Planning for college expenses
- Where can I find out how much the cost will be? (Actual cost versus estimated)
The actual cost will of course vary from student to student. We encourage students and families to use our “College Cost Worksheet” each year to identify all their costs, including tuition/fees, room/board, books, and even transportation and personal costs. This worksheet gives some resources to other offices, including the Bursar who has a tuition/fees estimator, and Residential Life who has information about on-campus room and meal plan costs. Start planning for costs now.
- How can I save money?
We have cost-cutting ideas for students, both before they enter college and during college. Before college, consider concurrent enrollment and AP courses. During college, consider CLEP Exams, a less expensive room or meal plan and buying used books.
- Where is the Net Price Calculator?Net Price is defined as the average yearly price actually charged full-time, first-year undergraduate students receiving student aid at an institution of higher education - calculated by subtracting the average need-based and merit-based grant from the COA. Use the Net Price Calculator.
Planning for college expenses
- How does my student apply for financial aid?
Complete the FAFSA each year, as soon as possible each year beginning October 1 for the following academic year.
- What if I have more than one student?
Each student will complete a FAFSA separately. Parents can use the same FSA ID to electronically sign each application separately, but each student will need his/her own FSA ID.
- How does my student apply for scholarships?
Incoming undergraduate students are considered for all OSU scholarships their first year by completing the application for admission/scholarships. Continuing and readmitted students may have different opportunities within the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, their college and department, and with non-OSU scholarships.
- What if I have "special circumstances?"
We want to discuss any circumstances that you feel are not reflected on the FAFSA, that impact your ability to contribute towards your child’s education. There are certain circumstances that may be considered, including but not limited to job loss, reduction in work income, or extensive out-of-pocket medical expenses. After we have the FAFSA, please contact our office at 405-744-7295 to request an appointment with a counselor to discuss your circumstance(s). Appointments may be done in person or by phone, and typically not scheduled for the same day you call to schedule a time.
Common FAFSA questions
- I am divorced/separated. Whose information is used on the FAFSA?
If you are the parent who provides more than 50% support for your child, you will provide your information on the FAFSA. If you are re-married, you will also provide your spouse’s information on the FAFSA.
- Why does my student need parent information?
Federal regulations determine if a student is dependent or independent, which is based on how the student answers various questions on the FAFSA. If your student answers these questions in such a way that he or she is considered dependent, then your information must be included to calculate any federal/state financial aid eligibility through the FAFSA.
- What is the Expected Family Contribution?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. The EFC represents how much the federal government determines that you can contribute towards your child's education over time. It is used to determine "financial need" and what specific financial aid programs your student can qualify for.
Funding for college
- Should my student work?
We think so! Statistics show that part-time student employment can be very beneficial to students because it:
- Helps ease the transition to college
- Develops professional contacts
- Builds a solid employment history
- Develops time management skills
- What funds are available?
Funding availability may be different for each student, but includes scholarships within and outside OSU and financial aid funds determined through the FAFSA. In order to determine eligibility for any federal funds (grants, work-study and/or loans) or state funds (Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant), students need to complete the FAFSA each year, as soon after October 1st as possible. Students also have opportunity to apply for scholarships, based on financial need, academic achievement, major, and/or other factors.
Incoming undergraduate students are considered for all OSU scholarships their first year by completing the application for admission/scholarships.
Continuing and readmitted students may have different opportunities within the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, their college and department, and with non-OSU scholarships.
- How can my student borrow a loan?
The first step is to complete the FAFSA each year. After our office receives the FAFSA and any other requested documents, we will notify your student of the financial aid awards, including an offer for student loan(s). Students can accept student loans online through the student self-service portal at my.okstate.edu.
- How can I borrow a loan?
Similar to the process for student loans, the first step is to complete the FAFSA each year. After our office receives the FAFSA and any other requested documents, we will notify your student of the financial aid awards, including an offer for the parent loan. Parents must be approved for credit to borrow, and can apply at www.studentloans.gov.
- My student is in the Oklahoma's Promise program. What funds are available through
Oklahoma’s Promise covers the amount of tuition each semester. In addition, we have the Cowboy Covenant program, which provides additional financial assistance to Oklahoma's Promise students.
- What about private loans?
These loans are through private loan lenders and not the federal government. We would recommend checking online or through your bank.
