NORMAN – To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the University of Oklahoma, the University has launched the “Live On, University” campaign, a $500 million campaign, which culminates in December 2015. $100 million of the privately raised funds will be used for additional student scholarships.
A special part of the scholarship campaign is for the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Debt Forgiveness Program, which is a merit- and need-based assistance program directed toward outstanding students in the College of Education with significant debt associated with their education. For each year they teach in the state – up to four years – up to $5,000 of their student loans will be forgiven.
Another portion of the campaign will be allotted to Social Work students, which will provide scholarships for students with financial needs to study abroad.
The success of OU’s $250 million Scholarship Campaign – which has now reached $285 million in gifts and pledges – has allowed OU to more than double its private scholarships in the past five years.
In addition to the Live On, University campaign, Debt Forgiveness Program, and Scholarship Campaign, the University of Oklahoma is ensuring that students who want to earn a degree at OU do not have to work full time while attending school.
Two years ago, OU established a Work Assistant Scholarship Program. This scholarship is provided to students who document working more than 25 hours per week. The expectation is that students who receive the scholarship will then decrease their working hours while taking 15 or more credit hours.
This year, OU already has awarded financial aid to 201 working students, and the University is projecting at least $673,956 in scholarship funding being distributed to qualified working students by the end of the spring 2015 semester.
OU President David L. Boren said, “As state funding declines, private scholarship and financial aid becomes even more urgent. The state’s share of student costs has plummeted from 50 percent in the ‘70s and ‘80s to 16 percent today and only 6 percent at the medical school, causing students’ and families’ share to more than double. We must work to keep the doors of opportunity open.”