House Passes College Tuition Lock Measure

Tuesday, March 13th 2007, 6:09 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Oklahoma House approved legislation Tuesday to lock in tuition rates for in-state college students.

The measure, approved 95-5, would require public colleges and universities to offer in-state students an option to participate in a guaranteed tuition rate plan, beginning in the 2008-2009 school year.

The plan would lock in tuition rates for the student's freshman year and for the next four continuous years. Colleges and universities would still be able to raise tuition and fees to the regional average.

The measure also includes a provision allowing institutions to adjust guaranteed tuition rates for participating students if the Legislature does not appropriate a 5 percent increase for the state Regents for Higher Education each year.

``Rising tuition rates are causing middle-class families to make some real sacrifices, but it shouldn't have to be that way,'' said the measure's author, Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing. ``College should be accessible to as many Oklahoma students as possible.''

House Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah, said parents and students should know how much money they need to save for an education.

``As things are right now, with ever-rising tuition rates, many parents save throughout their child's elementary and high school years only to realize upon graduation that they've missed the mark,'' Cargill said.

The measure, House Bill 2103, now goes to the Senate for consideration.