OSU Chosen America's #1 Best Buy

Natalea Watkins
Director of Communications
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
(405) 744-6260

The Student Guide to America's 100 Best College Buys says the nation's best college value is right here in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and Oklahoma State University President James Halligan announced the selection of OSU as America's Best College Buy at a Wednesday news conference in Oklahoma City.

OSU is the first university in America to achieve the first-place distinction, according to Lewis T. Lindsey, Jr., senior editor of the Student Guide Series. The selection was based on excellence in academic programs, low student-faculty ratios, a highly qualified faculty, high student ACT scores and low cost.

Keating said the honor underscores Oklahoma's commitment to holding down the costs of higher education while investing in quality in the classroom.
Halligan said the selection of OSU students as Rhodes Scholars, Truman Scholars and Fulbright Scholars confirms OSU's Best Buy designation.

"When OSU students prevail in national competition against students elsewhere who are paying ten-times the tuition, I believe we redefine both value and excellence in higher education," said Halligan.

Lindsey said OSU was selected after an annual national survey by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc. The survey, conducted between May 7 and June 30, 1998, was mailed to 1,658 four-year, public and private colleges and universities. In all, 1,430 institutions responded.

OSU was among the 100 Best Buys last year and was selected for the number-one spot this year for several reasons, Lindsey said.
* The high school grade point average for OSU's entering freshmen class in the fall of 1996 was at least 10 percent above the national average. (OSU freshmen had an average high school GPA of 3.46 compared to 3.07 nationally.)
* OSU's entering freshman class for the fall of 1996 had an ACT score at least two composite levels above the national average. (OSU's ACT average was 24 compared to 21 nationally.)
* More than 92 percent of the OSU faculty who teach undergraduate classes have a Ph.D. or other terminal degree.
* OSU has a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. To qualify for the top 100 Best Buys, institutions must have a ratio no higher than 20/1.
* 1997-98 yearly cost of attendance for out-of-state residents was at least 10 percent below the national average. OSU charges out-of-state students $5,768 a year for tuition. In-state students pay $1,748.

Lindsey said the annual report encourages students to shop around for the college or university which offers the highest level of excellence at the lowest possible cost. No college or university paid to be presented in the book.

Several other prestigious institutions were included in this year's top 100 Best Buys. They included Texas A&M University, the University of Tennessee, Clemson University, the University of Kansas and the University of Florida. Oklahoma institutions named in the book included Oklahoma City University, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma and Bartlesville Wesleyan College.

OSU has nationally recognized programs in business, mathematics, lasers and photonics, agriculture, hotel and restaurant administration, fire protection and safety technology, aviation education, chemistry, accounting, engineering, veterinary medicine and other fields. In addition, the university has won national awards for its student life programs including residential life, greek life, financial aid, ROTC, and intramural sports.

For information about this page, send e-mail to Natalea Watkins.

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