Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

The five worst college towns in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has lots of universities and colleges. Probably too many for our sparsly populated state. Regardless of what you think of Tulsa, Stillwater or Norman, they will not be on this list. Those universities are big enough to make even the crappiest town in Oklahoma a fun place. This list is about college towns that have nothing to offer their students when they are not in class or just stupid schools.

Here we go, the five worst college towns in Oklahoma:

5. Shawnee, Oklahoma

College(s): Oklahoma Baptist University and St. Gregory’s University.

Why it sucks: My hometown and alma mater are number five because it’s where I grew up. If I was being honest with myself, it should probably be number three or four. Shawnee has a church for every slot machine in Firelake Grand Casino. This is to make sure no citizen of Shawnee will see the fires of hell. Shawnee wouldn’t be a terrible place if it weren’t for the judgmental students that OBU attracts. Seriously, I don’t care that you are learning to play Christian music on an acoustic guitar, quit judging me!

Redeeming factors: The faculty is great at OBU. But this is changing as the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention continues to take control of OBU. There is more in-depth coverage of this here. Another saving factor for Shawnee is St. Gregory’s, which is Catholic University with a strange fascination with artists who make mask. Plus the student body that isn’t judgmental. St. Greg’s is awesome.

Interesting fact: If you live in Shawnee for more than five years, you are given a church!

4. Moore, Oklahoma

College: Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College

Why it sucks: Ever driven through Moore and wondered why it smells like the poop holocaust? It’s because this college has an open sewer! Nothing like smelling the waste of 226 college kids on a steady diet of Taco Bell. It might not be entirely the open sewer’s fault, it could be the lingering body odor of Toby Keith.

Redeeming factors: Ummm… I guess the stench hasn’t crept it’s way into Oklahoma City, so that’s something.

Interesting fact: Randy Terrell is a member of their faculty. Seriously.

3. Langston, Oklahoma

College: Langston University

Why it sucks: It’s a town of roughly 1,800 people. Langston sucks because there is nothing there. Seriously, go there sometime… you’ll be begging for the excitement of taking a historic tour of downtown Guthrie.

Redeeming factor: The school has an amazing band. Also, Guthrie is pretty close.

Interesting fact: Dennis Haysbert, the voice of AllState Insurance and actor on The Unit, is the brother of former Langston President Joann Haysbert.

2. Ada, Oklahoma

College: East Central University

Why it sucks: During my college years I would travel to Ada to visit all three of my friends. The highlight was going bowling. That’s it. Bowling. Plus, Ada is the birthplace of Oral Roberts. When scouting locations for Oral Roberts University, even Oral said, “Shit, this town has nothing going on.” Plus, the cops in Ada are dicks. They will find any reason to pull you over, things like going 4mph over the speed limit, failure to use turn signal, vehicular manslaughter, you know, petty shit.

Redeeming factors: Ummm… Blake Shelton is from Ada. And they used to have a big cage filled with monkeys.

Interesting fact: Ada likes to wrongly convict people of rape and murder!

1. Alva, Oklahoma

College: Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Why it sucks: Did you know America has a butthole? It’s true, and it’s located in Alva, Oklahoma! I spent many weekends in Alva watching my buddy play football by himself. I’m not sure how, but Alva has the worst weather in the state. In the summer, it’s always 110 degrees. In the winter, it’s -110 degrees. What is there to do in Alva, well, if you like looking at sand, you can travel to the Little Sahara State Park, but that’s about it. Alva is so small, it only has one Yellow Page. It has a massage parlor, but it’s self-service. The Dairy Queen has herpes.

Redeeming factor: None

Interesting fact: The sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” uses every letter in the english language. This has nothing to do with Alva, because Alva has no interesting facts.

If you know of any high school student that are looking at schools in Oklahoma, make sure they read this post. I would hate to know that our future leaders knowingly spent their college years in one of these towns. Or tell them to follow me on Twitter, @SpencerLenox.


  1. You must not know about Oklahoma Panhandle State University. I went there for one night to give my friend a ride back on Christmas break. I have no idea how he could stay there for more than one night. That place sucks big ol’ balls

    • Yeah…PSU is definitely list-worthy. No interesting facts, no redeeming qualities at all. Shithole!

      • I can concur regarding Panhandle State. However, calling Goodwell a college town is a bit of a stretch. Really, Goodwell is for the most part a ghost town. OPSU is Goodwell. Similar to Langston. Except, Goodwell is at the end of the world. No other college in Oklahoma is a desolate and barren as OPSU.

    • I agree, I had a friend that went there and he finished his entire first year of math in a week cause he already learned it all in high school. Plus their student IDs had a “National Championship Rodeo team 98′ 99′ 01′ ” on it. Yes the university does not k ow how to appropriately use a ‘ as on ’99 instead of 99’. And the upperclassman / athlete living quarters was a mobile home park. Wtf?

  2. Actually, the Dairy Queen in Alva is no longer a legit DQ. It is now a “Dairy Mart” or something like that. I live in Enid, but I go to Alva for work on a regular basis. It is pretty desolate, though there is also a bowling alley/lunch place for excitement, and a remarkable amount of oil money.

