Online colleges in Oklahoma serve tens of thousands of students each year, offering associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees online. Oklahoma’s higher education options include 67 colleges and universities, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). With 17 public four-year institutions and 14 public two-year institutions — plus 17 private nonprofit schools and 19 for-profit schools — students considering enrolling in online schools in Oklahoma benefit from many choices.
This article ranks the best online colleges in Oklahoma and the cheapest online colleges in Oklahoma. It also provides an overview of online learning in the state, tuition discount opportunities for out-of-state students, and job outlook information for Oklahoma college graduates. Students considering Oklahoma community college online courses or university online college courses in Oklahoma can also use the list of scholarships to review their options.
But before we look at the best online colleges in Oklahoma, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Oklahoma today.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Oklahoma
Oklahoma benefits from a strong presence of higher education institutions. In Oklahoma, 67 institutions offer postsecondary degrees, according to the NCES. Of those institutions, 31 represent public schools, 17 represent private non-profit institutions, and the remaining 19 represent for-profit colleges and universities. These statistics also include accredited online colleges in Oklahoma. The state’s higher education institutions provide valuable services for hundreds of thousands of students. In 2016, 208,350 students attended a degree-granting postsecondary institution in the state of Oklahoma.
- 31 public
- 17 non-profit
- 19 for-profit
Tuition rates in Oklahoma vary depending on the institution. According to College Board, college students at Oklahoma public, four-year institutions paid an average in-state tuition rate of $8,750 in 2017/2018. A community college typically serves as the cheapest online college in Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s flagship public university, the University of Oklahoma, charged a tuition rate of $11,763 for in-state students during the 2018/2019 school year and an out-of-state tuition rate of $27,144. Students attending one of the online colleges in Oklahoma may benefit from tuition discounts or in-state tuition rates depending on their state of residence.
Oklahoma college students pay for their degrees through a variety of funding sources. Many Oklahoma students benefit from financial aid in the form of loans, scholarships, and grants. For example, the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant provided $18.7 million in need-based grants to undergraduates during the 2015/2016 academic year. Overall, Oklahoma students received over $105 million in need-based and other grants in 2015/2016.
The State of Online Higher Education in Oklahoma
Online higher education serves over 70,000 Oklahoma students, according to a 2017 Online Learning Survey. In Oklahoma, 73,510 students took at least one online course in 2017, which equals 34.9% of the total student body — exceeding the national average of just under 30%. Most of the online students enrolled as undergraduates, with about 66,000 undergraduate students compared to approximately 7,500 graduate students. In addition, roughly 25,000 students completed all of their college courses online, representing approximately 20,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. Over 81% of the fully online students live in Oklahoma, with the rest enrolling from outside of Oklahoma.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Many online colleges in Oklahoma provide tuition discounts for out-of-state students. Oklahoma online college programs may offer tuition breaks for fully online students, or students may qualify for in-state tuition rates at public institutions through a program organized by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
SREB works to improve education in Oklahoma and other member states: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. In Oklahoma, SREB works with colleges and universities to improve education.
SREB’s Academic Common Market lowers the cost of college tuition for out-of-state students. Residents of any of the 15 participating states can pay in-state tuition to attend a public institution in another state. Participants must select a program available to residents of their state, apply to attend the institution offering the undergraduate or graduate degree, and gain certification as a resident of their home state. After completing these steps, out-of-state students can attend Oklahoma schools while paying in-state tuition rates. The program can also help students pay for online schools in Oklahoma.
Best Online Colleges in Oklahoma
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Oklahoma. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Oklahoma, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Oklahoma or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Northwestern Oklahoma State University||Alva||$$$$$||709 Oklahoma Blvd|
Alva, OK 73717-2799
Northwestern Oklahoma State University, one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma, offers three online programs in business and nursing. Students who have completed their general education requirements before entering the business major can usually complete the coursework within five to six full-time semesters. The business program has no on-campus requirements. There is one synchronous course during the last term. California and Massachusetts students are not accepted into the school’s online programs at this time.
The online RN to BSN program does not require any campus visits or clinical hours, but it does require students to be registered nurses and to reside in Oklahoma. Students can start the program any semester and must have a 2.5 GPA to be accepted. They must maintain that GPA throughout their time in school.
|2||Oklahoma State University||Stillwater||$$$$$||107 Whitehurst|
Stillwater, OK 74078-1015
Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma State University offers two bachelor’s degrees that can be completed online: a BS in business administration and a BS in electrical engineering technology. The business administration program offers two concentrations: general business and management. The BS in electrical engineering is offered in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Campus. The program has students take lower-level requirements at any college, then continue with upper division courses that are offered on the campuses of OSU-OKC or Rose State College through interactive television.
