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OU Announces Plan to Cut Student Costs and Improve Graduation Rates with No Increase in In-State Tuition

6-20-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NORMAN – With the goal of increasing the four-year graduation rate and saving students and families thousands of dollars by graduating in four years, University of Oklahoma President David Boren announced today that OU plans to implement flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees for full-time undergraduate students carrying between 12 and 21 credit hours per semester to enable them to graduate sooner. Boren also announced that the University will not raise in-state tuition this year.

Pending approval by the OU Board of Regents and the State Regents for Higher Education, flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees would go into effect in fall 2013. Half of the schools in the Big 12 already have flat-rate tuition, including Baylor University, Iowa State University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas and University of West Virginia, as well as Texas A&M University, formerly of the Big 12. Many other public universities, including most of the Big Ten universities, also have flat-rate tuition plans.

The rate is to be based on OU’s current 15-credit hour rate for tuition and mandatory fees. Under the new plan, students could enroll in up to 21 hours and pay for only 15.

“Changing from a per-credit hour basis to a flat rate encourages all of our students to complete their degrees in a shorter period of time and get the best possible value for their tuition and fees dollar,” Boren said.

For example, assuming tuition, fees, books and supplies are the same whether a student completes his or her degree in four, five or six years, that student would incur approximately $13,384 per year for room, board, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous expenses. Under flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees, he or she would save $13,384 if graduating in four years rather than five, and $26,768 if graduating in four years rather than six. Also, students who graduate in four years rather than five or six would be able to enter the workforce a year or two earlier.

OU’s adoption of the flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees model supports the goals of the Complete College America initiative embraced and championed by Gov. Mary Fallin and State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson. Complete College America, the most comprehensive and ambitious higher education initiative ever undertaken by the state of Oklahoma, seeks to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned in the state to 50,900 by 2023.

Other Big 12 institutions have experienced significant increases in their four-year graduation rates after implementing flat-rate tuition. It should help Oklahoma increase per capita incomes and create more high paying jobs. Nationally, per capita incomes are consistently higher in states with a higher per capita number of college graduates.

In addition to the change to flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees, Boren said the University plans to launch a program for summer 2014 that would grant a credit hour tuition and mandatory fee waiver to students unable to enroll in 15 credit hours for fall 2013 and spring 2014, respectively. The summer credit hour tuition and mandatory fee waiver would be available for the number of hours not completed in fall and spring. For example, if a student enrolled in 15 hours in fall 2013 and 12 hours in spring 2014, the summer credit hour tuition and mandatory fee waiver would apply to three credit hours.

The summer program would enable students unable to take 15 hours during the fall and spring semesters to opt to participate in the summer program to remain on track to graduate in a shorter time frame and pay a lower overall credit hour rate. By taking the additional credits in the summer, these students can stay on a plan of 30 credit hours per year, allowing them to graduate in four years at no additional cost.   You could also opt to achieve 30 credit hours per year through OU online courses for which you would not have any additional cost.

An appeals process will be available to students with extraordinary extenuating circumstances who are unable to enroll in 15 credit hours. Boren announced that a pool of at least $1 million will be established to provide additional financial assistance to these students who have to work large numbers of hours each week to attend college.

“We will put great emphasis on helping our students who must work long hours at outside jobs,” Boren said. “Our goal is to provide more scholarship support to those who must work long hours to pay their way through the University. Hopefully, this additional support will allow them to work fewer hours so that they can concentrate on their academic studies,” he said.

Boren also announced new initiatives that have increased the attractiveness of OU summer session (summer.ou.edu). This summer, for example, the university is offering more than 1,000 classes, including 200 online, as well as housing discounts and some 70 events and activities, such as movies, concerts, sports leagues and a crawfish boil.

In addition to saving students textbook dollars by keeping often used books on reserve at the Library, OU announced annual savings averaging $400 per student in textbook cost as another benefit for students. OU faculty members have started to develop customized digital alternatives to high-cost textbooks through One University (www.ou.edu/oneuniversity), OU’s comprehensive digital initiative. Reading materials are placed online by professors, making it unnecessary for students to buy textbooks. While $400 in savings per year has now been realized, Boren said he hopes to double or triple the savings over the next four years.

“The goal of all of these measures is to continue to provide OU students with the highest quality of education at the most affordable cost possible,” Boren said. “We hope students will take advantage of this opportunity by enrolling in at least 30 credit hours per year in order to graduate in four years,” he said.

For more information, or to learn how students can add classes to their existing enrollment, please go to www.ou.edu/flat-rate or contact the hotline for flat-rate tuition and mandatory fees that has been established through the OU Graduation Office at (405) 325-0841.

The flat-rate will not apply to students enrolled in OU Health Sciences Center undergraduate health-related programs. Students with special circumstances, including those working many hours at outside jobs, should contact the Office of the Bursar at (405) 325-3121 to discuss special arrangements and additional financial support.

 2013  |  2012  |  2011

April 2014

Mary Cotter-Lalli Receives the 2014 Regents' Award for Superior Staff at OU Health Sciences Center

University of Oklahoma Students Achieve Perfect Grade-Point Average

OU Drama Achieves National Honors

University of Oklahoma Student Business Team Achieves Top Honors in International Competition

OU Commencement to Feature CEO and Co-Founder of Teach For All, Photo Highlights of Graduating Class and Music

Alan Velie Named 2014 Otis Sullivant Award Winner

OU Pilot Program Advances Research in Arts and Humanities

OU to Establish Premier Center for Judaic and Israel Studies with Grant from Schusterman Family Foundation

Three OU Students Receive Boren Awards for International Study

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to be Awarded National Medal for Museum Service in White House Ceremony

Brad Burnett Receives the 2014 Regents' Award for Superior Staff

OU Designated Big 12 Conference Champion In EPA's College and University Green Power Challenge

OU Norman Campus Faculty Senate Adopts Resolution Against Guns on Campus

OU Licensing Department Achieves National Honors

2014 Staff Senate Awards Ceremony to be Held April 22

Five Outstanding Individuals to Receive Honorary Degrees at OU Commencement May 9

OU's Alexis Taitel Named Recipient of Truman Scholarship

2014 OU Staff Week to Include Daily Activities and Annual Awards Ceremony

OU History of Science Department Receives Sloan Foundation Grant to Build an Innovative Tool for Collaborative Research

OU Junior Rashid Campbell Wins Top Honors at National Debate Tournament

Norman Campus Provost Announces Intent to Resume Classroom Teaching; OU President David Boren to Recommend Kyle Harper as Interim Provost

OU President's Day of Learning Welcomes Back Alumni and Friends for its Second Year

University of Oklahoma Student Business Team Achieves Top Honor in National Competition

CEO and Co-Founder of Teach For All to Deliver OU Commencement Address

Liz Bergey Named Fulbright Alumni Ambassador

Akash Patel to Receive OU's Carl Albert Award

For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.