Financial Services

OU’s Commitment to Returning Students Receiving Need-Based Aid

financial aid, fafsa, scholarships, need based, nicole boelk

icon of a calendarJanuary 24, 2024

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OU’s Commitment to Returning Students Receiving Need-Based Aid

By now you’ve likely heard about the changes made to the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is great hope that these changes will result in increased numbers of students qualifying for more financial aid than ever before. Two of the most significant changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA are the methodology used when calculating financial aid eligibility, and the transition from Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to Student Aid Index (SAI).

OU students who previously qualified for need-based grant aid did so because of having an EFC of less than $8,000. The 2024-25 FAFSA no longer produces an EFC. In an effort to ensure continued access for students, OU quickly made a decision about how to determine future eligibility of OU’s need-based grant aid for returning students. The university leaders understand that continued support is important as OU awarded almost $15 million in need-based grant aid to students in 2023-24.

nicole boelk headshot
Nicole Boelk, director
of Financial Aid and

“Because OU feels so strongly about student success and college affordability, we’ve made a commitment to allow those returning students who received a need-based grant in 2023-24 to continue receiving their OU need-based grant aid in 2024-25, regardless of SAI or family income, so long as they continue to meet all other renewal criteria,” said Nicole Boelk, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

It is critical that returning students continue to complete the FAFSA to be awarded their OU need-based grant aid. The 2024-25 FAFSA is available at Because the FAFSA process is so different from previous years, Boelk also encourages students to read more about the new process on OU's FAFSA Simplification webpage.

Also important to note is that the State of Michigan made a commitment to the high school class of 2023 and will continue to honor eligibility for those who received the Michigan Achievement Scholarship in 2023-24, regardless of the student’s SAI, into the 2024-25 academic year.

Future Golden Grizzlies, aren’t left out. Learn more about the Golden Guarantee, which could allow incoming students to attend OU tuition free.

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