The Norman Transcript

Editorials

June 21, 2013

Tuition and fee changes will help OU move forward

NORMAN — The changes in student tuition and fees to be considered by the OU Board of Regents at their meeting in Ardmore next week will help the university move forward on two fronts.

The “flat rate” tuition plan, currently the norm at private universities and at many of the Big 12 universities, will keep OU from raising tuition across the board for all Oklahoma students. (Out-of-state students will see an increase under the plan).

This comes as state legislators have delivered what amounts to a flat budget to higher education. A $33 million increase includes an earmark to pay down $24 million on a 2005 bond issue. The chancellor had sought a nearly $100 million increase.

With rising, fixed costs, universities are looking at any way they can to keep strong revenue streams and reduce expenses. The “flat rate” tuition plan will ensure tuition revenues stay strong. President Boren, in a meeting with The Transcript’s editorial board, said a special fund will be established to help students who can’t take that many hours because of work constraints.

The plan also will help OU and other state institutions in their continued push to produce more graduates. By setting the “flat rate” charge at a 15-hour credit level, most students will take at least 15 hours. That will keep them on course to graduate in most majors in four years.

We expect some students to still only enroll in the 12 credit hours required to be a full-time student. Parents who do the math and pay the bills might override that in hopes of saving that extra semester or year on campus.

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