The University of Oklahoma continues to receive record applications for admission and will raise the required standards again for next year.
Last fall, 3,748 freshmen set an enrollment record at the University. In the future, OU will limit the size of the freshmen class to around 3,700 and will use higher admission standards to due so.
Acording to Paul Bell, OU's Vice Provost of Instruction, there is currently a two tied admission system in place, with out of state students needing a minimum score of 24 on the ACT, (or a high school GPA of 3.0 or better, or ranking in the top 25% of their graduating class). For fall of 2003, these standards will also apply to Oklahoma students. Those falling just short, with an ACT of 22 or better, will be placed on a waiting list. (There are currently several hundred incoming 2002 freshmen on a waiting list).
The increase in applications is a direct result of the decade long plan by President David Boren to dramactically improve the quality of education at OU and place it among the top fifty universities in the country. The recently completed "Reach for Excellence Campaign" raised raised several hundred million dollars in private donations, was responsible for dramatically increasing the number of endowed teaching positions and brought favorable national publicity to the insitution.
Since leaving the US Senate to become OU President, Boren has raised almost a billion dollars in private funds for the university and has used his influence to establish a national connection, persuading many noted scholars and former high level government officials to join the faculty in Norman.
OU officials also recognize that the high profile success of the school's athletic teams also has had a positive effect on both on applications and academic donations, as OU is more frequently mentioned in the national media.