OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A record 73.6 percent of high school graduates who enrolled in the college access program Oklahoma's Promise last year completed the requirements to earn the scholarship, according to an Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education report.
There were 6,024 scholars who received the college tuition grant in 2018, The Oklahoman reported.
"We're extremely pleased to see it and hope it continues," Bryce Fair, associate vice chancellor for scholarships and grants with the State Regents, said in the report released Thursday. "We're getting close to three out of every four students that we enroll in the program follow through with that commitment."
More than 80,000 Oklahoma students have enrolled since 1996. The scholarship covers tuition at public two- and four-year schools or a portion of tuition at private colleges and universities.
Students can enroll in in the program from eighth to 10th grades. Their family's income cannot surpass $55,000 when they enroll or $100,000 when the student starts college.
The report shows 85 percent of the scholarship recipients attend college, compared to 44 percent of high school graduates who weren't in the program.
Roughly 60 percent of the recipients are female and 42 percent are white. More than half reside outside the state's five most populated counties — Oklahoma, Tulsa, Cleveland, Canadian and Comanche.
Union High School in Tulsa still had the largest number of Oklahoma Promise's graduates in the state with 154 students, the most of any Class 6A school for the seventh consecutive year.
The program is projected to cost $77.3 million for 2019-20, about $500,000 more than the current fiscal year. It will administer scholarships to 17,100 students.
Oklahoma State veterinarians reposition puppy's paws
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — A puppy born with his front paws facing up instead of down and unable to walk is recovering after surgery at Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
Dr. Erik Clary said Friday that he's pleased with the progress of the 10-week-old dog named Milo. The 8-pound (3.63-kilogram) puppy had elbow surgery Jan. 9 in Stillwater.
Clary says Milo, apparently part beagle and coon hound, suffered from congenital elbow dislocation. Clary inserted pins in Milo's elbows to realign the joints and help the dog eventually learn to walk.
An animal rescue group founder took Milo to the school and is caring for the puppy post-surgery. Jennie Hays, of the nonprofit Oliver and Friends Farm Sanctuary , said Friday that Milo was doing great and is a "very happy puppy."
Oklahoma governor wants to sell state plane to save money
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's new governor is ordering that his office's airplane be sold and demanding state agencies stop hiring contract lobbyists as part of cost-saving efforts.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a series of executive orders Thursday, including the sale of the plane. Stitt says the governor's King Air 350 aircraft costs the public about $1 million annually.
Stitt also says he's had difficulty determining how many state agencies are hiring contract lobbyists to influence the Legislature, a practice he wants to stop.
Another executive order takes aim at classified employees in state government. Stitt says he is lifting a hiring freeze for state agencies, but only for unclassified positions, which have fewer job protections. Stitt says the order is designed to give agency leaders "flexibility" to modernize its workforce.