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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of questions commonly asked by OU students and their families. Below you will find some of those questions and their answers. We have divided these questions into those pertaining to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and those specific to OU. If you can't find your question and its answer below, make an appointment with your MoneyCoach to discuss.

Make an appointment

How-To Videos

Check out our How-To Videos page for step-by-step instructions on some common processes OU student will encounter when implementing their financial plan!

How-To videos

FAFSA Related

Below you will find some common questions that students and their families have concerning their FAFSA. If you have questions about your specific situation and completion of your FAFSA, contact the Student Financial Center (SFC) at (405) 325-9000, sfc@ou.edu, or visit them in Buchanan Hall, room 106.


The Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)
 is used to apply for nearly all types of financial aid including federal, state, and institutional aid. The purpose of the FAFSA is to determine a family's ability to pay for college according to a federal calculation. The result is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This figure is used by the financial aid office to determine how much and what types of aid may be awarded.


The U.S. Department of Education provides a yearly comprehensive booklet - Completing the FAFSA.


FAFSA Checklist

  1. Create an FSA ID
    The student and at least one parent of a dependent undergraduate student will need an FSA ID. An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    Step by step instructions are available on the FAFSA website including online help and contact information. The Federal Student Aid Information Center has extended hours and may be reached by phone at 1.800.4.FED.AID. Be sure to include OU's Federal School Code - 003184 - and your housing plans.

  3. Review the Student Aid Report
    After completing the FAFSA, an email is sent by Federal Student Aid to the student at the email address provided on the FAFSA. This email includes a link to the Student Aid Report. The SAR includes instructions to review the information carefully and make any corrections necessary. If tax information was originally estimated, a request is sent by Federal Student Aid in mid-April to update your FAFSA information. Log into www.fafsa.ed.gov to make any corrections.

 

OU Financial Aid Services will normally receive your FAFSA results - the Student Aid Report (SAR) - 3 to 5 working days after completion or corrections are made.

The MoneyCoaches encourage students to fill out the FAFSA, even if you don’t plan on taking out student loans. It is still a good back-up plan, in case something unexpected happens, as the most favorable student loans often require a FAFSA be on file. In addition, many scholarships prefer you have a FAFSA on file when considering your application.

For technical issues with the FAFSA, contact their help line at 800-433-3243.

The custodial parent should complete the FAFSA. The custodial parent for the FAFSA is the parent the student lived with the most during the 12 months preceding the date you complete the FAFSA. This is not necessarily the parent who has legal custody. If you evenly split time living with each parent, use the parent who provided the most financial support during the past 12 months.

If the parent you're living with is the custodial parent, and therefore providing their info on the FAFSA, then yes, the step-parent must report their info.

You will need to select that you’re interested in work-study on the FAFSA and then contact the Student Financial Center once your financial aid is packaged.

If you answer, “yes” to any of the questions below, you can likely file as an independent student:

  • Are you at least 24 years old?
  • As of today, are you married? (Also answer “Yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
  • At the beginning of the 2020–21 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an M.A., MBA, M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., graduate certificate, etc.)?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training? (If you are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee, are you on active duty for other than state or training purposes?)
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
  • Do you now have—or will you have—children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021?
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2021?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  • Has it been determined by a court in your state of legal residence that you are an emancipated minor or that someone other than your parent or stepparent has legal guardianship of you? (You also should answer "Yes" if you are now an adult but were in legal guardianship or were an emancipated minor immediately before you reached the age of being an adult in your state. Answer "No" if the court papers say "custody" rather than "guardianship.")
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2019, were you determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, as determined by (a) your high school or district homeless liaison, (b) the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or (c) the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program?

OU Specific

Below you will find some common OU specific questions that students and their families have. If you have a question about something OU specific that is not addressed below, contact the OU MoneyCoaches at (405) 325- 4692, send your MoneyCoach an email, or make an appointment with your MoneyCoach.

Email your Moneycoach

Make an appointment with your moneycoach

A MoneyCoach can help students understand and prepare for the financial impact of a college education. They can help students create a personalized financial plan, discuss specific financial skills, such as budgeting, building credit, and paying off debt, and guide students in researching and understanding the resources available to help pay for their education.

There are several resources available for both incoming and current OU students relating to scholarships.  

