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Timothy Peck
6 College Lists

The 10 Cheapest Colleges in Oklahoma

What’s Covered:


Is a college degree worth it? According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the answer is yes: a college graduate earns a 75% premium over those with only a high school diploma. Students can further strengthen their investment in college by factoring economics—like the cost of a school—into their college decisions. 


Tips for Saving Money on College


Start at Community College 


Public institutions have a reputation for affordability, however, they pale in comparison to the value offered by community colleges. Community colleges offer an economical alternative to four-year schools while laying the groundwork for earning a four-year degree. According to the College Board, the average yearly tuition at a community college is approximately one-third of the cost to attend an in-state four-year public college. Some colleges, like Rogers State University, even have transfer agreements with nearby community colleges to facilitate the smooth transfer of students. 


Graduate On Time 


The more time a student spends in college, the more money it ultimately costs them—whether it’s paying for extra classes or an additional year of room and board. While most students think of college as a four-year experience, the fact is that less than half of college students graduate in four years. Students should have an academic plan and work with their advisor to ensure they meet requirements, avoid classes that don’t contribute to their degree, and stay on schedule to graduate on time. An additional benefit to graduating promptly is that students are in the workforce earning money, rather than in college spending it. 


Search for Scholarships 


While scholarships won’t totally eliminate the financial burden of higher education for most students—only about 1% to 1.5% of students earn a full-ride scholarship—they can significantly reduce college costs. About a quarter of college students use scholarships and grants to help pay for college. Smaller niche scholarships provided by businesses, organizations, and professional societies are generally less competitive than larger, more prestigious awards and provide a good opportunity for earning money for college. Another place to look is the schools themselves. College and universities award $175 billion annually compared to just $11 billion from other sources.


The 10 Cheapest Colleges in Oklahoma


1. Oklahoma Panhandle State University


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $3,696/$4,440

Location: Goodwell, OK

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,200


Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) is another university that traces its origins back to the six agricultural schools founded following Oklahoma’s statehood in 1908 and also goes by the nickname “the Aggies” today. OPSU offers nearly 60 different bachelor’s and associate’s degrees through its three colleges:


  • College of Agriculture, Science, and Nursing
  • College of Arts and Education
  • College of Business and Technology


OPSU has a rodeo program that has won seven national team titles (1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2013, 2017, and 2018).  


Learn more about Oklahoma Panhandle State University and what it takes to get accepted.


2. Langston University


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $4,342/$11,722

Location: Langston, OK

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,900


Langston University is the only HBCU (historically Black college and university) to call the state of Oklahoma home. Both the university and the town it’s located in are named for John Mercer Langston, the noted abolitionist, politician, and attorney who was also the great uncle of renowned poet Langston Hughes. Langston University is known for its school of Agriculture & Applied Sciences, and its de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research is a world leader in the field of goat production technologies.


Learn more about Langston University and what it takes to get accepted.


3. Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $4,574/$10,184

Location: Okmulgee, OK

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,400


Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) is the state’s only university of applied technology. Most OSUIT programs require an internship as part of their curriculum, enabling students to earn money while gaining real-world experience. OSUIT graduates are work-ready, and within six months of graduation, over 90% report job placement. Out-of-state students will be interested to learn that, as of 2019, they’re eligible for a scholarship that covers out-of-state fees. 


Learn more about Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology and what it takes to get accepted.


4. Rogers State University


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $4,710/$13,050

Location: Claremore, OK

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,600


Rogers State University (RSU) is known for providing students with a high-quality and affordable education. RSU has transfer agreements with several in-state community colleges, which allow students with associate’s degrees to seamlessly pursue a bachelor’s degree at the university. Financial aid is readily available to RSU students—88% of them receive financial aid with the average aid package totaling $11,245. RSU offers in-state tuition to students from contiguous counties in Kansas and Arkansas. RSU also offers a concurrent enrollment program, which allows qualifying high school juniors and seniors to take college classes and provides a tuition waiver for up to 18 credits per year. 


Learn more about Rogers State University and what it takes to get accepted.


