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OU's National Merit Scholarship Program

  • On September 3 in the pre game festivities OU proudly showed off about 95 smart kids who received big scholarships. It was a grand sight: Goal line to Goal line of new Sooner students. Welcome and congratulations on receiving a super generous scholarship. I hope they appreciate it. Most of them probably do appreciate it. I hope so. Other OU students are funding their scholarships through high tuition that will increase. Also donors who don't designate their donation for specific academic or bricks and mortar projects.

    OSU, Texas Tech, and Arkansas could have done a similar ceremony showing 100 students EACH who might have attended OU. But OSU, Texas Tech and Arkansas got those kids - many were good, not National Merit students - by offering much less than the estimated $20 K per year per student that OU grants to NM students. Everything comes down to numbers and return on investment. In my opinion, OU should review and change the lavish NM program. Spread the money out to good students who need the aid. Somethng like: Offer the NM students 90 - 100% tuition. That's enough! Just that change would be a big cost saving from the lavish program OU now offers.

    Better yet, get rid of it. Replace it with a better scholarship program that recruits very good students with reasonable, not lavish scholarships. OU does not need to pay lavish amount to smart students to attend OU.

    Our OSU and Tech friends are chuckling at OU. "Tier One???" Texas dropped or cut way back on their NM program.

    If you agree strongly with OU's National Merit program, I suggest contribute to it. That would be generous. If you disagree with the NM program, designate your gift very carefully. Otherwise OU will decide how to spend your gift. Sept 3 was a good indication of where a lot of donor money goes.

    From a recent article in The Oklahoman:: "Recruitment

    OU has an office, called National Scholars Programs, that's dedicated to recruiting and retaining National Merit Scholars. The office has four staff members, an administrative assistant and about four to six student employees, said Andy Roop, director of prospective student services.

    The office has an annual budget of $266,475 for salaries and operating expenses. That does not include money for scholarships".

    Read more: http://newsok.com/university-of-oklahoma-offers-support-scholarships-for-national-merit-scholars/article/3609787#ixzz1ZqAFferO

    Be generous, but be careful. Go Sooners.

    This post has been edited 4 times, most recently by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • I am actually in favor of it. I am also in favor of reinstating the in-state tuition for children of out of state graduates. I really don't think that Tech or OSU are "chuckling" at the fact that there are 100 kids at OU who chose OU because OU offered to pay their tuition. I think that it has enhanced OU's academic reputation and that now most people would agree that OU is above, if not significantly above, Tech and OSU. Making the academic talent pool deeper at OU is (and in my opinion should be) a priority.

    There are many reasonable scholarships that are not lavish. They are often funded by OU clubs in other cities. I think Houston has a couple of $2-3,000 scholarships each year. There's a place for both. However, the NM schollies probably have to be administered by the school rather than alumni clubs.

  • If you strongly support the NM program as it is now, I urge you to generously support the OU National Merit program. It's probably the OU President's Partner program. OU is kind of vague on how they fund the NM deal. For good reason. Such support will free up other money for - in my opinion - much better scholarship programs. For example, OU should offer say 90% or 95% tuition to NM students, and cut way back on the lavish frills. That is plenty. 90 or 100% tuition is plenty generous. The kids should have a skin in the academic game.

    Fair enough. There are a relative handful of scholarships given by various OU Clubs. Say 100 or so at say $3 K. Maybe more, maybe less. They are tiny - compared to the lavish NM scholarhips. That's my point. Those kids that receive those scholarships (which are very small) are very worthy. Compare that to the kids who receive the lavish National Merit scholarships. And the recipients appreciate the relatively small amount very much. Our daughter received one. Notice how the OU Clubs - not OU - funds these small scholarships. That is an indication of how OU administration thinks.

    And....if an OU person in our group of friends claims OU is clearly superior to any school, the eyes start rolling. Every school has lots of things they are proud of. Average ACT of incoming students means little. There are so many sharp kids out there. Spread out the money. If an OU person not in Oklahoma claims OU is superior, they would get laughed at. Not kidding. The books are pretty much the same. And there is a huge surplus of academic teachers. There's a million would be liberal arts profs out there.

