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NEWS

June 21, 2011

OU Regents Approve RSU Tuition Increase

Tuition will increase by $4.80 per credit hour this fall at Rogers State University due to declining state support and rising operating costs.

The Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, the governing board for RSU, approved the new rate at its meeting in Ardmore on Monday, June 20.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will consider the tuition increase, along with similar increases at most other state colleges and universities, on Thursday, June 23.

"RSU is doing everything it can to keep tuition affordable for students and their parents," said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. "As a result of decreasing state support and rising fixed costs, we had no choice but to increase tuition by a modest amount."

During the last few years, state support of public colleges and universities, including RSU, has decreased while enrollment has increased, according to Tom Volturo, RSU executive vice president for administration and finance. The university also is experiencing increased operating costs, including employee health insurance and utilities, he said.

This fall, tuition will be $100.75 per credit hour, an increase of five percent over last year's rate of $95.95.

The tuition increase will result in additional revenue of approximately $470,000, Volturo said, and will be utilized for instruction and other mandatory cost increases.

The Oklahoma Legislature recently reduced the appropriations to the state's colleges and universities by 5.8 percent, resulting in a budget decrease of $845,000 at RSU for the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

In addition, an athletic facility fee of $4 per credit hour was approved by the regents. Proceeds from the fee will be used to fund athletics facilities on the RSU campus, including completion of the baseball and softball complex, construction of a locker facility for soccer and cross country teams and the installation of artificial turf on the soccer field to accommodate additional use by student organizations including intramural sports and honors student Frisbee golf.

The RSU Student Government Association is supportive of the tuition and fee increases.

As a result, RSU students who enroll in 15 hours during a semester will pay $132 more in tuition and fees, or $264 per year.

To help students and parents cover the increase, RSU will boost its scholarship budget by 7.6 percent, or $256,900.

Nationwide, students and their parents are paying a higher percentage of the cost of a college education as state legislatures face fiscal challenges and reduce support for public education.

The decrease in state support will coincide with an anticipated increase in enrollment for the fall semester, Volturo said, requiring RSU to serve more students with less funding.

Since the tuition increase will not compensate the decline in state-appropriated funding, RSU will continue belt-tightening measures, including the examination of vacant positions to determine whether they need to be filled, as well as other cost savings, Volturo said.

"The cost of a college education in Oklahoma is still lower than nearby states, including Kansas and Arkansas, and we are committed to maintaining that affordability," Rice noted. "Although the cost of attending RSU has increased slightly, it is still a good value and less expensive than comparable institutions.

"A college education is still an excellent investment and the best way for students to increase their knowledge base, earnings potential and quality of life," Rice added.

Enrollment is currently underway for the fall semester on the RSU campuses in Claremore, Bartlesville and Pryor. Classes begin on Aug. 11. To enroll, or get more information, call (918) 343-7777 or 1-800-256-7511 or visit www.rsu.edu.