NORMAN — Full-time undergraduate students who attend the University of Oklahoma soon will pay a flat rate for tuition and mandatory fees, OU officials said Thursday.
Under the plan, any full-time undergraduate student who takes between 12 and 21 credits per semester will pay a flat tuition rate. Officials say the plan will increase the university's four-year graduation rate and save money for students and their families.
OU officials also announced the university doesn't plan to raise tuition or mandatory fees for in-state students this year.
Similar flat-rate tuition policies are in effect at a number of other universities in the region, including the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Baylor University.
The new tuition policy would go into effect during the fall semester. Under the flat-rate policy, students could expect to pay about $13,384 per year to go to OU. That cost includes tuition, fees, room, board, transportation and other expenses.
The flat rate is based on the university's 15-hour tuition rate.
Officials say the plan will encourage students to enroll in 15 hours or more, making them more likely to graduate in four years and save them thousands of dollars they might have spent on additional semesters at OU.
Recent history of hikes
OU increased its undergraduate tuition rate last year by 3 percent for Oklahoma residents and 5 percent for nonresidents. The university has seen tuition increases each year since 2009, 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.
This year, higher education saw its budget increase by $33 million, most of which goes to cover the cost of the $24 million debt service on the 2005 higher education capital bond issue.
OU President David Boren gave guarded praise for that increase; the amount was less than higher education officials had requested. Oklahoma higher education Chancellor Glen Johnson had requested a $97.4 million increase over the last fiscal year, with $55 million going toward the state's performance and college completion goals.
OU's tuition plan will go before the OU Board of Regents at a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Noble Conference Center and Pavilion, 2510 State Highway 199E, Ardmore.