WSU proposes in-state tuition for some Oklahoma students

Wichita State Campus (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas — Under a new proposal, it will become a lot cheaper for students in Oklahoma to attend Wichita State University.

Officials from Wichita State University are asking the Kansas Board of Regents to approve a plan that would allow students from the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas to pay in-state tuition fees.

“We’d like to have much deeper connections with those cities, we’d like to have some of the best and the brightest out of Oklahoma and into Kansas,” said Lou Heldman, V.P. of Strategic Communications for WSU.

According to the university’s website, 86 percent of WSU’s approximately 15,000 students are from Kansas.  University leaders are hopeful proposals like this could help boost attendance while creating more diversity on campus.

“The experience becomes richer the more diversity there is in the student body because it’s people bringing in other ideas, coming from other communities with different experiences,” Heldman said.

University leaders, including President Dr. John Bardo are in Topeka talking with the Board of Regents about several issues, including a tuition increase and the proposal to allow some out of state students to pay in-state prices. Current out-of-state students pay more than double of what it costs for Kansas residents to attend WSU. In 2014 tuition rates per credit hour for Kansas residents was $195.65 and $463.45 for out-of-state students. That does not include transportation or housing costs.

WSU leaders insist this could potentially impact more than the university.

“We want to move beyond Kansas borders to really help grow the economy here,” Heldman said.

Heldman says this idea would be the first of its kind in Kansas and is at this point just a proposal. The Kansas Board of Regents could rule on the request Thursday.

Officials from Wichita State University are asking the Kansas Board of Regents to approve a plan that would allow students from the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas to pay in-state tuition fees. A university spokesperson stresses this is just a preliminary plan and it’s not a done deal just yet.

“We’d like to have much deeper connections with those cities, we’d like to have some of the best and the brightest out of Oklahoma and into Kansas,” said Lou Heldman, V.P. of Strategic Communications for WSU.

University leaders, including President Dr. John Bardo, are in Topeka talking with the Board of Regents about the proposal. A decision could come Thursday.

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