OU PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO ACCUSATIONS OF OVERSPENDING AFTER TUITION INCREASE

News 9 - August 23, 2023 6:46 am

OU President Joe Harroz

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The Wall Street Journal recently criticized the University of Oklahoma and other flagship universities for their spending habits in a report released in August.

This also comes on the heels of OU raising its tuition by three percent ahead of this school year.

As tuition rises, questions are rising about where that money is going, especially from students who are putting themselves through college.”

“Why is our tuition being raised? What are we paying for?,” OU student Sydney Price questioned.

She is paying her own way through college and finds the tuition hikes frustrating. “It’s a lot sometimes,” she said of the second hike in six years. “It’s just insane. Like it’s just really infuriating.”

She’s taking out federal loans just to keep up. “I shouldn’t have to be going into crippling debt to get an education,” she said.

According to a Wall Street Journal investigation released this summer, this is not a new problem. It says OU’s “…per student tuition and fees rose 166 percent in 20 years, the most of any flagship…”

“That number is a very sensational, attention-grabbing number,” OU President Joe Harroz said.

He said you have to look at the whole picture. “We’ve seen over the last 5-10 years is state legislators decreasing the percentage of money going to state research universities,” Harroz said. “Students have had to stand in to make that up and it’s been a burden.”

The university has made efforts to lighten that load. “We’ve increased the amount of dollars going towards need-based aid over the last five years by 48 percent,” Harroz said.

In addition to more aid, he said the university has cut spending. “The Norman campus alone has cut $143 million in spending,” he said.

He feels the conclusions in the Wall Street Journal article are outdated. “A lot of the things that were said in there were true or close to being true 5 years ago,” he said.

Nevertheless, some students are still struggling with this year’s tuition raise. “It seems like I’m just paying for the same things, but it just keeps getting more expensive,” Price said.

 

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