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

General News

OASFAA Rockstars

Did you see this band at the Hard Rock Hotel during the OASFAA conference?

Penny and the Jets album

Andrew Hammontree, Dustin Davidson and Penny Gandy receiving OASFAA AwardsWe’re sorry if you missed seeing P-P-P-Penny and the Jets, but there were lots of other rockstars at the 2011 OASFAA conference. We want to congratulate the following award recipients who received recognition for their contributions over the past year:

Andrew Hammontree, Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships at Francis Tuttle Technology Center received the Distinguished Service Award.

Dustin Davidson, Financial Aid Coordinator at Moore Norman Technology Center received the Philo Brasher Award.

Our own Penny Gandy, OCAP Manager of Outreach Services, received the Partner Award.

Congratulations friends. You really know how to rock ‘n’ roll!

At the OASFAA business meeting, in addition to State Regents and OCAP updates, the new slate of award nominees was presented and will appear on the voting ballot. Don’t forget – voting closes on May 16. Members can refer to the May 4 OASFAA listserv email from Andrew Hamontree to check out the ballot.

OCAP's booth at OASFAAIf you weren’t able to make it to the conference, you missed some great sessions; but you can view the presentations on the OASFAA archived documents (external link)  Web page. OCAP joined in the “Rockin’ Through Financial Aid” spirit with a booth that caught the eye of many fellow rockers and that took us all back in time (some of us more than others).

The number of attendees this year exceeded 200, which was a great turnout. Please remember to give a BIG thanks to the OASFAA Board and committee members for providing this opportunity to come together and learn.  We also encourage anyone who’s interested to volunteer to help plan OASFAA 2012 (external link). They’re always looking for volunteers and it’s a great way to get to know your financial aid colleagues.

We look forward to seeing everyone next spring for OASFAA 2012 in Oklahoma City!

Rick Edington Named NCHELP Chair-Elect

Rick EdingtonOCAP’s Executive Director, Rick Edington, was recently named Chair-Elect for the 2011-12 Board of Directors of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP).  His term as Chair-Elect will begin July 1, 2011, and he’ll serve as Chair of the 2012-2013 NCHELP Board and participate on the Executive Committee for the next three years.

Rick’s prior service to NCHELP includes membership on the Board of Directors, multiple terms as Co-Chair of the Program Operations Committee, membership on the School/Lender Relations, Membership & Training (MET) and Electronic Standards Committees as well as various industry workgroups including the Common Claim Initiative. As OCAP’s chief executive officer, Rick provides strategic leadership for our wide variety of programs and services that educate citizens about the value of higher education and promote college access, financial literacy and default prevention.

Making Work Work

Test Your Fantastic Idea by Asking Key Questions

The solution to the problem that’s been troubling everyone is creative, even brilliant…but is it the right way to go? Here’s how to evaluate the potential effectiveness of your creative approach:

« Back to top

Featured Tool

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Materials

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Poster and ChecklistNeed to increase awareness on your campus about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) Program? You’re in luck! OCAP can provide you with informative TLF posters (PDF) to display in your office and around campus. The posters outline eligibility guidelines and provide contact information and links to more resources. We also have a TLF checklist (PDF) that provides detailed eligibility requirements and qualification information.

To request copies of the poster or the checklist, call Jaime Shelton at 405.234.4281 or 800.247.0420 (toll-free). You can also download these tools directly from the OCAP Publications and Forms Web page.

« Back to top

College Planning

3 Tools to Help Students Make the Most of Campus Visits

OSU Campus

Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State University

With the school year coming to a close, have you thought about sending your students on an adventure? Our college access program, UCanGo2 (external link), provides helpful information and a number of resources to make your students’ summertime campus visits fun and educational.

One of our most helpful publications is the UCanGo2 Student Workbook (PDF), which helps students learn how to plan and pay for college and make the most of their college visits. It contains several helpful tools, including:

Coming to campus for a visit is easy enough for students, but leaving with all their questions answered can be a challenge. Boost their college planning by requesting copies of the UCanGo2 Student Workbook for use in your classroom at 866.443.7420 (toll-free), or download it directly from the resources page on the UCanGo2 website (external link).

