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2024-2025 Tuition Increase

Frequently Asked Questions

2024-2025 Tuition Increase

Over the past five years, the sticker price of tuition and fees on the Norman campus has risen 1.2% per year for resident undergraduates and 1.8% per year for nonresident undergraduates – both well below the annual inflation rate of 3.1%. However, during this same five-year time frame, OU has significantly increased tuition waivers, scholarships, and grants (WSG) awards – which has substantially lowered the actual costs for students and more than offset the sticker price increases.

Because of these efforts, an OU degree is more affordable now than it was five years ago. Over the last five years, resident freshmen have seen a 28% reduction in their net tuition and fees, saving them $1,516 annually. Nonresident freshmen have benefited from a 4% reduction, saving $627 annually.

The graph to the right shows for residents, the tuition and fee sticker price trend, net cost after WSG, and the net cost after WSG for Crimson Commitment students (residents with income below $60,000).

Graph shows for residents, the tuition and fee sticker price trend, net cost after WSG, and the net cost after WSG for Crimson Commitment students (residents with income below $60,000).

Frequently Asked Questions

This coming academic year, OU will raise tuition and mandatory fees as follows.

Norman Campus and Law Programs:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students:
    • Tuition and mandatory fees will increase by 3%.

Estimated Average Increase to Students (Norman Campus)


 Est. Increase: Full Academic YearEst. Increase: By Semester


 Est. Increase: Full Academic YearEst. Increase: By Semester

Health Sciences Programs:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students:
    • Tuition will increase by 3%.
  • Professional Programs:
    • Resident students in the following professional programs will see a tuition increase as identified below:
      • 4% increase: Medicine (M.D.), Physician Associate (P.A.), Physician Assistant (P.A.), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
      • 5% increase: Doctor of Audiology (AuD)
  • Mandatory fees in Health Sciences programs will remain the same.

The new rates will be effective for the Fall 2024 semester.

The increase, which will generate approximately $7.2 million, will be entirely used to help fund a merit-based salary increase for eligible faculty and staff for FY 2025, which will cost $15 million campus-wide. Maintaining a competitive compensation for our faculty and staff lies at the core of the excellence we owe to our students.

As a public university, the University of Oklahoma places a strong emphasis on balancing academic excellence with affordability and access.

In setting tuition, we must abide by two foundational principles:

  • First: We are in a marketplace competing against other flagship universities to be both excellent and affordable.
    • Higher education is a competitive business. Students, faculty, and staff all have myriad market choices.
    • To be great, a university must be able to attract and retain the best students and faculty in the face of competitive market pressures.
    • To attract and retain the very best students and faculty, we must make strategic investments that advance OU’s excellence.
  • Second: Every student with the talent and drive to succeed should have access to an OU education.

Implementing this tuition and mandatory fee increase will provide a stable funding source to support our strategic priorities and forward momentum for years to come.

Prior to recent increases in 2022, state appropriations were below 1999 levels, before adjusting for inflation. OU’s FY 2025 appropriation is consistent with FY 2007 funding levels. While much improved from pre-2022 levels, this funding lags behind other public peers.

See the chart1 below for a comparison to other public universities. There is an $87 million gap between OU’s per student funding level and the median. Even after adjusting for appropriation increases received in FY 2023 and FY 2024, there would still be a $62 million gap between OU and the median.

Chart comparing state appropriations per Student FTE

1Source: IPEDS (FY 2022, most recent available data)

Important funding has been received by the state for one-time/capital costs since 2022 in the amount of $50 million to fund engineering, aerospace, and weather capital projects that expand research efforts aligned with OU expertise, state workforce goals, and federal funding priorities. Still, it’s important to note that these are one-time allocations (not recurring funds). Furthermore, our appropriations have fallen dramatically over the years. In the mid-80s, our state funding made up about 40% of our operating budget. Today, it only makes up roughly 15%.

