Newsletter Highlights


:: Strategies for Successful
Student Loan Repayment ::

There are many options for covering the cost of a college education, including grants and scholarships, work-study and student worker positions, personal savings and even paying your way through school each semester. Student loans are another tool that can be utilized once the previously mentioned options have been exhausted. For many students, a student loan is their first credit experience. If a student needs to borrow to pay for school, s/he should take steps to develop a positive credit rating and begin a healthy financial future by borrowing responsibly and then successfully repaying what is owed. Below are some strategies to ensure successful repayment.

For more information about successful student loan repayment visit ReadySetRepay.org.



:: Emergency Savings ::

Two-Thirds of Americans say they would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an emergency. — AP-NORC Bankrate.

Don’t be another financial statistic! Visit OklahomaMoneyMatters.org for resources to help you achieve financial success.



:: Habits for Academic Success ::

Success in school is not something that happens by chance, it takes some work. Developing habits that help you be successful will ensure you reach your academic goals. With these tips, you can be on your way to a successful school year.



:: College App Week ::

Thousands of Oklahoma students will soon take advantage of College Application Week (CAW) 2018 through college planning events across the state.

CAW is part of a national initiative sponsored by the Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the American Council on Education. Locally, CAW is proudly sponsored by the Oklahoma GEAR UP Program and the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP). During CAW, the objective is to give every high school senior the opportunity to complete one or more college applications online at a high school, technology center, library or community center, with assistance from knowledgeable staff and volunteers who are present during the application process.

This year, Oklahoma’s designated CAW week is Sept. 17–21. Schools and organizations that are unable to fit their CAW events into that week are free to hold their event any week during the fall semester, through the month of November.

Since the Oklahoma GEAR UP program piloted CAW in November 2012, thousands of Oklahoma students have submitted college applications during this special yearly emphasis. CAW has made a dramatic difference in the number of completed college applications, particularly for those students who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

For more information and planning tools, visit OKCollegeAppWeek.org.



:: On Our Mind: Volunteerism ::

What’s on the mind of OCAP staff? This month, student portal coordinator Theresa Shaklee talks about the benefits of volunteering.

Did you know that volunteering is good for your emotional and physical health? Those who volunteer have been found to have lower levels of depression, less risk of heart disease and even tend to live longer. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community, meet new people and build new skills. There is an opportunity to fit everyone’s interest and level of commitment. To make your volunteer experience truly enjoyable, consider these points to find the activity that will best suit you.



:: Online Car Shopping ::

Buying a car should be an exciting experience, but the flashy bells and whistles of your dream car often dim during the painstaking search and financing process. Unless you truly enjoy bartering and the limited options available at many car dealerships, you’re probably inclined to start your search on the internet. Online car-buying has advanced in recent years. Many car dealerships will post inventory on their website or other national car sites, which allows you to browse options before you ever leave the house. New sites, like Carvana.com, will deliver the car to your house or one of their “car vending machines” for you to pick up later. Other sites, like RelayCars.com, have started using virtual reality technology so you can look around the car without going to a dealership. Even with this new car-buying trend, many traditional car-shopping processes are still applicable to shopping for cars online. Below are some important steps to ensure you get the best deal possible.