Redlands to implement fall semester tuition hike

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By Traci Chapman

Redlands Community College students will see a hike in their tuition when they return to classes in the fall.

Regents in June approved a 5.9 percent tuition increase, effective during fiscal year 2014-2015. That means per credit hour costs will go up from $116.50 last year to $123.37 when the fall semester begins on Aug. 14. The tuition for a student taking 30 credit hours will run $3,701 – an increase of $206, according to documents prepared by Redlands staff.

According to breakdowns prepared by college officials, this is the fifth consecutive year tuition at the community college has increased. It is the largest percentage hike during those five years. Last year, officials implemented a 4.96 percent increase.

Redlands was not the only community college or four-year university to implement a tuition hike this year, officials said. In a report prepared for regents, several school sites were polled, and many revealed tuition increases, most ranging between 4 percent and 7 percent. Connors State College posted an 8.2 percent boost, while Oklahoma City Community College anticipated a 4.85 percent increase. Rose State College indicated it would increase tuition this fall by 4.3 percent, while Southwestern State University provided hikes between 5.8 and 6.9 percent. Of all of the schools polled by Redlands, it appeared Murray State College was anticipating the biggest boost at 9.5 percent.

Average increases for two-year colleges included in the Redlands report totaled 6.74 percent.

Higher costs were the reason for the necessary increase, Redlands President Jack Bryant said.

“While higher education did receive a flat-line budget this year, when the final appropriations were released, this did not address the issue of mandatory cost increases like utilities, benefits, etc.,” he said. “The tuition increase that was approved by the Redlands board at the June 9 meeting and then approved by the Oklahoma State Regents Board at their meeting on the 26th will help generate some of the funds needed to cover those mandatory increases.”

Regents attending the meeting unanimously approved the increase. Regents Charlie Beard and Tracey Wills were absent.