June 20, 2021
Dear OU Community,
At the University of Oklahoma, we’ve worked together over the past two years to refine our focus on our fundamental purpose – We Change Lives. Our work culminated in the release of Lead On, University, the Strategic Plan for our Norman campus. One of the key tenets of that plan is to provide an education that is excellent, affordable, and accessible to anyone with the will and ability to pursue it. The past three years of flat tuition demonstrate our efforts to do just that. In fact, OU is one of only two public universities in the state that has not raised undergraduate tuition or fees since the 2017-2018 academic year. Across the country, most universities increase tuition and fees year after year, some to the maximum extent possible – with no real rationale – simply because they can. We aim to be different.
To achieve the ambitions and dreams we have for our students, we must all, together, share in the contributions and commitment it will take to achieve it. For our students and their families, it means managing the increasing cost of a college degree. For our faculty, staff, and administration, it will mean adapting to operational changes that will ultimately benefit the institution and our purpose.
This coming academic year, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval, we will raise tuition and mandatory fees for Norman campus programs for the first time in four years. For undergraduate students, as well as graduate students not serving in a graduate assistant role, tuition and fees will increase 2.75%. This is never an easy decision, and we don’t make it lightly.
Ultimately, we want to ensure that we can continue to fund a transformative student experience and world-class teaching and research – the kind that truly changes lives. To that end, this year’s increase will significantly help support our Strategic Plan. As part of the Strategic Plan, we will expand our student services, including a greatly enhanced focus on career services; enrich academic programs; invest in hiring new faculty; fund innovative research; and more. These investments will sustain OU’s excellence for generations.
We always endeavor to be conscientious stewards of our resources and our sacred purpose. It’s my hope this letter provides context for our decision and reveals our resolve to ensure OU remains both excellent and affordable.
If you have any questions or concerns about how the tuition increase might affect you, please contact our professionals in the Student Financial Center who stand ready to help as you seek financial aid and create a plan to fund the upcoming year. Please reach out to the Student Financial Center as you plan your return to OU.
I wish you all a safe and productive summer, and I look forward to welcoming you back to Norman this fall.
Live On, University,
Joseph Harroz, Jr.