OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ With students paying an ever-higher percentage of their college education, University of Oklahoma President David Boren believes his school is practically a private university now.
Students' tuition and fees bills now make up 36 percent of college and university budgets, according to state figures. In 1993, the student share was 19 percent.
The Oklahoma Legislature's appropriation to higher education has declined during that time, from 70 percent to 50 percent.
Students have seen hefty tuition increases over the past two years after lawmakers gave regents the authority to set tuition and fee schedules, said Higher Education Chancellor Paul Risser.
The intent was to take politics out of the issue, but the result has been steep cost increases for students.
``This has been a dramatic increase for students, but we have essentially caught up,'' Risser said.
Lawmakers and educators for years have wanted students to pay one-third of the cost of higher education, but students are paying 36 percent.
Tuition and fees this fall climbed an average 9 percent, less than last year's average increase of 15 percent.
Tuition and fees for undergraduates last year at OU increased 27 percent. The increase was 24 percent at Oklahoma State University during the same period.
Added fees for freshmen made OU's increase 39 percent, and OSU's 29 percent.
The next tuition increase will be more in line with the cost of living increase _ in the 2 to 5 percent range, Risser said.