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College Rankings

Reader's Choice: University of Oklahoma

A periodic report in which we showcase our readers’ top choices among Kiplinger’s 100 best values in public colleges and universities.

We use hard statistics to produce Kiplinger’s annual rankings for best values in public colleges and universities, and we’re proud of the results. Now, we’re giving our readers’ favorites a chance to brag a little, by letting a student fill us in on what’s fun, cool, quirky and just plain great on campus and nearby.

This week we feature University of Oklahoma. Kaleigh Kaczmarek, a rising junior with a major in management information systems (pictured left), gives us 12 insider tips. Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for more student-written profiles of the favorites in our reader survey.

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AT A GLANCE: Best Values in Public Colleges

VIDEO: Walking Tours of Our Top Schools

LOCATION: Norman, Oklahoma

UNDERGRADUTE ENROLLMENT: 16,560

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BEST ON-CAMPUS FEATURE:

The OU staff. They have been welcoming and accommodating since I first got to OU. They truly make an effort to help us students excel in whatever areas we are passionate about.

BEST OFF-CAMPUS FEATURE:

Campus Corner. It is an outdoor shopping and eating center right next to campus. It offers everything from upscale boutiques to great restaurants.

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WHERE SENIORS WANT TO LIVE:

Seniors want to live at the Cottages of Norman, which will be opening on the campus this fall. The Cottages is an upscale development of two-story houses with a swimming pool and a workout facility, and a bathroom for each bedroom.

MOST UNUSUAL CAMPUS TRADITION:

Pe-Et is a University of Oklahoma honor society for the ten most outstanding seniors. Throughout the year, the group plays pranks on the university. They do everything from decorating President Boren’s lawn for his birthday to hiding Easter eggs all over campus.

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BEST PLACE TO STUDY DURING FINALS WEEK:

The Reading Room in Monnet Hall. The reading room is a Beauty and the Beast-esque Gothic library, complete with giant windows that overlook the campus. It is never crowded and always quiet.

MOST CROWDED SPOT ON THE FIRST NICE DAY:

The South Oval, a green area in the middle of a lot of classroom buildings. On nice days you will find students reading under trees, lying out by the fountain, tossing a Frisbee around or bringing their laptops out to use the campus Wi-Fi to do their homework.

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BEST PLACE TO EAT WHEN THE DINING HALL WON'T DO:

The best place to eat off-campus is T.E.A. Café. T.E.A Café serves a variety of Asian cuisine and has two locations convenient to campus. The cafes are famous for their Boba tea (tea with tapioca balls at the bottom) and their reasonable prices.

WHERE YOU WANT TO BE ON A SATURDAY NIGHT:

At Blu, a restaurant/wine bar that is right off of Main Street in Norman. Blu has a trendy atmosphere and unusual specials. It’s a great place to go if you want to dress up and go out with friends.

WHAT WE WON'T LEARN ON THE CAMPUS TOUR:

You will not learn enough information about Campus Activities Council (CAC). CAC is the programming branch of the student government and puts on all sorts of events, from homecoming to all-freshmen musicals, such as University Sing. A lot of students are able to get involved in CAC, and it’s the best way to meet other Sooners.

CLASS THAT GETS STUDENTS TALKING:

Freedom in Rome, with Dr. Fears. Dr. Fears is such a dynamic teacher that students will not want to miss his class.

BEST WEEKEND FOR FRIENDS TO VISIT:

Any home-game weekend. Sooner game day is an experience that cannot be compared to anything else. Alumni and students come together to create an atmosphere that is so uplifting and fun!

SIX WORDS ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE THAT SAY IT ALL:

Affordable, dynamic, thrilling, heritage, family, stimulating.

University of Oklahoma