NORMAN — With the goal of increasing the four-year graduation rate and saving students and families thousands of dollars by graduating in four years, University of Oklahoma President David Boren announced Thursday that OU plans to implement flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees for full-time undergraduate students carrying between 12 and 21 credit hours per semester to enable them to graduate sooner. Boren also announced that the university will not raise in-state tuition this year.
Pending approval by the OU Board of Regents and the State Regents for Higher Education, flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees would go into effect in fall 2013. Half of the schools in the Big 12 already have flat-rate tuition, including Baylor University, Iowa State University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas and University of West Virginia, as well as Texas A&M University, formerly of the Big 12. Many other public universities, including most of the Big Ten universities, also have flat-rate tuition plans.
The rate is to be based on OU’s current 15-credit hour rate for tuition and mandatory fees. Under the new plan, students could enroll in up to 21 hours and pay for only 15.
“Changing from a per-credit hour basis to a flat rate encourages all of our students to complete their degrees in a shorter period of time and get the best possible value for their tuition and fees dollars,” Boren said.
For example, assuming tuition, fees, books and supplies are the same whether a student completes his or her degree in four, five or six years, that student would incur approximately $13,384 per year for room, board, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous expenses.
Under flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees, he or she would save $13,384 if graduating in four years rather than five and $26,768 if graduating in four years rather than six. Also, students who graduate in four years rather than five or six would be able to enter the work force a year or two earlier.