Oklahoma – Sooner State

Oklahoma – Sooner State

Oklahoma is a state located in the South-Central region of the USA with a population of about 3.97 million. It is the 28th populous state in the country and is often called by its nickname- The Sooner State. The state has an economic base that relies mostly on aviation, energy, biotechnology, and communication. Since the state is located in the Great Plains and the U.S. Interior Highlands, Oklahoma experiences moderate to extreme climates. In Oklahoma, there are more than 25 Native American languages spoken, and the cost of living is lower than the average of other states.

Education in Oklahoma is considered to be one of the best in the country with ample choices of courses and subjects. The educational infrastructure is vast and well developed in the state. While there are ample schools at various district and city levels, The University of Oklahoma and The University of Central Oklahoma are the two primary public institutions that offer the best higher education in the state. Oklahoma State University is another public university that offers education in various courses.

Major Cities in Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

With a population of roughly 644,000, Oklahoma City is the biggest city in this state. It is also the capital city of Oklahoma. It was established as a city in 1889. Oklahoma City University is also located here. The city is popular for its diverse communities, as well as its oil and cattle industry. Oklahoma City Zoo, National Cowboy & Western Heritage, National Cowboy & Western Heritage, Myriad Botanical Gardens, and Oklahoma City Museum of Art are some of the most popular sites in the city.

Tulsa

The city of Tulsa has a population of roughly 403,000 and was initially inhabited by the Creek Indians during the 1830s. Oil production is the predominant industry in this city, followed by aerospace and machinery. It was once known as the ‘Oil Capital of the World’. The city is home to major educational institutes like the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University. Popular attractions include the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Zoo, Gilcrease Museum, River Spirit Casino Resort, Golden Driller Statue, and Oklahoma Aquarium.

Norman

Norman is the third biggest city in Oklahoma with a population of around 123,000. It was founded in the year 1855 and named after Abner E. Norman. The city is popular for housing one of its best educational institutes, the University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus. Some of the popular tourist attractions in this city are the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Lake Thunderbird State Park, Newcastle Casino, Mainsite Contemporary Art Gallery, Native Spirits Winery, Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art, and Historical House Museum of Cleveland County.

Broken Arrow

With a population of approximately 109,000, this is the fourth-largest city in Oklahoma. It is one of the safest cities in the US with the crime rate almost 23% lower than the national average. It was established as a city in 1903. Agriculture used to be a major sector in this city with its major crops being corn, oats, and cotton. Popular sightseeing spots include Safari Sanctuary, Broken Arrow Historical Museum, Ray Harral Nature Park & Center, and Haikey Creek Park.

Economy/Job Market

Natural gas and petroleum are the leading sectors that drive the economy of Oklahoma. Despite the major setbacks caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the economic condition of Oklahoma recovered mainly because of its oil and natural gas production. The GDP growth in the year 2021 is 4.5%. The unemployment rate in the Sooner State is lower than the national average (5.2% in the US) at 4%. NGL Energy Partners, Imperial, Hobby Lobby, Avis Budget Group, Accord Human Resources, Helmerich Payne, Sonic are some of the largest companies in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma – Sooner State

 

Oklahoma - Sooner State
Oklahoma – Sooner State

Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Oklahoma

The cost of living in Oklahoma is a lot lesser than the national average. Healthcare service is an exception as it is costlier than the national average, whereas housing expenses are the cheapest. According to the American Community Survey (ACS), the median household income in the state of Oklahoma is roughly $55,000, which is lower than the nation’s overall median income. Anadarko, Holdenville, Cushing, Noble, Alva, Blackwell, Ponca City are some of the most affordable cities in Oklahoma.

College expenses vary in Oklahoma, with public colleges and universities costing cheaper than private ones. One of the most significant expenses is the cost of classes, which includes utility costs, professors’ salaries, and laboratory equipment. Tuition fees for most courses at the various Oklahoma state colleges are lower than many states on average.

