OBU is reaching out to high school seniors and their parents, encouraging them to take time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application is free, online and takes only about 30 minutes.
The university uses this information to offer their financial package, including scholarships and grants, to all incoming students. 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.
"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 by filling out the FAFSA, and let us see what kind of assistance is available. Most families who have done so have been pleasantly surprised."
The process is simple. Students or their parents may visit www.fafsa.gov, complete the FAFSA and select OBU with code 003164.
Some students and parents fail to fill out the FAFSA due to false assumptions about the true price of attending a quality private institution like OBU. They may think their income is too high to qualify, too low to receive enough support, or in the "middle" where they won't receive enough. Time after time, once the FAFSA is completed, families are happily surprised by what they learn, when they see they really can afford the great education OBU offers for their son or daughter.
The university recently announced all incoming freshman, beginning fall 2015, will receive a minimum financial award, making an already affordable OBU degree within reach for even more students. OBU budgets $25 million annually in university scholarships and grants, and the FAFSA opens the door to receiving more of this money for incoming students.
OBU is highly ranked as both an academically successful and yet affordable private Christian college. Currently, 97 percent of OBU students receive university funded scholarship money, with 98 percent of those receiving at least $2,000 per year in addition to grants, student loans, etc. This initiative will guarantee 100 percent of incoming freshman will receive a financial award, but the FAFSA is the key that unlocks the full financial package they will receive.
The university has 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.
Learn more about the FAFSA and how it impacts scholarships and financial aid.