LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Cameron University students will see an increase in their tuition this fall. The Board of Regents for O-U, Cameron University and Rogers State University approved the university's budget and the tuition rate hike on Tuesday.
Tuition for Cameron University students will go up by about 3.5 percent for on-campus undergrads, and 2.2 percent for off-campus undergrads. That means students will be paying $80 to $252 more than last year. That’s depending on if they are residents or non-residents and their class load.
President John McArthur said with less and less state funding, they must ask more of their students.
“It really is frustrating about how do we move an institution forward because our students here in Southwest Oklahoma they really do merit a great educational experience,” McArthur said. “And it becomes harder and harder on our faculty and staff to provide that.”
McArthur said the state gave Cameron more than $16 million in funding this year, which is $1 million decrease from last year.
“As this head of the institution having to deal with cut upon cut,” McArthur said. “$2.8 million reduction last year, $3.5 million reduction this year and now an over million dollar reduction next year."
McArthur said a tuition raise is the last thing they look at in creating a budget. He said they began to cut corners to make up for that million they won't receive this year, and cut over $500,000 in expenditures.
"We've made a lot of efficacies on campus,” McArthur said. “We have reduced a few employee positions. We are very fortunate that we were able to do that through retirements and resignations, and we did not have to do any layoffs this year as we did last year .”
McArthur said to counter the rise in tuition they added $30,000 more tuition waivers and scholarship funding for students who qualify. He also said that Cameron remains a good deal compared to other universities in surrounding states, coming in at 84 percent lower in yearly tuition costs.
The university's budget and the tuition increase are not official yet. The proposals still need approval from the State Board of Regents, and they meet next week.