The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have approved a modest increase in Cameron University’s tuition and mandatory fees for the 2012-13 academic year, pending approval by Cameron’s governing board, The University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents. The governing Board is scheduled to act on the proposed increase June 26. Effective Fall 2013 semester, undergraduate resident tuition and mandatory fees will increase 3.9 percent to $159 per hour, a $6 per hour increase. A full-time, resident undergraduate student taking 15 hours per semester will pay an additional $180 for one academic year. Nonresident tuition will increase 4.9 percent.
“Although Cameron’s FY13 state appropriation is flat compared to last year, mandatory expenses beyond our control, such as employee benefits and utility costs, continue to increase,” says Cameron President Cindy Ross. “As in years past, we have utilized comprehensive planning, program prioritization and prudent budgeting to maintain our role as the ‘University of Choice’ for Southwest Oklahoma and beyond. This modest tuition increase will allow us to continue to offer a top quality education. Cameron University continues to be a great value.”
Even with this increase in tuition and fees, Cameron University will solidify its place as the second-most affordable university in Oklahoma. Cameron’s 3.9 percent increase is the lowest increase of any Oklahoma regional university. Cameron also compares favorably with universities outside of Oklahoma, charging 20.2 percent less than its out-of-state peer universities.
“Offsetting the additional cost to Cameron students has been a priority as we developed the budget for the FY13 fiscal year,” Ross says. “Scholarships and other financial support will be increased effective with the upcoming Fall 2013 semester.”
Resident tuition waivers and university scholarships will increase by six percent over last year, surpassing the $2 million mark. During the past four years, Cameron has received more than $1.5 million in private funds for student scholarships. For four consecutive years, Cameron has received national recognition for its commitment to affordability, last year ranking third in the nation among 626 universities with students graduating with low debt. Specifically, 68 percent of Cameron’s students graduate without any debt.
In addition to the increase in scholarship support, Cameron will continue to offer CU $upports You, a comprehensive student assistance program implemented in 2009. CU $upports You features the following programs:
- Check It Out Books
Makes textbooks for general education classes and other popular courses available for check out through the Cameron University Library. Currently, 48 percent of the circulation in the library is attributed to this program. Additionally, the textbook rental program has saved Cameron students more than $800,000 since it started less than two years ago.
- Tuition Payment Plan
Allows students to pay tuition and fees in four installments during the semester and avoid being placed on an enrollment hold for the following semester.
- Displaced Worker Assistance
In cooperation with the South Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board and the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG), area Workforce Development Offices, and Oklahoma Employment and Securities Commission, Cameron works to assist displaced workers in returning to school with additional financial support. This year, 47 students received more than $153,000 in support.
- Yellow Ribbon Program for Veterans
A partnership with the United States Veterans Administration that provides support to veterans eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. This year, 15 veteran students received more than $48,000 through this partnership. For the 2012-13 academic year, Cameron will expand the program to provide this benefit to an unlimited number of qualified veterans.
- Support for Military Spouses
Provides support for military spouses through the Military Spouse Career Advancement Financial Assistance Program. This year, 15 students received more than $27,000 in assistance.
- Emergency Loan Program
Provides students with short-term loans to assist with unexpected expenses and allows them to continue their studies. This year, 12 students received more than $2,700 in support.
Cameron will also continue the “Cameron Gold” scholarship, which supplements “Oklahoma’s Promise,” also known as the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), to cover costs not covered by “Oklahoma’s Promise” such as fees and books. This will be the sixth year for Cameron to offer this program. Since its inception in 2007, 406 students have participated and received additional support of $304,411 from the Cameron Gold program.
“Students are at the center of Cameron University’s mission,” says Ross. “We are committed to working with each and every student to ensure that financial constraints do not prevent the completion of a college degree.”
June 21, 2012