There are tons of other ways to get college ready, like checking out’s list of statewide summer camps and educational opportunities (external link)  and info about summer academies offered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (external link).  Summer academies are typically held on college campuses and offer students hands-on instruction in their field of interest. Students attending a summer academy can arrive a day early or stay a little longer after the program is over to set up a campus tour and combine their learning programs with a campus visit.

Call UCanGo2 at 866.443.7420 (toll-free) to learn about more ways you can help students plan, prepare and pay for college.

Plotting the Course for College

Have you ever traveled somewhere without a map? If so, you know it can be a confusing journey full of twists and turns. For high school students, planning for college is similar to preparing for a road trip - they have to plot their course or they run the risk of getting lost.

Your students should prepare academically and financially for college by taking the right classes, investigating their options and learning about the financial aid process. To help them reach their destination, encourage them to use the tips below during their junior and senior year.

Tips for Juniors…

Tips for Seniors…

Need more info?

If you need more ideas to help your students reach their college destinations, call OCAP’s college access program, UCanGo2 at 866.443.7420 (toll-free). 


OK-CAN logoBy working in programs that promote college access, especially for underserved, low-income, first-generation college-going families, we've learned that one of the keys to success is developing a mindset that post-secondary education IS possible for everyone.

Welcome to OK-CAN (external link)!

Funded in part by the College Access Challenge Grant and administered by OCAP, the OK-CAN network provides a framework for college access organizations to collaborate and share ideas about materials, publications, tools and other resources that help us meet our goals. A diverse group of practitioners is invited to join OK-CAN, including schools (secondary and postsecondary), philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, government entities, tribal and religious organizations and other community partners who provide college access programs and services.

OK-CAN membership is free and offers a host of benefits for participating organizations, including:

We encourage you to join OK-CAN today (external link)  and spread the word to other organizations you’d like to see be part of this exciting group of professionals.

Remember, this is a great state! And OK-CAN see increased college-going rates and awareness if we continue to improve our outreach efforts and work together. Learn more at (external link).

More College Access News

« Back to top

Who's Who

Carla Fry — YWCA

Carla FryMeet Carla Fry, Economic Empowerment Coordinator at the YWCA. The Economic Empowerment program provides women with career and life skills, mentoring, job placement and other assistance that promotes financial independence. Carla has built a dedicated computer lab and resource center at the YWCA so her clients can spend time working on their resumes and applying for jobs. Since 2008, Oklahoma Money Matters (OKMM), OCAP’s financial literacy initiative, has been offering financial education for the YWCA YES! Transitional Housing Program.

How does economic empowerment contribute to the overall mission of the YWCA?

Women escaping domestic violence often feel compelled to return to their abuser because they can’t make ends meet; they don’t have the income. Economic empowerment helps them find and keep a job, as well as budget their income so they can maintain their independence, sometimes for the first time.

What are some of the unique services you provide?

We provide individualized, one-on-one attention here in our computer lab to help women find jobs. I conduct an interview with the women and we work together to set up an economic empowerment plan where they identify their goals. I think one of the unique things I do is to ask them to identify three levels of jobs. Level A is your dream job that you could get today with your experience and training. Level B jobs are still good jobs, but not your favorite. Level C jobs are what I call stepping stone jobs; it’s a job you can do for awhile until you finish school, find transportation or until you get your immigration status. The reason I do that is because level A jobs will motivate you to dress your best, speak your best and prepare your hardest for your interviews because you really want that job. That seems to be having a bit of success.

How important is financial education to the women you counsel?

It’s extremely important. Many of the women we work with have never been allowed to handle money so they have no experience or education when it comes to money management. But what I’ve found out in my own life is that there are many strategies for managing money. They are as unique as your filing system or how you arrange your closets. Some people can’t stand a lot of regimentation but there are still strategies they can use that allow them to track their money and be in charge of their finances. So that’s something I try to teach and that’s something I’ve really appreciated about OKMM coming here to talk with the women.

What do you like most about your job?

I like seeing people realize that they can obtain some dreams. Here’s an example: I had a client who believed that her Certified Nurse Assistant’s license had been revoked. We looked it up on the online registry and it was still in effect. She said her abuser told her that it was revoked and that she couldn’t work. I’ve told people for years, always go to the source. People get wrong information all the time. The best thing about my job is being able to help people get the real information and make informed decisions.

