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OU Ranks No. 1 for National Merit Scholars

For the second time in history, the University of Oklahoma ranks No. 1 in the nation in enrollment of freshman National Merit Scholars.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2017

            NORMAN – For the second time in history, the University of Oklahoma ranks No. 1 in the nation in enrollment of freshman National Merit Scholars, with 279 scholars enrolled in the fall 2016 class. OU outranked all public and private universities this year, including universities like the University of Chicago and Harvard University, which placed second and third, respectively. Other leading schools that ranked below OU include Stanford University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Duke University.

“National Merit Scholars lift the academic performance of all students. They help attract outstanding faculty members to the institution,” said OU President David L. Boren. “They are catalysts for excellence and impact the entire university. This year OU set a major record with a retention rate among scholars who came as freshman of 95 percent.”

            OU is the only public university in U.S. history to ever rank first among both public and private universities in the number of freshman National Merit Scholars. OU previously ranked No. 1 overall in 2014 with 313 freshman scholars.   

The rankings mark the fourth consecutive year that OU is No. 1 among all public institutions in freshman National Merit Scholar enrollment. OU’s enrollment of 279 freshman scholars exceeds the public institution in second place, University of California, Berkeley, by over 100 scholars.

The rankings for the fall 2016 class were recently released as part of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s annual report.