Plan Your Education

Free and Low-Cost College Options — 
Grab Them in High School

It's still possible to get college credit, and even degrees, on the cheap, but some of the best and easiest-to-claim opportunities are only available when you’re in high school.


One of the most valuable programs, Oklahoma’s Promise, is open only to students who apply during the 8th, 9th, or 10th grade and complete specified courses before graduation. Two other valuable programs, Advanced Placement and Concurrent Enrollment, are available only to high school juniors and seniors (who should enroll while they’re sophomores and juniors). And students in Tulsa County need to apply for the free Tulsa Achieves program by April of their senior year if they’re even remotely considering Tulsa Community College. You can drag that out till July 1 for the OKC-GO program in Oklahoma City and Western Heights.


Free and low-cost college opportunities get more limited after high school, but they’re out there for students who can pass a tough college-level exam (CLEP), meet military service requirements or find an employer willing to make the investment.


Thousands of scholarships, grants and other financial aid programs are also available and worth pursuing (See Financial Aid at Oklahoma Career Information System and Types of Aid at This page highlights options that are available to a wide range of students and require little or no financial outlay.


 No-Cost/Low-Cost Programs at a Glance

(Additional requirements and details apply.)



Major entry qualifications

Major continuing requirements

Application deadline

Student cost

Oklahoma’s Promise (OHLAP)

Any public 2- or 4-year OK college 


Partial coverage for private schools

2.5 HS GPA 


Take 17 hours of specified high school courses 


Family income under $50,000

2.0 college GPA during sophomore year


2.5 GPA during junior and senior years


Apply by June 30 following HS grades 8, 9 or 10 (Homeschool students apply from age 13-15)

Fees, books, room, board

Advanced Placement


Varying course prerequisites


Determined by high school

Up to $84 per exam

Concurrent Enrollment,
High School

Any public 2- or 4-year OK college



For seniors, 3.0 GPA or 19-24 ACT 


For juniors, 3.5 GPA or 21-25 ACT

2.0 GPA in college courses


College fees and books 


Possible tuition for juniors

College at CareerTech

OK regional universities and community colleges

CareerTech enrollment 


ACT 19,
or GPA 2.5

2.0 GPA in college courses

Enroll during high school

$8/hour academic service fee

Tulsa Achieves

Tulsa Community College

Live in Tulsa County 


2.0 HS GPA

40 hours community service


2.0 college GPA

April 30 each year



Oklahoma City Community College

Graduate from an Oklahoma City or Western Heights public high school

6 hours/semester
2.0 college GPA
66% course
   completion rate


8 hours of community service

July 1 each year

 Fees, books

Credit by Exam, CLEP




Advance registration required

About $85 per test

GI Bills


Serve in Military

Remain on active or reserve duty or receive honorable discharge


May be zero, depending on circumstances

OK National Guard

Any public 2- or 4-year OK college

Membership in OK National Guard

Remain in National Guard

Varies by college

Books, fees, room, board

Employer Reimbursement