In this issue:
General News    |    Featured Tool    |    College Planning    |    Financial Aid
Scholarships & Other Aid Opportunities    |    Financial Literacy    |    Student Loan Management    |    Calendar

General News

OCAP Streamlines Communications, Strengthens Connections

In our ongoing effort to bring you relevant and timely information that makes your work life easier, the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP) is further streamlining our efforts to communicate with educators, counselors, campus officials, community service providers and other partners that share our mission of serving Oklahoma students. This will be the final edition of the OCAP Outlook newsletter; going forward, we'll focus on utilizing other existing communication mechanisms to strengthen our effectiveness and efficiency in delivering the important information you need, the way you need it, when you need it most. Here's what you can expect from OCAP going forward.

Your Bottom Line
Your Bottom Line is a bimonthly newsletter published by Oklahoma Money Matters (OKMM), OCAP's personal finance education initiative. OCAP will expand this newsletter to include even more helpful information about a broader range of topics, including college planning, financial aid and student loan management.

Periodic Email Blasts
Each of OCAP's core initiatives— UCanGo2, OKMM and ReadySeyRepay —will continue to send direct updates via email, as needed, to ensure you remain informed about important higher education topics and enhancements to OCAP's products and services. If you haven't already, we also encourage you to consider signing up for one of our featured listservs.

If you received this newsletter directly from OCAP, you're already on our contact list and can expect to continue to receive Your Bottom Line and email updates designed to support and strengthen your services to students and families. If this message was forwarded to you, sign up here to receive our newsletter, e-blasts and other updates directly.

We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve you and look forward to continued collaboration to empower our students, parents and colleagues. We hope you enjoy this final edition of the OCAP Outlook, which highlights some of the "best of" articles from years past. We'll be in touch again soon!

Program Spotlight: OCAP's College Access, Financial Literacy and Student Loan Management Initiatives

The Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP), an operating division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is dedicated to providing college access, financial aid awareness, personal financial education and student loan management programs and services that benefit students, parents, schools, and community partners. Our three core initiatives—UCanGo2, Oklahoma Money Matters (OKMM) and ReadySetRepay—are the driving force behind these efforts.

UCanGo2 helps students and their families plan, prepare and pay for education after high school, offering a broad range of informational publications and services that facilitate college access, build aspiration and demonstrate the value of higher education. Our college planning website,, features an extensive selection of instructional materials, tools and multimedia resources for students, parents, educators, counselors and community service providers.

OKMM helps K-12 schools, higher education campuses, businesses and community partners develop or expand educational services that empower Oklahomans to make positive financial choices. OKMM offers information, resources, and a variety of services to educate students and families about managing personal finances, consumer credit, financial aid and debt management. Visit OKMM's website to learn more about our extensive resources and services, and to access online features including a searchable resource clearinghouse, an interactive budgeting application, self-paced curriculum modules and podcasts.

Through ReadySetRepay, OCAP's expanded default prevention initiative, we work with student loan borrowers and Oklahoma higher education institutions to help students make smart borrowing decisions and successfully navigate student loan repayment. ReadySetRepay provides helpful information and tools based on where a student is in the student loan process; the centerpiece of the initiative is our student loan management website, Whether borrowers are in school, in their grace period, repaying their loans, behind on payments or in loan default, the easy-to-navigate channels drive site users to the content they need. Campus financial aid personnel also benefit from a dedicated section of the site, which offers OCAP's wide selection of publications, instructional materials and operational resources to enhance their default prevention efforts.

Featured Tool

Featured Tool: OCAP's Listservs for Busy Professionals

At OCAP, we know the value of exchanging information and ideas with professionals who share our goals and challenges. If you're interested in connecting with other professionals in your field, stay informed and engaged by joining one of our listservs.

Members of the Default Prevention Listserv receive:

The OK-CAN Listserv allows educators and service providers who support or promote college access to:

Not an OK-CAN member? OK-CAN serves as a centralized hub for non-profit and not-for-profit college access initiatives in our state, providing leadership and support for organizations and programs that help open doors for Oklahomans to pursue postsecondary education. Visit the OK-CAN website to learn more. Membership is free, so join OK-CAN today!

