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Oklahoma schools fare well in new federal college cost data

According to the department's College Affordability and Transparency Center, OSU-Oklahoma City had the 20th-lowest rate for tuition and fees among four-year public colleges and universities during the 2011-12 academic year, the most recent year the data lists.
by Silas Allen Modified: July 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: July 7, 2013

USAO, OSU Institute of Technology, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Northeastern State University all were listed among the public four-year schools with the lowest net price.

Family of Faith College in Shawnee was among the private four-year schools with the lowest net price during the same year, and Carl Albert State College in Poteau was listed among public two-year colleges with the lowest net price.

The data also highlighted the increasing cost of a college education, both in Oklahoma and nationwide, since the beginning of the recession.

According to data, the net price at OSU's main campus climbed by 3.3 percent between the 2008-09 year — roughly the beginning of the recession — and the 2010-11 year, climbing from $12,576 for 30 credit hours in the fall of 2008 to $12,990 in the fall of 2010.

During the same period, the University of Oklahoma's net price climbed 17.6 percent, increasing from $13,002 in 2008-09 to $15,289 in 2011-12.

Matt Hamilton, OU's registrar and vice president for enrollment and student financial services, said he was skeptical about that statistic. He said he didn't know of any factor that would have caused OU's net price to climb so sharply in relation to other universities in the area, including OSU and the University of Texas, which also saw a 3.3 percent increase.

Tuition and fees at OU actually increased at a slower rate than those at OSU between the 2009-10 academic year and the 2012-13 year, climbing about 16.3 percent at OU and about 20 percent at OSU.

Hamilton noted that the U.S. Department of Education only began tracking colleges' net price fairly recently. Colleges and universities are required to report the statistic under the 2008 Higher Education and Opportunity Act.

“There are a lot of apples and oranges comparisons,” he said. “I don't think that's an accurate representation of reality.”

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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