Feb. 14, 2017
NORMAN – The total out-of-pocket cost to obtain a degree from the University of Oklahoma has gone down by an average of $7,200 compared to two years ago, a recent report states. The university has made cuts across the institution and increased scholarships to help all students, including middle income students, have the resources necessary to complete their degrees.
The comprehensive study, conducted by the OU Office of Business Analytics, examined the cost of completing 125 credit hours – the required amount for most OU degree programs – for the entering classes of 2009 through 2013. The analysis examined tuition, fees, scholarships and other financial aid support for incoming students.
“Maintaining access and affordability has been our top priority,” said OU President David L. Boren. “I am extremely excited by this report. It demonstrates that our comprehensive efforts to maintain access and affordability are really paying off for students and families. Due to a lack of state investment in education, we have had to implement tuition increases in recent years,” he added, “but we have been very judicious with these increases and limited them as much as possible out of concern for the cost to students and their families.”
OU maintains one of the lowest tuition rates in the Big 12.
Other factors contributing to the decline in out-of-pocket costs include:
· Low administrative costs, which are recognized by the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education as the lowest in the state.
· Increased number of Advanced Placement credits completed in high school by incoming OU students, which replace credits that are more expensive to complete at the college level. From 2015 to 2016, the average number of AP credits submitted by incoming students to OU increased from 14 to 15. For every AP credit, resident students save almost $300 and non-resident students save over $750 toward the cost of their degree.
· Increase in students completing concurrent enrollment coursework while in high school.
· Development of online tools such as OU Scholarship Genius, which helps students explore opportunities for financial assistance.
· Reduction in textbook costs as a result of the increased availability of digital textbooks and online academic resources.
· Use of flat-rate tuition, which allows students to take up to 21 credits per semester while paying only a 15-hours-per-semester tuition rate.
· Increase in funding for student scholarships. In the past five years, the university has raised over $133 million for student scholarships. In 2016 alone, OU raised more than $17 million in scholarships from private funding sources.
“Our scholarship campaign continues to break fundraising records,” said Boren. “I know our donors are extremely excited and gratified to know that their generous support is helping students and families afford their dreams of a college degree. When the university must increase tuition,” he added, “it must simultaneously invest in increased need-based aid.”
To further assist students evaluate their financial needs, beginning with the entering class of 2017, all incoming students will meet with a “money coach” during enrollment to assist them with planning for financial needs throughout their OU experience.
The Office of Business Analytics will complete this study every year to help the university assess how to provide the highest quality education at the most affordable cost possible.