Tulsa ranked No. 102 in college degrees

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.