CDs and podcasts of lectures are available. Students must be accepted to OSU before they can enroll in online courses, and all students are assigned advisors to help guide their program of study. OSU is among online colleges in Oklahoma to offer virtual office hours. Master’s programs and certificates are also available online, including nonprofit management and industrial engineering and management.
|3||Oklahoma Wesleyan University||Bartlesville||$$$$$||2201 Silver Lake Rd|
Bartlesville, OK 74006-6299
Oklahoma Wesleyan University, an evangelical Christian university in Bartlesville, offers five bachelor’s degrees online. The degrees include business administration, criminal justice, ministry and leadership, organizational management, and RN to BSN. Students in the business administration program can choose from five different specialization options. Students must complete core courses with at least a 2.0 GPA. The RN to BSN nursing program requires students to have at least 42 transferrable credit hours. Each course in the program lasts five to seven weeks, and students must maintain their RN licensure while enrolled.
OWU is among online schools in Oklahoma to allow students to take one class at a time and register for all core classes at once with the assistance of an academic advisor. Tuition is locked in for core courses at the time of enrollment. All students receive in-state tuition, and tuition is the same whether students attend classes online or on-campus.
|4||Oral Roberts University||Tulsa||$$$$$||7777 S Lewis Ave.|
Tulsa, OK 74171
Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts University offers online bachelor’s degrees in 13 different majors. Online students take one or two classes during each seven-week session, with two sessions offered each fall, spring, and summer. Even without transfer credit, students who follow the assigned degree plans can graduate in less than four years.
There are 10 minors available to online students. Some programs require that students select a minor, such as the BS in international business and ministry, which combines a business concentration with a minor in evangelism and missions. The liberal studies major is designed for students who want to study different topics. To graduate, students must complete 63 credits in two to three subject areas. Oral Roberts is among online colleges in Oklahoma to offer a Christ-centered education. Other programs include information technology and leadership studies.
|5||Southwestern Oklahoma State University||Weatherford||$$$$$||100 Campus Dr|
Weatherford, OK 73096-3098
Southwestern Oklahoma State University, one of the best schools in Oklahoma, offers several bachelor’s degree options, including an RN to BSN and a BS in health information management. Both programs use the online platform Canvas. Through interactive television, students can earn a BBA in management, which is a two plus two program. The BS in organizational leadership is offered in a blended model. This degree is part of Oklahoma’s Reach Higher program, requiring a minimum of 72 transfer credits and that applicants be at least 21 years old.
SWOSU, located in Weatherford, is the only university in Oklahoma that offers the BS in health information management. This four-year program requires students to complete two years of pre-professional curriculum and then complete the final two years online. The program boasts a 90% employment rate for 2014 graduates.
|6||Northeastern State University||Tahlequah||$$$$$||600 N Grand|
Tahlequah, OK 74464-2399
Online bachelor’s degrees at Northeastern State University include criminal justice, health care administration, hospitality and tourism management, medical laboratory science, nursing, supply chain management, and organizational leadership. For students who have an associate degree or a similar amount of credits, the criminal justice program offers fast-track classes that allow students to finish the program in less than two years. The university offers 400 online courses. Northeastern is among online colleges in Oklahoma to offer many of it’s degrees in the 2+2 program.
Students interested in the medical laboratory science program can complete the final 60 credits of the program online, with laboratory practices completed off-site. This program admits one cohort each fall, has an 86% pass rate for the board of certification exam, and boasts a 100% employment rate. Residents of Massachusetts or the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands cannot participate in NSU’s distance education programs.
|7||Oklahoma Panhandle State University||Goodwell||$$$$$||323 Eagle Ave|
Goodwell, OK 73939-0430
Oklahoma Panhandle State University, located in Goodwell, offers a number of courses online and an RN to BSN nursing program. Courses offered online include chemistry, business administration, and education. The RN to BSN program was founded in 1996 and was one of the first nursing programs to offer all required courses online. All courses in this program are offered asynchronously and practicum experiences can be completed near the student’s location. The program has flexible policies regarding transfer credit, and students are admitted each term. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA in prior coursework. The program is designed for part-time students and most courses are offered each term. Oklahoma Panhandle is one of the online colleges in Oklahoma that bases its nursing curriculum on Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Courses in the program include nursing in rural America and nursing leadership and management.
|8||Rogers State University||Claremore||$$$$$||1701 W Will Rogers Blvd|
Claremore, OK 74017-3252
Rogers State, the first university in Oklahoma to offer bachelor’s degrees entirely online, started offering online programs in 1992. RSU operates campuses in Claremore, Bartlesville, and Pryor, and offers five bachelor’s degrees online. Online undergraduate degrees include liberal arts, business administration, business information technology, organizational leadership, and applied technology. Most of these programs also have options for choosing an area of specialization. Students in the business information technology program can choose to focus in computer network administration or software development and multimedia.
Online courses at Rogers State, one of the best online schools in Oklahoma, are taught asynchronously, and there are no on-campus requirements. Only residents of Oklahoma are eligible for the programs. Online students have the same eligibility for financial aid and scholarships as on-campus students. Classes are offered in the fall, spring, and summer, with 16-week terms in fall and spring and eight-week terms in the summer.
|9||Southern Nazarene University||Bethany||$$$$$||6729 NW 39th Expy|
Bethany, OK 73008
Southern Nazarene University, a private, Christian, liberal arts university, is located in Bethany, near Oklahoma City, and is one of the best online colleges in Oklahoma. The university offers three online bachelor of science degrees in the areas of organizational leadership, business administration, and network management. Courses are asynchronous and five to six weeks in length. Each online class is limited to 20 students.