- Why doesn't my student qualify for certain financial aid?
Certain financial aid funds, including SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) and FWS (Federal Work-Study) are based on financial need, the date the FAFSA is signed, and when we receive any additional documentation our office requests. If your child is not awarded in these programs, this would indicate that either financial need was not met, or funds were exhausted by the time we were able to process your child’s financial aid package. Students are notified by email to their OSU email address when awards are listed on the OSU Portal at my.okstate.edu.
- My student may be eligible for veterans benefits. How can I find out more about this?
At OSU, the Veteran Benefit Services unit is located in the Office of the Registrar. They can assist veterans and their dependents who attend OSU with Veteran’s Education Benefit Certification, Yellow Ribbon applications, and other veterans benefit programs.
- How will my student receive information from your office?
Most communication is done by e-mail to the student's OSU email address. Some scholarship notices may be mailed in addition to, or instead of, being e-mailed.
- How will I receive information from your office?
Typically correspondence is directed to the student. Correspondence directly with the parent occurs primarily through phone, in-person and e-mail conversations.
- When will we receive financial aid award information?
After we have the FAFSA, acceptance to the University, and any other requested documents, we begin notifying new undergraduates in December, and continuing undergraduates and graduate students in late February for the following academic year.
- How can I contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid?
Parents can contact the office in person (119 Student Union), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by fax (405-744-6438), or by phone (405-744-6604). All inquiries are handled by full-time, professional staff members.
- How can I access my student's information?
In general, your dependent student will need to add you to proxy access in order for us to go over any information in regards to their financial aid. They can do so on their Self-Service portal. Also, you must be the parent on the FAFSA in order for us to go over any information related to the FAFSA.
Please be sure your student’s Campus-Wide ID (CWID) is noted on all correspondence/forms you send to our office.
If you come into the office, you will need to show a photo ID so we can confirm that you are a parent listed on Proxy Access.
- Student information on the OSU portal
Students user their OSU email address and O-Key password to login into the my.okstate.edu self-service system. There is not a specific parent log-in available, but your student can share information with you.
- OSU Bursar bill
Students can grant parents access to view their Bursar bill and/or receive billing notifications from the Office of the Bursar.
- Will my financial information remain private?
The information you and your student provide on the FAFSA and documents submitted to the OSU Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is used to determine eligibility for federal student financial aid. All information submitted for the purpose of securing financial aid is protected under OSU policy, the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), and the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act of 1999 (GLB). Under these provisions, OSU ensures the privacy and safeguarding of all financial aid information. Details of the OSU policies can be found in the OSU Catalog.
- How does my student maintain eligibility for scholarships?
Different scholarships have different requirements to meet. Your student should refer to the Important Information Sheet given when the scholarship was awarded for the specific criterion.
- How does my student maintain eligibility for financial aid?
Federal regulation requires that a student meet certain academic requirements, outlined in the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
- My student is in the NOC-Gateway program. How does financial aid work and who do I
Financial aid for Gateway students is handled through NOC, not OSU.
- My student is going to be studying abroad. What scholarships/financial aid are available?
Eligible students may receive financial aid to help pay for a study abroad experience, as long as the course work taken while abroad will transfer back and apply toward your student’s OSU degree program.
The OSU Study Abroad Office website has a section just for parent of students considering a study abroad experience.
- My student is an OSU degree-seeking student, but taking some classes elsewhere. Can
he/she receive financial aid for those classes?
Your student may be eligible for funding through a consortium agreement with the other school they are attending. They should contact our office for specific information.
- My student is concurrently enrolled in high school and at OSU. How does that work?
Students who are concurrently enrolled in high school are not eligible for federal student aid, but may qualify for a partial or completed waiver of tuition while enrolled as a concurrent student. Students become eligible for federal and state aid once they graduate from high school.
Even though your student will have some college credit by the time s/he graduates from high school, we will still consider the student as a ‘new freshman’ or ‘first-time freshman’ for determining federal student aid and OSU scholarships if your student comes to OSU directly from high school. This is to your student’s advantage, as most multi-year tuition scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has additional information about how being a concurrently-enrolled high school student at OSU works.
- Where can I get information about Academic Common Market?
- Where can I get information about National Student Exchange?
Begin with OSU's Study Abroad/National Student Exchange Office.