OU-Tulsa to give tuition breaks for laid-off workers

Thursday, July 18th 2002, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The University of Oklahoma is planning to offer a tuition discount for recently laid-off workers in Tulsa.

The ``Boost Tulsa'' program will provide a 20% tuition discount to any new students who have been laid off in the past six months and qualify academically for OU's graduate or undergraduate programs in Tulsa, OU President David Boren said.

Such workers also must enroll for the fall semester and have been working full time when they were laid off.

``In these challenging economic times, we feel it is the role of the University of Oklahoma to provide excellent educational opportunities for Tulsans,'' Boren said.

During the past six months, three major employers _ Williams Cos. Inc., Williams Communications Group Inc. and WorldCom _ have laid off about 1,030 workers combined.

VARTEC, a telecommunications company, confirmed earlier this month that it will close its Tulsa call center July 31, possibly putting more than 1,000 people out of work.

The tuition discount should save about $200 for people who are enrolling in most OU-Tulsa programs, school spokeswoman Tracy Kennedy said.

OU-Tulsa reports an enrollment of 839 students, most of whom are graduate level. Most of OU's programs in Tulsa are graduate studies in health sciences and telecommunications.

Laid-off workers can take advantage of savings while earning master's degrees in architecture, human relations, library and information studies, music education, public health, nursing and telecommunications.

OU-Tulsa President Ken Levit said the school will offer a cooperative degree in telecommunications and business, which features courses in electrical engineering, management and industrial engineering.

Before the discount, tuition and fees for part-time graduate students cost about $1,875 for 12 hours of course work, usually completed in a 12-month cycle.

Full-time students will pay $3,300 for 21 hours taken over one year.

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