  • When you complete your Admissions Application, you are applying for scholarships from OU for your first year. Those are the freshmen, transfer, and international scholarships that you see here.
  • Once you are attending OU, you can apply for more scholarships each year through the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub (CASH) application available here. However, those awards will not be awarded until your sophomore year and beyond.
  • When you complete the FAFSA application at studentaid.gov, it allows the University to consider you for needs based scholarships. If you do not have a FAFSA on file then you are automatically not considered for any need based aid from OU.  It is suggested that all students complete the FAFSA each year.  
  • There are many outside resources for students that can be found on our scholarships page. Students that have the most scholarship dollars typically have OU, local, and national scholarships. Apply for as many scholarships as possible. It is suggested to begin with local scholarships because those scholarships typically have less competition than national scholarships.  Incoming students can also check with their high school counselor for opportunities.  
Searching for scholarships can be time-consuming. It can be helpful to think of looking for scholarships as a part-time job with a big potential payout. If you spend 10 hours a week during your senior year searching for scholarships but end up receiving $2,500 in scholarships, that seems like a pretty great payoff!

The Work Assistance Tuition Waiver (WATW) is designed to assist current undergraduate students that work 25+ hours per week during the academic year.

The intent of the tuition waiver is to help these students with their finances so that they are able to work fewer hours during the semester and focus more time and energy on their studies. (Students that receive the tuition waiver are not required to continue to work 25+ hours a week during the following semester).

In the application, you must provide two consecutive pay stubs that show you work 25+ hour per week during the Spring 2020 semester. The pay stubs must be dated betweenthe first and last day of the semester. You cannot submit your application without the proper pay stubs.  If you are transferring to OU, please include a copy of your transcript with your pay stubs.

Apply for the Work Assistance Tuition Waiver

It is strongly encouraged that you schedule an appointment to meet with your MoneyCoach to talk about student loan options available to you and which ones best fit your specific situation. They can help you understand the different types and ways to minimize your overall debt.

schedule an appointment with your moneycoach

A student can pay their bill via check, electronic check, credit or debit card. To pay with an electronic check, credit or debit card, log in at one.ou.edu with your OU Net ID and password.

  • Click on the financial tab
  • Click on the bursar tab
  • Click the button that says, “make payment”
  • Using a debit or credit card will incur a 2.75% convenience fee.

A parent or guardian can also make a payment after their student adds them as an “authorized user”. The student can do this by logging into one.ou.edu, clicking on the “financial” tab and then the “bursar” tab. Select the “add authorized user” button.

No, students are charged per semester, as fees are based upon the courses each student is enrolled in for the term in question.

A bursar registration hold means that you are not able to enroll in courses, because your account is currently not up-to-date with the OU Payment Plan. Please schedule an appointment with your MoneyCoach to discuss your specific plan and ways to pay off your balance.

Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), OU staff are not able to share details about a student’s account or financial plan unless they have explicit, written permission from the OU student that states the individuals name and a clear statement about what information the staff member may share with the identified person. If the student is granting a MoneyCoach permission via email, the email will need to come from the student’s OU email account.

The first fall eBill is available on Aug. 1 and the first spring eBill is available Jan.2 at one.ou.edu. Monthly due date is the 25th. Students following the payment plan will be assessed a monthly service charge of 1.5% (18% APR) on the unpaid balance, beginning Sep. 26 for fall and Feb. 26 for spring. All accounts with prior balances are assessed the 1.5% monthly service charge.

Pay this percentage of balance25%33%50%100%
Fall TermAug. 25Sep. 25Oct. 25 Nov. 25
Spring TermJan. 25Feb. 25March 25April 25
Summer Term  June 25July 25

Once a student’s Bursar bill is completely paid and the balance is $0, any additional aid that is applied to the account throughout the semester will be issued back to the student in the form of a refund. The refund will either be electronic, if the student set up an account in one.ou.edu or a check.

Any undergraduate student registered in 12 or more hours will be charged a flat rate based on the current 15 credit hour rate for tuition and hourly mandatory fees. Students are encouraged to take 15 or more hours in order to receive maximum benefit from flat-rate tuition. College program and technology, additional academic excellence, and course fees will be charged at a per credit hour rate. Flat-rate tuition does not apply to Graduate, Law, or Advanced Program students. In addition, students enrolled in only Liberal Studies courses are not subject to the flat rate. These students will be charged on a per credit hour basis for tuition and fees.

