FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         August 22, 2008 


            For the second consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report has listed Northwestern Oklahoma State University as the top-ranked institution among the six schools that comprise the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

            The magazine also recognized Northwestern as one of five baccalaureate universities in the western United States where graduates have the least amount of student debt. Only 45 percent of graduates leave the institution with debt.

            The magazine ranked Northwestern in the third tier of best baccalaureate colleges in the western region of the United States. Only one other Oklahoma public regional institution achieved a third tier ranking. Several other regional universities were ranked in the fourth tier of best master’s degree universities.

            The third tier ranking placed Northwestern in the top 18 to 26 of all baccalaureate colleges in the west. In the U.S. News rankings, the west region comprises 15 states, including California and Texas.

            “Northwestern has put forward our vision for leadership and we are seeing the results of that vision,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “I am especially pleased with the recognition we received for low student debt. That is great news for students and their families. Much of the credit goes to alumni and supporters who generously give to scholarship programs, and to the city of Alva for its support of the Alva Incentive Program.

            “The rankings are a good barometer of where we excel as an institution and where we can improve. However, the ultimate gauge of Northwestern is how effectively we serve each and every student.”

            The annual rankings use data in several categories including graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. The rankings also rely heavily on peer assessment, or the opinion of other schools about Northwestern.


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Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Steve Valencia, Director
Office of University Relations
709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-8478  Fax: (580) 327-8660

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