National report praises Oklahoma's four-year colleges for efficiency but says two-year schools lag

Oklahoma's four-year colleges and universities get high marks for efficiency and cost-effectiveness in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report released this week. But two-year colleges in the state didn't fare as well in the report, lagging behind similar institutions in nearby states.
by Silas Allen Published: June 20, 2012
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Oklahoma's four-year colleges and universities got high marks for efficiency and cost-effectiveness in a national report released Tuesday.

But two-year colleges in the state didn't fare as well, lagging behind similar institutions in nearby states.

The report, “Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Public Postsecondary Education,” comes from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce.

The report gives states' four-year and two-year schools letter grades in criteria including efficiency and cost-effectiveness, transparency and accountability and student access and success.

Oklahoma's four-year schools received a B for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The report noted the average cost of completion at Oklahoma's four-year schools is $57,201, placing Oklahoma in the top 10 nationally.

Oklahoma's grade put it ahead of every state it borders except Texas and Colorado, whose four-year schools were graded A for efficiency.

Oklahoma's two-year colleges received a D for efficiency. The report cited a high average cost of completion. Along with state and local funding levels, Oklahoma ranks in the bottom third of states, according to the report.

That grade placed Oklahoma's two-year schools behind those of every state it borders except New Mexico, which also received a D for efficiency.

Andrew Kelly, one of the report's researchers, said the study was based on an analysis of data from the National Center for Education Statistics and a review of states' higher education policies.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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