Higher Education Statistics

Higher Education Funding Cuts

  • Oklahoma has cut per pupil higher education funding by over one-third (34.0 percent) once adjusted for inflation. These are the sixth deepest cuts in the nation over this period.
  • Last year (2016-17), Oklahoma cut per pupil higher education funding by 8.0 percent, the second steepest cut in the nation behind Wyoming.
  • The Legislature added another 4.5 percent cut to the budget of the Regents for Higher Education in the 2017 session.
  • Oklahoma college and university students have been required to make up a good portion of the decline in state funding by rising tuition and fees. Between 2008 and 2017, average tuition at a four-year Oklahoma college increased by 38.9 percent after inflation, according to the Center on Budget’s report.
  • Numerous studies show that higher tuition is a serious obstacle to enrolling in college and completing a degree, especially for low-income students and students of color.
  • A majority of Oklahoma students graduate with debt — 52 percent as of 2015 — and the average student loan debt of a graduate of a 4-year university is almost $25,000, according to Prosperity Now’s Assets and Opportunity Scorecard.
  • In Oklahoma, just 24.6 percent of the population holds a four-year college degree, ranking us 44th among the states and well below the national average of 30.6 percent.
  • In 2017, while most state agencies took a 4.5 percent cut, our colleges and universities were cut 6.1 percent.
  • Lower funding means critical programs such as nursing, IT and engineering have to turn students away.
  • Funding the ability to produce Oklahoma college graduates can prevent Oklahoma from being ranked near the bottom of many nationwide measures, such as health, incarceration, etc.
  • For every $1 of budget cuts in the last three years, 53 cents came from our colleges and universities – more than $153 million – putting Oklahoma’s future growth at risk.
  • With successive years of budget cuts, the concurrent enrollment program is now funded at only 26.8 percent of the cost to state system colleges and universities. To fully fund concurrent enrollment would require a $10.8 million appropriation.
  • A student with a college degree will earn $1.1 million more in a lifetime than a high school graduate. Eighty-seven percent of Oklahoma residents who graduate with a bachelor’s degree remain in the state and are employed in the state one year after graduation.

Sources: https://okpolicy.org/higher-education-funding-cuts-continue-drive-tuition-threaten-college-access/http://www.oklahomatomorrow.org/abouthttps://www.okhighered.org/leg-info/2018/legislative-agenda.pdf 

Oklahoma's Workforce Regarding Education

  • Although nearly two-thirds of Oklahoma jobs will require post-secondary education by the year 2020, only 37% of working adults are expected to have the necessary training.
  • Oklahoma’s economic vitality is dependent upon our system of education and our ability to address the state’s workforce needs.

Source: https://www.okstatechamber.com/uploads//2017-issue-briefs/workforce-development.pdf