Category: UCO Campus Resources

Thrive On A Budget & Eat Like The King

College Life and Food

When I think of college students and food, I think of cheap instant noodles being heated in a dorm room microwave. Chances are this diet is no stranger to most service members from their E-1 thru E-3 days. Well that was then and this is now. The goal is not to just survive college we want to thrive in college. To accomplish this feat, we are going to need more than instant noodles to power our brain and body. Although instant noodles are one of my favorite instant meals they should not be a staple in your college diet. College is a marathon like no other that requires more than processed carbohydrates. We need simple and complex carbs like those found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy that can be broken down by the body and used as energy.

If you are a fan of fast food and enjoy the convenience it offers; especially with the busy college and adult life schedule, that is understandable. Fast food is not bad for you or your pocket book when moderation is put in place. The average cost of a value meal at a fast food restaurant ranges from $5.00 to $7.00. If you ate at fast food restaurants for two meals a day for two weeks there is a potential for your pocket book to take a whopping $196.00 hit on average.

Now take your $196.00 fast food budget to your local Wal-Mart grocery and you can feed yourself for two weeks three times a day for $93.21, leaving $102.79 in your pocket for other college expenses and that once a week drive thru treat. To good to be true you say? Give it a try and go to and build a shopping cart. They’ll even do the shopping and bring your groceries to you.

These are some of my favorite items that I purchase on a regular basis.

  • Blue Diamond Almonds $6.72
  • Eggs 60ct $6.21
  • String Cheese 36ct $7.96
  • Nature Value Protein Bar 15ct $8.24
  • Clementine Oranges 5lb $5.64
  • Oscar Meyer sub kit 28oz $6.98
  • Nature’s Own bread 20oz $2.88 (2)
  • Slice Cheese 48oz 72ct $9.98
  • Mayo 30oz $2.98
  • Mustard 20oz $1.97
  • Milk $2.78
  • Yogurt variety pack 12ct $3.96
  • Apples 3lb bag $4.77
  • Peanut Butter 40oz $3.62
  • Fruit preserves 32oz $3.28
  • Honey Bunches of Oats $3.28 (2)
  • Honey 16oz $4.48
  • Bananas 2lb $0.68lb

Total: $93.21

My favorite anytime sandwiches that even Elvis would like is peanut butter, banana, and honey. Would you like to learn more ways to save money on everyday life expenses to make college life less financially stressful? Or just learn how to make my favorite sandwich call Veterans Upward Bound at (405) 974-3686 or email us at to schedule an appointment.

Submitted By: Shane Braig, CPO, USN (Ret) and STRIPES-VUB Outreach Specialist

What Do I Want To Be?

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Chances are you have asked yourself this very question. I know I did after I retired from active duty. The difference is most people ask themselves this as children and in high school. We as veterans ask ourselves this after serving our country at a later time in life. Some of us in our early 20’s and others in our 40’s. The most common responses I have heard from veterans when asked this question is I do not know, I am not sure, or they give a list of several possibilities.

This is where STRIPES-Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) can come into play. All of us here at STRIPES-VUB have been in this very situation. We have gone through the transition from military life to civilian student life. We are subject matter experts in the pre-enrollment phase of college assisting hundreds of veterans walk the path. Don’t bang your head against the wall trying to find the right school and the right degree plan that fit you. We have don’t that leg work for you and can assist in guiding you with your decision.

We provide veterans with individual start-to-finish school and degree plan selection, application, and enrollment support for any program at any school. Our pre-enrollment services are customized for each veteran client and are created based on the individual needs of the veteran.

The services below are just a few of the most common veteran requested services we can provide.

  • Benefit Application Assistance
  • School Selection Comparison
  • Academic Skills Development
  • Academic Program Research
  • Financial Aid Assistance
  • Admission Assistance
  • Transcript Request
  • Financial Literacy
  • Test Preparation

Did I mention all these services are FREE to the veteran and we can travel to meet you!

If you are still in the looking around stage, the link below is an easy to use comparison tool that compares different schools in an area of your choice. This is a great place to start your broad search and from here we can help you narrow down the selection field. GI Bill Comparison Tool

Submitted By: Shane Braig, CPO, USN (Ret) and STRIPES-VUB Outreach Specialist

Student Study and Academic Resources

The start of the Fall semester is days away. Do you have a plan for learning? Learning in higher education requires focus and motivation to practice and study outside of the classroom. Students no matter your age, who expect to only attend class and pass all courses have a significantly lower success rate for degree completion. As adults is can be a challenge to find study groups or make time to be on campus. That doesn’t mean you are left to bang your head alone trying to learn new material. Read on for several free or low cost online websites and smartphone apps.

Free Online Websites and Apps:

Study Edge:

Study Edge provides concise study guides, online explanation videos, and tutors for an array of subjects and classes. If you’re looking for great intel on that tough engineering or physics course or maybe a refresher of your course in actual English, not the stream of acronyms we might be used to, Study Edge could be just the resource you’re looking for. Study Edge is currently offering a full semester of free access for US veterans.  To unlock the free semester, email to set up a membership. You can also learn more about Study Edge at

Khan Academy:

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We’ve also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content. View online at or download the app from your app store.


Symbolab is a free online math help website. The website provides graphing calculator tools, step-by-step solutions, practice problems, and math cheat sheets. You can check the website out at or download the app.

Purdue OWL:

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction. This website includes guidelines for a variety of writing styles and includes a citation machine to assist with proper academic citations. Visit them online at

Grammar Book:

Need to brush off the cobwebs on basic grammar and punctuation rules? Grammar book is a free online source for English grammar and punctuation rules and guidelines. Visit them at


Bookshare makes reading easier. People with visual processing disorder such as dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading. Find out more information and eligibility criteria at Bookshare also has a smartphone app for books on the go.


Free flashcard app for smartphones and also available on a PC. Create your own flashcards or download premade cards based on the subject or textbook. Gives you the option to have the cards read to you. Go to

On the UCO Campus:

The BELL (Broncho Education and Learning Lab) Offers One-to-One Tutoring, Supplemental Instruction with rotating courses and schedules, 24/7 Online Tutoring. Call 405-974-2487 for current tutoring hours.

STRIPES & SALUTE: TRIO Student Support Services offers free tutoring services. Sign up at Please be prepared and bring your textbook, assignment/instructions, etc. to your tutoring appointment.

UCO Library Academic Research Guides: The UCO library has research guides available by subject and for several UCO courses. Library Homepage; Research & Learning; Research Guides

Disability Support Services: Located in the Nigh University Center Room 305; Open Mon-Fri 8 am – 5 pm; Phone 405-974-3894

OESC Veteran Services Job Club Announcement

As an adult student flexible employment is sometimes a necessity. If you find yourself needing employment as a student, consider the monthly OESC Job Club event. Hosted by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Veteran office, the monthly Job Club assists US Veterans with finding employment, full and part time positions.The next Job Club is Thursday July 18th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at Regional Training Institute Education Center, Room #103, 6500 North Kelley Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73111. The Job Club provides job seekers with an opportunity to network with employers for job hunting tips and employment opportunities. Please come dressed for success with resume in hand and ready to interview! Open to Transitioning Service Members, Oklahoma National Guard, Veterans, and Spouses.
If the monthly Job Club does not fit with your schedule, they have offices across the state with Veterans’ Employment Representatives ready to assist with employment services. You can contact their offices to set up an appointment.

Cyber Security Pilot Program Deadline to apply April 22, 2019!

Oklahoma City Community College was selected to host an amazing program for individuals interested in the Cyber Security field. Scholar applications for participants are being accepted until April 22nd, 2019. Don’t delay in starting your application, the program requires an extensive application packet and offers great benefits such as full tuition and an annual stipend if selected. Check out this link for more details. You can also contact Mr. John Claybon at or 405-682-7888.

Where’s My Money Man!


Tips To Make Sure Your GI Bill® Payment Arrives

You’ve run the paperwork gauntlet, completed all the application and enrollment steps for your first semester as a Veteran student using your GI Bill® Benefits. Congratulations! You start the semester attentive at your school desk for every class and just wait for the money to rain down…Right?