    OU should compete harder with OSU, Tech and Arkansas. OU is regarded as a very solid school - not superior or inferior to OSU, Tech, Arkansas. And that is pretty accurate. Those schools compete like hell in academic AND athletic areas. Do you think Boone Pickens is satisfied with OSU lagging behind OU in anything? Tech and Arkansas have similar situations.

    I think OU does offer in state tuition rates to legacy students. For sure, OSU does. And they compete strongly for students. That's another reason to free up some of the NM money.

    OU major donors are often very specific on how OU spends their gift. Mr. Headington's generous gift for construction is one recent example. In general the NM program - pretty much the OU president's baby - has in my opinion limited support from major donors. For good reason.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • This whole thing has something to do with your kid, right?

  • Pragmatic said... (original post)

    If you strongly support the NM program as it is now, I urge you to generously support the OU National Merit program. It's probably the OU President's Partner program. OU is kind of vague on how they fund the NM deal. For good reason. Such support will free up other money for - in my opinion - much better scholarship programs. For example, OU should offer say 90% or 95% tuition to NM students, and cut way back on the lavish frills. That is plenty. 90 or 100% tuition is plenty generous. The kids should have a skin in the academic game.

    Fair enough. There are a relative handful of scholarships given by various OU Clubs. Say 100 or so at say $3 K. Maybe more, maybe less. They are tiny - compared to the lavish NM scholarhips. That's my point. Those kids that receive those scholarships (which are very small) are very worthy. Compare that to the kids who receive the lavish National Merit scholarships. And the recipients appreciate the relatively small amount very much. Our daughter received one. Notice how the OU Clubs - not OU - funds these small scholarships. That is an indication of how OU administration thinks.

    And....if an OU person in our group of friends claims OU is clearly superior to any school, the eyes start rolling. Every school has lots of things they are proud of. Average ACT of incoming students means little. There are so many sharp kids out there. Spread out the money. If an OU person not in Oklahoma claims OU is superior, they would get laughed at. Not kidding. The books are pretty much the same. And there is a huge surplus of academic teachers. There's a million would be liberal arts profs out there.

    OU should compete harder with OSU, Tech and Arkansas. OU is regarded as a very solid school - not superior or inferior to OSU, Tech, Arkansas. And that is pretty accurate. Those schools compete like hell in academic AND athletic areas. Do you think Boone Pickens is satisfied with OSU lagging behind OU in anything? Tech and Arkansas have similar situations.

    I think OU does offer in state tuition rates to legacy students. For sure, OSU does. And they compete strongly for students. That's another reason to free up some of the NM money.

    OU major donors are often very specific on how OU spends their gift. Mr. Headington's generous gift for construction is one recent example. In general the NM program - pretty much the OU president's baby - has in my opinion limited support from major donors. For good reason.

    While I agree with your stance on NMs, saying that OU is not viewed as being stronger academically than OSU/Tech is off, regardless of your friend's eye rolling. Most rankings I've seen put Texas/aTm around 50/60, OU around 100, and OSU around 135/140. I think Tech is in the130s/140s range too. Saying OU/OSU are equivilant academically is pretty similar to an OU fan claiming OU and Texas/Texas a&m are pretty similar academically. Just because I SAY that does not make it right. The facts are Texas is recognized as being better than OU...40-50 spots or so higher. OU is recognized as being better than OSU, 35-40 spots or so.

    That being said, you can obviously get a quality education anywhere, but OU has developed a stronger academic reputation. I'm not sure when we started to separate, but I would assume over the last 10-15 years. I think a trained monkey could have gotten into OU or OSU when I was a freshman. My dorm roommate (who was a high school buddy) was just a small step above trained monkey (Vince Youngish).

    This post was edited by CobraKai 3 years ago

  • So if major donors are turned off by the National Merit Program and Oklahoma State and Texas Tech don't have a similar program but do have similar results how do you explain OU's edowment($968.4 million) being over $600 million larger than Oklahoma State ($350.7 million) and almost $200 million larger than Texas Tech ($775.2 million). Arkansas is $1.06 Billion with the Walton Family contributing $300 million recently (to the school not a football stadium).

