Enrolling in Oklahoma online college programs offers many exciting opportunities. Earning a degree prepares you for a range of job opportunities and sets you apart for higher-paying jobs. Pursuing an online degree in your home state proves especially beneficial. As an Oklahoman, you can take advantage of cheaper, in-state tuition rates as well as many enriching opportunities for networking and professional development.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Oklahoma
Online College of Oklahoma
The Online College of Oklahoma was created in 1998 by the Oklahoma State Board of Regents in response to a growing need for distance learning options. The Online College of Oklahoma (OCO) exists as a database of online courses available through online schools in Oklahoma and traditional universities. The OCO provides direct access to more than 3,400 online courses and 18 complete degree programs. Students can search for online college courses in Oklahoma through the site, then enroll directly with individual colleges and universities.
Reach Higher exists as a program for adults looking to complete their degrees. Working adults who wish to finish their associate or bachelor’s degree can apply to the program and choose between online or on-campus course options. Adults need at least 18 hours of college credit to begin the associate degree program and 72 hours to start the bachelor’s degree program. The program offers flexible enrollment periods five times per year and personalized schedules.
Oklahoma Connections Academy
Oklahoma Connections Academy exists as a public, tuition-free K-12 school that operates completely online. Students can learn from any location with an internet connection through individualized learning programs. Learners receive state-approved curriculum taught by state-certified teachers. The academy also offers in-person learning activities, such as field trips, clubs, and group activities. The Oklahoma Connections Academy stands out as a major development for Oklahoma education and a huge step for the state’s online learning.
Popular Degrees in Oklahoma
Agriculture, bioscience, petroleum engineering, and food manufacturing rise as just a few of Oklahoma’s staple industries. The various fields that support these industries make up a large part of the state’s economy. The degrees conferred by online colleges in Oklahoma often reflect these economic realities. Prospective learners should keep this in mind as they research Oklahoma community college online courses and select a major that leads them to future success.
- Business Management and Administration: This major prepares learners for high-level business management positions in a variety of fields and industries, including those specific to Oklahoma’s state economy. Degree seekers learn to supervise and oversee large-scale business operations that prepare them to lead an effective and successful organization.
- Petroleum Engineering: This major prepares degree seekers for entry into the energy manufacturing field. This includes the production of both crude oil and natural gas, primary economic exports in Oklahoma. The course of study introduces learners to the field in general and allows them to specialize in specific subfields or industries that align with their individual interests.
Paying for College in Oklahoma
Paying for college without accruing large sums of debt remains a major concern, even for students considering the cheapest online college in Oklahoma. When researching online colleges in Oklahoma, students must consider financial realities alongside their educational and career aspirations. These realities include tuition rates and other education-related expenses as well as financial aid to help offset costs.
Fortunately, tuition rates for online colleges in Oklahoma remain relatively low, according to the latest data. The average cost of in-state tuition sits below the national average for both public two-year and public four-year institutions. While you might find these rates appealing, remember that tuition costs exclude other expenses such as rent, food, and books.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Oklahoma
Achieving gainful employment requires intentional planning and long-term strategy. Potential degree seekers should keep tuition costs, general job outlook, and their individual career goals in mind as they weigh their options. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the unemployment rate in Oklahoma sits just below the national average. The state’s annual mean wage also hovers below the national average. Given these realities, the overall employment prospects for Oklahomans holding online degrees remains encouraging as salary and employment rate tend to increase with formal higher education.
Accreditation for Colleges in Oklahoma
Accreditation remains an important factor when considering online colleges in Oklahoma. Higher education accreditation exists as a quality assurance process that ensures that institutions meet acceptable standards of quality and excellence. Private agencies normally administer accreditation with the aid and oversight of federal and state government entities.
There are two types of accreditation to keep in mind. Regional accreditation is typically granted to nonprofit institutions such as public, state-owned colleges and universities with an academic focus. A regional body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) administers regional accreditation. National accreditation is administered by a body that is also recognized by the CHEA and the ED. However, this accreditation type is usually granted to for-profit career, vocational, or technical schools. Regional accreditation is an older, generally more prestigious process due to its rigorous standards and long institutional history.
Accreditation for online colleges in Oklahoma functions the same as traditional, residential education. Regional accreditation remains the most important factor when vetting schools. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is recognized by the ED and the CHEA, stands out as Oklahoma’s primary regional accreditation body. Students can rest assured that accredited online colleges in Oklahoma that receive their status from the HLC remain valid, reliable institutions with legitimate degrees.
