Okla. regents approve college tuition increases

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved tuition increases Thursday for 25 of Oklahoma's 26 state colleges and universities.

The average increase is 5.2 percent, said regents Chancellor Glen Johnson, but they range from 2.8 percent at Oklahoma State University to 7.9 percent at the University of Central Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma's tuition will go up 3 percent.

Johnson said the regents took into account the impact that rising tuition has on students and their parents.

"I think the action today reflects that and reflects the sensitivity to students and parents' needs," Johnson said, "but also provides a mechanism to continue to provide a great higher education opportunity at a very affordable cost," said Johnson.

Annual tuition for full-time out-of-state students will rise by an average of 5.1 percent, or $501 per year.

Connors State College in Warner did not seek to raise tuition, but was given approval to increase mandatory fees by $150 per year for full-time students.

College and university presidents previously told regents that the increases were needed to offset rising costs that include insurance, utilities and additional faculty needed due to rising enrollment. State appropriations to higher education will remain essentially flat for fiscal year 2013 — up.04 percent, from $1.008 billion in fiscal year 2012 to $1.012 billion for 2013.

The University of Central Oklahoma will see the biggest jump in terms of dollars as well, an extra $373.50 per year for full-time in-state students. At OSU, in-state tuition goes up by $204, and is $216 annually at OU. Out-of-state tuition increases by $900 per student at OU and by $871.50 at OSU.

On Thursday, the regents also approved a total higher education budget of $2.66 billion, up from $2.62 billion last year. The budget includes $6.5 million for the University of Oklahoma system and $6 million for the Oklahoma State University system.

The regents also elected Ike Glass of Newkirk as new chairman, succeeding Julie Carson of Claremore, whose term as chairman expired. Jimmy Harrel of Leedey was elected vice chairman, Mike Turpen of Oklahoma City became the new secretary and John Massey of Durant became the assistant secretary.