The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a measure to simplify the criteria required for students to be eligible for in-state tuition at Oklahoma colleges and universities.
Sen. John Sparks, author of Senate Bill 1624, said the proposal would make it easier for students to attend the Oklahoma college or university of their choice. Under his proposal, Sparks said, if a student is a United States citizen and graduates from an Oklahoma high school, they will be eligible for in-state tuition rates.
“I want people to know that if they graduate from an Oklahoma high school and move away, they can always come home and pursue their educational goals,” said Sparks, D-Norman. “By making it easier for native Oklahomans to qualify for in-state tuition rates, we can ensure more people have the opportunity to attend our colleges and universities and maximize their potential right here at home. This is a proposal that can provide hope for Oklahomans while giving us a better chance to compete for high paying jobs.”
Sparks said he was motivated to file the measure after hearing of a number of instances where students who had graduated from Oklahoma high schools were unable to qualify for in-state tuition for various reasons.
Under Sparks’ measure, an Oklahoma high school graduate would be eligible for in-state tuition rates if the student:
Has been accepted to, and enrolled in, an institution within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education;
Is a United States citizen and an Oklahoma resident at the time they received their high school diploma; and
Earned a high school diploma from an Oklahoma Public School.
“It’s important that we fully commit to doing everything we can to see that our state produces capable and educated workers for the new economy,” Sparks said. “By making it easier for students to pursue their education, we are taking a step to translate Oklahoma’s current economic momentum into lasting prosperity.”