OBU is offering all incoming freshman a guaranteed financial award. This new initiative will guarantee all entering freshman, beginning fall 2015, a minimum financial award, making an already affordable OBU degree within reach for even more students.
"Families sometimes assume an OBU education is out of reach for their pocketbooks," said Bruce Perkins, associate vice president for enrollment management. "Over 30 percent of our operating budget is committed to student financial aid. Therefore, rarely does a student pay the full published price. We encourage families not to make decisions based upon assumptions regarding out-of-pocket costs. Rather, walk with us through the financial aid process and let us see what kind of assistance is available. Most families who have done so have been pleasantly surprised."
Students and parents are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before making any decisions on affordability. The FAFSA must be completed before the university may show a student the full amount of financial award they are eligible to receive. Students who don't complete the FAFSA leave money on the table and make their college choice without seeing a true net price.
Currently, 97 percent of OBU students receive scholarship money, with 98 percent of those receiving at least $2,000. This initiative will guarantee 100 percent of students will receive a financial award. The financial award is renewable each year, as long as students meet the academic requirements.
While this adds to OBU's affordability, the university has already been recognized as a great value for college education. OBU was one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private university in the state to be listed on Great Value College's rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. Of the hundreds of accredited colleges and universities in the Midwest, only those with tuition and fees below the national average were considered for the rankings. No college on the list has an annual net price (the total cost of attendance minus the average aid package) over $22,000. OBU's net price is approximately 25 percent less than the national average.
The rankings list the top 25 public and top 25 private colleges. OBU was the only private school in Oklahoma listed, with an average net cost of $16,617. Oklahoma State University ranked 10th on the list of public institutions with an average net price of $14,415 and the University of Oklahoma finished 19th with an average net price of $16,780.
OBU was also recently ranked by Christian Universities Online as one of the top 10 Christian Universities in the nation with the lowest debt burden for its graduates.