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The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have approved a 5 percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees at East Central University for the 2010-11 school year.

The increase will average $7.03 per credit hour for undergraduate students and $8.55 per credit hour for graduate students.

For a typical 15-hour semester, undergraduates will face an additional $105.45 in costs. Graduate students taking 12 hours will be looking at an additional $102.60 in costs.

ECU's increase is the lowest of the six universities in the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

"Earlier this year, we wanted to gain the support of ECU's Student Senate. We pledged to them that we would keep our tuition increases as low as possible," said ECU President John Hargrave. "We are excited to report we have kept that promise."

Last year there was no increase in tuition or mandatory fees at ECU.

"We applaud the Student Senate for recognizing our need to raise additional revenue in order to continue offering students a quality education," said Dr. Duane C. Anderson, ECU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

State budget cuts coupled with record growth in enrollment made the increase necessary, Hargrave said. The university will not fill several vacant positions for the next year and continues to look for ways to cut costs, he said.

Blake Alan Scott, southeast regional director for the Oklahoma Student Government Association and vice president of ECU's Student Senate, said he was satisfied with the increase.

"One of the main goals of student government is to express the needs of the students to the regents and we have been doing just that," Scott said. "While tuition increases are never something that we expect to be taken well, in this case, I think that we all need to understand how great this all worked out."

Northeastern State, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Northwestern Oklahoma State and the University of Central Oklahoma are the other RUSO schools.

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