Regents approve 4% tuition, fee increase

Although students can expect to see a 3 percent tuition and 1 percent fee increase in the fall, President Paul Sechrist said OCCC still has the lowest tuition around.

The cost of one credit hour for Oklahoma residents will be $103 in August, up from $99 per credit hour last fall.

The cost for non-residents students will be $263.03 in August, a $10.21 increase from last fall.

“Our 4 percent increase will actually be one of the lowest increases proposed by [higher education] institutions. The high may be around 8 percent,” he said. “Average is [about 5 percent.]

“There are only a couple of institutions that are (proposing) less than we are,” Sechrist said during a June 10 special joint meeting with the OCCC Regents and South Oklahoma City Area School District board of trustees.

OCCC Business and Finance Vice President John Boyd said the increase, voted on by the OCCC regents at a June 17 meeting, is necessary because although state revenue is up this year, it’s still down from historic levels.

Even with the increase, Boyd projects an overall decrease in the tuition-fee revenue source because enrollment is expected to drop this fall.

“[The increase] will help offset, but not completely eliminate, our decline in [revenue from] tuition and fees,” Boyd said.

OCCC has an estimated total annual education budget of $56,235,846. Of that, $25,316,891 comes from state funds, $22,253,000 comes from tuition and fees, and the remainder comes from other sources.

In April, The (student) Leadership Council had endorsed up to a 5 percent increase in tuition and fees, Boyd said.

“Oklahoma City Community College received an increase in state appropriation of approximately $665,000, but with the reduction that we received in our allocated share for concurrent enrollment, the net increase was about $555,000.

Boyd said OCCC’s primary sources of revenue are state allocations, tuition, money received from South Oklahoma City School District for technical education reimbursement and other miscellaneous income.

In addition to a reduction in revenue from tuition and fees, Boyd said, OCCC also must deal with always-increasing fixed costs like utilities and cleaning services.

Boyd said the college budgets about $2.3 million for water, gas and electricity.

He said custodial and cleaning costs also have increased by $114,000 to $943,000 —an increase of 10 cents per square foot.

“We’ve got almost a million square feet,” Boyd said. “An increase of 10 cents per square foot — not a whole lot of money.

“… We’re getting (this service) for under $1 a square foot. That’s not that bad.”

Boyd said OCCC’s energy consumption has actually decreased since last year, but with the rising cost of energy, OCCC can still expect to pay more.

“We’ve been required to cover all of our fixed cost increases in our current budgets.

“I mean, we’re not getting any additional money,” Boyd said.

“We’re having to try to move money around and figure out where we’re going to cover these costs.”

To view college budgets, visit the Pioneer Online at Select OCCC Budgets.

Leave comment