OU’s adoption of the flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees model supports the goals of the Complete College America initiative embraced and championed by Gov. Mary Fallin and State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson. Complete College America, the most comprehensive and ambitious higher education initiative ever undertaken by the state of Oklahoma, seeks to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in the state to 50,900 by 2023.
Other Big 12 institutions have experienced significant increases in their four-year graduation rates after implementing flat-rate tuition. It should help Oklahoma increase per capita incomes and create more high-paying jobs. Nationally, per capita incomes are consistently higher in states with a higher per capita number of college graduates.
In addition to the change to flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees, Boren said the university plans to launch a program for summer 2014 that would grant a credit hour tuition and mandatory fee waiver to students unable to enroll in 15 credit hours for fall 2013 and spring 2014, respectively.
The summer credit hour tuition and mandatory fee waiver would be available for the number of hours not completed in fall and spring. For example, if a student enrolled in 15 hours in fall 2013 and 12 hours in spring 2014, the summer credit hour tuition and mandatory fee waiver would apply to three credit hours.
The summer program would enable students unable to take 15 hours during the fall and spring semesters to opt to participate in the summer program to remain on track to graduate in a shorter time frame and pay a lower overall credit hour rate. By taking the additional credits in the summer, these students can stay on a plan of 30 credit hours per year, allowing them to graduate in four years at no additional cost. Students also could opt to achieve 30 credit hours per year through OU online courses, for which they would not have any additional cost.