June 28, 2007 :: Oklahoma Public Colleges Raise Tuition for Next School Year
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved increases to tuition and mandatory fees for Oklahoma’s 25 public colleges and universities at their meeting Thursday. On average, a full-time Oklahoma college student will pay $260 more next year for tuition.
Higher education officials cited record enrollments, increases in operational costs and retention of faculty as major reasons for the increases.
“Our ultimate goal is to provide a quality college education to Oklahomans,” Chancellor Glen D. Johnson said. “The Regents concluded that an increase to tuition was needed. This increase is intended to further enable institutions to retain top-quality faculty and provide outstanding service to students.”
Tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students will increase an average of 8.6 percent statewide in FY08.
The state’s research universities, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and the University of Oklahoma, Norman, increased their tuition and mandatory fee rates by 9.9 and 9.7 percent, respectively.
Other state universities have tuition increases that range from 6.5 to 10 percent for in-state undergraduates.
Community colleges across the state will increase their in-state tuition rates by an average of 7.7 percent.
State law requires tuition to stay at levels below the average among comparable institutions, 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.
The State Regents approved at their May 25 meeting an $11 million increase for 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. Funding for another financial aid program, the Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant, was increased by $1.64 million.
In other action, the State Regents also approved the final portions of new funding for FY08 as appropriated by the state Legislature.
Regents previously approved $27 million in new funding for at their May 25 meeting, but left the remaining $33 million to be deliberated. Much of that remaining amount was originally earmarked by the state Legislature to spend on specific projects at several state universities. Regents acted Thursday to provide some funding to the earmarks and apply $5.06 million to offset a FY07 reduction that was made in June to state colleges and universities.