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College Planning

Ask the Expert: My students haven't submitted the FAFSA; is it too late?

Your students and their parents may be asking you, "What if we didn't get our FAFSA filed before March 1? Is it too late to submit it now?" The answer is a resounding "no" - it's not too late. There's still time for students to submit the FAFSA for the coming 2014-15 academic year.

Remind your students and their parents to be aware of both campus deadlines for FAFSA submission and other financial aid deadlines impacted by the FAFSA. The Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG), for example, requires information from each applicant's FAFSA to determine eligibility. While OTAG's priority deadline was March 3, students may submit the FAFSA anytime throughout the academic year. Other sources of financial aid may require FAFSA information and may have early deadlines, so it's best to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after Jan. 1 each year. Most federal aid is available to qualifying students throughout the year.

Your role in encouraging students to complete and submit the FAFSA is crucial. For more information about FAFSA completion rates in Oklahoma, check out ED's FAFSA completion data tool. Encourage students to visit to learn more about FAFSA completion and to find answers to commonly asked FAFSA questions.

This article was originally featured in April 2013 and has been revised to reflect current dates and information.

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Financial Aid

2014 OASFAA Conference Recap

OASFAA 2014 Nearly 200 financial aid administrators gathered in Midwest City for the 2014 Oklahoma Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA) Conference. The theme for the annual conference was "The Spirit of Oklahoma." Robin Marsh, an Emmy-nominated and national award winning journalist, gave the keynote address, discussing her background as a news anchor and explaining her life philosophy of focusing on thankfulness.

Program Committee Co-Chairs Nancy Moats and Laura Coponiti and the team provided a relevant, meaningful conference for attendees. Presenters from the U.S. Department of Education, loan servicers, OCAP and financial aid officers from across the state held sessions covering a wide range of topics. From financial aid basics to verification to utilizing social media to engage students, there was something useful for everyone.

OASFAA is a volunteer-based organization and can always use more hands. If you're interested in helping plan next year's conference (to be held April 7-9, 2014 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa) or serving the organization in other ways, contact Lori Boyd at

Common Manual Update

Financial aid administrators, to ensure you receive updates on Common Manual policies, take a moment to subscribe to the Public Listserv. Subscription instructions are available on the Common Manual website, which also includes helpful information about the integrated manual, proposals for comment, and contacts. For information about OCAP's participation in the Common Manual, contact our Compliance Department at (405) 234-4432.

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Scholarships and Other Aid Opportunities

Did you know that by " liking" UCanGo2 on Facebook you'll automatically receive helpful information about upcoming scholarships? You can also search for scholarships by category or deadline at

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Financial Literacy

'Disaster-proofing' Your Finances

If a tornado threatened your home, would you have time to gather all your personal and vital documents while taking cover? If your house was on fire, would you know the value of everything damaged, so you could report your losses accurately to your insurance company? Of course it's important to know how to physically protect yourself and your loved ones from disasters. It's important to protect yourself financially, too. Follow these tips to ensure your documents are safe from the storm, making it easier for you to get back on your feet if disaster strikes.

In addition to those steps, consider completing a home inventory that documents all your possessions. This information will help you determine whether you have enough insurance coverage. In the event of a disaster, it'll also allow you to file claims quickly and convincingly.

Also, consider insurance coverage for specific weather disasters. If you rent, look into purchasing renter's insurance. If you're a homeowner, consider earthquake and flood insurance. Make sure you review your policy every year and ask questions if something doesn't make sense to you.

When disaster strikes, you shouldn't have to worry about your finances. These preventive measures will allow you to focus on physical and emotional recovery when you need to most.

This article was originally featured in July 2013 and has been revised to reflect current information.

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Student Loan Management

Income-Driven Repayment Comparison Chart Now Available

In March 2014, the National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) updated the comparison chart of the income-driven repayment options available to federal student loan borrowers. The chart also includes FAQs on the repayment plans. We hope you find this information helpful for staff and student loan borrowers.

This article was originally featured in February 2013 and has been revised to reflect current information.

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