CLAREMORE — In its annual higher education survey, U.S. News and World Report has noted Rogers State University students have among the lowest student debt load for regional college graduates.
RSU was the only Oklahoma public institution included in the “least debt” category for regional colleges in the west region, according to U.S. News and World Reports’ Best Colleges, 2013 edition released Wednesday. Oklahoma Wesleyan University, a private college, also was included in the regional college “least debt” list for the west region, while the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma was included among national liberal arts colleges.
“With stagnant state support for higher education not keeping pace with demand for college degrees, student loans have unfortunately become a fact of life for many Oklahomans attending college,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. “At RSU, we have worked hard to keep down the costs of attending the university, while increasing scholarship support from public and private sources.”
The U.S. News report noted that 63 percent of RSU’s class of 2011 graduated with some form of student debt, which includes all government, college or private loans. This was the lowest percentage of the three Oklahoma colleges noted in the “least debt” section of the report. At USAO, 65 percent of students graduated with some form of student loan debt, with 72 percent of graduating OWU students owing on student loans.
Of the 2011 RSU graduates with student loan debt, the average amount of debt was $18,989. OWU students reported $18,051 indebtedness, while USAO students showed $17,757 in student loan debt upon graduation.
The U.S. News data include loans taken out by students from their colleges, from private financial institutions, and from federal, state and local governments. Loans to parents are not included. The “average amount of debt” refers to the cumulative amount borrowed by students who incurred debt; it’s not an average for all students.
For more information about the U.S. News and World Report survey, visit www.usnews.com/colleges http://www.usnews.com/colleges .