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Degree Completion  

Oklahoma’s college graduation rates of full-time students continue to improve. Six-year graduation rates of entering freshmen at the research universities increased from 54.7 percent in 2000 to 60.2 percent in 2003. Regional universities increased from 35.7 percent to 38.3 percent, and three-year graduation rates at the community colleges increased from 28.5 percent to 32.8 percent during the same period. Graduation rates vary by type of institution due to selectivity and mission; therefore, community colleges have the lowest graduation rates primarily due to open admissions policies.

Six-Year Graduation Rate Within the State, 1999-00 to 2002-03. In 1999-2000, research tier was 54.7%, regional was 35.7% and community was 28.5%. In 2000-2001, research tier was 56.0%, regional was 38.2% and community was 29.7%.  In 2001-2002, research tier was 60.1%, regional was 37.7% and community was 32.2%. In 2002-2003, research tier was 60.2%, regional was 38.3% and community was 32.8%.

The number of degrees awarded at state colleges and universities has increased since the inception of the Brain Gain initiative in 1999. The initiative includes performance funding where the State Regents allocate a portion of state appropriations according to the institution’s performance in student retention and number of degrees produced.

Brain Gain: Degrees From Oklahoma Public Colleges and Universities, 1999-00 to 2002-03.	In 1999-2000, research tier was 89.6%, regional was 78.9% and community was 67.6%.  In 2000-2001, research tier was 89.8%, regional was 79.2% and community was 66.9%.  In 2001-2002, research tier was 91.0%, regional was 79.9% and community was 67.6%.  In 2002-2003, research tier was 90.8%, regional was 79.7% and community was 68.6%.

In 2004, the State Regents developed Brain Gain improvement grants to assist state colleges and universities with initiatives that would further increase student retention and degrees earned at their institutions.

Preparation of High School Students

College Attendance

Benefits of Higher Education


Degree Completion

Resources & Funding


OSUIT student.
Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.