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January 26, 2014

RSU finding it’s the place to be

Ranked nationally for least amount of student debt, highest in state for retention rates



After Rogers University transitioned into Rogers State University in 1999, the university was designated to provide both bachelor’s degrees and associates degrees. The University of Central Oklahoma, Cameron University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Panhandle State University are the only other regional universities in Oklahoma that offer both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. 
In 2011, 276 students graduated from RSU with associate degrees.
Since the school was first created as a regional university, a large increase occurred in the amount of four-year degrees earned, from 10 bachelor’s degrees in 2002 to 337 awarded at the end of the 2013 spring semester, said RSU Public Relations Director David Hamby. In the past three years, RSU has seen the number of bachelor’s degrees exceed the number of associate’s.
Graduation rates are drawn from RSU’s entries for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the United State’s primary source for data on higher education. IPEDS data focuses on success rates for first-time, full-time freshman seeking bachelor’s degrees.
Of the more than 800 freshman entering RSU last fall, about 29 percent were part of the IPEDS cohort. The IPEDS cohort entering in fall 2012 represented approximately five percent of the entire student body.
A total of seven cohort studies have been conducted in regards to a six-year graduation rate for RSU. Each successive cohort since 2004 has displayed an increased success rate, with the 2005 cohort achieving a 23 percent six-year graduation rate.
RSU continues to attract larger numbers of dedicated students committed to earning a four-year degree. This is noted by the university’s increase in retention rates, which is measured by the percentage of first-time freshman students who are enrolled for the fall semester of their sophomore year, and seeking baccalaureate degrees. 
Retention rates have climbed from 46 percent in 2004-05, to 64 percent in 2011-12, and are among the highest for Oklahoma regional colleges. 

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