Northeastern State University (NSU) is a public higher education institution located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The university has two other campuses, however; one in Muskogee and another in Broken Arrow. Founded in 1909, the school is the oldest higher education institution in the state.
Overview of Northeastern State University (NSU)
The university is dedicated to empowering students, faculty, staff, and the community to reach their full intellectual and human potential by creating and expanding a culture of learning, discovery, and diversity. By offering quality education, Northeastern State University hopes to shape the future of the region, setting a standard of excellence by serving the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic needs of those enrolled. Core values include integrity, collaboration, creativity, leadership, excellence, communication, and diversity.
The total student population is around 7,000. Of those, around 5,500 are pursuing undergraduate degrees. Additionally, the university employs 285 full-time and 119 part-time faculty members, all of whom are responsible for instruction. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. There are also 21 instructional graduate assistants offering additional academic support. The institution reports that 85% of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students and 99% of classes have fewer than 50 students.
|Campus Setting||Town: Remote|
|Student Faculty Ratio||17:1|
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NSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||Recommended|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|SAT/ACT||Considered But Not Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Common Application Accepted||No|
NSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Several factors impact the cost of tuition and fees at Northeastern State University. In general, Oklahoma residents can expect to pay around $277 per credit hour for undergraduate 0000-level liberal arts courses and $293 for 0000-level science and health professions courses. All 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000-level undergraduate classes are charged at a rate of $247 per credit hour. Non-residents can expect to pay between $546 and $593 per credit hour, depending on the type of undergraduate course selected.
Northeastern State University does offer guaranteed rates for first-time, full-time freshmen who live in-state. For the 2022-2023 academic year, this rate is $267 per credit hour.
Graduate programs cost more than undergraduate ones. Oklahoma residents will be charged $304 per credit hour, while non-residents pay $631. Notably, however, out-of-state students seeking to enroll in online courses only may qualify for a rate of $305.
It’s also important to realize that some programs have varying tuition and fee amounts. Those interested in pursuing degrees in nursing, optometry, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies should check cost estimates individually.
Additionally, Northeastern State University students must anticipate paying more than tuition and fees when working towards higher education degrees. The institution estimates undergraduate students living off campus will spend $8,140 per academic year on room and board, while those who choose to live on campus will spend $8,292. Living with parents can significantly decrease these projections, but prospective students must also anticipate paying for books, supplies, personal expenses, and transportation.
Northeastern State University participates in a variety of financial aid programs in order to aid students in paying for their higher education. Those enrolled may qualify for scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study from federal, state, and institutional sources. All students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used to determine eligibility for financial aid funds. During the 2020-2021 academic year, 95% of students enrolled at the institution received some form of financial assistance. While the majority of aid awarded was in the form of grants and scholarships, 40% of students still required some amount of assistance in loans.
|Average net price||2020-2021|
|Average Total Aid||$8,411|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||95%|
|Room & Board||$8,120|
- Tuition In-State - $7,115
- Tuition Out-of-State - $15,755
- Books and Supplies - $1,250
- Room & Board - $8,120
- Other - $2,640
Northeastern State University provides diverse communities with lifelong learning through a broad array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional doctoral degree programs. Students can expect quality instruction, challenging curricula, various research and scholarly activities, immersive learning opportunities, and the ability to serve the community. The learning environment is service-oriented and supportive, which allows those enrolled to achieve both professional and personal success after graduation.
Students can choose from 59 undergraduate and 26 graduate programs.
The school’s most popular fields of study include:
- Criminal Justice
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Business Administration
- Health and Human Performance
- Elementary Education
The university also has a prolific online program. Distance learners can earn degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. There are also numerous undergraduate and graduate certificates available.
As of fall 2020, Northeastern State University had a first-year undergraduate retention rate of 61% for full-time students and 38% for part-time students. Notably, the national average is 68%. This data, provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), indicates that most students enrolled at the university full-time were pleased enough with their academic and extracurricular experiences that they chose to return to the institution for a second year.
Graduation rates for Northeastern State University are somewhat less promising but do have bright spots. Of full-time, first-time students who began their studies in 2015, 39% graduated within 150% of normal time (six years). However, the transfer-out rate was 19%, which often indicates that students are transferring to institutions that offer a more specific degree they wish to earn rather than that they dropped out. In total, 20% of students included in the data collected were able to graduate within four years. It’s worth mentioning that, based on these statistics, around 60% of students may graduate either from this institution or another that was offering the degree they were looking for. That is much closer to the national average when you take transfers into account.
As a whole, Northeastern State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The baccalaureate, master’s, and certificate programs in nursing are also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Additionally, all programs offered by the university are approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Regional University System of Oklahoma.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Business Majors||275 Total Graduates / 19%|
|Business Administration and Management, General||51 Graduates|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||41 Graduates|
|Operations Management and Supervision||38 Graduates|
|Health Professions and Related Programs||207 Total Graduates / 14%|
|Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse||123 Graduates|
|Health Services Administration||23 Graduates|
|Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist||15 Graduates|
|Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist||10 Graduates|
|All Education Majors||160 Total Graduates / 11%|
|Elementary Education and Teaching||61 Graduates|
|Early Childhood Education and Teaching||43 Graduates|
|Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities||17 Graduates|
|English/Language Arts Teacher Education||12 Graduates|
|All Psychology Majors||139 Total Graduates / 9%|
|Research and Experimental Psychology, Other||139 Graduates|
|Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services||107 Total Graduates / 7%|
|Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration||93 Graduates|
|Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism||8 Graduates|
|Homeland Security||6 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||40%|
Outcome & Salary
Northeastern State University has a very extensive Career Services department that provides students and alumni with a wide variety of resources. Some notably examples include assistance with interview preparation, resumes, cover letters, internships, and networking.
The university also conducts annual outcomes surveys. According to answers from summer, fall 2019, and spring 2020 graduates, just over 80% of respondents were employed, seeking additional education, engaged in volunteer service, or engaged in military service. The average income varied based on program, with graduates from the Gregg Wadley College of Science and Health Professions earning the most and graduates from the College of Education earning the least.
The breakdown is as follows:
- College of Business and Technology - $44,220.20
- College of Liberal Arts - $34,918.79
- College of Education $32,646.00
- Gregg Wadley College of Science and Health Professions - $47,516.72
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$48,900|
|College Grads Average Salary||$64,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$80,400|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$640,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,444,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$38,028|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$601,972|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,405,972|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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