Oklahoma Grants Based on Need

FAQs About Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG)

I have already submitted my FAFSA application. Is there a separate application to apply for OTAG?

No. Students are automatically considered for OTAG when they submit their FAFSA and report Oklahoma as their state of legal residence. In order to receive OTAG, a student's financial information as reported on the FAFSA must meet OTAG eligibility requirements, and the student must attend an OTAG eligible school.

What is the income cutoff to be eligible for OTAG?

There isn't an "income cutoff" for OTAG. Financial eligibility for OTAG is based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a number that is calculated by the FAFSA, and it represents the dollar amount that the family would be able to contribute to paying the student's college costs over the course of the year. The EFC is determined by a formula that takes into consideration family size, number of students in college, assets and other things in addition to income, so we can't tell by income alone whether a student will be eligible.

OTAG does have an EFC cutoff. Currently, a student must have an EFC of 1700 or below to be awarded OTAG. Your EFC is printed on your Student Aid Report (SAR) that is sent to you by the U.S. Department of Education after they process your FAFSA.

What is the deadline to apply for OTAG?

The application deadline for OTAG can vary from year to year. The deadline will be set once OTAG has been able to determine the number of eligible applicants and the amount of funds available to be awarded for the year. Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after Oct. 1 for best consideration. OTAG receives many more eligible applications than can be awarded, and the FAFSA application date is used to prioritize which students will receive an award. How early you apply can make the difference in whether you receive an OTAG award.

How will I know if I have been awarded an OTAG grant?

OTAG does not notify students of their awards. Instead, your school will be the one to notify you if you will receive OTAG. They may do this by including an estimated OTAG grant in your financial aid award letter or by some other method. If you think you're eligible and you've received your award letter but it doesn't mention OTAG, ask the financial aid office at your school if you will be awarded, and if not, why you are not eligible.

I received OTAG last year. Do I have to apply again to continue to receive it?

Yes. A student must submit an application every year that they wish to receive OTAG, and this is true for most (if not all) financial aid programs that use the FAFSA. In order to continue receiving OTAG, you must continue to meet all of the eligibility and awarding requirements each year (EFC, application date, satisfactory academic progress, etc.).

My school told me I would receive an OTAG grant this semester. Classes started last week and I already have my Pell grant, but I don't have my OTAG funds yet. Is something wrong?

Probably not. While some schools coordinate the disbursement of Pell and OTAG funds, other schools disburse them on different dates. A school must verify eligibility information for each student that receives OTAG there. Because of this, many schools prefer to wait until after the Add/Drop period so that they can accurately report the number of credit hours a student is enrolled in, as well as other information that can affect the student's award. Your school may be in the process of verifying your eligibility information. However, if more time passes and you still have not heard anything from the financial aid office about the disbursement of your award, contact your school's financial aid office and ask about an estimated disbursement date, or if there are any unresolved issues with your financial aid file that need to be addressed.

I got OTAG last year. I filled out a FAFSA again for this year, but I haven't heard anything about OTAG this year. Am I still eligible?

Eligibility for OTAG awards is determined each year, so just because you received an award last year doesn't automatically mean you will receive one this year. There are several things that can affect whether you receive an award. For example, if you submitted your FAFSA application later this year than last and your application date now falls after this year's cutoff date, this year you will not receive an OTAG award. Also, if the information on your FAFSA has changed from last year, your EFC may not now be within the range where you are eligible to receive OTAG. If you are not making SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) as defined by your school, you will not be eligible. If you entered anything other than "OK" for state of legal residence on your FAFSA, this could be preventing you from being considered until this problem is corrected. Also, if there is a problem with the information on your FAFSA -- some information is missing or incorrect -- or if your financial aid office is waiting for you to provide additional information, this may be holding up your award. It is important that you contact your financial aid office if you have any questions about your eligibility, so that any problems that exist can be resolved as soon as possible.

We are going to need a lot of financial aid to be able to pay for my college, and I am hoping I will be eligible for an OTAG grant. What can I do to maximize my chance of getting OTAG?

