June 30, 2004 :: Tuition Rates Stay Below Legislative Limits
Facing record enrollments, increasing mandatory costs and state appropriations that have fallen more than $58 million during the last four years, Oklahoma’s public institutions of higher education have still managed to keep tuition below limits set by the Oklahoma Legislature. This means the costs will be below the average rate charged at other institutions in the region.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved tuition and mandatory fee increases across the state system today during their regularly scheduled meeting. Undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees for Oklahoma residents will go up an average of 9.2 percent next fall. Nonresident undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees will increase an average of 10.2 percent.
“We are striving to provide quality degree programs while keeping administrative costs low. Fortunately, we are managing to keep our college costs reasonable while other states’ costs are higher,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “It is important to note that our institutions are continuing to take steps to increase financial aid and tuition waivers for students to lessen the impact of these increases.”
Other policy actions were taken that will affect students.
The University of Oklahoma, OU Health Sciences Center, OU-Tulsa and OSU will no longer have different rates for lower and upper division courses but will instead charge one single rate.
Depending on the institution, undergraduate students will pay approximately $324 to $426 more for 30 credit hours. A full-time student typically enrolls in 30 or more credit hours per year.
Even with the increases, officials at both OU and OSU said they expect their institutions to remain at the bottom of the Big 12 in cost for undergraduate attendance.
All of the state’s regional universities have also decided to do away with the different tuition and fee structure for lower and upper division courses. Students attending those institutions will be expected to pay an additional $175 to $329 for 30 credit hours. Residents at the state’s two-year colleges will be paying anywhere from $90 to $305 more for 30 credit hours.
Higher education officials anticipate that the majority of Oklahoma’s student population will be minimally impacted by the tuition and fee increases next year. Students across the state system have been nearly unanimous in their support of tuition increases in order to maintain or improve the quality of programs.
Enrollment across the state system is expected to rise 3.2 percent next year. This continues the trend where the state’s colleges and universities have seen an additional 20,000 students on their campuses during the last four years.
Student financial aid is also going up on college campuses. OU awarded more than $1 million to nearly 2,000 students this past academic year as part of its privately funded Sooner Heritage Scholarship Program. Institutions are also dedicating more funding for student wages and on-campus jobs.
“We want to do everything we can to provide the necessary resources so that no one is excluded from going to college because they can’t afford it,” State Regents Chairman Ike Glass said.