2018 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 70. Schools
§70-2605. Public awareness program - Student agreements.

Universal Citation: 70 OK Stat § 70-2605 (2018)

A. Each school year, every fifth- through ninth-grade student in the public and private schools of this state and students who are educated by other means and are in the equivalent of the fifth through ninth grade shall be apprised, together with the parent, custodial parent, or guardian of the student, of the opportunity for access to higher learning under the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the State Board of Education shall develop, promote, and coordinate a public awareness program to be utilized in making students and parents aware of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program.

B. On a form provided by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, every public school district shall designate at least one Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program contact person, who shall be a counselor or teacher, at each public school site in this state in which eighth-, ninth- or tenth-grade classes are taught. When requested by the State Regents, the State Board of Education shall assist the State Regents to ensure the designation of contact persons. Private schools shall also designate at least one school official as a contact person. For students who are educated by other means, a parent or guardian or other person approved by the State Regents shall be designated the contact person.

C. 1. Students who qualify on the basis of financial need according to subsection D or E of this section or who meet the eligibility qualification set forth in subparagraph a of paragraph 1 of subsection B of Section 2603 of this title prior to entering the tenth grade or prior to reaching the age of fifteen (15) and the standards and provisions promulgated by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education shall be given the opportunity throughout the eighth-, ninth-, and tenth-grade years, for students enrolled in a public or private school, or between the ages of thirteen (13) and fifteen (15), for students who are educated by other means, to enter into participation in the program by agreeing to, throughout the remainder of their school years or educational program:

a.attend school or an educational program regularly and do homework regularly,

b.refrain from substance abuse,

c.refrain from commission of crimes or delinquent acts,

d.have school work and school records reviewed by mentors designated pursuant to the program,

e.provide information requested by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education or the State Board of Education, and

f.participate in program activities.

2. Students who meet the eligibility qualification set forth in subparagraph a of paragraph 1 of subsection B of Section 2603 of this title after completing the tenth grade or after reaching the age of sixteen (16) shall be given the opportunity prior to reaching the age of twenty-one (21) to enter into participation in the program and shall execute an agreement with provisions as determined by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

3. The contact person shall maintain the agreements, which shall be executed on forms provided by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and managed according to regulations promulgated by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and the contact person shall monitor compliance of the student with the terms of the agreement. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education are authorized to process student agreements and verify compliance with the agreements. Students failing to comply with the terms of the agreement shall not be eligible for the awards provided in Section 2604 of this title.

D. Except as otherwise provided for in subsection E of this section and except for students who qualify pursuant to subsection B of Section 2603 of this title, a student shall not be found to be in financial need for purposes of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program if:

1. At the time the student applies for participation in the program during the eighth, ninth or tenth grade for students enrolled in a public or private school, or between the ages of thirteen (13) and fifteen (15), for students who are educated by other means, the income from taxable and nontaxable sources of the student's parent(s) exceeds Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per year;

2. Beginning with eighth-, ninth- or tenth-grade students who are enrolled in a public or private school or students between the ages of thirteen (13) and fifteen (15) who are educated by other means who apply for participation in the program in the 2017-2018 school year, the federal adjusted gross income of the student's parent(s) exceeds Fifty-five Thousand Dollars ($55,000.00) per year;

3. Beginning with eighth-, ninth- or tenth-grade students who are enrolled in a public or private school or students between the ages of thirteen (13) and fifteen (15) who are educated by other means who apply for participation in the program in the 2021-2022 school year, the federal adjusted gross income of the student's parent(s) exceeds Sixty Thousand Dollars ($60,000.00) per year;

4. At the time the student begins postsecondary education and prior to receiving any Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award, the federal adjusted gross income of the student's parent(s) exceeds One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) per year; and

5. Beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year, prior to receiving any Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award for any year during which the student is enrolled in an institution which is a member of The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, a postsecondary vocational-technical program offered by a technology center school that meets the requirements to be eligible for federal student financial aid or a private institution of higher learning located within this state and accredited pursuant to Section 4103 of this title, the federal adjusted gross income of the student's parent(s) exceeds One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) per year.

The determination of financial qualification as set forth in paragraphs 4 and 5 of this subsection shall be based on the income of the student, not the income of the parent(s), if a student:

a.is determined to be independent of the student's parents for federal financial aid purposes,

b.was in the permanent custody of the Department of Human Services at the time the student enrolled in the program, or

c.was in the court-ordered custody of a federally recognized Indian tribe, as defined by the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, at the time the student enrolled in the program.

The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to any student who has received an Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award after the 2017-2018 school year;

6. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education shall review the determination of financial qualification as set forth in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this subsection if the income from taxable and nontaxable sources of the student's parent(s) includes income received from nontaxable military benefits or income received from the federal Social Security Administration due to the death or disability of the student's parent(s). If the income from taxable and nontaxable sources of the student's parent(s), excluding income received from nontaxable military benefits or income received from the federal Social Security Administration due to the death or disability of the student's parent(s), does not exceed the limitations set forth by paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this subsection, the student shall be determined to have met the financial qualification set forth in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this subsection.

