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Scholarships Overview

For hard-working Oklahoma students, one of the most diverse and prevalent forms of financial aid can come in scholarships. SWOSU offers many scholarships based on merit, while some are need based. Merit-based scholarships are given to students who do well in academics, leadership, community services, etc. Need-based scholarships are awarded to students who lack the financial resources needed to go to college. Remember, the demand for both kinds of scholarships is much greater than available funds. So, research your options. Apply early. Stay on track and get that money!

Special talents such as academic excellence, leadership skills, community service, exceptional gifts in the arts, or an athletic ability may earn you a SWOSU scholarship.

SWOSU Scholarships


Academic scholarships are awarded to entering Oklahoma resident freshmen based upon their high school grade point average, ACT Composite score and/or class standing. To be included in the freshman scholarship pool, students must be fully admitted by March 1st. Award notices are sent out within three weeks of the deadline date.


Athletic scholarships are awarded based on your athletic abilities and how you can contribute to the team. Team coaches decide who receives scholarships and how much they are awarded.


SWOSU provides non-resident scholarships to students who meet certain eligibility requirements.

Oklahoma’s Promise

Oklahoma's Promise offers qualified Oklahoma students an opportunity to earn a scholarship for college tuition.


It’s all in the name… if you’re really talented in a certain area like music or languages, your talent might earn you a SWOSU scholarship.


There are specific instructions and deadlines for you if you’re transferring to SWOSU from another institution.

Tribal Awards

Oklahoma is home to 39 tribal nations. Native American students should contact their tribes concerning possible scholarships.

Other Scholarship Options

We encourage you to explore all possibilities for scholarships. SWOSU will recognize and allow you to use all scholarship funding possible that you are approved for that fits within your estimated cost of attendance. Basically, if you earn a scholarship, we want you to be able to use it here.

So, SWOSU accepts scholarships earned from external donors such as: foundations, non-profits, employers, civic organizations, religious entities, military affiliations, etc.

Employer Scholarships

Many employers offer scholarships to their employees' dependents. SWOSU is such an employer, so working here has added benefits. Since many employers nationwide offer such assistance, you should check to see if scholarship opportunities lie waiting for you through your parent's company. It may only take the asking.

It is often announced that countless millions of dollars in scholarship money goes unused annually. Part of this is due to employer benefits that go unclaimed. Others have to do with unusual scholarship funds, which might not be discovered by the masses. Diligently searching out the opportunities for scholarship funding can pay off nicely. Scholarships for dog lovers, left-handed students, and for descendants of the American Revolution have been found by students via the Internet. Such searching could open doors to you that perhaps you never would have imagined.

We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact our Student Financial Services today to find out how we can assist you in your desire to attain a quality college education.

Private Scholarships

Thousands of private companies, non-profit organizations, and even some individuals offer scholarship opportunities to college students. We encourage you to seek out these funding sources through any free means possible.

Students are welcome to review materials in SWOSU's library in search of private scholarships. Print and online resources are available. The more options you expose yourself to, the more likely you will find someone else willing to pay for part of your educational pursuit.

Search for Scholarships

Check our links for free scholarship searches available to you today.

Top 10 Search Tips

  1. Treat looking for scholarships as if it were your job. Put in the time and you will get paid!
  2. Do as many scholarship searches as you can. Finding them is half the battle.
  3. Being involved in school, church and community activities are the best ways to make an application stand out.
  4. Study hard and get good grades. ACT Scores count significantly so prepare well for the test to maximize your scores.
  5. Treat every scholarship application like a jewel. Make the application perfect.
  6. Do some volunteer work. This is not just for scholarships, but because it's a good thing to do.
  7. Check all of the local chapters of national organizations. Rotary, Lions, Elks, etc. Ask them if they offer any scholarships to local students, a lot do.
  8. Pick the right people to write your recommendations.
  9. Don't shy away from scholarships based on difficult essays. If everyone is afraid of them, less people apply.
  10. Above all, Be Honest. Don't lie about finances, grades, work experience or anything!

Yay! I Got an External Scholarship to SWOSU!

Good for you! Here’s the information on where and when the awarding organization or individual needs to send your scholarship check, and what to include with the check. Typically, money from external donors is sent by paper check to the SWOSU Bursar's Office near the start of a term. You may check on the status of your award at the Bursar's Scholarship Clerk Office in the Administration Building Room #109.

Where to Send Scholarship Checks

Send all scholarship checks to:

Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Office of the Bursar
100 Campus Dr.
Weatherford, OK 73096

Make all scholarship checks payable to SWOSU or SWOSU/student.

What to Include

  • Letter from donor with any scholarship stipulations
  • Student's name
  • Student's social security number
  • Dollar value of award and semester for payment
  • Scholarship donor's name, address and phone number

When to Send Scholarship Checks

In order for scholarships to credit a student's account before their charges are due, we recommend that checks be submitted to the Office of the Bursar by these dates:

Fall semester - August 1
Spring semester  - December 1
Summer sessions - May 1

Effects of Scholarships on Other Aid

The receipt of a private scholarship may result in the reduction or repayment of need-based financial assistance previously awarded to the student by SWOSU. In accordance with federal regulations, our office is required to monitor whether a student's total financial assistance remains within their financial need-based eligibility. Similar practices are followed with some institutional need-based grants. Whenever possible, self-help awards (loans and work study) are reduced before federal or institutional gift-aid.

Information Your External Scholarship Donor Might Need

Scholarship Scam Warning

Many college-bound high school graduates will be looking this summer for every possible way to fund steep college costs they face next fall. The federal government pays out billions of dollars each year to students who complete the FAFSA. The government made the application free because it made no sense for families to have to pay to qualify for aid. The FAFSA application can be picked up at any college financial aid office or from a high school guidance counselor office. Families can also complete it themselves for free online by going to

Yet, a number of companies advertise that they can help students complete the FAFSA to get aid and scholarship money, for a fee. The Better Business Bureau advises students and their parents to be cautious about responding to any unsolicited offers from scholarship services that require application fees, since these organizations often cannot make good on their promises.

For advance fees ranging up to more than $1,200, some scholarship firms claim to award thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants or to match students with sources of funding, regardless of qualifications or need. Some companies even "guarantee" grants and scholarships or they refund your fees back.

In exchange for their fees, students may receive lists of possible scholarship sources. However, most of the companies do not assist students in obtaining the listed scholarships. Consumers complain that after paying the fee and supplying the necessary information, they never hear from the organization again or are unable to obtain refunds. Others allege that the information they were sent arrived too late to meet application deadlines or did not match the students' qualifications.

To avoid losing money when you can least afford it, seek out information from reputable sources. Many services advertised in these fraudulent mailings are available free of charge through high school counseling offices, college financial aid offices or public libraries.

Some schools offer online computer software programs for financial aid. Consider all available options, including federal, state and local aid programs, financial institutions' loan plans, and scholarships, fellowships, or other programs offered by colleges themselves.

Good scholarship information is available for free online from the U.S. Department of Education and at free private scholarship search databases like Links to other great scholarship search tools are listed on this page.

If you are interested in using a scholarship service that requires a fee, investigate the background of any unknown company by calling the Better Business Bureau for a reliability report. Ask the company to put all details of its services and promises in writing, including the refund policy. Be suspicious of any "guaranteed" offers. Request the names and addresses of past scholarship recipients and ask those references about their experience and satisfaction with the company.

All students who are planning to attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University are strongly encouraged to contact the SWOSU Office of Student Financial Services for all aid application questions.

Office of Student Financial Aid Services

Office Hours
8 to 5
Monday – Friday