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Online Colleges in Oklahoma

Most Affordable Online Colleges
   Page Contents

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 Online Colleges in Oklahoma

The following list ranks the six 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.

Most Affordable Four-Year Online College in Oklahoma

1

Rogers State University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,521
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
47.05%
Institution Type
Public

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 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: 
GO
2

Oklahoma State University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,425
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
27.37%
Institution Type
Public

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; Nonprofit Management; and Sustainable Business.

School Website: 
GO
3

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$4,898
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
51.71%
Institution Type
Public

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: 
GO
4

Southwestern Christian University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$11,160
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
46.86%
Institution Type
Private

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: 
GO
5

Mid-America Christian University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$15,072
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
70.31%
Institution Type
Private

About

Mid-America offers all of its degree programs — associate, bachelor's and master's — online, in 5- to 10-week courses that allow you to work at your own pace and when your schedule allows. Its associate online degree program is in Arts and Ethics. Its online bachelor's programs range from communication; criminal justice administration and ethics; business administration; health care administration; management and ethics; Christian ministries; and psychology and ethics. Its online master's programs include business administration; leadership; public administration; counseling, addiction and substance abuse; counseling, marital and family therapy; and counseling, pastoral and spiritual direction.

School Website: 
GO
6

Oklahoma Christian University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$19,120
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19.07%
Institution Type
Private

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: 
GO

College Accreditation in Oklahoma

Students wanting to attend school in Utah can check with the U.S. Department of Education to see if their school of choice has accreditation through a U.S. Department of Education recognized agency. These agencies do in-depth reviews of schools to ensure that they meet certain standards in education before granting them accreditation.

In Utah, the regional accrediting agency is the:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities oversees regional accreditation is seven states in all. Students who find that the Washington college of their choice is not accredited by this commission can check with the U.S. Department of Education to determine if their school is accredited through another recognized agency.

School Interviews

James Dvorak
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.

James Dvorak

Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning

Oklahoma Christian University

Q. Can you give an overview of 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
Online learning is here to stay as it affords the learner with a great deal of flexibility.

Shelly Wells

PhD, MBA, MS, APRN-CNS Chair - Division of Nursing, Associate Professor

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Q. Can you give an overview of 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, OK Metro Area

Total Population

1,318,408

Median salary for high school grads

$27,210

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$45,024

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

29.2%

Median rent

$785

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, OK Metro Area

Total Population

962,676

Median salary for high school grads

$28,786

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$45,696

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

21.8%

Median rent

$759

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, OK Metro Area

Total Population

131,643

Median salary for high school grads

$25,019

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$41,978

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

28.5%

Median rent

$779

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.

 
Article Sources

Sources:

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