E. 1. A student who was adopted between birth and twelve (12) years of age while in the permanent custody of the Department of Human Services, in the court-ordered custody of a licensed private nonprofit child-placing agency, or federally recognized Indian tribe, as defined by the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, shall not be found to be in financial need for purposes of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program if at the time the student begins postsecondary education and prior to receiving any Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award, the federal adjusted gross income of the student's parent(s) exceeds One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000.00) per year. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any student who has received an Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award prior to the 2012-2013 school year.

2. A student who was adopted between thirteen (13) and seventeen (17) years of age while in the permanent custody of the Department of Human Services, in the court-ordered custody of a licensed private nonprofit child-placing agency, or federally recognized Indian tribe, as defined by the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, shall not be found to be in financial need for purposes of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program if at the time the student begins postsecondary education and prior to receiving any Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award, the federal adjusted gross income of the student's parent(s) exceeds Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) per year. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any student who has received an Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award prior to the 2012-2013 school year.

3. Except for students who qualify pursuant to subsection B of Section 2603 of this title, the determination of financial qualification as set forth in this subsection shall be based on the income of the student, not the income of the parent(s), if the student is determined to be independent of the student's parent(s) for federal financial aid purposes. A determination of financial qualification shall not be required for the student who meets the criteria set forth in this subsection at the time the student applies for participation in the program. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any student who has received an Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program benefit award prior to the 2008-2009 school year.

F. The financial qualification of a student as set forth in subsections D and E of this section shall be certified by the contact person or by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on the agreement form provided by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The form shall be retained in the permanent record of the student and a copy forwarded to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

G. Agreements shall be witnessed by the parent, custodial parent, or guardian of the student, who shall further agree to:

1. Assist the student in achieving compliance with the agreements;

2. Confer, when requested to do so, with the school contact person, other school personnel, and program mentors;

3. Provide information requested by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education or the State Board of Education; and

4. Assist the student in completing forms and reports required for program participation, making applications to institutions and schools of higher learning, and filing applications for student grants and scholarships.

H. Students who are enrolled in a school district located in this state that serves students who reside in both this state and an adjacent state pursuant to a contract as authorized in Section 5-117.1 of this title, are in the eleventh and twelfth grades during the 2006-2007 school year, and who were denied participation in the program shall be allowed to enter or reenter into participation in the program by entering into agreements as set forth in subsections C and D of this section by June 1, 2008.

I. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education shall promulgate rules for the determination of student compliance with agreements made pursuant to this section.

J. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education shall designate personnel to coordinate tracking of program records for the years when students participating in the program are still in the schools or are being educated by other means, provide staff development for contact persons in the schools, and provide liaison with the State Board of Education and local organizations and individuals participating in the program.

K. The school district where an Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program student is enrolled when the student begins participation in the program and any subsequent school district where the student enrolls shall forward information regarding participation by the student in the program to a school to which the student transfers upon the request of the school for the records of the student.

L. Students participating in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program shall provide their Social Security number or their student identification number used by their school to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The Regents shall keep the numbers confidential and use them only for administrative purposes.

Added by Laws 1992, c. 353, § 5, eff. July 1, 1992. Amended by Laws 1994, c. 153, § 4, emerg. eff. May 3, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 322, § 30, eff. July 1, 1995; Laws 1996, c. 119, § 2, eff. July 1, 1996; Laws 1997, c. 74, § 2, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 1999, c. 190, § 3; Laws 2000, c. 232, § 15, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2003, c. 134, § 1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2007, c. 355, § 7, emerg. eff. June 4, 2007; Laws 2008, c. 3, § 43, emerg. eff. Feb. 28, 2008; Laws 2008, c. 409, § 2, emerg. eff. June 3, 2008; Laws 2009, c. 2, § 34, emerg. eff. March 12, 2009; Laws 2009, c. 437, § 3, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2011, c. 351, § 3, eff. July 1, 2011; Laws 2012, c. 11, § 26, emerg. eff. April 4, 2012; Laws 2015, c. 63, § 1, eff. July 1, 2015; Laws 2017, c. 289, § 4, eff. July 1, 2017.

NOTE: Laws 2007, c. 262, § 2 repealed by Laws 2008, c. 3, § 44, emerg. eff. Feb. 28, 2008. Laws 2008, c. 350, § 4 repealed by Laws 2009, c. 2, § 35, emerg. eff. March 12, 2009. Laws 2011, c. 288, § 2 repealed by Laws 2012, c. 11, § 27, emerg. eff. April 4, 2012.

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