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OU's National Merit Scholarship Program

  • I work at a large law firm. We will go so far as to look at SAT scores to decide whether you are allowed to even have an interview. I think I am used to it - telling a 23 year old from a decent law school with very good grades that they don't make the cut to have an interview. I'm not saying that this is right - but it is the real world that I work in. It has totally changed my opinion on where I want my kids to go to school. After seeing it from this side, I am convinced that all other things being equal the better degree will get the job, especially in current economic times. As but one example, the firm I work for now only goes to "top 10" law schools for on campus interviews. I seriously do not think that a law student from OU or Tulsa would even be considered for an interview by my firm in this market. I am not confident I could have gotten my job in today's market. It may not be fair, populist, or even accurate, but it is the view held by my firm and my firm's direct competitors.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by elguapo2 3 years ago

  • OK. Maybe Crowe Dunleavy. I am not a lawyer. I will let you guys decide how you hire. If you want to spend time on SAT scores, go for it. And...it will give your staff something to do.

    I think I heard or read that OU and TU and OCU are graduating 500 - 600 eager lawyers. Per Year!

    To stay on my thread topic that OU is making a mistake to pay lavish amounts to National Merit scholars:
    "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 3 times, most recently by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • Not in Oklahoma, but a large law firm. My point is that of the 600 lawyers per year graduating from OU, TU and OCU, perhaps 1 or 2 will be able to get an interview. Compare that to higher rated law schools, where 10-20 per school will get an interview. The sole reason for that difference is the schools they go to. That principle is equally applicable to accounting jobs, finance jobs, etc. at large employers. Small businesses may have very different criteria, but big businesses clearly shoot for hiring kids from the best schools. OU improving its ranking through methods such as enticing NM scholars to attend OU means that more selective employers will pay attention to OU grads. It is relevant to your topic - the NM scholars are the kids that go on to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. I still think it is a good thing and am happy, extremely happy, for the legislature, the school and the donors to support it in the way that they do. I think that "leveling" schollies to give 500 schollies for $1000 each is not as good as giving 50 schollies at $10000 each. You'll catch much bigger fish with the 10K scholarship. Yes, 450 people will not get anything, but the 50 that do will, in my opinion, be much more successful over the long run. It is ok to differentiate and award scholarships based on merit.

  • elguapo2 said... (original post)

    . I think that "leveling" schollies to give 500 schollies for $1000 each is not as good as giving 50 schollies at $10000 each. You'll catch much bigger fish with the 10K scholarship. Yes, 450 people will not get anything, but the 50 that do will, in my opinion, be much more successful over the long run. It is ok to differentiate and award scholarships based on merit.

    Interesting. I would add that OU's National Merit Scholarships are - as I understand - much larger than $10 K per year. If OU was offering NM's scholarships of $10 K, I would probably have little or no objection. $10 K is tuition and maybe some more. Reasonable.

    $1,000 is a nice scholarship. But, $1 K is likely not a difference maker in most kids' college choice. So, maybe we sort of agree on that.

    What I would like is: Offer the NM students a generous scholarship. 100% of tuition. That's plenty for a good school like OU to offer.

    And I would like to see OU offer generous $4,000 - $5,000 scholarships to good students in Oklahoma and Texas and Arkansas. Students that have the demonstrated ability - grades, standard tests like National Merit and ACT - and references to deserve generous, but not lavish scholarship help.

    "The (OU NM) office has an annual budget of $266,475 for salaries and operating expenses. That does not include money for scholarships". That's FIFTY scholarships at $5 K each. 50.

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

    To your point of the 450 students: The numbers clearly favor the 450. That group in my opinion will produce many more productive grads than the 50 you favor. It's numbers and opinion. I think you put way way too much emphasis on National Merit scores. But it's opinion. Go Sooners.

    This post was edited by Pragmatic 3 years ago

  • Here's a story that will warm your heart, then. A friend of mine has a kid who was a NM scholar. He turned down the OU scholly and instead went to Vandy who offered him 5k/yr. Personally I think he made the wrong choice, but his parents can afford to pay the rest of the Vandy expenses so who am I to say they shouldn't. So, even with OU offering the lavish scholarship, I know of at least one kid who could easily have gone there (closer to home, probably will go to graduate school after undergrad), but he chose Vandy. I think it is because one of his parents went there. Another kid I know took the NM scholly at OU. He needed it. No way his parents could afford a good school.

    I put emphasis on the NM score because I am fairly certain that a higher percentage of NM winners are highly successful in life than the general population. It is only one indicator, but it is a darned good one.

    My oldest kid takes the PSAT next week. If he were fortunate enough to become a finalist, I have to be honest - as much as I love OU and what I think OU gave me, I would probably suggest to him that he should attend the highest ranked school he could get in to. Maybe that is what the parents of the Vandy kid did.

    Your point about the 266K budget is well taken. I would think an administrative assistant could manage the "advertising" or whatever and arrange phone calls, etc. 266K seems very high to me for this purpose. I think I could run it for about 20% of that amount.

  • I bet your son does well on the PSAT. I think schools like Vandy are good - but maybe overrated. I tell people that an OU student can - if he/she chooses courses, classes, instructors well - get an education that compares well with a prestige school like say Texas.

    I have to admit that the UT grads I know are quite sharp and quite well educated for the most part. I can't say that about all college grads. It's not intelligence, it's what they don't know. Hard to describe, just basic things I would expect a college grad to know. Like a good knowledge of American History.

  • I will draw the line at Texas.

    While I havent made up my mind yet, I am guessing that I will end up encouraging him to go to the best possible school. That is the product of my biases that I have developed since I left OU. I continue to believe that the better school they go to, the better jobs and career they will have.

  • Comparing OU to Oklahoma Directional Universities: Here's a summary of some opinions on comparing OU with state directional schools. First, I was raised by my Dad to think OU was clearly superior. I am a proud OU grad. And I got a good education. Not one weak course or instructor. Not too much political indoctrination at OU. And when I graduated I was convinced OU was superior. Actually, OU was pretty darn good. Go Sooners.

    Since then, I have worked with grads of directionals and I have had friends and family members graduate from directionals. Here's the deal: An "A" student at a directional is often an "A" student at OU, Texas or anywhere. Some people are smart. They get it. They would be "A" students anywhere.

    From that point it's anybody's guess. A "B" student at a directional might be a "B" student at OU - or maybe a "C" or "C +". A "C" student at a directional might have a harder time at OU. The intangible is that directional school students are not pretentious. They come to a job maybe without great polish. But often times with a real solid work ethic and lots of common sense. Often, they are quick learners and very good employees.

    Regardless, I have learned that on the job it's still Work Ethic, Ability to learn quickly, Attention to Detail, Appearance.

    My point of this is to recommend OU should make big time changes in the NM program. Offer National Merit students a generous tuition 100% scholarship. But cut back on the lavish and expensive frills. OU needs to exercise common sense. Get rid of the silly overhead $266 K per year to administer the OU President's pet elite program. Recruit more sharp kids who are not NM students. They are the backbone of OU student body. OSU and Tech get that. OU needs to figure it out, too.

  • nm.

    This post was edited by SoonerInTN 13 months ago