Newsletter Highlights

::Five Essential Tips for Recent Grads::

Congratulations graduate! The time has come to say goodbye to textbooks, teachers, and tests while saying hello to a new chapter in your life. Whether your future includes work, more school or traveling another path, it’s important to be financially prepared for whatever adventures life brings.

Here are some timely tips to help you achieve financial success as you enter the next phase of your life.

To lessen the financial burden of an emergency, like theft, a job layoff or extended illness, work toward saving at least $1,000 in an emergency fund. Put the money somewhere easily accessible like an interest-bearing saving account or a money market account. Ultimately, work toward building an emergency fund that could cover three to six months’ worth of necessary living expenses.

::Focus On Your Five Year Plan::

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a never ending cycle, constantly repeating the  same daily routine? Maybe you’ve reached a crossroad in life and you’re not sure which direction to go. Crafting a five-year plan can help you identify and record important goals while developing a system to help you achieve them. Here are some tips to help you begin.

::Q & A ::

Oklahoma's Promise

Bryce Fair, Associate Vice Chancellor for State Grants and Scholarships, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

How did the Oklahoma’s Promise program begin?

Oklahoma’s Promise, originally called the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), was proposed and created through legislation in 1992 by former State Senator Maxine Horner of Tulsa. The idea was to help low-income students aspire to go to college without finances being a barrier. In 2017, Oklahoma’s Promise will celebrate 25 years of helping Oklahoma students and families pay for college.

What makes this program so unique?

This is one of three programs within the United States that motivates students at such a young age to think about college and commit to follow scholarship guidelines. Not many programs have this kind of motivation, credibility, or a track record that can encourage students to start actively planning for college up to five years before they can enroll.

How has this program impacted students and families?

We have many success stories of students, parents and administrators who’ve been impacted by our program. We had a counselor whose eighth parents about the program and her parents broke down into tears. Her parents were refugees and were happy a program existed to help pay for their child’s college expenses. I received a letter from a single mother in southeast Oklahoma thanking our program for helping her son attend a two- year college, then later transfer to a four-year regional university. We have many Oklahoma’s Promise recipients who are successfully working for companies, nonprofit organizations and in government agencies throughout Oklahoma. Many of those recipients are now encouraging students in their communities to enroll in Oklahoma’s Promise and graduate from college like they did. To date, more than 70,000 students have received the award with approximately 18,000 students currently enrolled.

What are the application requirements?

Our program pays resident tuition at an Oklahoma public institution or a portion of tuition at an Oklahoma private institution or public technology center for courses that are approved for credit toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students must apply during the 8th, 9th or 10th grade (home school students must be age 13, 14 or 15) and be an Oklahoma resident. Family income may not exceed $50,000 at the time of application and $100,000 at the time the student begins college and prior to receiving the scholarship. Once accepted, 9th – 12th graders must take 17units of required high school core curriculum courses, make a 2.50 cumulative overall grade point average (including a 2.50 GPA or better in the 17-unit Oklahoma’s Promise core curriculum), do their homework, and stay out of trouble. Application deadline for the program is June 30.

Where can students and parents go for more information?

They can learn about program benefits, scholarship conditions, required classes and more by visiting our website, OKPromise. org. To speak to a program representative, call 800.858.1840 (toll free) or email

::Fun, Frugal Fitness Apps::

MyFitnessPal is a free online calorie counter with exercise log and diet plan. Lose weight by tracking your caloric or macro intake quickly and easily. Find nutrition facts on all your meals, snacks and drinks!

Shopwell is like having a nutritionist in your pocket. This free app includes a barcode reader that helps you determine if your food choice is in line with your nutritional goals. The app suggests foods that will better fit your nutritional needs and will flag ingredients you want to avoid.

C25K is a free app designed to get anyone off the couch and running a 5K in as little as nine weeks.

Charity Miles enables people to earn corporate sponsorships for charity while walking, running or biking. Fitness never felt so good.

Carrot Fit is for those who like a little sarcasm with your fitness app. As long as you don’t mind being threatened, inspired, and even bribed, this app really pushes the limits.

Jawbone Up uses your compatible phone or smartwatch to track your movement and log food intake and hours of sleep, then shows you how to make simple adjustments that, over time, add up to a whole new you.

SuperBetter is an app that helps build personal resilience through gaming. This app is for people who want to feel happier, healthier, and more able to reach their goals by building social, mental, and emotional resilience in the face of any illness, injury, or health obstacle.

::Low Cost Graduation Gifts::

Bring on the parties, caps and gowns… graduation season is here! Rest assured you don’t have to go broke doling out dollars to graduates on your gift list. Here are a few low-cost and DIY gifts your grad will love.

::Achieving Financial Milestones in Your 20s::

As a twenty-something, you’re probably embarking on new experiences and viewing money in a different light. As you find financial independence, here are some milestones worth pursuing before you turn 30.


::Road Trip Hacks::

Summer break is almost here, and chances are you’ll take a road trip or two. Here are a few ways to have a more comfortable and entertaining drive.

BONUS TIP:  Check out the “Things to Do” page at for Oklahoma road trip suggestions.