Cameron named in least debt rankings

Picture courtesy of MCT Campus.

Picture courtesy of MCT Campus.

Tyler Boydston

Managing Editor

Cameron University has been noticed for its lack of graduating students in debt.

CU was featured in the “U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2014” in the category of Least Debt based on the graduating class of 2012.

According to Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Jamie Glover, the report was separated into sections based on region.

“If you go to their website to the Best Colleges section, it kind of gives an explanation for the methodology,” Glover said. “It breaks up different universities into different categories. We’re in the regional universities category, and so that groups us with institutions across the nation that are like us. There are 621 institutions that fall into that category, and they actually break that up into individual regions. We’re in the west region, and there are three other regions.”

Cameron was ranked ninth in the category of least debt among the 193 schools that were surveyed in the West region.

Glover said the debt rankings were based on loans taken out by students. However, loans taken out by students’ parents are not included.

“They look at loans that are taken out from students both through the college and any private loans they take out,” Glover said. “Basically each university submits a massive amount of data to a lot of places, but “U.S. News” is one of the surveys we submit. It looks at a variety of things, but the thing they look at for this is the percentage of your graduating class, and they look at cohort groups, but the percentage of your cohort group graduating class that graduates with debt and without debt as well.”

According to Glover, there are different ways in which CU is working to maintain their ranking for least debt reducing the costs of an education.

“One of the first ways we consciously work to keep the education at Cameron University affordable: we’re the third lowest-cost regional university in the state of Oklahoma,” Glover said. “We’re really low cost given the size of the institution.”

The cost of the education is not the only way in which Cameron ensures that students leave without debt. Glover said another way of making sure less students are in financial trouble by the time they graduate is by making financial assistance easily accessible.

“We work tremendously hard to get additional assistance into the hands of our students, and we do that a number of ways,” Glover said. “One way is through our tuition waiver scholarship program. Since 2001-02, that has increased almost 300%. We have 2.2 million in tuition waivers that are available to our students each year.

“In addition to that, we are blessed to have a lot of people who want to support Cameron University and support our students. Each year we have on average about $300,000 available through the Cameron University Foundation to provide financial support for students.”

Glover said the amount of debt a student has can have an impact on their options once they graduate.

“It makes such a substantial difference in terms of the quality of life and the financial options they have, graduating from college and getting that first job and starting a career.”

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