.
“Oklahoma’s Promise is recognized by many as America’s best college access program,” said State Regents chair Jay Helm. “The Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship continues to help thousands of students achieve the dream of a college education by encouraging them to prepare academically and providing them with financial assistance.”
In support of the state’s goal to increase the number of college graduates, Oklahoma’s Promise provides financial aid for college expenses to encourage more students to aspire to attend college.
“Promise programs are an important strategy for opportunity and access so more students from low-income backgrounds can earn a college degree,” said SREB President Stephen Pruitt. “Oklahoma’s Promise is a model others can learn from.”
“Since the program’s inception, Oklahoma’s Promise has helped more than 80,000 students earn this scholarship to attend college,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The SREB report affirms that Oklahoma’s Promise is a vital investment that builds aspirations and strengthens student preparation in our state.”
The Southern Regional Education Board works with states to improve public education at every level, from early childhood through doctoral education. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.