June 24, 2010 :: State Regents Approve Oklahoma College, University Budgets
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education today approved modest 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 5.1 percent statewide for the 2010-11 academic year.
On average, a full-time Oklahoma college student will pay $184 more for tuition and mandatory fees.
Higher education officials cited record enrollments, increases in operational costs, last year’s tuition freeze and this year’s 3.3 percent decrease in state appropriations as factors that contributed to the increases.
“During this time of record enrollment increases on our campuses, it is imperative that our colleges and universities have the resources they need to continue to provide our students a top-quality education at an affordable cost,” said Chancellor Glen. D. Johnson.
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 4.4 and 4.5 percent, respectively.
Other state universities have tuition increases averaging 5.2 percent for in-state undergraduates.
Oklahoma’s community colleges will increase their in-state tuition rates by an average of 5.1 percent.
Oklahoma’s colleges and universities continue to tighten their belts in spite of increases in mandatory operating costs by cost-saving efforts including energy conversion and conservation, reduction in administrative expenses, and travel and hiring freezes. Over the last three years, institutions have saved more than $73.7 million.
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.
One example of this effort is 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. Students must graduate from an Oklahoma high school or homeschool education program, attend class regularly, take a 17-unit college preparatory curriculum, pass those courses with at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) and achieve at least an overall 2.5 GPA to earn the scholarship. Students must also agree to stay out of serious trouble and avoid drugs and alcohol. Oklahoma’s Promise will receive $57 million for FY11.
More than $36 million of the money appropriated by the Legislature for FY11 will go toward additional financial aid programs.