What does the financial well-being look like for students of Oklahoma’s largest universities? With the fall semester approaching, many students and parents have college on their minds.
Student debt is one of the most pressing problems facing the United States, and this fall, tuition is increasing at all of Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities. Tuition and mandatory fees will increase an average of 8.4 percent, according to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
A few years ago, the U.S. Department of Education launched College Scorecard, which made cost-related information easily accessible to the public. The website helps students choose a college that best meets their financial needs.
The Frontier analyzed data from 10 Oklahoma colleges with the largest student bodies. The majority of the colleges are public, four-year universities, with the exception of the University of Tulsa, which is a private institution.
Tulsa Community College, Oklahoma City Community College and Rose State College are two-year colleges, which could affect debt per year of education.
In 2015, more than half of Oklahoma’s students left college with debt. The median debt for students at graduation range from $9,750 at Rose State College, to $25,000 at the University of Tulsa. It should be noted that private institutions, such as TU, tend to be more expensive.
We calculated the typical debt per year for each university. Variations can be seen depending on whether the college is a two or four-year institution. The figures include only federal loans, meaning private and Parent PLUS loans are excluded.
Many students turn to federal students loans to help pay for college. At Northeastern State University, 52 percent of students borrowed. At Oklahoma City Community College, only 24 percent of students took out federal loans.
After college, graduates are faced with paying off their debts. The table below shows the percentage of students who repaid at least $1 of their debts within three years of finishing school. At the University of Oklahoma, 88 percent of students repaid at least $1 on their loans, while 50 percent of students at Oklahoma City Community College did.
The accompanying table show graduates’ median earnings 10 years after entering school, which ranges from $31,200 to $46,600. The figures are for former students who received federal loans only.