OKLAHOMA CITY – In the past five years, the average total cost of attending an in-state public school has risen 22 percent, even after taking inflation into account, according to the College Board. The average in-state tuition and fees at a four-year public university rose 6.6 percent to $6,185 this academic year, and average total costs, including room and board, rose 5.9 percent to $13,589. Many high school students, and their parents, are looking for any additional scholarships and grants that can help ease the pain of paying soaring tuition prices.

 The Oklahoma Heritage Association’s Scholarship Competition provides an extra opportunity for Oklahoma high school students to earn scholarships and grants for college. With more than $400,000 available to students statewide, the OHA offers $1,000 in cash or tuition grants to students in each county who earn high scores on an Oklahoma history test.  

 “This program is designed to reward Oklahoma students who have taken an interest in the rich history of our great state,” said Shannon Nance, Oklahoma Heritage Association president.  “It also encourages Oklahoma students to stay in state to attend college and hopefully remain here to live and work after receiving their degrees.”

Individual donors and Oklahoma colleges and universities provide the cash scholarships and tuition grants in the counties of their choice. Both Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma Christian University have made tuition waivers available in all 77 counties. 

The test will be given on Saturday, April 11 at 16 locations across the state.  Students in grades nine through 12 are eligible to take the exam, and all students must pre-register by Friday, March 27.

In addition to the Oklahoma Heritage Scholarship Competition, the Oklahoma Heritage Association offers the four-year, $10,000 John W. and Mary D. Nichols Scholarship.  As the name implies, John and Mary Nichols of Oklahoma City generously fund the scholarship.  The Nichols scholarship is given to a high school senior who has not only demonstrated that he or she has paid attention in Oklahoma history classes, but also excelled in academics, citizenship and leadership.  The student must also commit to attend college in Oklahoma.  Students must be nominated for the scholarship by an adult, and the deadline is Friday, March 6. 

To see a list of scholarships available in each county, to register for the test, to download a study guide or to download the Nichols Scholarship nomination form, visit www.oklahomaheritage.com or call 405.235.4458. 

For information about becoming a scholarship donor, call Gini Moore Campbell, director of publications and education, at 405.523.3202.

The Oklahoma Heritage Association preserves Oklahoma’s history and inspires pride in the state by supporting education, celebrating the accomplishments of Oklahomans and leading the industry in publishing books on Oklahoma history. Through each of its programs and the new Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, the OHA is dedicated to telling Oklahoma’s story through its people.