Do you think financial education makes an impact to the community at large? In what ways?

Oh yes. If people can’t keep jobs, businesses can’t run. If people can’t manage their money, they can become dependent on public resources like welfare and churches. Women go back to abusive situations if they can’t make it on their own. Many people don’t understand what a credit rating is because it’s so abstract and doesn’t affect you every day. But it does affect you if you need to make a big purchase. Financial education is very important to the community, so everything runs well.

Thanks, Carla, for everything you do to help Oklahoma women and our community!

« Back to top

Financial Aid

Program Integrity Rules Update

Each month, we provide information about a specific Final Rules topic. This month, we’ll continue the discussion with an explanation of the Program Integrity (PI) Rules that will go into effect on July 1, 2011; specifically, the application of Return to Title IV (R2T4) requirements for program modules. (Check out the March Online News to read about the impact of several repeating coursework changes.)

Return of Title IV Funds in modules

The PI Rules published on Oct. 29, 2010 define a program which is offered in modules as “a course or courses in a program that do not span the entire length of the payment period or period of enrollment.”   The following are considered to be “modules”:

Credit hour programs offered in modules

A student is considered “withdrawn” if he/she does not complete the number of days the program requires within the payment period/term.  Schools must document all completed courses with a passing grade or, if there is no passing grade, the school must be able to demonstrate the student completed the payment period.

The student is not considered “withdrawn” if he/she provides written confirmation – at the time of the withdrawal – of his/her intent to attend a future module in that period of enrollment or for non-standard or non-term programs, a module that begins within 45 calendar days.  The student may change his/her return date in writing as long as:

  1. the change is made before the original return date; and
  2. the modified return date is within the current enrollment period or meets the 45 calendar day criteria.  The 45 calendar day standard is measured from the end of the module the student ceased attending.

Clock hour programs

A student is considered “withdrawn” if he/she does not complete all the clock hours and weeks of instructional time he/she was scheduled to complete.  Schools must document all completed courses with a passing grade or, if there is no passing grade, the school must be able to demonstrate the student completed the payment period.

Is my student withdrawn? – A Three-Step test

This three-step test will help you determine if a student is withdrawn.  The test is from the 2011 Regulatory Training – Module 1:  Program Integrity Regulations, page 83. It consists of the following questions:

  1.  Did my student cease to attend before completing, or fail to begin attendance in a course he/she was scheduled to attend?
    • If yes, go on to question 2.
    • If no, the student is not a withdrawn student.
  2. When my student ceased to attend or failed to begin attendance in a scheduled course, was he/she attending other courses?
    • If no, go on to question 3.
    • If yes, the student is not a withdrawn student.
  3. At the time of his/her withdrawal, did the student confirm attendance in a later module in the payment/enrollment period or follow the 45-day rule (if applicable)?
    • If no, the student is withdrawn.
    • If yes, the student is not withdrawn; however, Pell recalculations may apply.

Robert enrolls in four courses—two in each of the eight-week modules of the fall semester.  He attended his first two courses for a couple of weeks and then stopped attending.  No written confirmation of intent to attend module two is received from Robert.

Robert is considered withdrawn and a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation must be done.

So what do I do if my student returns?

If your school offers modular term-based credit hours, the withdrawn student may return to the same program prior to the end of the payment period/period of enrollment and is eligible for any Title IV funds for which he/she was eligible prior to withdrawal – provided he/she also now meets those eligibility requirements.

If you have a clock hour/non-term credit hour program, the withdrawn student may return to the same program within 180 calendar days and is eligible for any Title IV funds for which he/she was eligible prior to withdrawal – provided he/she also now meets those eligibility requirements.

What do I do if my student promised to return and he/she didn’t?

If your student confirms attendance in a later module and does not follow through on that confirmation, he/she is considered to be withdrawn as of the date of his/her confirmation of attendance in the later module.

What's New on IFAP?

Since our last Online News in April, the Department of Education has released several announcements and Dear Colleague Letters to provide guidance for financial aid staff.