Like most other states of the USA, governmental funding is not available for international students. Students can take up scholarships and fellowship programs to fund their studies. Most students use their savings for getting admission to various Oklahoma colleges and universities, and many students even take internships and part-time jobs to fund their daily expenses.

List of Few Major Universities/Colleges

Oklahoma colleges and universities have many courses at the graduate, undergraduate, and research levels. Biotechnology is an outstanding choice here, while students can also take courses in business, science, information systems, designing, and sports. All colleges and universities are involved in sports activities, so the campuses are full of fun and recreation. Many native students also turn up in various universities to study law, while business and science courses are popular choices for international students. The top colleges/universities in this state are:

  • University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus This is one of the most renowned universities in the state that provides the best quality of education. It is a public research university located in the city of Norman. The university was founded in 1890. With around 32,000 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. It also offers more than 170 programs. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is about $11,000, and around $26,000 for out-of-state students.
  • Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Established on December 25, 1890, this university is located in Stillwater. This university is popular for its student diversity and beautiful campus. It offers the best education and has produced 18 Truman Scholars, 18 Udall Scholars, and 48 Fulbright Scholars. With more than 27,000 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is about $11,000, and around $26,000 for out-of-state students.
  • University of Tulsa The University of Tulsa is a private university that was established in the year 1894. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and is known for its strong petroleum engineering programs, scholarships, and excellent work-study opportunities. It is situated in the city of Tulsa. With around 5,000 students and about 350 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The tuition fee for undergraduates is around $45,000.
  • Oklahoma City University Situated in the capital of the state, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City University is a private institute. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The university has more than 3,000 students and offers more than 90-degree programs. It is known for its excellent courses in sciences as well as liberal arts. The tuition fee for undergraduate students is roughly $35,000.

Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students

Given that the cost of living is lower than the national average, affording education is also comparatively easier in Oklahoma. With several scholarships and grants available, it is extremely helpful for students with financial needs. To determine the eligibility of the candidates, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is to be filled by all students before applying for any kind of financial aid.

  • Academic Scholars Program: This is a scholarship program for students who display extraordinary academic merit. To be eligible for the program the student must secure a percentile of 99.5 on the ACT (a score of 135) or SAT (a score of 1540). The student should plan to attend an undergraduate program from an accredited institution on a full-time basis. In lieu of a SAT or ACT score, one can also be qualified if they are a National Merit Scholar, National Merit Finalist, or United States Presidential Scholar. The award amount is $5,500.
  • Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG): This is a need-based grant program for high school graduates who are planning to enroll in an undergraduate program at an accredited institution on a full time or part-time basis. To be qualified, the student must have graduated from high school as an Oklahoma resident, have satisfactory academic performance, and demonstrate a required level of financial need. The award amount is $1,300 per year.
  • The Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant: This is another well-known need-based grant program for the residents of Oklahoma. To be eligible, the student should be a permanent US citizen, should attend an accredited private institution on a full-time basis, must have graduated from high school as an Oklahoma resident, have satisfactory academic performance, and demonstrate a required level of financial need. The award amount is $2,000 annually.
  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program: This is a scholarship program for high school graduates who are planning to enroll in an undergraduate program at an accredited institution on a full-time or part-time basis. The candidate must have an ACT score of 32, or a combined SAT score of 2130 to be eligible. Apart from the scores, the student will also be evaluated based on extracurricular activities, leadership qualities, community service, and other achievements. The award amount is $1,500.

Tourism

Oklahoma is a pretty affordable place for living, as well as for traveling. It has a lot to offer from beautiful landscapes, fascinating animals, to some of the best historical and cultural sites. Even though summer is the most popular season for tourists to visit the state, it can get busy and uncomfortable if one does not prefer hot weather. The fall season (around the end of September to the beginning of November) is the best time to visit the state. Popular tourist attractions in the Sooner State are Ouachita National Forest, Route 66, Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Zoo, Marland Estate Mansion, Oklahoma Aquarium, Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum, and so on. One should make sure to try out the best and most popular dishes of this state, that is, the Sooner Steaks and the Oklahoma Barbecue.

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