All award decisions (assistantships, scholarships, tuition waivers) made by the Department of Geography are determined on the basis of scholastic promise and achievement rather than financial need. Assistantships typically come in one of three forms: research assistantships on grants/contracts, teaching assistantships working under direct supervision of faculty members (such as teaching labs or serving as course graders/proctors), and full responsibility teaching duties as the instructor of record for a lower-division, introductory undergraduate courses.
A graduate teaching or research assistantship carries with it a monthly stipend, an automatic waiver of out-of-state tuition, and a tuition waiver of up to 6 credit hours per semester. Superior students entering the program are eligible for complete remission of in-state tuition via competitive application to the Graduate College; the department applies for this waiver on behalf of the student. The Graduate College provides some in-state tuition waiver funds and this money is awarded to eligible students as well. The Graduate College also provides full in-state tuition waivers for entering minority students.
Oklahoma State University is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, and abides by the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants. This resolution holds that students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support before April 15th, and any student wishing to withdraw acceptance of such an offer after that date must receive a written release from the offering institution in order to accept an alternative offer from another institution. This resolution may be viewed at http://www.cgsnet.org. Students in the graduate programs have access to a variety of sources of financial aid. Oklahoma State University maintains an Office of Financial Aid with access to information about scholarships and federal loans outside of the control of the Department of Geography.