Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools
In Fall of 2017, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education reported a total enrollment of 199,646 post-secondary students across the state, a 2 percent decrease from the previous year. To combat this decline, and to fuel the growth of online courses and degree programs, the state's regents created the Council for Online Learning Excellence (COLE). COLE works with Oklahoma colleges and universities to improve collaboration, provide resources, facilitate excellence in teaching and offer thought leadership in the world of hybrid and online higher education. The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and more than a dozen others are working with COLE to give students quality and affordable online degree options. Read on to learn more.
Best Online Colleges in Oklahoma
Prospective students looking for affordable online colleges can choose from many high-quality, accredited options in Oklahoma, where in-state and private tuition cost significantly less than the national average. To make education costs even more affordable, the state offers a variety of scholarships, grants, tuition waivers, and loan forgiveness programs.
This guide covers the best online colleges in Oklahoma. We also cover financial aid opportunities, student programs and resources, and the importance of accreditation.
City Spotlight: Colleges in Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, OK
Academic achievement stats for Oklahoma City demonstrate the importance of education for its residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 28 percent of Oklahoma City inhabitants hold a bachelor's degree or higher, which is similar to the national average and ahead of the state average. Oklahoma City also has a younger populace than the state as a whole. The city's colleges and universities offer flexible options to meet different student needs as well as a centralized portal with access to the state's online courses and programs.
Colleges and Universities in Oklahoma City
|Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City||15,332||$2,534||Public|
|University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center||4,483||$3,849||Public|
|Oklahoma City University||4,454||$24,740||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Mid-America Christian University||1,743||$13,680||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Oklahoma City Community College||22,522||$2,146||Public|
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How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Oklahoma?
Students can research online schools and colleges in Oklahoma by reviewing prospective institutions' websites. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education also provides many resources and services that can help online learners find the programs they need.
How Much More Do College Grads in Oklahoma Make?
Across the country, college graduates typically earn higher salaries than professionals without a degree. In Oklahoma, college graduates make higher salaries, participate in the labor force in higher numbers, and face lower levels of unemployment than professionals without a degree.
The following table highlights median annual earnings in the U.S. by level of educational attainment. Generally, the higher the degree a student earns, the higher the salary they make.
|Degree Level||Average Tuition|
|Less than High School||$28,756|
|High School (GED)||$37,960|
Paying for Online College in Oklahoma: Tuition and Financial Aid
In-state students at public universities in Oklahoma pay about $1,400 less in tuition each year than the national average. Private colleges in Oklahoma also charge less than average. However, out-of-state students at public universities in Oklahoma pay an extra $8,226 a year compared to the national average.
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities
|Tuition Type||Average Tuition|
|National Avg.||$9,037(In-State); $25,657(Out-of-State)|
Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities
|Tuition Type||Average Tuition|
Cost Considerations for Online Students in Oklahoma
The tables above do not include education expenses like room and board and cost differences for out-of-state students. The following list outlines important cost considerations for students beyond tuition.
Distance Learning Fees
Many schools charge a distance learning fee to online students to help pay for the cost of online course administration.
Some online colleges include electronic textbooks in the cost of tuition, while others require students to buy or rent course materials.
Distance learners should consider the technology costs necessary to complete online coursework, including computers, internet, and software programs.
Tuition Agreement for Out-of-State Students in Online Programs
Students should learn whether prospective schools offer tuition discounts to out-of-state online students. Some online programs charge all learners the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
Some online colleges require students to attend on-campus residencies. Requirements can range from one day to several weeks or more, which may include airfare, lodging, and food expenses
Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Oklahoma
To qualify for in-state tuition in Oklahoma, students typically must be financially independent adults who have lived continuously in the state for at least one year prior to the first day of class for a primary purpose other than to attend college. Oklahoma does not participate in any in-state reciprocity agreements with nearby states.
However, each school makes its own qualifications for in-state and out-of-state tuition. Students should check with prospective schools to learn about residency requirements for online learners.
The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Oklahoma
Prospective online students in Oklahoma should make sure to choose an accredited college. Accreditation demonstrates that a school meets high academic standards regarding faculty, curricula, student outcomes, and academic support services.
Regional and National AccreditationPostsecondary institutions can hold regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, technical and vocational schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Various independent accrediting bodies regionally accredit schools based on the school's location. The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation to colleges in Oklahoma.
Subject-Specific AccreditationPrograms within a school may also receive accreditation, such as business, counseling, and nursing programs. Some professions, like counseling and nursing, require individuals to graduate from an accredited program to qualify for licensure. Independent agencies, like the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, provide specialized accreditation to academic programs.
How to Know if Your School or Program is AccreditedMost schools and programs include accreditation information on their websites. Students can verify accreditation status through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which offers directories searchable by institution, program, and accreditor.
Online College and Adult Education in Oklahoma
Oklahoma offers many resources and programs for online adult learners. We cover several of these resources and opportunities in the following sections.
By the Numbers: Adult Education in Oklahoma
Working Adult Participants
Oklahoma's Reach Higher degree-completion program for working adults boasts more than 8,500 graduates, 15 workforce partners, and 22 participating institutions.
25 Years Old
Almost one in three Oklahoma undergraduate students is at least 25 years old.
Complete College America
Oklahoma substantially increased the number of residents with college degrees and career certificates by working with Complete College America, a national nonprofit.
Adult Education Programs for Oklahoma Students
- Reach Higher
- The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education offers flexible degree-completion programs for working adults in the state. Students can learn about degrees related to Oklahoma's 100 Critical Occupations.
- Free Test Preparation
- OK College Start's website includes a section for adult learners with free practice tests for students who want to earn a GED credential, HiSET, or TASC.
- Oklahoma Works
- Oklahoma Works offers education, training, resources, and job opportunities for Oklahomans. The program coordinates work-based learning, career pathways, and Oklahoma Works one-stop centers.
Online College Resources for Oklahoma Students
Current and prospective Oklahoma students can take advantage of many resources to support their studies. The following resources offer information on financial aid, program availability, and tutoring and mentoring opportunities.