Education gets more funding

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have earmarked a portion of surplus FY 2016 funds to restore funding to the concurrent enrollment program, a part of Oklahoma’s Complete College America plan.

The state system of higher education will receive a return allocation of $20.7 million, and the state regents will immediately distribute the funds to the districts to help offset the $153 million budget cut for FY 2017. Of the returned funding, $2.3 million will be dedicated to concurrent enrollment at campuses across the state.

“Concurrent enrollment is a critical initiative that drives student success,” said State Regents’ Chairman John Massey. “Students are our top priority, and we will continue to partner with our colleges and universities to increase the number of students earning college degrees and certificates.”

These earmarked dollars will restore funding from 35 percent to 62 percent of the total cost to the institutions.

“In this extremely difficult budget environment, the returned funding will help support concurrent enrollment — a vital campus service that strengthens student preparation,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “In addition to improving college readiness, the concurrent enrollment program lowers family costs for college and reduces the time required to complete a degree.”

Since its inception in 2005, the concurrent enrollment program has allowed outstanding juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. Seniors may also be eligible for a tuition waiver of up to six credit hours per semester for concurrent courses. In 2015-16, more than 12,000 students enrolled in concurrent courses, generating more than 100,000 credit hours.