TULSA — Oklahoma State University's in-state undergraduates won't see an increase in tuition and fees when they return to campus in the fall.
The Board of Regents for OSU and the A&M Colleges approved the university's budget proposal at a meeting Friday at OSU-Tulsa. That proposal included no increase in tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates.
The budget included a 2.9 percent increase in tuition and fees for nonresident undergraduates.
OSU President Burns Hargis said enrollment increases and private donations allowed the university to hold in-state tuition constant for the first time in four years.
The last time OSU students saw tuition hold steady was during the 2009-10 academic year, when the state higher education system saw a 3 percent increase in funding. That increase was driven in part by the influx of $69 million in federal economic stimulus money.
While tuition and fees won't increase for in-state undergraduate students, other groups of students in the OSU family of schools will see increases as high as 4.9 percent.
In-state graduate students will see a 1.8 percent increase in tuition and fees and nonresident graduate students a 3 percent increase. In-state students at the OSU College of Veterinary Health Sciences will see a 4.5 percent increase and nonresident veterinary students a 4.8 percent increase.
In-state and nonresident students at OSU-Oklahoma City will see no tuition increase. Students in lower-division courses at OSU Institute of Technology will see no increase. In-state students in OSUIT upper-division courses will see a 4 percent increase, while nonresident students will see a 4.9 percent increase.
$1M funding increase
Even before finding out how much state funding the university would receive for the upcoming year, OSU officials had hoped to be able to hold in-state tuition constant, Hargis said. The university received a nearly $1 million increase in state funding.
In-state students generally take priority when university officials decide where to increase tuition and fees, Hargis said. As a land-grant institution, OSU has a greater responsibility to those students, he said. Unlike nonresident students, in-state students and their families also pay state taxes that go to support OSU, he said. “We were pretty intent on keeping our tuition flat for in-state students,” he said.
Forrest Rogers, an OSU junior, said he's pleased university officials didn't raise tuition and fees on in-state students. Rogers, 20, is a Stillwater High School graduate.
Although his tuition is covered by an Oklahoma's Promise scholarship, Rogers works two on-campus jobs to pay for his fees and living expenses. He also receives federal student aid and scholarships to help him pay for school.
When tuition and fees increase, Rogers often needs to work more hours on campus to cover the additional cost. Those hours he spends working are hours he can't spend studying, he said. He needs to maintain a certain GPA to keep his scholarships, he said. So when he spends more hours at work to pay for school, it makes it more difficult to keep the scholarships he also needs to fund his education.
“It's a double-edged sword,” he said.