ARDMORE — University of Oklahoma regents approved sweeping tuition and fee changes Monday in the hopes of generating scholarship funds and graduation rates.
A prominent facet of the university’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget approved Monday, students carrying between 12 and 21 credit hours will be charged a flat tuition rate based upon OU’s current rate for 15 credit hours.
“Ever since I arrived and especially in recent years, costs for students and their families has risen steadily and I’ve been trying to think about ways to reduce the total cost of getting a college degree for students, and one way is to ensure students graduate in four years instead of five or six,” OU President David Boren said. “If you graduate in four years instead of five or six, savings average somewhere between $26,000 and $30,000.”
The new tuition policy is not an increase for in-state tuition rate for full-time undergraduate students, but those who enroll in less than 15 hours will pay more than they would have previously, where students who elect to enroll in more than 15 hours will pay less.
Out-of-state undergraduate tuition will increase 5.2 percent, averaging $552 more for the academic year.
“We will give flexibility to students and calculate this on 30 hours per academic year, not hours per semester. Thirty hours a year puts a student on track for four-year graduation, and that’s extremely important for saving money, reaching our graduation goals and meeting the governor’s goals for increasing graduation rates in Oklahoma,” Boren said.
In addition to incentivizing the 30-hour year with flat-rate tuition, the approved flat rate plan will cover summer and winter intersession courses.
“Students may reach their 30-hour year by picking up intersession courses. They can configure the hour distribution however they choose; we want to give them options,” Boren said.