Low tuition costs at the University of Central Oklahoma have allowed Jillian Goodman to spend her free time getting involved on campus rather than working a part-time job to pay for school.
But if the university increases its tuition, Goodman and thousands of other students like her would end up working more hours and taking on more debt to finish their degrees, Goodman told the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on Thursday.
Goodman, a member of the UCO Student Association, was one of several students who spoke at the state regents’ annual tuition hearing Thursday.
The state’s universities have seen a cumulative 10 percent increase in tuition since 2009 — an average increase of about 4.1 percent per year.
Oklahoma higher education Chancellor Glen Johnson said that increase is considerably more modest than in other states, including California, which enacted a 21 percent increase in 2011 alone.
Zach Milvo, UCO’s student government president, told regents that most students have told him they don’t favor a tuition increase, but that they’re willing to accept higher costs if higher education officials are transparent about where the funding goes.
Most UCO students don’t mind the idea of working a part-time job to pay for college, Milvo said.