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USAO to not raise tuition during coming year


An overhead image of college graduates in their full regalia (photo by Faustin Tuyambaze)

USAO to not raise tuition during coming year

 

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents has voted unanimously to continue providing an affordable, high-quality liberal arts and sciences education for all Oklahomans by not increasing tuition for the 2018-19 academic year.

The board did vote to moderately increase student fees in order to improve campus infrastructure and create a better experience for USAO students.

On average, an Oklahoma resident attending the university full-time will pay an additional $240 in mandatory fees per trimester and a total of $7,680 in tuition and fees annually.

“USAO is well-known as a college of choice for bright and talented students who want the personalized college experience mostly found at more expensive schools,” said President John Feaver. “Many of our students come from low- and middle-income backgrounds and a large percentage are the first generation in their family to go to college. It is paramount for us to provide them with an affordable education while also ensuring them an invigorating, contemporary experience of campus life.”

The increase in student fees consists of a newly established educational network connectivity fee at $12 per credit hour and a $2 per credit hour fee for student government, which had previously been funded from the student activity fee at $1.50 per hour. The student activity fee itself will increase to $11 per credit hour, an additional $2 over the previous year.

“While we are always reluctant to increase the financial burden on our students, we are committed to improving the quality of student life as well,” said Feaver. “The new network fee will go towards drastically upgrading USAO’s IT infrastructure, which has been neglected after years of continuous budget cuts. Our mandatory fees in the areas of connectivity, technology and student activities have not seen an increase in funding in over a decade.”

For the coming fiscal year, the Oklahoma State Legislature has allocated virtually flat funding for higher education. This funding situation means the university will have to address mandatory cost increases and shortfalls in last year’s budget that were covered by use of one-time monies.