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Online Colleges in Oklahoma

Most Affordable Online Colleges
Top Oklahoma Cities
School Interviews
James Dvorak
- Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, Oklahoma Christian University
"At Oklahoma Christian University (OC) we currently offer two online degree programs, but we are poised to launch additional programs in the online learning space."
See entire interview

Introduction

Even as Oklahoma enjoys a low unemployment rate compared to the national average, the lack of college degrees in the state could take its toll on the economy in the near future, according to a NewsOK article covering the 2013 Edmond Economic Preview. Figures presented by labor specialist Deidre Myers during the event show that, in order to sustain employment growth, Oklahoma needs 49 percent of the workforce to have vocational training or an associate degree, and 24 percent to hold a bachelor's degree.

Myers also pointed out that unemployment rates in the state are highest among those with less than a high school education, at about 7 percent. The rate drops to 5 percent for those with a high school diploma, 4 percent among those with an associate degree or vocational certificate, and 3 percent among those who hold a bachelor's degree.

In addition to state schools, national online colleges in Oklahoma are also available for those who want to explore online degree programs. Colleges such as Wichita Technical Institute, Brown Mackie College and National American University even have physical campuses in the state, allowing students to choose between a fully online degree or hybrid learning experience.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 3.7 million people who call Oklahoma home, and 1.6 million of them are part of the workforce. Among state residents who are 18 to 24 years old, 42 percent have some college or an associate degree, and nearly 7 percent have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. Among those older than 25, 24 percent started college but never earned a degree, while about 7 percent earned an associate degree, 15.6 percent earned a bachelor's degree and 7.7 percent have a graduate degree or higher.

Workers in Oklahoma earn, on average, about $19.20 an hour, for an annual mean wage of $39,940, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Salaries tend to be higher in the heavily populated metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and significantly lower in rural areas and smaller metropolitan regions like Lawton, located in the southwest corner of the state.

There are 44 private and public for-profit and nonprofit colleges and universities in Oklahoma where students can earn a bachelor's degree. Seventeen of those schools are public colleges and universities.

Most Affordable Colleges in Oklahoma

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Oklahoma that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2013-2014) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

Rogers State University

Tuition/Year
$5,351
Graduation Rate
21%
# of Online Degrees
9
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Rogers State is a four-year college in Claremore, with branches in Bartlesville and Pryor Creek, but its expanding list of online degree programs in Oklahoma has made many of its academic offerings available to the entire world. The school offers Associate's degrees online in Applied Technology; Business Administration; Liberal Arts, with options in either English or Global Humanities; and Computer Science. Its Bachelor's degree online programs include Liberal Arts, with options in English and Global Humanities; Business Administration; Business Information Technology; Organizational Leadership; and Applied Technology.
School Website: 
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2

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Tuition/Year
$5,642
Graduation Rate
31%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Northwestern Oklahoma State University allows students to complete four Bachelor's degree programs completely online. These programs include Accounting; Business Administration; Technical Management; and Nursing.
School Website: 
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3

Oklahoma State University

Tuition/Year
$7,442
Graduation Rate
60%
# of Online Degrees
18
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

In addition to offering a wide variety of online Bachelor's degree courses and an online Bachelor's degree program in Business Administration, OSU offers a number of graduate certificates and Master's degree programs online through its Distance Learning program. Master's degrees are offered in Agriculture; Agriculture Education; Business Administration; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Engineering and Management; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Engineering and Technology Management; Human Development and Family Science/Gerontology; Management Information Systems; Telecommunications Management; Human Environmental Science; and Nutritional Science. Its graduate certificates are offered in Business Data Mining; Information Assurance; Entrepreneurship; Non-profit Management; and Sustainable Business.
School Website: 
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4

The University of Oklahoma-Tulsa

Tuition/Year
$8,916
Graduation Rate
0%
# of Online Degrees
7
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of Oklahoma-Tulsa offers several of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs through an online-only format. These include online Bachelor's degree programs in Information Studies; Liberal Studies; and Criminal Justice. Its online Master's degree programs include Administrative Leadership; Health Services Administration; Museum Studies; and Prevention Science.
School Website: 
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5

University of Oklahoma

Tuition/Year
$8,916
Graduation Rate
66%
# of Online Degrees
10
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Through its Oklahoma University Outreach program, OU offers a number of Bachelor's and Master's degree programs online for students who can't attend on-the-ground classes at the main campus in Norman. Bachelor's degrees online are offered in Liberal Studies; Lifespan Care Administration; Administrative Leadership; World Cultural Studies; and Criminal Justice. Master's degrees are offered in Administrative Leadership; Human and Health Services Administration; Museum Studies; Prevention Science; and Criminal Justice.
School Website: 
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6

Southwestern Christian University

Tuition/Year
$14,220
Graduation Rate
30%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Southwestern Christian University offers a fully online Bachelor's degree program in Professional Leadership that is designed for both entry-level undergraduates and busy professionals who are already working, but want to study in their free time in order to improve their skills. What differentiates SCU's program is that the curriculum is "biblically informed" while still examining prominent business principles. The course offers four concentrations: Business, Management, Social Services and Christian Leadership.
School Website: 
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7

