Out-of-state enrollment numbers have slowly increased for the past five years at the University of Oklahoma, including states that do not border Oklahoma, as state appropriations have decreased.
In past years, state appropriations per full-time enrollment student have dropped from $7,562 in the fall of 2013 to $5,663 in the fall of 2017. As budgets dwindle, the university must find other solutions to finance its programs.
Although most out-of-state students come from states bordering Oklahoma, with the most out-of-state students coming from Texas, the University of Oklahoma has admitted over 1,400 more out-of-state students from non-bordering states in the past five years. The number has gone from 1,856 students in 2013 to 3,272 in 2017 and, recently, the university is making a greater effort to reach the corners of the United States.
Amanda Marsh, an OU recruiter based in San Diego, California, said that the full-time staff based out of Oklahoma and in different regions including Denver, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois allow potential students to connect with OU personnel while starting the application process.
Taylor Petersen, another OU recruiter, said that one of the challenges out-of-state recruiters address is the sense of family they show potential students before coming to the university because he said for many, college is their first time away from home. Now working at the Norman campus, Petersen will be transferred soon to a different state to recruit students in another region.
To finance the school and its programs, the university earns more money from out-of-state students due to their elevated on-campus costs.
For example, out-of-state students must pay for on-campus housing their freshman year, a meal plan, a parking space, and tuition and fees which are about three times higher per year than those of in-state students. This year, out-of-state tuition and fees peaked at $734.45 per credit hour while in-state tuition and fees hovers at $221.75 per credit hour.
Even with the slow progress, however, not all students feel that out-of-state recruiters reach all potential Sooners. Jake Woodley, a freshman wrestler for the University of Oklahoma and a student from Pennsylvania, said that he did not hear about OU or receive any admissions information until being recruited for sports.
As enrollment numbers continue to rise, though, more staff will be brought on to connect with a larger amount of out-of-state students. Petersen said that by June 2018, there will be 12 out-of-state admissions counselors, two more than there were last year. This will help out-of-state enrollment increase even if state appropriations continue to decline.