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September 11, 2013

RSU Grads Have Among Nation's Lowest Student Debt, Report Shows

Rogers State University graduates leave school with some of the lowest student debt loads in the region, according the annual Best Colleges report released this week by U.S. News and World Report.

This is the second consecutive year RSU has been included in the Best College publication's list of regional colleges where students graduate with the lightest debt load. The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma was also noted for its relatively low debt levels for west region colleges, which includes 15 states stretching from Hawaii to Texas.

The publication earlier this year ranked RSU as 73rd nationally among all online bachelor's degree programs.

"RSU is committed to keeping education affordable and assisting students with putting together financial aid packages that don't require taking on additional debt," said Dr. Larry Rice, the school's president. "One of the ways we have been able to achieve that is by stepping up our commitment to assist students in accessing scholarships, public and private."

About 45 percent of RSU students who graduated in 2012 did so with at least some student debt, according to the report. That share was down from 2011 when about 63 percent carried debt.

The average debt load for RSU students who graduated with at least some debt in 2012 was $19,019.

The report's tallies included loans taken out by students from their colleges, from private financial institutions, and from federal, state and local governments. Loans to parents were not included. The "average amount of debt" refers to the cumulative amount borrowed by students who graduated owing money; it's not an average for all students.

For more information about the U.S. News and World Report survey, visit www.usnews.com/colleges.

For more information about RSU, visit www.rsu.edu or call 800-256-7511.