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Regional universities request tuition increases

Updated:
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) _ University of Central Oklahoma officials have asked state regents to approve a 9.3 percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees for Oklahoma residents starting in the next fiscal year.

The Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges approved the requested increase Thursday and sent it to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for consideration.

Under the proposal, state residents would pay $2,811 for 30 credit hours and non-residents would pay $5,010, a 9.4 percent increase. School officials project the increases would bring an extra $4.1 million in revenue.

At $112 million, the university's fiscal 2006 budget proposal topped $100 million for the first time in school history. The budget includes money to hire additional faculty and fund a 3.5 percent pay raise that will cost $1.7 million.

University President Roger Webb said $3 million in new state allocations contained in the budget was effectively canceled out by $3 million in mandatory cost increases such as inflationary costs, utilities, health insurance, escalating liability costs and maintenance contracts. A decline in the university's international student population was also a factor.

Webb said the school consolidated most of the mandatory fees into the tuition to help students with financial aid that is restricted to tuition only. Officials said the university is also applying for more funding for on-campus student jobs next year and hope to offer additional scholarships.

The state's five other regional universities also requested tuition increases:

_East Central University in Ada asked for a 7 percent increase for residents and a 7.6 percent hike for non-residents.

_Northeastern State University in Tahlequah asked for a 9 percent increase for residents and a 9.4 percent hike for non-residents.

_Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva asked for a 9.5 percent increase for residents and a 9.5 percent hike for non-residents.

_Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant requested an 8 percent increase for residents and a 9.9 percent boost for non-residents.

_Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford asked for an 8 percent increase for residents and a 7.5 percent hike for non-residents.
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