This coming school year marks our final year to pay college expenses for our five kids. My greatest achievement as a Tulsa based financial planner is getting our kids through college without school loans!
Yet for multitudes of families, college has become more and more out of reach because of skyrocketing costs. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the nation’s best-known public universities have been on a massive spending spree the past two decades and have passed the bill along to students and their families.
Unfortunately, the Journal reports that the University of Oklahoma “hit students with some of the biggest tuition increases, while spending millions on projects including acquiring and renovating a 32,000 square foot Italian monastery for its study-abroad program.”
From 2002 to 2022 enrollment at the University of Oklahoma increased 15%, but spending increased 36%. Tuition and fees over this same period rose a shocking 166%, the most of any flagship university. More and more students turned to school loans, which smother a new graduate’s finances like a rainstorm descends on the stoking flames of a new campfire.
To their credit, the new leadership at OU is trying to right size expenses, but the Legislature just awarded the school an approximate 15% funding increase. The Legislature did not, unfortunately, pass any higher financial transparency or accountability reforms, nor did they address the rise of liberal woke indoctrination pervading the classrooms.
Many Oklahoma families are becoming more and more concerned about sending their money and children to public universities. Just when we need more college graduates to fill great paying jobs and take Oklahoma to a higher level of growth and prosperity, the uncertainty of a college investment has become troubling and needs immediate attention.