Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: January 6, 2012
Sen. Jim Wilson
Bill filed to return tuition decisions back to Legislature
Prior to 1991, the Legislature voted on tuition and fee increases
at state colleges and universities. That year, the Legislature decided
to give power over tuition decisions to the State Board of Regents
but under a strict cap through House Bill 1219. In 2003, however,
another measure was passed to give the State Regents full reign
over decisions concerning tuition hikes. Since that time, tuition
has nearly doubled and mandatory fees have nearly quadrupled, which
has some lawmakers like Sen.
Jim Wilson wanting to take back control over such decisions.
“In the Legislature, we’re always talking about the
importance of having a highly educated population and we do all
we can to attract businesses to the state so college graduates will
have access to good, high-paying jobs,” said Wilson, D-Tahlequah.
“But all our efforts are in vain when a lot of citizens simply
can’t afford to attend college because tuition continues to
rise at a staggering rate, far surpassing the rate of inflation.
That’s why I think it’s time for the Legislature to
take back the responsibility of making tuition decisions.”
On Thursday, Wilson filed Senate Bill 1062, which would amend
current law so that the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
would simply propose, rather than establish, increases to resident
and nonresident tuition as well as other fees required of students
attending Oklahoma institutions of higher education. Currently,
by January 1 of each year, the Regents must submit a report to the
Governor, Senate President Pro Tempore, the Speaker of the House,
the minority floor leaders and education committee chairs of both
houses of what actions they approved that year. Under Wilson’s
bill, they would instead submit a proposal for tuition and fee increases
and the Legislature would vote on it during session.
The State Regents began setting tuition rates during the 2003-2004
school year. That year, the average tuition rate per credit hour
for undergraduate residents at the research universities (OU and
OSU) was $72.10. For FY ’12, the average is $135.88 and if
mandatory fees are included, the amount increases to $237.19.
The history of tuition rates per credit hour can be found at http://www.okhighered.org/studies-reports/fy12-tuition-fees.pdf.
For more information contact:
Sen. Wilson: (405) 521-5574