Mid-America Christian University

Tuition/Year
$15,688
Graduation Rate
22%
# of Online Degrees
16
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Mid-America offers all of its degree programs online, in 5- to 10-week courses that allow you to work at your own pace and when your schedule allows. It offers Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's degrees online. Its Associate's online degree program is in Arts and Ethics. Its online Bachelor's degree programs include Communication; Public Relations and Ethics; Criminal Justice Administration and Ethics; Business Administration; Health Care Administration; Management and Ethics; Management Information System and Ethics; Christian Ministries; and Psychology and Ethics. Its online Master's degree programs include Business Administration; Leadership; Business Management; Public Administration; Ministries; Counseling, Addiction and Substance Abuse; Counseling, Marital and Family Therapy; Counseling, Pastoral and Spiritual Direction; and Counseling.
School Website: 
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8

Oklahoma Christian University

Tuition/Year
$18,800
Graduation Rate
49%
# of Online Degrees
2
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

In order to meet a growing need for nontraditional degree programs, Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City recently added an online Bachelor's degree program in Nursing to go with its online Master's of Business Administration program.
School Website: 
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9

Oral Roberts University

Tuition/Year
$22,508
Graduation Rate
53%
# of Online Degrees
9
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Oral Roberts, founded and named after the famed religious leader, has also been a leader in online degree programs in Oklahoma. It offers undergraduate degrees in Business Administration; Christian Caregiving and Counseling; Church Ministries; Leadership Studies; Liberal Studies; Nursing; Biblical Literature; Government; and Communication.
School Website: 
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10

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Tuition/Year
$22,252
Graduation Rate
57%
# of Online Degrees
13
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Oklahoma Wesleyan, in Bartlesville, is a religion-centered university that includes five different colleges located on its sprawling campus. Its evangelical Christian approach to education is reflected in its online degree programs in Oklahoma. OWU offers online Bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice; Ministry & Leadership; Organizational Management & Ethics; Nursing; and General Studies. For Master's degrees, its fully online offerings include Education; Finance; Human Resources; Marketing; Nursing Management; Theology & Apologetics; Nursing; and Strategic Leadership.
School Website: 
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School Interviews

James Dvorak

James Dvorak, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, Oklahoma Christian University

Q. Can you overview your top degree program(s)?

At Oklahoma Christian University (OC) we currently offer two online degree programs, but we are poised to launch additional programs in the online learning space. Our College of Business Administration offers a MBA degree online. Students in this program may choose to study in one of eight specialty tracks (accounting, finance, health services management, human resources, leadership and organizational development, marketing, international business, and project management). The MBA degree is designed for the working adult and can be completed in one year.

OC's School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN program that is fully online. Students entering this program take an online orientation course in which they learn the ins and outs of the program, as well as how to use the technology they will be expected to use in the program. From there, students may take one to two courses every eight weeks, so as to offer both flexibility for working RNs as well as a way to complete the program in a timely manner.

Q. What advice do you have for prospective students about choosing an online program?

Understand that although online programs might offer more flexibility, they are not less rigorous academically than on-ground programs. Students in online programs must be self-motivated, good at establishing and maintaining a workable schedule, and not procrastinators. Also, since learning is a social phenomenon, it is crucial that online learners be intentional about engaging others in the online learning community to which they belong.

Q. What are your thoughts on the future of online learning?

There will likely be a substantial spike in competency based education (CBE) programs, particularly in disciplines that are skills based. Online learning ecosystems (e.g., learning management systems) will continue to improve, making it easier for the social aspect of learning to be realized in the online environment.


Shelly Wells

Shelly Wells, PhD, MBA, MS, APRN-CNS Chair - Division of Nursing, Associate Professor, Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Q. Can you overview your top degree program(s)?

We offer an online RN-to-BSN degree completion program. The program is designed for working RNs to complete the nursing courses for the BSN in 12 months with no traditional clinical hours required. The NWOSU program has been nationally recognized by CollegeAtlas.org for its affordability, accessibility, academic quality, and program outcomes.

Q. What advice do you have for prospective students about choosing an online program?

Any online program requires self-discipline and time management skills. When starting a course, be sure to carefully read the syllabus and course calendar. Plan your time wisely for the entire semester. Do not plan any vacations or trips that may interfere with your time plan. Be sure to check university email on a daily basis while enrolled in a course as many times that is the only way a course instructor has to communicate with you. Be sure to choose a program that is a good fit with your nursing philosophy.

Q. What are your thoughts on the future of online learning?

Online learning is here to stay as it affords the learner with a great deal of flexibility. Most adult learners are balancing family, job and school work, so flexibility is a necessity.

Top Cities For Students In Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mean Wage

$42,570

Average Cost of a House

$280,940

# of Employed People

600,000

Total Population

1,300,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$43,390

Economics

In the metropolitan area including Oklahoma City and surrounding towns, the nearly 600,000 workers earn an average of $20.47 an hour for an average annual salary of $42,570. Oklahoma City is home to the one of the most sizeable livestock markets in the work, and the local economy is also driven by industries related to oil, natural gas and petroleum products. The Cost of Living Index is 93.3 and the average cost of a home in Oklahoma City is $280,940.