    Endowments for those that don't know are basically "trust funds" for universities... Donors contribute to the fund and then the institution uses the money generated by it. Donors can specify how their endowment is to be spent. It's very common to create an "Endowed Chair" or to pay the salary of a professor or dean for perpetuity. If you are a successful geologist and you feel like you owe everything you have become to the geology school at OU then you can ensure that there will always be a geology department (for the right amount of money of course) Or your endowment can go towards a scholarship... MAYBE even the National Merit Program.

    The point is... your rambling seems like just that... rambling. Alot of generalization about something you most likely don't know much about.

    Oh and the seperation has occured since President Boren took the job.

    This post was edited by TheJoeP 3 years ago

  • If any friend of OU strongly supports the NM program as it now is I urge them to find out how to best contribute to it. Call the OU Administration. Go ahead and endow a National Merit Scholarship. Or....part of a NM scholarship. They are expensive. That's what some OU alums have done for athletic scholarships, athletic facilities, and geology facuty. They wisely want a say in how OU spends their gift.

    Endowing is a good deal. And the donor has a strong say in how OU uses the donation. I think OU is a very good in many areas. And not bad in any area. But, I don't go ranking OU 30 or 40 or 60 slots above any other given school That's a good way to look silly. I would say the same thing to a UT or A&M grad or to an Ivy Leaguer. And they would probably agree.

    Regarding the lavish NM program:: It's a matter of return on investment. I don't think OU is getting a good return on concentrating so much money on a relatively small group of talented students. And OU does lose some good students to rival schools. I wonder if any of the NM students have contributed back some of all of their scholarship. Prabably a few have.

    I am curious as to what these kids study at OU. How many pre med, engineers; geologists, political science, pre law and so on? They are all OK, but some fields turn out more productive grads than others. Rural Oklahoma needs doctors. Does the NM program contribute to that need? Or....instead of a $20 K NM scholarship, how about three or four $5 K scholarship to sharp kids from small towns?

    90 - 100% tuition is plenty. I strongly support OU giving 90 - 100% tuition.to NM's But that's enough.

    ".... you can obviously get a quality education anywhere, but OU has developed a stronger academic reputation". Right you are. The books are pretty much the same. And there are good teachers at all schools. It's up to the student to try hard.

    OU's edge is the petroleum engineering equpment and labs. Few schools (UT, A&M and LSU) can equal OU's well equipped facilities. That edge is due to generous donors who were specific with their gift to OU.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • http://oklahoma.247sports.com/Board/76/National-Merit-Scholars-Lavish-85000-scholarships-link-2435887/1

    We know you hate the National Merit program and the vast majority disagree with you. Why don't you just put it all in one thread instead of starting a new one every time a donation is made to OU or the NM program is in the news?

    signature image

    Live On University!

  • Go for it! Write a check! Just contribute to the National Merit program. Endow a scholarship or part of a scholarship.

    Send you check to: OU President's Partners. Maybe urge OU to increase the already lavish scholarship amounts. Instruct OU how to spend your gift.

    Here's an example of a donation from a smart and successful donor. In case you missed it. :

    Chesapeake gives $2M to expand OSUIT training program
    Chesapeake Energy Corp. is giving $2 million to the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology to build a new natural gas compression training center.

    Read more: http://newsok.com/chesapeake-gives-2m-to-expand-osuit-training-program/article/3608483#ixzz1ZTlt1wRE

    "Recruitment

    OU has an office, called National Scholars Programs, that's dedicated to recruiting and retaining National Merit Scholars. The office has four staff members, an administrative assistant and about four to six student employees, said Andy Roop, director of prospective student services.

    The office has an annual budget of $266,475 for salaries and operating expenses. That does not include money for scholarships".

    Read more: http://newsok.com/university-of-oklahoma-offers-support-scholarships-for-national-merit-scholars/article/3609787#ixzz1ZqAFferO

    Go Sooners.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • So what exactly is "lavish" about a full ride for an excellent student? Are you saying that football players should not get full rides either? I think we are on the same side in that we want the best for OU, but why are you picking on NM scholars? I wish I had been one but was only a semifinalist. I have high hopes for my kids. If any one of them happens to make it, I would gladly accept it and would encourage them to go to OU to receive the benefit of it. It happens all the time at other schools for other reasons. I know several people at my law firm who went to a school ONLY because they got a full ride. They have good jobs now and are donating money back to the schools that took a chance on them.

    I am not a person who thinks that a standardized test score is always predictive of future success, but it is clear that NM scholars are more likely to continue to achieve success and ultimately make pretty good livings. I think that many, if not most of them, would be more than happy to give money back to OU over time. I got zero scholarship money to go to OU. Over the last 20 years, I have given a little to the general fund but have been increasing it every year. If I had zero student loans, I'd be much more likely to give OU money. This is an investment by OU that I think is well considered and admirable.

    I think you have some king of agenda here. What's the difference between educating 50 NM scholars at OU or building a natural gas compression training center? Who knows, but one is not clearly better than the other.

  • Of course I have an agenda. Just to express my opinion. My opinion is that OU is putting too much money in big lavish scholarships to NM students. I would like to see OU address the shortage of physicians in small cities. On football game spots, I would like to see the OU describing that action on TV spots - rather than the OU president talking about his pet NM program. I am not aware of other university presidents doing face time on football spots.

    I favor 90 - 100% tuition for NM students. That's enough. Do you favor increasing the NM scholarship amount?

    OU could get a much better return on OU's investment by spreading out the money. That is what our rival schools are doing. OU could give 3 or 4 $5K scholarships to good students instead of 1 large scholarship to a NM student. That IMO would be a better use of scholarship money. That type of program would maybe help Oklahoma's shortage of physicians in small towns. OSU recently started a very aggressive scholarship program to recruit good students from small towns. Boone Pickens funded much of that program. He is one smart dude.

    And yes, donating to a training center to develop productive employees in in my opinion a much better investment than NM scholarships. That's why Chesapeake made their donation. They are smart.

    This post was edited by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • elguapo2 said... (original post)

    . If I had zero student loans, I'd be much more likely to give OU money. This is an investment by OU that I think is well considered and admirable.

    I think you have some king of agenda here. What's the difference between educating 50 NM scholars at OU or building a natural gas compression training center? Who knows, but one is not clearly better than the other.

    That is my point. Students and parents of students who don't receive lavish scholarships are BORROWING money for student loans to pay tuition - in order for OU to give big scholarships to chosen, lucky kids. I favor a reasonable, even generous scholarships to NM. Say 90 - 100% tuition. That's plenty. If another school outbids that offer - let 'em go. Somebody has to pay. There's no free lunch - for most of us.

    Go Sooners.

  • I have no problem with OU spending my contributions or state funding on trying to attract the best students they can. I think it is highly likely that these high achieving students and personalities will give back to the university in the future. I also think that if you really believe that Tech and OSU are the academic equivalent of OU, there's no possibility of you agreeing that it is in the best interests of OU to attract the highest quality student possible with a free education. Free educations happen all the time for people who are talented. You might as well be saying that football player scholarships are a lavish waste of money because it is the same principle.

  • Fair enough. I am not a big follower of rankings of colleges. And I do think Tech and OSU provide - in general - just as good of an education as OU. It is intuition. I am around graduates of many schools. Many OU grads are sharp and intelligent. But so are grads from other schools. Just as much.

    By all means, contribute generously to OU's scholarship program. And you are right that I don't think OU should pay large amounts to attract students. OU should offer a reasonable scholarship amount. Certainly no more than OSU or Texas offers. OU should not try to outbid other schools for students. As I understand, Texas got out of the NM bidding wars. If so, that's smart.

    There are just too many deserving students who are not NM students for OU to get in bidding wars for NM students.

    " Free educations happen all the time for people who are talented". Right. And other students and their parents are paying for these "talented" students to receive imo lavish scholarships. .

    I think OU could and should get a better return on OU's scholarship investment. Different opinions.

  • elguapo2 said... (original post)

    I also think that if you really believe that Tech and OSU are the academic equivalent of OU, there's no possibility of you agreeing that it is in the best interests of OU to attract the highest quality student possible with a free education. Free educations happen all the time for people who are talented. You might as well be saying that football player scholarships are a lavish waste of money because it is the same principle.