Several of these undergraduate programs have additional requirements for admission. Students interested in the network management program must take an entrance exam at the time of application. Acceptance into this program requires a score of 80 on the exam and only the top 16 people will be admitted. For the business administration degree, students must have completed some prerequisite coursework before they can enter the program. All of the online bachelor’s programs are designed for students who have earned at least 60 transferable credits prior to enrollment.
|10||Cameron University||Lawton||$$$$$||2800 West Gore Blvd|
Lawton, OK 73505-6377
Cameron University, located in Lawton, offers a number of bachelor’s degrees through their distance learning program, including fully and partially online degrees. Fully online programs include bachelor of science degrees in criminal justice and interdisciplinary studies. The interdisciplinary studies degree was designed for students whose needs were not met by one of the structured majors. The program provides a unique degree plan for each student, and students can apply after they have earned 24 credits. CU is among online schools in Oklahoma that does not offer courses to students in California, Florida, and Massachusetts.
Thirteen additional programs can be completed mostly online, with more than 50% of the coursework available online. The online percentage of these programs vary, from the bachelor of science in organizational leadership, which is 95% online, to the bachelor of arts in English, which is 64% online. The school uses Blackboard as its online platform, and hybrid and interactive tv courses are also available.
|11||Southwestern Christian University||Bethany||$$$$$||7210 NW 39th Expressway|
Bethany, OK 73008
Southwestern Christian University, located in Bethany, offers one online degree, the bachelor of professional leadership. The degree integrates biblically-informed curriculum with a liberal arts education. Students can choose from four concentrations that include business, management, social services, and Christian leadership. The social services concentration prepares students for acceptance into a graduate program in psychology, with courses that include developmental psychology, juvenile delinquency, and substance abuse and chemical dependency. The Christian leadership concentration prepares students for working in ministry or for graduate programs in ministry, theology, or biblical studies.
Students can set their own pace, and there are no on-campus requirements. Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition and are shipped directly to students. Unlike some online colleges in Oklahoma, all exams and tests are taken online.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Oklahoma
Below, you’ll find all of the online schools in Oklahoma sorted by their tuition rates.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Mid-America Christian University||Oklahoma City||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Northeastern State University||Tahlequah||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Northwestern Oklahoma State University||Alva||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center||Oklahoma City||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Cameron University||Lawton||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Rogers State University||Claremore||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||Southwestern Oklahoma State University||Weatherford||School profile||$$$$$|
|8||Oklahoma Panhandle State University||Goodwell||School profile||$$$$$|
|9||University of Oklahoma - Norman||Norman||School profile||$$$$$|
|10||Southern Nazarene University||Bethany||School profile||$$$$$|
|11||Oral Roberts University||Tulsa||School profile||$$$$$|
Job Outlook for College Graduates in Oklahoma
College graduates enjoy a growing job market in Oklahoma, which offers opportunities in many sectors. The best online colleges in Oklahoma prepare graduates to join a thriving job market with the lowest unemployment rate in decades. In August 2018, Oklahoma reported a 3.7% unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). College graduates typically benefit from a lower unemployment rate than those who do not graduate from college, as the BLS reported in May 2018. While the national unemployment rate stood at 3.9%, the unemployment rate for college graduates stood at 2.1%.
In 2017, the BLS reported that Oklahoma’s mean annual wage for all occupations of $43,340 ranked below the national average. Wages vary greatly depending on job title, degree level, and experience. A Georgetown University study found that college graduates earn an additional $1 million in lifetime wages compared with non-college graduates.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Oklahoma
Bank of Oklahoma Achieving New Goals Scholarship
Graduates of an Oklahoma City, Mid-Del, Millwood, or Crooked Oak high school with a minimum 2.7 GPA qualify.
Community Foundation Scholars
Graduating seniors of schools that participate in the Central Oklahoma Guidance Counselor Network qualify with a GPA between 3.25 and 3.79.
Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship
Oklahoma high schoolers with a family income under $55,000 qualify for tuition at public two-year or four-year Oklahoma institutions, including online, or a portion of Oklahoma private institution tuition.
Oklahoma City Community Foundation Scholarships
Offers over 200 scholarships which Oklahoma residents can apply for with one application process.
Graduating seniors from any Oklahoma high school with a minimum 3.25 GPA qualify; preferences go to those studying language, international business, petroleum, history, psychology, or sociology.
Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors’ student members qualify for the scholarship if they maintain a 2.5 GPA.
Oklahoma Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship
AQHA members for at least one year from Oklahoma can apply in their senior year. The scholarship offers four years of funding.
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Award
Oklahoma high school seniors qualify for one of 100 awards granted by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence if nominated by their principal or superintendent. Recipients must show high academic achievement.
Carolyn Watson Opportunities Scholarship
Residents of rural Oklahoma counties qualify with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
Rev. Kenneth King Memorial Scholarship
Graduating seniors from a rural Oklahoma high school qualify with at least a 3.0 GPA, an ACT score above 22, or an SAT score greater than 1200.
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