5. Cameron University


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $4,740/$14,160

Location: Lawton, OK

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,900


Cameron University traces its origins back to Oklahoma’s statehood. The college was founded in 1908—a year after Oklahoma became the 46th state—when the Oklahoma Legislature created six agricultural high schools, one in each of its Supreme Court judicial districts. Today, the school honors its ag heritage with its nickname, “the Aggies.” Cameron University assists students with keeping college expenses down by providing over 100 scholarships and over half-million dollars of financial support. 


Learn more about Cameron University and what it takes to get accepted.


6. University of Oklahoma


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $4,920/$20,724

Location: Norman, OK

Acceptance Rate: 83%

Undergrad Enrollment: 22,100


The University of Oklahoma, or OU for short, is the flagship of Oklahoma’s public university system. There are numerous reasons why OU is appealing economically to students. The website Payscale ranks OU 226th for in-state students and 353rd for out-of-state students (out of 1,978 schools) on their list of best value colleges. OU also offers significant scholarships to students who meet certain criteria, such as National Merit Finalists, or who meet certain GPA and standardized test benchmarks. Another appealing aspect of OU is sports—the website Niche ranks OU as having the fourth-best athletics in the nation. 


Learn more about the University of Oklahoma and what it takes to get accepted.


7. Oklahoma State University | OSU


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $5,417/$20,937

Location: Stillwater, OK

Acceptance Rate: 67%

Undergrad Enrollment: 20,500


Oklahoma State University delivers great value to its students—its tuition and fees are 69% percent of the national average for land-grant universities and its cost of attendance is 78% of the national average. Thanks to the affordability of OSU, nearly half of its students graduate with no debt. Those who do graduate with debt owe an average of $22,591, below the national average and the lowest in the Big 12. OSU is not merely affordable, it also offers a fantastic education; the website Niche ranks it as the 34th (out of 604) best public university and the tenth best college for agricultural sciences in the country. 


Learn more about Oklahoma State University and what it takes to get accepted.


8. East Central University


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $5,791/$15,151

Location: Ada, OK

Acceptance Rate: 96%

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,900


East Central University (ECU) has a low average class size of just 22 students and is known for its tight-knit campus and caring community. ECU offers a handful of unique programs, including a Bachelor of Science degree in Cartography, a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Physics. ECU is also the only school in the state, and one of just a few nationally, to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health Science. Two ECU alumni have gone on to serve as governor of Oklahoma. 


Learn more about East Central University and what it takes to get accepted.


9. Northeastern State University


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $6,000/$14,640

Location: Tahlequah, OK

Acceptance Rate: 99%

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,700


Northeastern State University (NSU) is the oldest institution of higher learning in Oklahoma, tracing its roots back to the founding of the Cherokee National Female Seminary in 1846—more than six decades before Oklahoma gained statehood. NSU celebrates its shared heritage with the Cherokee Nation; as part of the school’s celebration of a century as a state institution, it unveiled a bronze sculpture of Sequoyah, the noted 19th-century Cherokee diplomat and creator of the Cherokee syllabary. Ninety-two percent of NSU students are Oklahoma residents and 20% identify as American Indian/Alaskan Native.


Learn more about Northeastern State University and what it takes to get accepted.


10. Southeastern Oklahoma State University


Tuition In-state/Out-of-state: $6,420/$15,360

Location: Durant, OK

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,100


Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Southeastern) is located in Durant, Oklahoma’s “Magnolia Capital” and a region with rich American Indian heritage. In fact, students of American Indian descent make up more than a quarter of the student body and the school is seventh in the nation for graduating American Indian students. Ninety percent of Southeastern students receive financial aid and out-of-state students are offered 100% non-resident tuition waivers—which helps make Southeastern not only one of the cheapest colleges for Oklahoma students, but also an affordable and close-to-home option for many Texas students as well. 


Learn more about Southeastern Oklahoma State University and what it takes to get accepted.


How Much Will You Pay for College?


Net price is a calculation that considers factors like financial aid and scholarships in addition to a school’s sticker price and is the best metric for gauging what college will actually cost. While the overwhelming majority of colleges have their own net price calculator, CollegeVine offers a free Financial Aid Calculator that lets you estimate the cost of college in Oklahoma along with hundreds of other schools across the country in one place and in just minutes.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.