Tuition Fees So Far Avoid Recent Inflation Cycle


Oklahoma is one of the most affordable states when it comes to tuition and college fees. The university is one of the few goods and services not affected by recent inflation. (Photo by Eliott Reyna via Unsplash)

Consumer prices are up 8.5% for the year ending March 2022, but one big item that hasn’t been slammed by the highest inflation in 40 years is tuition fees.

The price to attend a four-year college full-time — including tuition, fees, room and board, and adjusted for inflation — has increased 180% from 1980 to 2019-20, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, average tuition and university fees have remained roughly the same since September 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, even as inflation has driven an increase in the prices of all other goods and services, Forbes reported in a recent article.

From the 2019-2020 to 2021-22 school year, average tuition, tuition, and room and board fell 0.2% at four-year private nonprofit schools and still have fell 1.7% from 2020-21 to 2021-22, according to Forbes. Costs in four-year public schools followed a similar trend.

US News and World Report notes that the average cost of college tuition has increased in the 2021-22 academic year, despite the implementation of tuition freezes and reductions by many schools in due to the economic impact of the pandemic on families across the country.

Tuition and mandatory fee increases for in-state undergraduates at Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities averaged 1.3% statewide for the 2021 academic year -22, according to the Oklahoma State Higher Education System.

On average, a full-time student in Oklahoma paid $81 more for the year, while 13 institutions did not raise tuition and mandatory fees in 2021-22.

New research from DealA has found that Oklahoma is the most affordable place to study. The report looked at the cost of living as well as tuition, fees, room and board.

He revealed that the average cost of tuition and fees for in-state students at public institutions is $11,064 per year nationwide, but only $7,710 in Oklahoma.

US News ranks Oklahoma’s tuition and fees 11th lowest in the nation.

College in Oklahoma costs 19% less than the national average at a four-year public institution, but attending local community colleges costs nearly 17% more, according to an Education Data Initiative report based on the data for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Yet, students who attend two-year colleges pay considerably less tuition and fees.

The report shows that the average total cost of attending a four-year public institution is $16,960 for in-state students. Tuition and fees are $8,009 or 47% of the total cost. Meanwhile, public two-year institutions charge $4,150 for in-state tuition and fees.

The cost per credit hour at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City is $153.78, or about $4,600 for a full-time student for one year. It’s even less at Oklahoma City Community College and Tulsa Community College.

That compares to more than $308 per credit hour at Oklahoma’s two largest universities, or about $9,200 for one year.

“OSU-OKC offers an affordable option for students seeking terminal degrees in a number of workforce-ready fields, or students who eventually wish to transfer to a four-year college can complete courses in general education at less than half the cost,” said Cordell Jordan, senior director of marketing and communications. “In fact, in the past academic year, approximately 96% of our students graduated debt-free.”


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