UCO Ranked Best Regional University
U.S. News and World Report released their 2019 Best Colleges lists, which featured the University of Central Oklahoma as the top regional university in the state.
Central was ranked No. 77 out of 140 universities in the “Best Regional Universities West” and No. 24 out of 37 in the “Top Public Schools: Regional Universities- West” categories, higher than any other regional university in the state.
U.S. News and World Report follows a precise calculation that weighs graduation and retention rates, academic quality of peer institutions, faculty resources, financial resources and alumni giving to determine these lists.
“Graduation and retention rates are weighted the most heavily in our methodology at 35 percent,” said Robert Morse, U.S. News and World Report’s chief data strategist.
The reason for this heavy weighting is that students who return to campus after their first year have been equipped with the classes and services they need to succeed, according to Morse.
Faculty resources determine 20 percent of the university’s ranking to show the greater access students have to quality instructors.
Another 20 percent comes from surveys conducted where presidents, provosts and deans of admission were asked to rate the academic quality of peer institutions. The opinions of high school counselors were also involved in surveys, highlighting that academic reputation matters.
Financial resources round about 10 percent of the calculations, and another 10 percent is determined by students’ excellence by looking into ACT and SAT scores.
The last 5 percent is based on alumni giving, seeing how involved and engaged alumni students are with their university post-graduation.
“We are pleased that we are the highest ranked public university in Oklahoma,” said UCO President Don Betz.
Betz said he believes that if UCO was categorized in another region, such as the South or Midwest, the university may have ranked higher due to the campus’ credentials. He also said he was pleased with the results, and hopes every student that attends UCO becomes an outstanding leader in our community and learns how to successfully adapt and change. that students who return to campus after their first year have been equipped with the classes and services they need to succeed.
When comparing universities, tuition for in-state or out of state students largely varies, with out of state tuition costing almost double. At UCO, in-state tuition is $7,489 and out of state is $18,376.
Morse encourages all potential students to focus on the graduation and retention rates rather than tuition. He said this is an important factor to indicate how well the university supports its students academically and financially.
Betz said the university is creating a new enrollment plan for the future that will hopefully decrease the out-of-state tuition fees.