Tulsa is ranked No. 102 out of 150 U.S. cities in terms of how many adults hold undergraduate college degrees.
Oklahoma City is No. 82 in the Wallethub.com survey.
Oklahoma’s elected officials say that raising the number of workers with college degrees is a key to economic development.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education administer federal funds through GEAR UP – Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. According to the U.S. Department of Education, that program tries to help Oklahoma students succeed in college.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999, $20.6 million in August 2005 and $34.9 million in September 2011. The grants have been matched by more than $48 million from state and private resources. From 1999 to 2011, GEAR UP received more than $45.6 million in federal funds. With the addition of the 2011 grant, Oklahoma’s GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $80.6 million in federal funds by 2018.
According to the Wallethub survey, “They may not always be the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, but the college-educated third of Americans often have a leg up on their degree-less peers. With more schooling, they not only have access to better job opportunities and bigger salaries, but educated workers also fill their cities’ coffers with the most tax dollars over time, according to the Economic Policy Institute.”
In states with the least-schooled workforces, the median wage is $15 an hour compared with $19 to $20 an hour in states where 40 percent or more of the working population holds at least a bachelor’s degree.
WalletHub compared the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas across nine key factors.
Some of their findings were:
The percentage of bachelor’s degree holders aged 25 and older in Ann Arbor, Mich., is four times higher than in Visalia, California.
The percentage of graduate or professional degree holders aged 25 and older in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is six times higher than in Brownsville, Texas.
San Diego scored four times higher on the quality of its public schools than Springfield, Massachusetts.
In Provo, Utah, the percentage of blacks aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree (30.9 percent) is about 5.5 percent higher than the percentage of whites (25.4 percent) with the same attributes.
In Anchorage, Alaska, the percentage of women aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree (20.9 percent) is 4.2 percent higher than the percentage of men (16.7 percent) with the same attributes.
The publicly supported colleges and universities in Oklahoma are:
Cameron, Lawton and Duncan
Carl Albert State College, Poteau and Sallisaw
Connors State College, Warner and Muskogee
East Central University, Ada
Eastern Oklahoma State College, Wilburton and McAlester
Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma City and Tulsa
Murray State College, Tishomingo
Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Broken Arrow and Muskogee
Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa, Enid and Stillwater
Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva, Enid and Woodward
Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Okmulgee
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Tulsa and Oklahoma City
Redlands Community College, El Reno
Rogers State College, Claremore, Bartlesville and Pryor
Rose State College, Midwest City
Seminole State College, Seminole
Southeastern Oklahoma State University (Durant and Idabel
Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford and Sayre
Tulsa Community College
University Center at Ponca City
University Center of Southern Oklahoma,
Ardmore University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond
University of Oklahoma, Norman, Tulsa and Oklahoma City
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha
Western Oklahoma State College, Altus
Private Colleges and Universities
Bacone College, Muskogee
Mid-America Christian University, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee
Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Bartlesville and Tulsa
Oral Roberts University, Tulsa
Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa
Southern Nazarene University, Bethany
Southwestern Christian University, Bethany
Southwestern College (Wichita, Kansas), Midwest City
St. Gregory’s University, Shawnee and Tulsa
The University of Tulsa
Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas), Altus
Brown Mackie College, Oklahoma City
DeVry University, Oklahoma City
University of Phoenix, Oklahoma City
University of Phoenix, Tulsa
Complete College America (CCA) has a goal to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in Oklahoma by an average of 1,700 per year, from 30,500 annually in 2011 to 50,900 annually by 2023, a 67 percent increase.
Gov. Mary Fallin said in September 2011, “We can and must do better in producing a highly skilled and educated workforce in our state. This is part of our agenda – developing the Complete College America program.”
In year one of CCA deployment, public and private colleges and universities reported 2,945 more graduates than in the previous year, exceeding our annual goal of 1,700. Additionally, in April 2012, the State Regents adopted a new approach to make the higher education funding formula a performance-driven model.
In year two of the CCA initiative, Oklahoma’s public and private higher education institutions and career technology centers surpassed the annual goal, conferring 3,577 additional degrees and certificates.