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Oklahoma higher education system requests $97.4 million budget increase

by Silas Allen Modified: January 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013

With the addition of a principle payment the total cost was greater than higher education officials had initially projected. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will vote on an item at a meeting Thursday that would amend the system's estimate of needs for the upcoming fiscal year.

During Monday's hearing, Johnson projected the amount the State Regents spend on scholarships under the Oklahoma's Promise program will continue to decline as fewer families are eligible.

According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 46 percent of Oklahoma families in 2011 met the annual income requirement of $50,000 or less, down from 61 percent in 2000.

Sen. John Ford, R-Bartlesville, asked what the total net cost of the program would be once future tuition increases are taken into account. Those increases could easily offset any savings the state sees from having fewer students participate in the program, he said.

Bryce Fair, vice chancellor for state grants and scholarships, said the agency is projecting a drop of about 300 to 400 students each year for the next two years. Because of future tuition increases, he said, the amount the agency spends on the program is expected to remain unchanged.

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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