Senate Education Leaders Decry 3% Tuition Hike at University of Oklahoma
Mike Seals - June 19, 2023 6:43 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Senate education leaders are asking the University of Oklahoma to reconsider raising tuition for the third year in a row.
The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a 3 percent tuition hike earlier this week.
Senate leaders say the hike comes as the legislature pumps more money into higher education. Higher education received more than $1 billion this year’s state budget.
“The higher education system just received the largest increase in appropriations in recent history,” said Adam Pugh, the Senate education chairman. “For any university to turn around and immediately raise tuition on students is absurd. At a time when young adults are considering the value proposition of a degreed program, saddling students and families with more debt increases the likelihood of students seeking alternative pathways for their career. Last year with SB 363, I called for a freeze on tuition and fees for public colleges and universities in Oklahoma. Sadly, that bill stalled. I hope students and parents who are shouldering this burden will call their senators and representatives to begin the conversation surrounding these continuous tuition increases by the universities. At a time when Oklahoma businesses need a skilled and educated workforce more than ever, we should be doing everything in our power to lower the cost of educational attainment, not raise it.”
OU instituted a 2.75% tuition hike in 2021 and a 3% increase for out-of-state students in 2022.
“Higher education received over $1 billion in this year’s budget,” said Sen. Ally Seifried, the vice chair of the Senate Education Committee. “If the University of Oklahoma wants to stay competitive and is serious about keeping students in their classrooms, they need to figure out a way to make it more affordable. Increasing tuition three years in a row will not only increase debt for students but dissuade future students from obtaining a higher ed degree at a time when we are experiencing a workforce shortage.”