Federal Registers:

Dear Colleague Letters:

Electronic Announcements:

Common Manual Update

The March version of the Integrated Common Manual is available on the Common Manual website (external link). As always, if you have questions about the manual, contact our Policy, Compliance and Training department at 405.234.4432, 800.247.0420 (toll-free) or

People News

Denise Sullivan at Discover Student Loans/CitiAssist Loans has a new email address: Her phone numbers remain the same.

More Financial Aid News

« Back to top

Scholarships and Other Aid Opportunities

Graduation CapTylenol is awarding $250,000 in scholarships to 40 students pursuing an education in healthcare. More details are available on the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship Web page. (external link)  Find out more about this award and others on our Scholarship Opportunities page.

If you know of scholarship opportunities we can promote in the Oklahoma financial aid community, please contact us at

« Back to top

Financial Literacy

One in 10 Americans Doesn’t Have a Will

close-up photo of Dad being hugged from behind by his daughter and both looking into cameraWhen thinking about our finances, our thoughts often turn to how we manage our money now. Are we spending too much on wants? Is there a cheaper way to buy necessities? Are we saving enough? Answering these questions is beneficial to your financial health, but you may want to consider one more: what will happen to your financial matters and assets when you die?

According to the 2007 Estate Planning Survey, one in 10 Americans say they don’t have a will because they don’t like thinking about dying or becoming incapacitated. Also, 24% of adults say their biggest reason for not having an estate plan is a lack of assets. It’s challenging to think about our own mortality, but without a legal will and testament, families at all income levels could face additional hardships when a loved one passes.

When a family member dies without a will, it’s the state’s responsibility to divvy up assets. This could tie up funds for six months or more. A will allows families to gain access to assets in as little as a week.

Creating a will is part of estate planning, which has several other components, including designating power of attorney and creating a living will or health care proxy. Here are a few tips for creating a will and assigning power of attorney. For more information about creating a living will, view the January/February 2011 edition of Your Bottom Line (PDF).

Costs and Resources

Drawing up a will can cost anywhere from $200-$1,500 depending on the complexity of your estate. If you have a small number of assets and little contention among family members, you can create a will yourself. Online resources like (external link)  and (external link)  allow you to create your own will. You’ll need to have the document properly witnessed according to state law and notarized. If your situation is more complex, you’ll want to hire a lawyer who specializes in estate planning.

Assigning Duties

From going through your antique action-figure collection to raising your children, you’ll have affairs that will need attending to, even once you’re gone. Designate friends or family you trust to help ensure your wishes are fulfilled.

Low-cost Tax Strategies

Transferring an estate can be a costly business. There are many tools available to help you reduce the tax burdens on your heirs.

Creating a will can be a difficult and emotional process. Be sure to get help from trusted friends and family and seek help from experts if you’re uncomfortable taking this important step in financial planning alone.

OKMM Makes Finances Fun

On April 19, Oklahoma Money Matters (OKMM) hosted its third, free financial literacy train-the-trainer workshop called Teachable Moments: Making Finances Fun. Educators, program administrators and service providers from around the state joined us to learn proven techniques for teaching financial literacy to a wide range of audiences.

Throughout the day, attendees enjoyed practicing educational activities and participating in interactive group discussions centered on creating a solid message and customizing it to meet audience needs.

If you didn’t get a chance to register for the training, mark your calendars! Our next Teachable Moments training will be on July 12. Details will be announced soon.

If you’d like to receive an invitation, send us an email at

More Financial Literacy News

« Back to top

Student Loan Management

Exit Counseling Training

On May 5, the OU Health Science Center’s College of Pharmacy hosted a one-hour, in-person exit counseling session to help their graduating pharmacy students stay on track toward successful loan repayment. This session was held on the Oklahoma City campus and teleconferenced to the Tulsa campus.

OCAP trainers presented information about repaying student loans, loan consolidation, loan discharge and forgiveness, consequences of delinquency and default, debt management tips and budgeting for repayment.

If you’d like to request your own complimentary, in-person exit counseling session, contact Risa Johnson at 405.234.4233 or

We recognize that some aid administrators prefer to present in-person exit counseling themselves. To request a copy of our exit counseling PowerPoint presentation on CD, contact our Default Prevention department at 800.358.5460 (toll-free) or

More Student Loan Management News


« Back to top