Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

February 2013

USAO Tops National College Value List for Affordability


Bailey Grogg, a student at USAO, attends the college debt-free.

Bailey Grogg, a sophomore political science major from Midwest City, attends USAO debt-free with a mixture of financial aid, merit-based institutional scholarships and other awards from civic organizations. Scholarships and financial aid cover more than 65 percent of the average students’ cost of attendance at USAO, which has been named for the second year to Kiplinger’s Top Values in Public Colleges list.

For the second year in a row, a national financial institution has rated the University of Science and Arts as the most affordable institution on its Top Values in Public Colleges list.

Kiplinger's, a Washington D.C.-based financial think tank, publishes this list, independent of university solicitations, each year as a service to its readers.

Colleges and universities are ranked on the list according to a number of criteria including cost, admittance selectivity and graduation rates based on information that is available to the public.

Three Oklahoma universities in all earned a spot on the list including the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

“USAO is proud to join Oklahoma’s two research universities on this independently generated report that emphasizes value,” said USAO President John Feaver. “It reflects strong leadership from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the governor’s office and the legislature in placing such a high premium on results-based education.”

USAO’s success is tied to its unique mission, says academic vice president Dex Marble.

"It is especially gratifying when independent observers recognize the mission that drives USAO to hold itself to a high standard. We believe the people of Oklahoma are enriched by an institution that identifies rigor, affordability, accessibility and relevance as the most important qualities that we can provide to our student body, our community and our employers, the taxpayer."

This latest ranking continues a pattern of national recognition for USAO, Oklahoma's only public liberal arts university.

In October, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni awarded the university an 'A' grade for the breadth of its core curriculum in its annual "What Will They Learn?" survey for the second year in a row.
USAO was one of only 21 universities to earn that distinction nationwide this year and the only Oklahoma university so acknowledged.

In September, Washington Monthly magazine ranked USAO third in the nation for economic empowerment among public liberal arts universities in its 2013 list.

This ranking takes numerous factors including percentage of students receiving need-based financial aid, what percentage of student cost is addressed by scholarships and financial aid and what percentage of students are first-generation degree seekers.

2012 also marked the second year that USAO was ranked among national liberal arts colleges in U.S. News’ Best Colleges Guide.

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