OU announces new program to help cover fees for some students

OU campus

NORMAN, Okla. – In a time when college loans seem inevitable for many Americans, a local university says it is hoping to relieve some of the burden of paying for college through a new program.

The University of Oklahoma announced that it is launching the ‘Crimson Commitment program.’ Officials say students enrolled in the program will not have to pay tuition and up to $8,000 in student fees for four years.

Recipients must be a part of Oklahoma’s Promise, which is for Oklahoma families whose annual income does not exceed $55,000. Oklahoma’s Promise covers college tuition, but students will still have to pay fees.

That’s where Crimson Commitment comes in;  the new program will help students cover up to $8,000 in fees.

“It’s commonplace for colleges to annually raise tuition and fees, however, as a university we decided not to do that this year. Instead we are prioritizing affordability so access to an OU degree can be more attainable,” said Jeff Blahnik, associate provost for Enrollment Planning and executive director of OU Admissions and Recruitment. “Crimson Commitment makes it very clear to our Oklahoma’s Promise-eligible students that we are doing everything we can to make OU an affordable option.”

OU will invest more than $1.5 million each year into the new program.

“We are taking action to make OU more affordable to Oklahomans and want students in the state to think of OU as their future college home,” said Blahnik. “We are dedicated to keeping Oklahoma talent in our state, and Crimson Commitment helps us serve strong students who are in most need of financial assistance.”

At this point, 2,000 students at OU are receiving Oklahoma’s Promise.

To qualify for Crimson Commitment for the 2019-20 school year, an incoming freshman must:

1.      Qualify fully for Oklahoma’s Promise

2.      Apply to OU by the Feb. 1 deadline

3.      Be admitted to OU as a direct-from-high-school, first-time, full-time freshman

4.      Complete a FAFSA by March 1 of senior year of high school

5.      Enroll as a full-time student each semester.

Current OU students who receive Sooner Promise will automatically be a part of Crimson Commitment as long as they meet the renewal requirements.

o renew Crimson Commitment for the 2019-20 school year, a current student must:

1.      Meet and maintain eligibility requirements and conditions for Oklahoma’s Promise

2.      File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or before Dec. 15

3.      Be enrolled full time and maintain a four-year graduation track

4.      Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

5.      Attend the Crimson Commitment Symposiums (freshman year only).

The new program will be implemented in the fall of 2019 for incoming and current resident students who are recipients of Oklahoma’s Promise.