Tuition increases are not new to Oklahoma colleges, but the increase to come is higher than in years past.
“Over the last 7 years, we’ve averaged 2.4% so it’s quite a bit more,” said Burns Hargis, President of Oklahoma State University.
In fiscal year 2017, OSU undergraduates will likely see a 7% hike in tuition and mandatory fees. That’s an extra $543 dollars for in-state undergraduate students and $1,466 extra for undergraduate non-resident students.
“There has got to be some kind of magic I can find here to make all this work, but unfortunately there isn’t a lot of magic. You have to roll up our sleeves and make some very hard choices,” said Hargis.
A larger tuition and mandatory fee hike is necessary. Without it, the quality of education would be in jeopardy.
“We’re trying to maintain the quality of the programs that people want and need,” said Hargis.
He said this increase will raise about $11 million to fill a $20 million hole left by state budget cuts.
Calvin J. Anthony is a member of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents. He said, “I hope that the public understand and our legislators understand that we are in a crisis situation.”
He said the board looked carefully at the numbers. Friday, they approved tuition increase for more than just OSU.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College is approved for a 9% increase in tuition and mandatory fees. 8.75% is approved for Connors State College; 6.9% for Langston University, and 3.7% for Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
“The fact of the matter is that higher education is in somewhat of a desperate situation,” said Anthony.
The increase isn’t finalized just yet. The final decision is up to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, which meets in two weeks.