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OSU-Tulsa offering additional assistance to students through Emergency Aid Scholarship

Published: Monday, April 13, 2020

The OSU-Tulsa Emergency Aid Scholarship Program helps students take care of unexpected expense so they can focus on their education.

Imagine this: You’re working two jobs to support yourself and your family and attending OSU-Tulsa to advance your career – but then your car breaks down. The repair bill is more than you can afford. You can pick up extra shifts to pay the bill, but you will have to drop a class, delaying your path to graduation.

Some students don’t have to imagine – it’s a reality.

“Many OSU-Tulsa students live on very tight budgets,” said Susan Tolbart, director of prospective student services and scholarships at OSU-Tulsa.  “When a car repair, medical bill or sudden unemployment forces students to choose what bills to pay, education is often put on the back burner.”

The OSU-Tulsa Emergency Aid Scholarship Program was funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation to prevent that scenario from happening. The scholarship covers essential living expenses including childcare, utility bills and auto repairs.

Now, with more Tulsans than ever facing a disruptive life event as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens public health and prompts businesses and employers to shut down or make difficult staffing decisions, OSU-Tulsa wants to make sure no student’s plan to earn a bachelor’s degree is derailed. 

“When COVID-19 hit the Tulsa area, the foundation immediately contacted OSU-Tulsa about increasing and expanding their support to students,” Tolbart said.

Special exceptions have been made to the normal requirements for the Emergency Aid Scholarship through September 2020 in order to help students affected by the pandemic.

The eligibility criteria for earning this scholarship have been expanded, including academic factors like GPA and completed credit hours. As a result, more students qualify for this scholarship now than ever before. A full list of updated requirements can be found on the Emergency Aid Scholarship webpage.

Even if a student doesn’t think they qualify for this scholarship, completing an application may lead to other helpful opportunities.

“Filling out an application allows our financial aid staff to see if a student qualifies not just for the Emergency Aid Scholarship, but other sources of emergency funding as well.”

OSU-Tulsa also offers a short-term emergency loan program. Those interested in learning more about the program or the Emergency Aid Scholarship can contact the OSU-Tulsa Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at tulsa.financialaid@okstate.edu or via phone at 918-594-8273.

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Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 | aaron.ross.campbell@okstate.edu