Cameron University budget approved for FY14

Cameron University’s governing board approved an annual budget of more than $49 million for Fiscal Year 2014 during its regularly scheduled meeting today in Ardmore. The University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents approved a $49,272,390 operating budget which allocates more than $34 million (approximately 70 percent of the entire budget) for student instruction, scholarships and student services during the upcoming academic year. Cameron’s state allocation is $21.8 million, a 0.8 percent increase from last year. The state allocation funds just 45 percent of the university’s operating budget.

“Cameron University enters the 2013-2014 academic year with the momentum of more than a decade of remarkable transformation, progress, and growth,” says President Cindy Ross. “These accomplishments include the transformation of the campus, progress to become the ‘University of Choice’ and significant growth in quality and quantity of students, faculty and staff.  All of this has been accomplished while improving the financial stability, institutional effectiveness, and accountability of Cameron University to the students, community members, and other stakeholders of Southwest Oklahoma. The FY14 budget demonstrates Cameron University’s commitment to student learning and student success inside and outside the classroom, support for our employees and community, and the growth and prosperity of our region.”

Effective with the Fall 2013 semester, undergraduate resident tuition and mandatory fees will increase 5.97 percent to $168.50 per hour. A full-time, resident undergraduate student taking 15 hours per semester will pay an additional $285 for one academic year.

“Cameron’s FY14 state appropriation is just 0.8 percent higher than that of last year and does not cover mandatory cost increases, such as health and property insurance, which are beyond our control,” says President Cindy Ross. “While we will also be using reserve funds to offset these costs, increasing tuition and fees is unavoidable. Even so, Cameron’s commitment to student learning remains at the forefront. We will continue to offer a top quality education at one of the most affordable rates in the state of Oklahoma and the nation.”

Even with this increase in tuition and fees, Cameron University will remain one of the most affordable universities in Oklahoma. Additionally, Cameron compares favorably with universities outside of Oklahoma, charging 20 percent less than its out-of-state peer universities.

In recent years, Cameron has received national recognition for its commitment to affordability. Last year, 64 percent of Cameron’s students graduated without any debt. The university remains committed to maintaining its low debt load among graduates by continuing to offer increased financial assistance to students.

Offsetting the additional cost to students are increased scholarships and other financial support. Resident tuition waivers and university scholarships will increase by seven percent over last year and will exceed $2.2 million.

Cameron will continue to offer a variety of financial assistance initiatives as part of 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, saving students the cost of purchasing books. Additionally, the CU Bookstore has a textbook rental program that offers significant savings to students.

  • 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.

  • 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, Cameron provided an unlimited commitment to qualifying veterans.

  • Support for Military Spouses

Provides support for military spouses through the Military Spouse Career Advancement Financial Assistance Program.

  • Emergency Loan Program

Provides students with short-term loans to assist with unexpected expenses and allows them to continue their studies.

“Students will always be 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.”

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June 24, 2013

PR#13-121