Full-time undergraduate students who are registered for less than 30 hours for fall and spring (but pay the flat-rate) may be eligible to participate in the summer session incentive program, also known as banked hours.

An appeals process has been established for students with special circumstances who are unable to enroll in 15 credit hours. The appeal form must be completed by the student and returned with documentation to the Office of the Bursar for review. These circumstances may include:

  • Students with disabilities.
  • Students with fewer than 15 hours remaining per semester until graduation.
  • Students participating in a study abroad program.
  • Students with temporary medical condition.
  • Students who are under contractual agreements (academic and/or scholarship) with the university that limit enrollments to less than 15 credit hours.
  • Students in official University sponsored activities to which he/she commits 25 or more hours per week for a substantial portion of the term.
  • Students limited fewer than 15 credit hours due to their curricular structure.
  • Students participating in an internship.
  • Students with unforeseen circumstances that directly affect them.

A Flat Rate Appeals Committee has been established to review all Flat Rate Tuition Appeals. The committee consists of student representatives, Bursar and Financial Aid staff members, and Academic counselors. The committee reviews all appeals and documentation, and will notify students of their decision via email to their OU email account. The committee may request additional information from students as needed.

The committee requires documentation for all appeals. Types of acceptable documentation include, but are not limited to:

  • Advisor Recommendation Form - available through a student's college level advisor
  • Letter from Disability Resource Center
  • Proof of study abroad plans/commitment
  • Doctor's Note
  • Copy of academic or scholarship contract which limits enrollment
  • Letter from sponsor of a University activity

Undergraduate students will be charged the undergraduate rate for all the courses they take, regardless of the level of the courses. As undergrads, students will be subject to flat rate if they are enrolled in 12 hours or more.

Banked Hours

Full-time undergraduate students who are charged the flat rate and take fewer than 15 hours per semester may be able to bank hours to use in the summer. The hours a student has banked will automatically be used to reduce summer charges for tuition and mandatory hourly fees. Banked hours cannot be converted into cash or held for a future academic year.

  • Students must be classified as undergraduates during the summer semester to be eligible to receive reduced charges for banked hours.
  • Academic Excellence Fees, College Program and Technology Fees, Mandatory Semester Fees, and Course Specific Fees are not charged at the flat rate, and will not be covered
    by banked hours.
  • Banked hours may not be used for developmental math (DMAT) courses.
  • Courses outside of the Norman campus summer term will not be covered.
  • Courses covered do include on-campus, online, and OU summer study abroad courses.
  • Enrolled hours exceeding the number of hours banked will not be covered.
  • No credit will be received for unused banked hours.
  • Courses dropped after the add/drop period (at 0% refund) will count towards your enrollment total when determining banked hour eligibility.

No. Your banked hours cover tuition (resident and non-resident) and hourly-mandatory fees only. The college program and technology fees, academic excellence fee, semester fee, and any other applicable course-charges are not included in banked hours.

To learn about your financial aid options for summer courses, visit the Financial Aid Services website here. Additionally, if you are thinking about taking summer courses, it may be helpful to meet with your MoneyCoach.

MAke an appointment with your moneycoach

Your MoneyCoach can take a look at your account and determine if there are any barriers preventing your loan(s) from paying out to your Bursar account. If so, they can educate you on the steps you need to complete in order for your loan to disburse, refer you to the correct department or work with other staff to help troubleshoot.

Federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree at the University of Oklahoma to be eligible for financial aid.  SAP is evaluated at the end of each semester.

Students who fail to maintain minimum GPA and/or course completion standards will lose their eligibility for federal, state and campus-based aid administered by Financial Aid Services.  

Students are notified of their failing SAP status by mail.
Students may also view their current SAP status in One.

Submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form explaining any extenuating circumstances and/or personal issues that contributed to your SAP failure and include any supporting third-party documentation.

You may complete, sign and submit your SAP Appeal form online.  
Visit ou.verifymyfafsa.com to create or logon to your account.

In most cases, if you are classified as an out-of-state student upon your entry to OU, the answer is no. There are some extenuating circumstances in which an out-of-state student might be reclassified as in-state. For details about how residency status is determined, frequently asked questions regarding residency and to access the Residency Petition, click here.