    Try telling your associates from OSU and Tech that OU is above their schools.

    I work with UT and OSU and Tech grads. I do believe Tech and OSU are as good as OU in most areas, maybe better in a few areas, maybe not as good in a few areas. There's nothing wrong with that. The books are the same. Schools have good labs, good profs. OU can only control how good OU is. If OSU and Tech choose to be real strong in an area, they can do that. And they can be as good or better than any other school. Universities and colleges in Texas have lots of money available to them. And they spend it mostly in smart ways. OSU has some money from Oklahoma - and some real smart donors. OU has some generous and smart major donors.

    OSU and Tech have chosen to be excellent in their college of business.. Surprise. You and I and OU have no control over that. We can only urge OU to use available resources in a smart way. We differ on the best way for OU to do that.

    OU's petroleum engineering labs are super. A big edge. Due largely to dedicated gifts from major companies.

    In accounting and finance, you don't need a degree from OU to be very proficient. Solid academics at a directional school in Oklahoma produces good accountants and auditors. OU can't control how good the accounting courses are at Tahlequah or Durant. And they are good. Same thing with school teachers.

    And, if you think OU is clearly better in academic areas than Tech and OSU, why would OU need to pay students to attend? .

  • I have competed against the directional school accountants and in general, there is no comparison between OU graduates and the Oklahoma directional schools. Can't believe that you think they are similar. OSU and Tech's business colleges are nothing compared to OU's. If you really believe they are the same, well, there's no use arguing it any more. USNWR is only one objective comparison, and it finds very, very, very different results than you do. I happen to agree with them.

    Durant accounting classes the equivalent of Norman's? Seriously?

  • It's just a matter of who is competing and just a matter of opinion. The books are the same. There are good teachers at all schools.

    I too have worked with employees from directional schools. Some of them are very sharp. They definitely compare favorably with OU grads. Repeat: The books are pretty much the same. The CPA coaching courses are the same.

    "OSU and Tech's business colleges are nothing compared to OU's." That's classic. Try that out at happy hour.

    This post was edited by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • elguapo2 said... (original post)

    OSU and Tech's business colleges are nothing compared to OU's. If you really believe they are the same, well, there's no use arguing ..... Durant accounting classes the equivalent of Norman's? Seriously?

    Advise your associates and co workers of this fact. They might be impressed. Today, a lot of employers care more about how adept a finance guy / lady can get really proficient on Oracle or SAP. And the employee damn sure needs to be proficient on Excel. That matters more.....

    This post was edited by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • You might consider changing your name to dogmatic. I am an employer and I participate in hiring decisions at a 1,500 person firm. I think it makes a big difference where people went to college and graduate school. For competitive, high paying jobs there is no doubt that a directional, Tech or OSU business school graduate is at a distinct disadvantage in larger cities outside Payne county or the Lubbock city limits. I want to hire people that rise to the highest levels of competition, and that is often indicated by the level of academic competition at the college they attended. There is no doubt that there are quality, intelligent people at smaller or less prestigious schools, and it doesn't mean they are less of a person or less intelligent. It does mean that many employers, including myself, are less likely to hire them over a graduate from a more highly regarded school, particularly if they have little practical experience at the time they are seeking full time employment. It is only one predictive indicator of success, but it is a darned significant one in my experience, as are SAT and many other standardized test scores.

    I have seen first hand people who have degrees from Harvard and other truly elite schools who have zero personality, no client skills, no common sense, no excel skills, etc. - but quite often, those people are so bright they are able to more than compensate for shortcomings in other ways or they are encouraged to seek excellence elsewhere as soon as possible.

    Are you anti-SAT as well?

  • elguapo2 said... (original post)

    I have seen first hand people who have degrees from Harvard and other truly elite schools who have zero personality, no client skills, no common sense, no excel skills, etc. - but quite often, those people are so bright they are able to more than compensate for shortcomings in other ways or they are encouraged to seek excellence elsewhere as soon as possible.

    Are you anti-SAT as well?

    That's an interesting comment. And kind of surprising. And you have an interesting approach to hiring decisions. I respect your opinion.

