State Regents approve Northwestern budget for FY15

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State Regents approve Northwestern budget for FY15

Regents from the Regional University System of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have approved Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Northwestern will operate with a primary budget of $25,715,701, about 2 percent larger than the current FY14 budget.

Faced with no additional state funding, and mandatory and inflationary cost increases, a tuition increase of $12 per credit hour was approved, bringing the cost of tuition and mandatory fees to $185 per credit hour. For a student enrolled in 15 credit hours per semester, the increase will total $180.

“Nobody likes increases in tuition, but operational costs continue to rise and state appropriations for higher education continue to fall short,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “State appropriations used to cover 75 percent of a student’s costs. Today that percentage has fallen to 40 percent. We have made all of the cuts possible without sacrificing quality. The last option is to change tuition rates.”

“And yet we know it could have been worse. The initial proposed budget included a 5 percent cut for higher education. Fortunately, our legislative leadership stepped in and eliminated the cut. It was a long, hard fight just to get to zero.”

Increased costs for food and utilities are also driving an increase in room and board rates. A student in a semi-private room with a 15 meal per week plan will pay $135 more per semester.

Despite the increase, tuition and fee costs remain well below the peer limit for regional universities, and the total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board) remains very competitive.

Last year, Northwestern was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as having the nation’s sixth most affordable tuition among four-year public institutions and the lowest campus living costs in the nation.

“We have worked hard to keep our rates as low as possible,” Cunningham said. “When you compare our costs with other four-year institutions, plus add in our financial aid packages, Northwestern is a clear value.”