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Small college in Chickasha named best regional value by national magazine

U.S. News and World Report's college rankings garnered the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha national attention as a great buy, while naming Oral Roberts University in Tulsa to the undesirable list of schools that are graduating seniors with the most debt.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Published: August 18, 2010

Two of Oklahoma's smaller universities ranked high on lists in the U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges released Tuesday: one for its excellent academic value and the other for not-so-excellent student debt rates.

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, a small liberal arts school in Chickasha, is considered by the magazine to be the Best Value among regional colleges in the Western United States.

Oral Roberts University — a faith-based private university in Tulsa — ranked among the worst in the nation for student debt after graduation.

The magazine reported that about half of ORU students graduate with debt, and of those, the average debt is $49,007.

"Of course we are concerned about our students graduating with debt," said Nancy Brainard, ORU's vice president of enrollment management. "When we work through the admissions process with our students we have counselors in place to work with them on their borrowing."

Tuition at ORU for incoming freshmen is roughly $28,348 a year.

"It speaks of the attractiveness of ORU to a diverse socio-economic group," Brainard said. "They may borrow and sacrifice, but because of the investment they make, their children might not have to."

Meanwhile, President John Feaver at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma was celebrating a rush in media attention for his university's ranking as the Best Value for regional colleges in the west.

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Top schools

Here are the Oklahoma universities and colleges listed among the best by U.S. News and World Report.

Best National Colleges

University of Tulsa, No. 93.

University of Oklahoma, No. 111.

Oklahoma State University, No. 132.

Second-tier schools not assigned a ranking:

Oral Roberts University.

Best Regional Universities

Oklahoma City University, No. 25.

Oklahoma Christian University, No. 44.

Second-tier regional schools not assigned a ranking:

Cameron University.

East Central University.

Northeastern State University.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

University of Central Oklahoma.

Best Regional Colleges

Oklahoma Baptist University, No. 2.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University, No. 6.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University, No. 23.

St. Gregory's University, No. 25.

Oklahoma Panhandle State University, No. 26.

Second-tier schools not assigned a ranking:

Bacone College.

Langston University.

Mid-America Christian University.

Rogers State University.


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