All-State Nomination Criteria

All-State Nomination Criteria

Nominees are responsible for ensuring that all information, including that requested from third parties (e.g. student transcripts, verification of eligibility and directed recommendations), is submitted via the online portal by 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 3. Incomplete nominations, including those missing any information requested from a third party, will not be forwarded to the Selection Committee and will not be considered.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence recognizes 100 outstanding public high-school seniors through their selection, by an independent committee, as Academic All-State scholars. Honorees will each receive a $1,000 scholarship and will be recognized at the Academic Awards Banquet, to be held at the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa on May 15, 2021.

In submitting a nomination, nominees commit themselves (if selected) to be included in any publicity related to the award and to attend the event where the award will be conferred. If a conflict arises, winners must notify the Foundation for Excellence immediately.

Basic Criteria:

An Academic All-State scholar is a student who has demonstrated academic excellence and who has excelled within his or her own particular learning environment.

Currently enrolled Oklahoma public high-school seniors who meet any one of these five criteria are eligible for this award.

1) composite ACT score of at least 30*

2) combined SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math score of at least 1370*

3) National Merit Scholarship Program semi-finalist

4) National Achievement Scholarship Program semi-finalist

5) National Hispanic Scholar Awards Program semi-finalist

*test scores must be from a single test date on a national or district-contracted testing day.

Given the unique circumstances surrounding ACT and SAT testing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the alternative criterion listed below is available to students who were unable to take the ACT and/or SAT in 2020. Students who took or are taking the ACT and/or SAT in 2020 but did not receive the minimum required score are NOT eligible for this alternative.

  • In lieu of a score as described in criteria 1 or 2, the student’s principal must certify that the student was unable to take a test due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the student ranks in the top 4% (GPA cumulative) of their senior class.

In addition to the minimum criteria, students will be evaluated on the basis of their leadership abilities, motivation, academic achievement and character as maximized within each student’s learning environment.

The following information will be necessary to complete the online nomination process:

  • Nominee’s name, mailing address and qualifications, including GPA, class rank and standardized test scores
  • A current official high school transcript of all completed courses, in .pdf format
  • Verification by school principal or district superintendent that nominee meets the Basic Criteria for nomination as stated above
  • A list of courses in progress
  • A list of academic honors in high school
  • A list of extracurricular and community activities, clubs, honors and sports, including any leadership positions and highlighting any national recognitions
  • An essay of no more than 500 words, written by the nominee, on the following topic: “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”– American-Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, U.S. Poet Laureate & winner of Nobel Prize in Literature
    What books have you read that influenced you? What specific things did you learn from them, and why would you recommend them to other students?
  • A total of two directed recommendations

One recommendation must be written by a teacher who has instructed the nominee within the past twelve months. The other may be written by any other person who is not a family member. This person must know the nominee well enough to complete the recommendation with specificity. This includes, but is not limited to, a past or present teacher. The directed recommendation format has been designed to elicit specific information regarding the nominee. Recommendations are limited to 500 words and must include the following:

    1. Your name, address, position and the role in which you know the nominee.
    2. Give an example of an accomplishment that demonstrates leadership and/or character by the nominee.
    3. How has this nominee taken advantage of the academic opportunities within his or her environment?
    4. Give an example of the nominee’s motivation toward excellence in life.

“The way teachers were honored for their work in student’s lives really resonated with me, and I was left with gratitude. These are a group of special people who chose their work not for the salary, but to pour into the next generation’s lives. After the Academic Awards Banquet, I was humbled and went home and wrote thank-you notes to my teachers. Thank you, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence!”