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How hard is it to get the Presidential Scholarship?

katmandu0071katmandu0071 Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2012 in University of Tulsa
In order to apply, you need to be:
A National Merit Finalist
OR: A National Achievement Finalist
OR: A National Hispanic Scholar
OR: Top 10% in graduating class and top 1% on ACT/SAT

I fit the first (hopefully; I'm a semifinalist now) and fourth criteria, but what I'm wondering is how hard it is to get the scholarship, given the fact that you qualify. They say that they give it to 40 students, but I can't find how many applied. Does anybody know of someone who met the criteria, applied, but didn't get the scholarship? Or maybe the percentage that receive it?

PS Here are my stats. I don't think they'll be useful, but for some reason they seem to be the first thing anybody asks for on this forum.

ACT: 35 (36 superscore) 8 Essay
SAT: 2310 10 essay
SAT Subject: 800 Math 2, 800 Spanish, 780 Literature, 760 Physics
Awards: National Merit Semifinalist, Local awards for foreign language, math contests, Academic Decathlon
GPA: 4.0/4.0 (my school doesn't weight)
Rank: 2/168
ECs: Quiz Bowl (Captain), Academic Decathlon (Captain), Math Club (President), National Honors Society (Vice President), Church Hospitality Team (since 3rd grade), El Salvador mission trip (I served as a translator), Detasseling (it's an ag-related job during the summer, 4 years), Cashier for 2 years
Essays: Common app is ok
State: Nebraska
School: public, about 170 per grade
Gender: XY
Race: white

Thanks.
Post edited by katmandu0071 on

Replies to: How hard is it to get the Presidential Scholarship?

  • lwildlwild Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    katmandu0071,
    Wow you've got amazing stats! My son is a Presidential Scholar at TU and is loving his time in Tulsa. He had great stats too (NM finalist, 35 ACT, similar gpa and rank) and was also worried about getting the scholarship. If he didn't, there was no way we could afford to send him to TU.
    I believe I was told that in the fall of 2011 TU was giving 50 Presidential Scholarships for that year's applicants. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that's what our admissions counselor told us. Hopefully they will continue to give out at least that many!
    My son just did what he was supposed to. He filled out the application and did all the "paperwork" things that were required. He also made sure the school knew he really wanted to go there. He applied early admission, he forwarded his grades at the semester to his counselor there, he visited twice and saw the counselor once at a college fair in our city (Denver). He kept in casual email contact (maybe once a month just touching base or updating him with any new scores or awards he had received) with his admissions counselor at the college who was extremely nice and helpful. Basically he didn't let them forget about him!
    He has loved it there--lives in an honors dorm room with other Pres. Scholars and is figuring out college like any other freshman.
    I'm sorry I don't know the stats regarding how many applied and how many were accepted. I know it is nerve wracking waiting for decisions that you have only so much control over! I personally think it doesn't hurt to be from a state other than OK, MO, or TX.

    Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer--good luck!
  • mregomrego Posts: 1,038Registered User Senior Member
    A few years back, they didn't have a numerical limit. Last I heard they limited it to 70, but I guess they've had to cut back. Anyway, it is (or was) pretty automatic. They'll probably invite you to visit in the spring if you haven't already. You can stay overnight in one of the dorms.
    Once you are a finalist, simply complete admissions and accept before they run out. Remember to designate TU (or switch to) as your primary National Merit school. And you should be in for a full ride. You do have to maintain a full schedule and keep your GPA decent and go to scholarship meetings. It is a terrific deal. There are other scholarships available too.

    What's your intended major?
  • katmandu0071katmandu0071 Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
    @mrego: My major will be romance languages. (Or just Spanish, or just Italian - something along those lines.)

    So would you guys suggest that I maybe send my semester grades along with a letter expressing my interest in Tulsa? Also, would sending SAT subject test scores make a difference, (I've got 2 800's, a 780 and a 760) even though they are not required?

    I'm asking this mainly because I haven't really "expressed interest" in any way yet. I merely applied, was accepted, and am scheduled for a scholarship interview on 20 February (at this "Tulsa Time" thing). You seem to stress the importance of showing them that I want to attend. Is this how I should do it, or is there some other way to do this?
  • mregomrego Posts: 1,038Registered User Senior Member
    No. If you become a National Merit Finalist, you need to designate TU as your first choice. You can do this by a fax to NM. This needs to be done by April 1.
    There is nothing splashy or theatrical about it. It is just a matter of filing the paperwork with NM and TU.
  • katmandu0071katmandu0071 Posts: 61Registered User Junior Member
    Hey all,

    I just thought I'd thank you for your advice. I received notification today that I got the scholarship.
  • lwildlwild Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    That's wonderful! Congratulations!
  • atomomatomom Posts: 3,377Registered User Senior Member
    I thought it might be helpful to post here about not getting the Presidential Scholarship.
    I believe they give 40-50 a year and I was told that last year (2011) they had about 150 applicants, (I'm guessing even more in 2012) which puts the odds against all but the most outstanding applicants.

    So, who is probably NOT going to get this scholarship? Someone like S, who was NMF, SAT 2230, rank top 10%, rigorous courses/8APs, top public high school, out of state--very good, but not outstanding in this applicant pool. He was not at all surprised to be turned down since his ECs are weak and he did not interview well. Can't be sure what they thought of his essay. He was offered a "consolation prize" of $30K/year renewable scholarships, (all merit, no need-based--Dean's scholarship, Vision scholarship + others) which would leave his total cost per year around 8-10K--still a great deal. I assume they offer similarly generous awards to most of the Presidential Scholarship applicants who are not selected.

    (S will not be attending Tulsa--had a better offer at another school. He's happy with his choice--no hard feelings.)
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