ARDMORE — The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a 4.8 percent tuition and fees increase for the 2015 fiscal year on Monday.
OU President David Boren said the increase is to cover fixed costs, which continue to rise while funding from the state has remained flat.
“We were really pushed into this position of raising tuition,” he said at the OU board of regents June meeting at the Noble Foundation Conference Center. “It’s my hope that next year we’ll see a different approach at least lets us cover our fixed costs.”
The board of regents also passed a 5.64-percent tuition increase for Cameron University and a seven percent tuition-and-fee escalation at Rogers State.
At OU, the per credit hour rate will rise by $5.70 to $137.60 for state residents. Tuition for non-residents will jump $19.50 per credit hour to $425.80.
Those students choosing the “flat rate” of 30 hours a year will see an increase of $177 for in-state students to $3,847.25 a year. Out-of-state students’ would see tuition and fees grow by $469.50 per year to $10,234.25.
“We always are reluctant to increase tuition and fees,” OU Boren said. “Going into this year, we were at the bottom of the old Big 12 Conference and we were the lowest among major universities in the current Big 12.”
The regents also approved raises of two percent or $1,000 (whichever is higher) for all school employees. Boren said the raises, which come at a cost of $8 million, has been covered by internal savings.
“It has been four years since we’ve had across the board raises for our faculty and staff. We decided we would simply squeeze everywhere we could and cut costs everywhere we could,” Boren said.
The staff raises were put in place to mainly benefit those that make less than $50,000 per year.
“It’s been a general feeling those who have the greatest hardship in meeting their cost of living is who we should take care,” Boren said. “We put the $1,000 minimum in for them.”