    I too have done corporate recruiting for a very large company. And our company tended to favor OU, Arkansas and OSU grads equally. But once you hit the job, the way to advance is being personable, neat looking, a quick learner on systems, attention to detail, reliable, fast and accurate.

    I continue to think there's little or no difference in the quality of preparation a business student gets at Texas, OU, OSU, Tech, Arkansas. Just my opinion.

    "Are you anti-SAT as well?" I haven't thought of that. But, if I were interviewing, I doubt I would even care or check. Grades, character, work ethic, and the things I mentioned above are what's important.

    This post was edited by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • This is not first hand info. But it is reasonable and from a very reliable source: Comment on my comment on the Sacred Cow: "I agree. The junior at ou across the street (in OKC) got a 31 on act and only gets $1000 from ou. Studying chemical engineering".

  • Pragmatic said... (original post)

    This is not first hand info. But it is reasonable and from a very reliable source: Comment on my comment on the Sacred Cow: "I agree. The junior at ou across the street (in OKC) got a 31 on act and only gets $1000 from ou. Studying chemical engineering".

    nm

    This post was edited by SoonerInTN 13 months ago

  • SoonerInTN said... (original post)

    White male?

    Don't know about the gender. Source is reliable. Here's some info about OU's administration of National Merit scholarships:

    "Recruitment

    OU has an office, called National Scholars Programs, that's dedicated to recruiting and retaining National Merit Scholars. The office has four staff members, an administrative assistant and about four to six student employees, said Andy Roop, director of prospective student services.

    The office has an annual budget of $266,475 for salaries and operating expenses. That does not include money for scholarships".

    Read more: http://newsok.com/university-of-oklahoma-offers-support-scholarships-for-national-merit-scholars/article/3609787#ixzz1ZqAFferO

  • elguapo2 said... (original post)

    . I am an employer and I participate in hiring decisions at a 1,500 person firm. I think it makes a big difference where people went to college and graduate school. ...... there is no doubt that a directional, Tech or OSU business school graduate is at a distinct disadvantage in larger cities outside Payne county or the Lubbock city limits. I want to hire people that rise to the highest levels of competition,

    Do your associates at your organization share this opinion? Seriously, there's no right or wrong answer. Just curious.

  • Pragmatic said... (original post)

    It's just a matter of who is competing and just a matter of opinion. The books are the same. There are good teachers at all schools.

    I too have worked with employees from directional schools. Some of them are very sharp. They definitely compare favorably with OU grads. Repeat: The books are pretty much the same. The CPA coaching courses are the same.

    "OSU and Tech's business colleges are nothing compared to OU's." That's classic. Try that out at happy hour.

    I assume you've read the article pointing out OU has a top 10 national business school. Regardless, the fact is OU's business school is vastly superior, in terms of peer rankings, to OSU and Tech.

    Regarding your comments about "they all use the same books," that is true, but irrelevent. When I got my MBA at OU many years ago we used teh same books as Harvard, and in fact studied Harvard Business Review cases. That doesn't mean my OU MBA is in the same stratosphere as a Harvard MBA.

  • CobraKai said... (original post)

    I assume you've read the article pointing out OU has a top 10 national business school. Regardless, the fact is OU's business school is vastly superior, in terms of peer rankings, to OSU and Tech.

    The article I saw ranked OU high in Entrepreneurship - a narrow category, But Congrats to OU. I am a grad of OU Business School. It's a good school. And it's probably a better B School now than back in the day.

    Can you post the article that you refer to. In my opinion, OU has a good business school. But the rankings I have seen don't rate it very high. Granted this Entreprenurial thing is real good. And that's an important part of a good B School. Check your article.

    And Yes: The books are about the same everywhere. And there's a ton of good solid profs. In my opinion, OU grads would do better to make OU as good as they can. And let the quality of the grads speak for the quality of the school. I think work ethic, neat appearance, abiity to learn systems, proficiency in Excel, attention to detail are what employers look for.

    I am not big on saying "OU is vastly superior to XYZ. or any other school" That doesn't work for me. But if that's how you feel and think, Go for it.

    Go Sooners.