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Frequently Asked Questions

CASH Frequently Asked Questions & Definitions


The University of Oklahoma is committed to making a world-class education attainable. OU offers a variety of scholarships for current students and the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub (CASH) makes it easy for students to complete those applications. Get your CASH questions answered with our FAQ below.

The Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub, or CASH for short, is the premier place for current and continuing students to apply for university scholarships. Open to all students enrolled in the current academic year, applications are submitted in the current academic year for consideration with award disbursement in the next academic year.

All students should first complete their General Application, which begins the process. After you complete your General Application, you will be prompted to complete other scholarship applications, such as your college-level application, departmental applications, study abroad awards, campus awards, or miscellaneous scholarship opportunities. Visit our Q&A in CASH to get more details on this process!

CASH is open annually from October 1st through the following  February 1st. During this time, enrolled students have access to all scholarship applications available through the system.

CASH is specifically available for students that are currently enrolled in and attending classes made available through the University of Oklahoma Norman Campus. Since scholarship decisions are being made for next year, you also want to make sure that you will be attending during the following academic year to reap the benefit of your efforts!

Not in all cases. The FAFSA is only required for scholarships awarded through the Financial Aid Scholarship Application, or scholarships that require it to be completed. With that said, there are some cases where exceptions are made for students that are ineligible to complete a FAFSA. There are many scholarship opportunities that do not require the FAFSA to be completed!


The Academic Common Market (ACM) is an interstate agreement coordinated by the Southern Regional Education Board for sharing some unique academic programs through an exchange of students across state lines wherein non-resident tuition charges are waived.

The Academic Year is the period of time in which a student is attending an educational institution. At the University of Oklahoma, this encompasses the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. For example, the 2022-2023 academic year encompasses the Fall 2022, Spring 2023 and Summer 2023 semesters.

The Award Year is the period of time in which a student receives their yearly financial aid package or scholarship award.

The Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub is where currently enrolled students can apply for all merit and financial need-based scholarships at the University of Oklahoma. CASH is open between October 1st and February 1st each academic year.

The Cost of Attendance is the estimated cost universities anticipate a student to incur while attending their school for a given time period traditionally declared by academic year. 

Demonstrated Financial Need is the measurable, documented, and defensible explanation of financial need traditionally used for scholarship practices. If a student is eligible to submit a FAFSA, those metrics are taken into account to determine demonstrated financial need.

Your Enrollment Status is the reported number of credits scheduled during any academic period. The University of Oklahoma reports enrollment status at full-time, part-time, less than part-time, and withdrawn status. 

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an index number used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. It's reported to you on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

At times, the University of Oklahoma may use this information when awarding financial need-based scholarships.

Your Financial Aid Scholarship Package is the total scholarship dollar amount offered by the University of Oklahoma Scholarship Office based on your Financial Aid Scholarship Application in CASH. An FAS Package can be comprised of one or several scholarships.

Financial Aid Scholarship Recipient Obligations are the required terms and agreements that students must acknowledge and submit to receive their Financial Aid Scholarship Package. This process is completed via the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub (CASH) log-in portal during the post-acceptance process.

Financial Need-Based Scholarships are scholarship opportunities that require demonstrated financial need. These scholarships may be awarded by the OU Scholarship Office, or a university department or college.

The FAFSA is the government-provided application for need-based funds to help pay for college. OU highly recommends completing the FAFSA regardless of your family's income. OU's priority FAFSA deadline is December 15. We encourage students to submit their FAFSA by this date to be priority packaged for financial aid.

The General Scholarship Application is the initial scholarship application students must complete in the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub (CASH) each application cycle. Although scholarships are not awarded solely on the General Application, students are designated other scholarship opportunities based on the answers provided.

The GPA is a number representing the average value of the accumulated final grades earned in courses over time.

A Grant is a form of financial aid offered on a need-basis. Grants do not have to be paid back unless certain eligibility requirements are not maintained. For more details regarding federal grants, check out Federal Student Aid

A Letter of Recommendation is a document in which a recommender or "reference" can speak to an applicant’s work or academic performance.

A Loan is a form of financial aid offered to degree-seeking students that must be repaid after a certain time period. Loans can either be federal, institutional, or private. For more information, please check out

A merit scholarship is a financial award that students receive based on their academic success. These awards can be offered based on numerous factors such as GPA, SAT/ ACT scores, leadership or community service involvement, or extracurriculars.

A Non-Resident, for the purposes of financial aid at the University of Oklahoma, is a student that is not formally recognized as a resident of the state of Oklahoma, by the state of Oklahoma. In some cases, students may receive a full non-resident tuition waiver but this does not make them resident of Oklahoma - they are simply charged tuition and fees at an in-state rate.

Private scholarships are financial aid awards funded by entities outside of the university you are attending. Different companies, service groups, non-profit foundations, and religious organizations offer scholarships to members of their community. The scholarships are considered "private," because the funding comes from a privatized organization.

A Resident, for the purposes of financial aid at the University of Oklahoma, is a student that is formally recognized as a resident of the state of Oklahoma, by the state of Oklahoma.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is a set of eligibility requirements set forth by the United States Department of Education to delineate eligibility for federal and state funding. The University of Oklahoma also requires that students are passing Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to receive need-based financial aid scholarships.

A Scholarship is a grant or payment made to support a student's education. The University of Oklahoma offers both Merit-Based Scholarships and Financial Need-Based Scholarships.

The Scholarship Post-Acceptance is the process of accepting and completing the required documentation and obligations for a student's Financial Aid Scholarship Package. Students may be required to submit a Thank-You Note, headshot, or other type of documentation during this process. This process is completed via the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub (CASH).

The Sooner Heritage Scholarship program was established in 2003, especially to help those middle-income students whose families do not qualify for federal assistance but still need a helping hand with college expenses. The University of Oklahoma Scholarship Office awards Sooner Heritage Scholarship funds via the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub and admissions process.

A Tuition Waiver is a form of financial assistance that can waive a portion of a student’s  tuition charges. Tuition Waivers may stack but will only pay up to a student's tuition charges. Non-resident students that receive a tuition waiver may only have their Non-Resident Tuition covered by a tuition waiver.

The Work Assistance Tuition Waiver 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 can work fewer hours during the semester and focus more time and energy on their studies.