    • I believe it’s the “Ranger Grill” and I’m pretty sure the herpes of Dairy Queen’s past has evolved into something worse and still resides there.

    • Alva is awesome in that it is home to bars that will serve young people who are not old enough to legally imbibe (they practically drug 16-year-old me up to the bar to serve me). Of course, Alva is terrible in that the only thing for young people to do is be served alcohol illegally.
      Also, you can rearrange the letters of “Alva” to read “lava,” and then resurrect your childhood game of avoid the lava, so that’s interesting.

  3. Well at least you did not mention Tonkawa. I grew up there. Great campus and good school but the old town could use a kick in the ……. Good old NOC!

  4. Im sorta surprised Edmond wasnt listed on there… you have UCO and Oklahoma Christian… and lots of uppity white folk and asshole cops. I kidna assumed Edmond wouldve been # 1.

  5. Ahem…Dennis Haysbert is JoAnn’s brother-in-law. And you gotta be kidding me that Edmond didn’t make your list.

  6. * Senator Clark Jolley received Music Education and Political Science degrees from Oklahoma Baptist University;
    *Senator Ralph Shortey degree from Heartland Baptist Bible College; and,
    *Senate candidate Paul Blair received Honorary Doctorate from Oklahoma Baptist College.
    …we have a great deal to be frightened of when what is said in these fundamentalist classrooms and pulpits have now made their way to enacted legislation.

  7. Panhandle State in Goodwell wins this competition HANDS DOWN. Goodwell is the only wide spot on Highway 54 in the panhandle that doesn’t even have a truck stop! The ONLY shopping in the entire town is the campus book store…the nightlife is the hole in the wall tavern where the faculty go to drink their sorrows away… The “big city” is Guymon…the best thing to do for entertainment is spend an hour making a Taco Bell run to Guymon. The only shopping in Guymon is Walmart…It’s like having a four year university in Cashion…except Cashion is 20 miles from OKC…. Goodwell makes Alva LOOK like OKC…

    • Being from Cashion(home of the Wildcats, put your hand over your heart), I feel it my duty to defend that little slice of Americana.

      I think you may have been referring to Cushing or Cache or even Crescent..

  8. Really? No WILBURTON? Moore may stink, but it has ethnic cuisine of various flavors (some of it even good!), a Starbucks, and a Ghengis Grill, not to mention IHOP and various fast-food establishments.

    Wilburton has a pizza hut. Maybe. Also possibly the Sonic is still there. I don’t think they even have a Dollar General, not to mention a Walmart, not to mention a SUPER wal-mart. If they even still have a movie theater, it’s two screens. And unlike Moore, you can’t just drive ten minutes and escape to civilization. In Wilburton…there’s no one to hear you scream.

    • No one to hear you scream indeed. I shacked up with my partner in one of the dorms there for 3 months (I wasn’t a student). No one had any idea, since all three of the other students lived in other buildings.

  9. Um, I hate to ever say anything nice about Moore (or Hillsdale) but recent upturn in Moore’s shopping, dining options, and movies mean that if you are, in theory, the Hillsdale Freshman who doesn’t just eat taco bell and doesn’t think that movies are from Satan, you could find some stuff to do. Plus, you’re very close to Norman.

    DURANT, on the other hand (home of the SOSU “Savages” – though they just were forced to change that to “Savage Storm”) is like Ada, only poor.

  10. You forgot the college in Enid, Oklahoma. There isn’t much to do there either. I lived there for 5 years and it was so boring.

  11. Of the four year colleges, Panhandle St in Goodwell as to be #1. Its makes Alva look like Austin, TX. Other 4 year college locations to be considered have to be Southeastern in Durant and Bacone in Muskogee. Now, if were just talking about “college towns”: Altus, Tonkawa, Miami, Poteau, and Warner have JUCOS!!!!! Talk about miserable!

  12. Chickasha didn’t make it?? I guess there *is* enough meth/pot to keep college students unaware of how terrible the town is…

    • That’s exactly what I was scrolling down to write. Not to mention that is you do come out of the haze long enough to escape, almost none of your credits transfer out so you just wasted 1-4 years in a redneck hellhole.

  13. Lived in Alva for 6 years, 4 years of college and 2 years as a business owner. Alva is only the grundle. Goodwell is just a little ways up the road and is America’s true butthole.

  14. The Dairy Queen in Alva is called Ranger Grill now. I went to college in Alva.

    I personally feel that Alva kicks ass but I kind of go for that hometown charm and good people thing. I am just dumb like that.

    • While usually I take articles with women in bikinis at the top very seriously I’m having trouble with this one. 1. He loses all credibility by not mentioning panhandle state. This proves he clearly did no research whatsoever 2. There are no real facts. It’s all subjective and seems to be a bit biase 3. Underage drinking happens everywhere, not just in alva. 4. The little sahara is the most popular state park in Oklahoma 5. You didn’t go to school there! How could you possibly understand what it would be like just because you happened to visit one weekend? 6. It has a very low crime rate and is one of the safest places to go to college 7. I enjoyed having teachers who knew me and cared about my success. I wasn’t just a number 8. Like anywhere, it’s all about what you make of it. I had a blast and met some great people while I went to school there. I’d rather be in the “butthole” of America with great people than Norman or Edmond any day. I bet if you did some REAl research you would probably come to a different conclusion.
      It’s unfair for you to make statements like this when you don’t have a clue what your talking about. I would recommend NWOSU to anyone.