Over the last five years, we’ve upheld our promise to offer a world-class education at a great value, while also funding strategic priorities that directly correlate to the overarching goals of our Strategic Plan. Examples on the Norman campus include:

Key Research Investments:

  • Increasing sponsored research expenditures to record levels at OU
  • Research growth has averaged 16% per year in the last four years

Competitive Compensation:

  • Merit-based salary increases for eligible faculty and staff to help the university recruit and retain talent in a competitive environment

Strategic Faculty Hiring:

  • Authorized 91 new regular faculty positions, including 42 for Engineering
  • Over last five years, full-time instructional faculty have grown 134, or 11%

Staffing Investments to Serve Students:

  • Nearly doubled Career Center staff, to provide best-in-class student support and job placement focus
  • Implemented career growth pathway for academic advisors and student recruiters

Graduate Student Recruitment:

  • Authorized a 63% increase to graduate assistant stipends

Improvements to the Campus Experience:

  • Targeting funding to sustain low-cost and free services, and to provide additional support for student-centric services, such as the University Counseling Center, OU Food Pantry, and SafeRide

OU realizes that tuition increases have a real impact on students and families. OU’s No. 1 fundraising priority is to substantially increase the availability of need-based aid so that students who have the ability to succeed and excel also have the opportunity.

  • In the last five years...
    • Need-based aid has grown more than 38% (institutional aid, external awards, and tuition waivers combined)
    • Tuition discount rates provided to resident freshmen have risen 26 percentage points, from 36% in FY 2019 to 62% in FY 2024
    • Scholarships awarded per resident undergraduate per year have increased 20%    
  • Need-based aid is a major component of OU’s $2 billion fundraising campaign, which designates $500 million toward scholarships and student support.
  • Residents who qualify for the OU’s Crimson Commitment program, which leverages the state’s Oklahoma Promise program, receive waivers, scholarships, and grants in excess of their tuition and fee cost.
    • On average, Crimson Commitment freshmen receive $4,522 back from OU that can be used to cover housing, food, books, and other living costs. These students, on average, have no out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees.
    • For academic year 2023-24, a record number of students (2,333 or 10% of undergraduates) qualified for Crimson Commitment.

We always want to guarantee that our operations are efficient and that we are not wasteful in our spending. Since FY 2018, OU has identified and saved approximately $140 million annually from our Norman campus operating budget.

One measure to help monitor how well a university allocates its resources to academic, research, and student priorities is to examine its overhead costs (i.e., costs that do not directly support students and faculty, but are still critical to a functioning university (e.g., HR, IT, Finance, Legal, etc.))

OU’s spend on overhead costs is low in comparison to other public universities within major athletic conferences. The graph2 below compares OU, on a per student basis, to all other public universities in major athletic conferences. Of the universities presented, OU has the 11th lowest overhead cost per student. At the median, OU would spend $33 million more than it currently spends to support institutional/overhead activities. Universities that are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) have their bars shaded green.

Graphic comparing overhead spend per student FTE

2Source: FY 2022 audited financial statements and the Department of Education IPEDS database

For the most recent reporting period, 56% of OU undergraduates graduated with no debt3 (consistent with prior years), compared to 45% at four-year public universities nationwide. Those that did graduate with debt reported $31,694 in debt. These figures and other outcome metrics compare well with public SEC and Big 12 institutions. Using the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard data and IPEDS database shows:

Student Outcome Metric OU SEC Median Big 12 Median
Median Debt After Graduation4 $20,650 $20,500


Students Receiving Federal Loans3 33% 33% 38%
Median Earnings (10-year) $59,648 $59,454 $58,993
Graduation Rate (AY2022) 76% 74% 67%

3Common Data Set:
4Data from the College Scorecard only examines federal loan data and excludes Parent Plus loans. As such debt and loan data will not reconcile to the official debt and loan data the University publicly reports and is listed above the OU/SEC/Big12 table.

Using the most recent data recent data published, OU’s student outcome data is the best of any higher ed institution in the state of Oklahoma, public or private:

  • OU’s first-year retention rate: 88.9%
  • OU’s 6-year graduation rate:  75.3%
  • Median earnings of OU graduates: $59,648

Tuition and mandatory fees will increase by 3% for graduate students. However, for several years, OU has been making progress toward increasing support for graduate education. In 2018, OU launched a multi-year initiative to lower fees for graduate assistants (GAs) on the Norman campus, saving these students $3,480 per year compared to six years ago. OU also is implementing an average 63% increase to graduate assistant stipend minimums, effective July 1, 2024.

We understand this decision has real impacts; that’s why a core team of OU administrators engaged student leaders in extensive conversation, holding Fall and Spring meetings to better understand the effects of a tuition and fee increase on students.

Our professionals in the Student Financial Center stand ready to help you as they seek financial aid and create a plan to fund the upcoming year.

More Information

As always, we endeavor to be conscientious stewards of our resources and our sacred purpose of changing lives. For any questions or concerns regarding funding a tuition increase, please contact the Student Financial Center.