Scholarships for Oklahoma Online College Students
When considering Oklahoma online college programs, remember that scholarships and grants help reduce tuition costs. Most institutions provide some form of financial aid specific to their student body. Learners can explore many external opportunities, with several especially suited for Oklahomans.
- Orner-Cook Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award assists graduating seniors of Oklahoma high schools as they further advance their academic careers. Applicants must maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA.
- Rev. Kenneth King Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This one-time scholarship assists students who live in Oklahoma’s rural areas. Interested students must possess an unweighted 3.0 GPA and SAT or ACT scores of at least 1200 or 22, respectively.
- Maximum Independence Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Oklahoma, this scholarship supports 15 high school seniors each year. Eligible applicants must reside within the Goodwill service area and must enroll as first-time students upon application.
- PMI Tulsa Chapter Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Awarded annually, this award helps Oklahomans achieve academic success in project management and related fields. Applicants must live in northeastern Oklahoma and maintain an interest in project management or an adjacent field.
- Jimmie L Dean Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports Oklahoma natives who exemplify the values of hard work, individual responsibility, and education. Individuals stand eligible to apply after living in Oklahoma for six consecutive years. They must plan to pursue higher education within the state.
Amount: Up to $10,000 (renewable)
- May T. Henry Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Sponsored in part by Central National Bank, this award supports students entering any field of study within the state. High school graduates planning to attend an accredited Oklahoma college or university may apply.
- Jason C. Wagner Foundation Scholarships
Who Can Apply: This need-based scholarship remains set aside for Oklahoma students intending to pursue higher education within the state. Eligible applicants must reside in the state and attend an accredited Oklahoma institution.
- WEOKIE Foundation Scholarships
Who Can Apply: The WEOKIE Foundation awards up to 25 scholarships to qualifying students each year to support higher education throughout the state. Applicants must complete an online application and submit a written essay of no more than two pages.
- PFLAG Norman Scholarship
Who Can Apply: PFLAG advocates for LGBTQ+ rights through legislation and by supporting higher education. Eligible applicants must hail from Norman and either be LGBTQ+ or demonstrate a commitment to furthering equality.
- OGE Energy Corp. Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award supports Oklahoma students within the OGE service area. Eligible learners must maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA and possess either a minimum ACT score of 25 or a minimum SAT score of 1200. Students interested in entering the energy field receive preference.
Amount: $15,000 (renewable)
Resources for Students in Oklahoma
- Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education: Formed in 1941, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education stands out as the state’s official board of higher education coordination. The group prescribes and enforces academic standards throughout Oklahoma and manages many scholarships and special programs. The body promotes college access, financial literacy, and strives to increase financial aid awareness.
- Oklahoma State Department of Education: The Oklahoma State Department of Education serves as the state’s primary education entity. The organization provides important resources to educators and learners, and collaborates with higher education institutions to ensure high levels of access and quality assurance. The department allocates funds to both schools and various entities that bestow financial aid to degree seekers.
- Oklahoma GEAR UP: This organization promotes college preparedness across Oklahoma. The group provides students, teachers, and families with the resources necessary to make responsible higher education decisions. GEAR UP endeavors to ensure that every learner can pursue an appropriate and affordable path.
- Oklahoma College Access Network: This centralized hub works in conjunction with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The group aims to increase college access and overall higher education awareness through networking opportunities, best practices, and professional development events. The group also coordinates resources across various schools, nonprofits, and college preparation programs.
- Oklahoma College Assistance Program: This program provides resources related to college access, financial aid and literacy, and student loan management. A subdivision of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the program strives to build career outlook aspirations, provide effective debt counseling, and empower learners and their families to reach their educational goals.
Online Schools in Oklahoma
- Graduation Rate: 10%
- Average Net Price: $23,100
- Graduation Rate: 19%
- Average Net Price: $11,276
East Central University
- Graduation Rate: 33%
- Average Net Price: $8,462
Northeastern State University
- Graduation Rate: 30%
- Average Net Price: $9,091
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
- Graduation Rate: 31%
- Average Net Price: $8,770
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
- Graduation Rate: 62%
- Average Net Price: $14,835
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
- Graduation Rate: 45%
- Average Net Price: $22,395
Oral Roberts University
- Graduation Rate: 51%
- Average Net Price: $20,684
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, OK
- Graduation Rate: N/A
- Average Net Price: $7,446
Rogers State University
- Graduation Rate: 20%
- Average Net Price: $13,876
- Graduation Rate: 9%
- Average Net Price: $16,232
Southern Nazarene University
- Graduation Rate: 40%
- Average Net Price: $19,350
Southwestern Christian University
- Graduation Rate: 23%
- Average Net Price: $17,906
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
- Graduation Rate: 35%
- Average Net Price: $11,114