June 23, 2011 - High Enrollments, Increased Costs, Appropriation Decreases Result in moderate Rise in Tuition
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education today approved moderate increases to tuition and mandatory fees for Oklahoma’s 25 public colleges and universities. Tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students will increase an average of 5.9 percent statewide for the 2011-12 academic year.
On average, a full-time Oklahoma college student will pay $225 more for tuition and mandatory fees.
Higher education officials cited record enrollments, increases in operational costs and this year’s 5.8 percent decrease in state appropriations as contributing factors to the increases.
“Our goal is to provide our students with a quality education,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “In light of the decreased state appropriations, this moderate increase will further enable our state institutions to retain top-quality faculty and provide outstanding service to our students.”
The state’s research universities, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater and Tulsa, and the University of Oklahoma, Norman, increased their tuition and mandatory fee rates by 4.8 and 5 percent, respectively.
Other state universities have tuition increases averaging 5.7 percent for in-state undergraduates.
Oklahoma’s community colleges will increase their in-state tuition rates by an average of 6.6 percent.
In spite of increases in mandatory operating costs, Oklahoma’s colleges and universities continue to tighten their belts by cost-saving efforts including energy conversion and conservation, reduction in administrative expenses, and travel and hiring freezes. These cost-saving initiatives will save $112.3 million from 2009-12.
State law requires tuition to stay at levels below the average among comparable institutions, and Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities continue to be well within those limits.
The law also requires the State Regents to make a reasonable effort to increase need-based financial aid across the state system proportionate to any increase in tuition. Over the last five years, the State Regents have increased that aid 18 percent.
Oklahoma’s Promise, a state scholarship program that allows high school students from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less to earn free college tuition, will receive more than $63 million for FY 2012. More than $35 million of the money appropriated by the Legislature for FY 2012 will go toward additional financial aid programs.