June 30, 2005 :: Oklahoma College Students Will See Modest Tuition Increases Next Year
Students attending Oklahoma’s public colleges or universities next year will have to pay just a bit more in tuition and mandatory fees.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education today gave their approval to undergraduate tuition and mandatory fee increases that will average $195 more per year for full-time residents. Nonresidents will pay an average of $516 more per year.
Higher education officials cite record enrollments, sharp increases in employee health insurance and operational costs, and faculty pay as major reasons for the increases.
“Providing a quality education to our students is the most important thing our colleges and universities can do,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “These increases will allow our institutions to properly serve their students next year and remain competitive with other colleges around the nation in retaining and hiring quality faculty.”
Tuition and mandatory fee increases at many of the institutions could have been in the double-digit range, Risser said. But thanks to a $72.3 million increase in state appropriations for FY2006, tuition increases will average 7.4 percent and range from 3.0 percent at Carl Albert State College, Poteau, to 9.9 percent at Rogers State University, Claremore.
The state’s research universities, the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, increased their tuition and mandatory fee rates by 6.5 and 7.2 percent, respectively.
State law requires tuition to stay at levels comparable with other schools in the region, and Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities are 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.
More than $14 million of the new money will go toward scholarships and grants, including $12 million to the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship Program, aka the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. Higher education officials expect approximately 12,000 students will receive an Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship in FY2006. In addition, colleges and universities continue to raise scholarship funds through private gifts and donations.