Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

May-June-July 2016

State Regents Continue to Keep Tuition Affordable

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 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 8.4 percent statewide for the 2016-17 academic year.

"We clearly recognize the challenges of this budget year," said Gen. Toney Stricklin, chair of the State Regents. "Unfortunately, the 16 percent budget cut to higher education will have a negative impact on our institutions’ ability to meet their academic missions. This significant reduction in resources compromises our ability to produce the additional degrees required to meet our state’s workforce needs."

On average, a full-time Oklahoma college student will pay $417 more for tuition and mandatory fees per year.

"The State Regents work tirelessly to keep higher education affordable for our citizens," said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. "In an extremely difficult budget environment, this moderate increase in tuition and mandatory fees will assist our higher education institutions in meeting their mandatory costs while they continue providing outstanding academic programs and services to our students, preparing them to compete in today’s competitive global economy."

The state’s research universities, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater and Tulsa, and the University of Oklahoma, Norman, increased their in-state tuition and mandatory fee rates by 7 percent.

Public regional university tuition and mandatory fee increases average 8.6 percent for in-state undergraduates.

Oklahoma’s community colleges will increase in-state tuition and mandatory fee rates by an average of 8.6 percent.

State law requires tuition to remain at levels below the average among comparable institutions, and Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities continue to keep tuition well within those limits.

"Even with the personnel cuts and cost-saving measures the institutions have implemented, it would not be possible to maintain essential student support services without also generating additional income through tuition and fees," said Northern Oklahoma College President Cheryl Evans, who serves as chair of the Council of Presidents. "For many campuses, projected revenue from tuition increases only replaces about one-third of the state funding cuts from operational budgets. We understand the financial sacrifice students make to seek a higher education, and raising the cost of tuition is not a decision the colleges and universities take lightly."

The law also requires the State Regents to make a reasonable effort to increase financial aid across the state system proportionate to any increase in tuition. Tuition waivers and scholarships provided by state institutions will increase 10.4 percent from FY 2016.

In addition, the State Regents administer Oklahoma’s Promise, a state scholarship program that allows high school students from families whose annual income is $50,000 or less to earn a college tuition scholarship. An estimated 18,000 students will receive Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships this fall. More than $31.4 million of the money appropriated by the Legislature for FY 2017 will fund additional financial aid programs.

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