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National Merit Scholarship

OU is #1 in the nation among all public universities in the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled. Join the over 700 National Merit Scholars currently enrolled at OU!

Scholarship Packages

Oklahoma Residents

Non-Oklahoma Residents


To receive the National Merit Scholarship from OU, you must advance to Finalist standing in the National Merit competition (see National Merit Process) and name OU as your college choice through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) website by April 30. Also, see National Merit's website:

We certainly do not believe that it will take you more than four years to graduate, but there are many opportunities available to a National Merit student at OU. Many students will study abroad, double major or will use their scholarship toward graduate school at OU. The five-year tuition waiver will allow you to take advantage of such opportunities.

OU sponsors every National Merit Finalist who names OU as their college choice by April 30.

No, there is not an application for the National Merit Scholarship from OU. As long as you are named a Finalist and name OU as your college choice by April 30, you are guaranteed OU's National Merit scholarship package. However, a student will need to apply for admission and be admitted to OU. The application deadline to OU is April 1.

You are not required to complete the FAFSA to receive OU's National Merit Scholarship, but doing so can help to qualify you for additional funding based on your financial need.

In order to be considered for other OU scholarships (those based on leadership, community involvement and specific to certain degree programs), students will also need to complete two to three additional short-answer questions as part of a Common App supplement for OU. However, it is not required for OU's National Merit scholarship package, but we encourage you to complete the supplemental questions on our Common App member screen. The deadline to be considered for additional scholarships is February 1.

The best way to find out more about additional scholarships available to incoming freshmen is through the following website: This site will allow you to search for scholarships based on your academic interest and provides links to other online scholarship searches. Also for scholarships other than from OU, check with your high school counselor for scholarships within you high school, city and state. Check with local businesses and organizations within you city and visit national scholarship websites like

Often students will spend a year studying abroad, will go on a mission trip, will participate in a co-op program or be on medical leave before coming to OU. If you choose to do this and fill out the appropriate paperwork, we will ensure that you do not lose your scholarship from OU when you enroll. You may not enroll at another institution and earn college credit during the time you are not enrolled at OU. Please inform us as soon as you know if this applies to you.

If you receive the College-sponsored Award, the award may not be transferred. The Corporate-sponsored Award may be taken to another university, but this would be the only portion of the scholarship which is transferable.


While OU's National Merit scholarship is a wonderful financial package, it will not cover all expenses. However, if you receive outside scholarships, those cash awards will reduce your out-of-pocket expense. We will allow you to "stack" cash awards or federal financial aid that you receive in addition to our National Merit scholarship package.

If this is the only financial assistance you receive, your estimated out-of-pocket expense would be estimated as the following:

Oklahoma Residents:
$2,800 for the first year
$7,000 each year thereafter
Non-Oklahoma Resident:
$4,800 for the first year
$9,000 each year thereafter

There are a few reasons this value is an estimate. Our tuition is charged per-credit-hour and we do not know how many hours you will take each semester at OU. In addition if funds remain after the completion of a BA/BS, you may choose to use this money toward OU graduate school, which would make it worth more than our estimate. Finally, tuition costs may increase yearly. We waive 100 percent of your tuition. The value of the tuition wavier will be adjusted accordingly.

If you choose to go on to graduate program at OU, you may use what remains of your scholarship toward those expenses. (Except for your National Merit Cash Stipend. It is a four-year award or until completion of a bachelor's degree; whichever comes first.) If you do not plan to attend post-graduate school at OU, you forfeit the remainder of your scholarship.

Yes. As long as you enroll in a graduate program at OU, what remains of your scholarship can be used toward further schooling. (Except for your National Merit Cash Stipend. It is a four-year award or until completion of a bachelor's degree; whichever comes first.)

Yes. Since our exchange agreements with other schools are reciprocal, your scholarship will apply just as it would if you were on campus, including your tuition waiver as long as you are full-time enrolled. Any funds not used will be refunded to you for your use while abroad.