U.S. News lists Northwestern as top-ranked Oklahoma Regional University

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U.S. News lists Northwestern as top-ranked Oklahoma Regional University

August 20, 2009

For the third consecutive year, Northwestern Oklahoma State University is the highest ranked public regional university in Oklahoma, according to the latest America’s Best Colleges edition of U.S. News and World Report.

The magazine ranked Northwestern in the third tier of the best baccalaureate colleges in the western region of the United States. Northwestern is the only Oklahoma public regional institution to achieve third tier ranking. Other regional universities were ranked in the fourth tier of baccalaureate or master’s degree universities.

The third tier ranking placed Northwestern in the top 20 to 25 of all baccalaureate colleges in the west.

U.S. News also listed Northwestern as the second-ranked baccalaureate college in the western United States in terms of least debt load of graduating students. Only 51 percent of Northwestern students graduated with debt, averaging $11,541 per student. The percentage of students graduating with debt has dropped five percentage points in two years. The dollar amount of average debt also dropped $96.

The low amount of student debt also placed Northwestern in the top 10 nationally in this category.

“We are pleased to be recognized for the overall quality of the institution and for the commitment we have made in terms of affordability,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “The ranking that reflects our low student debt is particularly gratifying and is a direct result of the Alva Incentive Program sales tax and the generosity of our alumni and friends.”

The annual rankings use data in several categories including graduation rates, retention rates, ACT/SAT scores and student/faculty ratio. The rankings also rely heavily on peer assessment, or the opinion of other schools about Northwestern.