      Interesting fact: many German prisoners of war were kept in alva during world war II.

      • I didn’t spend, “one weekend” in Alva. I went there every weekend when their football team had a home game. I stand by my assertion that Alva is a shithole. It’s my opinion. If you couldn’t tell this is a blog. The only “research” that went into this post was that I’ve been to all of these towns. And they suck. Don’t take anything on this site too seriously. You’ll give yourself a heart attack.

  15. I actually would like to defend Alva Oklahoma. I’ am going to start off by being honest and say that the choice in food isn’t that great. Pizza hut, Subway, McDonalds, Taco Mayo, Ranger Grill (Old DQ… Same menu), Chopsticks, Champs, Depot, Sandwich Shop, and the bowling ally are your choices. Alva does have a Wal-mart super-center, bowling ally, movie theater, and a golf course just north of town. It also contains five bars, which one is a dance club. Yes it is basically a barn, but it does the trick. The cops aren’t too bad and if you cant have a good time when the sun goes down. That is pretty much your own fault. If you are going to drive south to the Little Sahara, you might as well drive east and visit the salt plains for some fishing, or crystal digging. You can even drive north a few blocks out of town and float the river, fish, or ride atvs. I was personally there for 5 years, and in those 5 year had some of the best days of my life. It isn’t always the location of the college, but the people that attend it that make the college experience.

    • You should work for the Alva Chamber of Commerce. You somehow found a way to make that place seem at least moderatly appealing.

    • You just listed “crystal digging” as something to do to enhance the NWOSU college experience… Goodwell doesn’t even have THAT!

    • Well said. In the six years I lived in Alva I NEVER ONCE locked the door to my house or apartment. I never had anything stolen. That includes two spring break trips to Daytona and two trips to Cancun. It’s a cool little place, but if you just visit you don’t get the full appeal.

  16. I concur with the comments regarding OPSU. This list has ZERO credibility sans Goodwell, OK being listed!

  17. Wow. An amalgamation of snarky criticisms from a guy whose mantra is “quit judgment me.” Hilarious.

  18. We probably have too many colleges? Are you insane? Oklahoma desperately needs more college graduates. Why would you want to reduce access to higher education.

  19. I will defend the placement of Ada at the #2 spot, if only because the boredom and brainwashing I was subjected to there forced me into getting married at 19. And I wasn’t the youngest of my peers to say “I do” by a long shot! However I can only say good things about ECU itself, because it educated me and my 2 sisters out of the trailer park, and the faculty (whom you ACTUALLY had contact with instead of an endless stream of T.A.’s and graduate students) there were in my experience, thoughtful, dedicated and (gasp!) living, breathing intellectuals who read actual books, and in some cases, wrote them too!

    They are fighting the good fight, even if they have to do it in a town obsessed (and I mean with a capital “O” obsessed) with their high school football/baseball team. Not even the Jenks and Union folks I have met can hold a candle to the slobbering fanatics in Ada.

    • Ada is the only town I know of where a coach on the college football team got a job with the high school and it was considered a promotion. True story!

  20. Yep, any list needs to start with Goodwell, then Wilburton. I’m guessing Doo-Rant should be there as well. Not much in Langston, either.

    In fact, your whole list sucks, Spence!

    • T-Bone, I only included campuses/towns that I have been too. USAO was going to be the number 5, but I thought OBU was turning out worse people than USAO.
      I’m sure Goodwell should have beat Alva for the number one spot, but I haven’t been there.

  21. I’m not sure if Durant and SE were miraculously higher up in the rankings, or if you just forgot they existed. One is less shocking than the other.

    • I think Southeasy got to stay off the list because they have a couple of neat little hole in the wall bars. And Salita’s. Shitty little mexican restaurant, but a decent little bar on the inside.
      My only guess. Went there for my undergrad. :)

  22. I don’t think panhandle state was included because of the fact that 99% of Oklahomans have never had the misfortune of finding themselves in Goodwell, Ok. OPSU truly does suck. Alva is a garden spot compared…

  23. As someone who grew up in NW Oklahoma and went to a high school that sends a dozen kids a year to NWOSU, I can confirm that Alva is an absolutely a terrible place to attend college!!! Goodwell however is far worse.

  24. I figured Bartlesville would make it up there. It’s home to Oklahoma Wesleyan and also home to NOT ONE FUCKING 24 hour restaurant. There are 35,000 people and no 24 hour food. Also, one summer I worked for the Boys and Girls Club and some students from OWU came over one day to preach to our kids and tell them how everyone else worships false gods and shit. They suck.

  25. Where is Altus on this list? Western Oklahoma State College (WOSC, pronounced “Woosie” is far less appealing than these areas. Mentioned. Of course, even Altus is not as bad as Goodwell. And what about MIT? (Murray In Tishomingo)

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