The Norman Transcript

Education

September 22, 2013

President Boren, students and parents weigh in on Flat rate tuition

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma students and President David Boren suggest mixed reviews on OU’s new flat-rate tuition policy as beginning of the year excitement settles down and the university marches toward fall break and midterms. At the end of June, OU announced its plan to adopt a flat-rate tuition policy based on OU’s 15-credit hour rate for tuition and not increase in-state tuition. Under the new policy, students can enroll in up to 21 hours and pay for only 15. However, the same goes for students who enroll in only 12 hours; they too must pay for 15 hours.

Half of the schools in the Big 12 already have flat-rate tuition, including Baylor University, University of Texas and Texas A&M University. Additionally, most of the Big Ten universities have flat-rate tuition plans. President Boren said the change in OU’s tuition policy would support the university’s goal of helping students graduate sooner while getting the best value for their tuition fees and dollars.

“The new tuition plan is going very well,” President Boren said as he addressed regents at the regent’s board meeting on Wednesday. “I think above the 99 percent level of parents have come up to me in support of the change.”

Although the numbers aren’t official, Matt Hamilton, OU vice president for enrollment and student financial services registrar, said information from Institutional Research reports that enrollment in 15 or more hours has increased about 12 percent compared to last year. Hamilton attributes part of this increase to the newly developed Work Assistance Scholarship program in conjunction with the flat-rate tuition policy.

“It provided additional scholarship funds to students who documented work patterns of 25 or more hours per week. About 120 students received the scholarship so they could decrease their work hours and increase their credit hours,” Hamilton said.

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