Students attending any of the state’s public colleges and universities will receive some financial relief this year due to a statewide tuition freeze.
Presidents from Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities recently vowed they would not seek tuition increases for the 2009-10 academic year. This is the first time since 2001 that the State Regents approved a budget for the state system that did not include a tuition increase.
“We are extremely appreciative of the support for higher education shown by Gov. Brad Henry, the Oklahoma State Senate and House of Representatives,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Their actions, combined with the leadership shown by the State Regents and all of our institutions, have made it possible to assist our students and families during this difficult economic time. This affirms the Oklahoma higher education system’s continued standing as one of the most affordable systems in the country. Attaining a college degree has never been more important, and it is very clear from the efforts of all our state leaders that keeping higher education affordable is our top priority.”
Mandatory fees at all of the state’s public institutions, with the exception of Connors State College and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, will remain the same as in FY09. At Connors, the total increase will be 4.2 percent for a full-time, resident student. At NEO, the total increase for full-time residents will be 8 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.
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 $54 million for FY10. More than $37 million of the money appropriated by the Legislature for FY10 will go toward additional financial aid programs.