Demographics

Oklahoma City provides roughly 40 percent of the state's workforce, and the overall population of the metropolitan area, which includes the 100,000 people in the college town of Norman, is 1.3 million people.

Fun Facts

Over the last 20 years, Oklahoma City has invested more than $5 billion in its city's quality of life, and city leaders are eager to show off their attractions. These include the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the national Softball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the OKC Zoo.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mean Wage

$41,670

Average Cost of a House

$193,595

# of Employed People

420,000

Total Population

950,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$45,717

Economics

In the Tulsa metropolitan area, wages are also above the state average, with the 420,000 workers earning an average of $20.04 per hour for an annual average wage of $41,670. Although it's landlocked, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, at the head of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, actually gives Tulsa access to international waterways, which has helped the city diversify its economy. The average cost of a house in Tulsa is $193,595, and the Cost of Living Index is 89.1.

Demographics

There are just under 400,000 residents in Tulsa, but the metropolitan area that includes the city and the surrounding towns has more than 950,000 residents. Tulsa's workers comprise 26 percent of the state's entire workforce.

Fun Facts

Tulsa, known as T-Town by Oklahomans, is considered a great place to catch live entertainment, and many visitors make a point to spend time in the Blue Dome Entertainment District; nine blocks of restaurants, pubs and boutiques. The Gilcrease Museum is a great place to get acquainted with Oklahoma's Native American heritage.

Lawton, Oklahoma

Mean Wage

$36,400

Average Cost of a House

$278,750

# of Employed People

41,000

Total Population

98,376

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$41,625

Economics

The third-largest metro area in Oklahoma is Lawton, which was founded in 1901 and built on former Indian reservation lands. The Lawton metropolitan area has 98,376 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and its 41,000 workers earn a mean hourly wage of $17.50 for an average annual income of $36,400 -- well below the state's averages. The economy of this region, about 90 miles south of Oklahoma City, is based on government, manufacturing and retail industries. The average cost of a house is $278,750 and the Cost of Living Index is 94.8.

Demographics

Lawton's 41,000 workers represent only 2 percent of the state's workforce. The largest employers are the school district, the local hospital, the city of Lawton and Cameron University. The federal government is also a major employer in the area.

Fun Facts

This part of Oklahoma is rich in wild areas, wildlife habitat and lakes. The nearby Wichita Mountains provide great hiking and camping, and lakes like Ellsworth, Lawtonka, Elmer Thomas, and Helen offer plenty of fishing, swimming and boating. The Museum of the Great Plains and the Comanche National Museum & Cultural Center are also worthwhile destinations in the area.

 
Other Oklahoma Resources

The Online College of Oklahoma is a great virtual resource for those interested in an online education. Through the site, students can browse online degree and course options offered by participating universities and community colleges in the state.


  1. "Bureau of Labor Statistics," Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ok.htm
    "Bureau of Labor Statistics", Economic News Release, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  2. College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=OK&ct=1&ic=1
  3. "C2ER," The Cost of Living Index, http://www.coli.org/
  4. James Dvorak, interview with the author, June 2015
  5. List of Oklahoma State University People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oklahoma_State_University_people
  6. List of University of Oklahoma people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Oklahoma_people
  7. Mid-America, http://www.macu.edu/admissions/online.html
  8. "NewsOK: More than meets the eye in Oklahoma job stats," http://newsok.com/more-than-meets-the-eye-in-oklahoma-job-stats/article/3750212
  9. Northwestern Oklahoma State University, http://www.nwosu.edu/online
  10. Notable alumni Northwestern Oklahoma State University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwestern_Oklahoma_State_University
  11. Notable alumni Oklahoma Christian University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_Christian_University#Notable_alumni
  12. Notable alumni Oklahoma Wesleyan University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_Wesleyan_University#Notable_alumni
  13. Notable alumni Oral Roberts University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_Roberts_University#Notable_alumni
  14. Oklahoma Christian University, https://www.oc.edu/news/oc-starts-online-rn-to-bsn-program
  15. Oklahoma City Things to Do, http://www.visitokc.com/things-to-do/itineraries/
  16. Oklahoma State University, http://ocampus.okstate.edu/dlearn.aspx?site=2
  17. Oral Roberts University, http://www.oru.edu/academics/online_campus/accredited_bachelor_degrees/
  18. Rogers State University, http://www.rsu.edu/rsuonline/degrees.asp
  19. Shelly Wells, interview with the author, June 2015
  20. Southwestern Christian University, http://elearning.swcu.edu/index.php
  21. Top 10 Things to Do in Tulsa, http://www.travelok.com/article_page/top-10-things-to-do-in-tulsa
  22. University of Oklahoma, http://www.ou.edu/content/cls/future_students/undergrad/bals.html
  23. University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, http://www.ou.edu/tulsa/degree_programs.html
  24. "U.S. Census Bureau," American Fact Finder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml