Boren Says Number Of OU Scholarships Has Doubled

Wednesday, October 24th 2007, 11:53 am
By: News On 6

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) -- The number of scholarships offered by the University of Oklahoma has nearly doubled during the past three years because of the success of a fundraising campaign, OU President David Boren said Wednesday.

Boren planned to formally inform university regents of the success of the Campaign for Scholarships during their meeting Wednesday afternoon in Lawton.

OU's original goal for the scholarship campaign was to raise $50 million over five years. By April 2006 -- a year into the campaign -- $50.6 million had been raised, so university officials increased the goal to $100 million.

Boren said that to date, the campaign has brought in $98 million, of which $61 million already has been received by the university. Of the funds received to date, $45 million has been endowed, with the interest earnings from the endowment being used to pay for the scholarships.

"This was the first year that our major new scholarship endowments generated a full year of interest, and it really made an impact on the student scholarship awards," Boren said.

Boren said he has heard from more parents and students this year who "have told me that the availability of new scholarships made it possible for them to come to OU or continue toward their degree."

OU awarded 4,630 privately funded scholarships in 2004, and that total has risen to more than 8,500 in 2007, university officials said.

Boren has emphasized the importance of scholarships in the past, especially with tuition costs rising annually. In June, OU regents approved tuition and mandatory fee hikes of nearly 10% for undergraduate students who will attend the university during the current school year.

Regents voted unanimously to raise tuition and mandatory fees for 30 credit hours by 9.7% for in-state students and 9.9% for out-of-state students. In-state students now pay $5,607 for 30 hours, while those from outside Oklahoma pay $14,721.

The scholarship campaign committee, led by chairman W.R. Howell, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of J.C. Penney, will meet in November and is expected to again raise the goal of the campaign. A secondary goal will be to bring the number of scholarship endowments to $100 million, Boren said.