July 8, 2008
With state appropriations for higher education at a standstill, Northwestern Oklahoma State University administrators will deal with a tight budget outlook for the 2009 fiscal year that began July 1.
Northwestern’s educational and general budget of $21,114,076 was approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education at its meeting on June 26. Included in the budget is a tuition increase of 9.6 percent for resident undergraduate students.
“The budget process was very challenging this year, with no new money coming from state appropriations and significant increases in mandatory costs,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “Our mandatory costs increased by almost $375,000, plus, we will incur expenses of approximately $130,000 associated with the opening of two renovated buildings in Alva and the new campus in Woodward.”
Because of the budget situation, no across-the-board salary increases will be awarded to faculty or staff.
“Our faculty and staff work hard and deserve additional compensation,” Cunningham said. “We know our employees are paying more for the necessities of everyday living, but the money just is not there to increase salaries. Our ability to attract and keep qualified employees is becoming more challenging.”
Cunningham also said making the decision to increase tuition was necessary, but not easy.
“Even though Northwestern remains one of the true bargains in higher education, we know that many families struggle with the costs of tuition,” Cunningham said. “We kept the increases as minimal as we could and will continue to look at options for reducing expenses and keeping tuition as affordable as possible.”
To help offset the rise in tuition, Northwestern will increase scholarship support by $516,000 for the coming year and will work with the Northwestern Foundation to increase private scholarships.
The new tuition and fee rate for undergraduate students is $137 per credit hour, which is the lowest among institutions in the Regional University System of Oklahoma and is only 87.1 percent of the peer limit established by the State Regents.
Students are encouraged to visit with the Financial Aid Office at (580) 327-8540 or firstname.lastname@example.org to explore all available options for financing their education.
Posted on Tue, July 8, 2008
by Valarie Case