Types of Aid

There are four main types of aid available to you, each depending on your eligibility.


Grants are based on financial need and are funds that do not have to be repaid. Students must meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for grants. To apply for all grants you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Learn more about available grants.


Loans are funds that must be repaid with interest, usually after the student leaves college. You must meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for student loans. Student loans are a serious financial obligation, and we encourage you to be very careful with your student loan borrowing. It is very easy to incur a large student loan debt through these loan programs. For more detailed information regarding loans, please visit www.studentaid.ed.gov

Learn more about available loans.

Income Tax Credits

The American Opportunity Credit

The American Opportunity Credit, formally known as the Hope Learning Credit is a nonrefundable tax credit, not a scholarship or tax deduction. Tax credits are subtracted directly from the tax a family or student owes, while tax deductions are subtracted from taxable income. To receive the Hope tax credit, a family or student must file a federal tax return and owe taxes. Families and students that don't pay taxes cannot receive money from the Hope credit. If a family or student owes less in taxes than the amount of Hope tax credit they are eligible for, they can only receive a credit equal to the amount of taxes owed.

To claim this credit, the student must be enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to an undergraduate degree.

  • The maximum yearly credit per eligible student is $2,500.
  • There is no limit on how many family members can receive the credit.

For more information on eligibility and claiming of the American Opportunity credit, consult IRS publication 970, entitled Tax Benefits for Education.

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit is a nonrefundable tax credit available to individuals who file a tax return and owe taxes. The amount of the credit is subtracted from the taxes owed, rather than reducing taxable income as with a tax deduction. Individuals who do not pay taxes are not eligible for a Lifetime Learning Credit. If a taxpayer owes less in taxes than the amount of Lifetime Learning tax credit they are eligible for, they are only eligible for a credit equal to the amount of taxes they owe.

Learn more about Income Tax Credits.


Scholarships are grants or payments awarded on the basis of academic or other criteria offered by Northeastern State University, the state of Oklahoma, the federal government, or private organizations. The amount and length of awards vary.

Visit the Office of Scholarships' website for scholarship information and applications.

Oklahoma's Promise

Oklahoma’s Promise allows eighth-, ninth- or 10th-grade students from families with an income of $50,000 or less to earn a college tuition scholarship. Students must also meet academic and conduct requirements in high school.

Learn more about Oklahoma's Promise at NSU.

Student sitting in class