Ponca City, OK has eleven astronomy schools within a 500-mile radius of its city center. The University of Texas at Austin, the highest ranked school in this group with an astronomy program, has a total student population of 50,995. It is the 18th highest ranked school in the USA and one of the highest in the state .
Astronomy students from Ponca City schools who go on to become astronomers, astrophysicistss, lunar and planetary institute directors, national radio astronomy observatory directors, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 1,240 people working as astronomers alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $102,740. Also, Atmospheric and space scientists make on average $85,160 per year and there are about 8,320 of them employed in the US today.
Ponca City lies in Kay county, which is one of the 41 counties in Oklahoma. Overall, the Northwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area has 122,310 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 1.4% unemployment rate, $15.68/hr average worker wage, and a $32,610 average annual salary.
Of the 11 astronomy schools with a 500-mile radius of Ponca City, only 7 have a student population over 10k. After taking into account tuition, living expenses, and financial aid, Texas Christian University comes out as the most expensive ($24,560/yr) for astronomy students, with University of Arkansas Main Campus as the lowest, reported at only $10,892/yr.
|Name||State||Population||# of Schools||Avg School Rank||Total Programs||Distance from Ponca City|
|Arkansas City||KS||-||1||16.4747||36||24.7 miles|
|El Dorado||KS||-||2||14.14||133||77.8 miles|
|Midwest City||OK||57,117||2||17.3383||110||87.7 miles|
|Oklahoma City||OK||564,147||19||18.6276||473||88.8 miles|
|El Reno||OK||-||2||15.8225||75||94.7 miles|
|North Newton||KS||-||1||30.3056||44||95.5 miles|