The most important thing for you to do is to submit your FAFSA application early! OTAG usually receives many more eligible applications than can be awarded, and the FAFSA application date is used to prioritize which students will receive an award. Beginning with the 2017-18 application, the FAFSA indicates that for best consideration an Oklahoma student should fill out their FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1. And because so many financial aid programs use the FAFSA, submitting your FAFSA early can also help place you near the beginning of the line when you are considered for other financial aid programs at your school.

With the implementation of "Early FAFSA" in 2017-18, your tax information should be complete and easy to access or even import into the application directly from the IRS. (The tax information used for the new process will be the prior-prior year, or 2015, for the 2017-18 FAFSA that will be available Oct. 1, 2016.

I am going to a different school in the spring. I got OTAG last fall at my old school. Can I get it at my new school too?

Generally, yes, as long as the school you are transferring to is also an OTAG eligible school. If it is an eligible school and if you continue to meet eligibility requirements, you should be able to receive OTAG at your new school.

I am only taking three credit hours this semester. Can I receive OTAG funds?

No. Students cannot receive OTAG for enrollment that is less than "half time" according to their institution's definition. For most schools, this will be at least six credit hours per semester, or at least 450 clock hours if your school uses that measure.

What is the maximum amount of OTAG I can receive?

Currently, the maximum amount a student can receive is $1,000 per year at a public college, university or career technology center, or $1,300 per year at a private, non-profit college or university. The actual amount you receive can also be affected by the cost of the school you attend and how many hours you are taking, as well as what other financial aid you are receiving.

I am a graduate student. Can I get OTAG?

No. Graduate students are not excluded by the law that created OTAG; however, OTAG does not offer awards to all eligible students under the law because of funding limitations. At this time, undergraduates are given priority and have been for the past several years.

I'm not a graduate student, but I already have one bachelor's degree and I'm getting a second one. Can I still get OTAG?

No. OTAG is limited to undergraduate students who have not yet received a first bachelor's degree.

I am going to a college in another state. Can I get OTAG?

No. Only students attending OTAG eligible schools in Oklahoma can receive an OTAG grant.

My school doesn't appear on the list of eligible schools, but it is in Oklahoma. Why isn't it eligible?

The school you are attending may be a proprietary (for-profit) school. Students at proprietary schools are not eligible to receive OTAG funds.

I am not eligible to fill out the FAFSA due to my citizenship status, but someone told me I might still be eligible for OTAG. Is this true?

It is true that some students are not eligible to receive federal aid because they are neither U.S. citizens nor eligible non-citizens (Information about federal aid eligibility is available at Federal Student Aid.) However, some of these students can still be considered for state aid, such as an OTAG award. In general, qualified applicants enrolling in postsecondary education for the first time in 2007-08 and thereafter, must:

  • Have graduated from a public or private high school in Oklahoma.
  • Have resided in Oklahoma with a parent or guardian while attending a public or private high school in Oklahoma for at least two years prior to graduation.
  • Satisfy admission standards, as determined by the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.
  • Have provided to the institution a copy of a true and correct application or petition filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to legalize the student's immigration status.

Undocumented immigrants who have previously received OTAG awards and/or who were enrolled in postsecondary education in 2006-07 or earlier are eligible under the criteria that was in effect in 2006-07. These students should call 405.225.9456 or toll free 800.858.1840 for more information regarding their qualifications.

Qualified undocumented immigrant students should complete the Application for Undocumented Immigrantspdf (PDF, 255k) following the directions included on the form regarding completion, and mail directly to the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant Program.

Is there a maximum number of semesters a student can be eligible for the OTAG award?

The OTAG program rules do not specify a maximum number of semesters, however, limits on the duration of federal PELL grant eligibility also limit OTAG eligibility. Program rules state that otherwise eligible undergraduate students can continue to receive awards as long as they are eligible for funding from the federal Pell grant program.