Recommendation will now go to full Board on June 21 for final review and approval

PORTLAND, May 24, 2013 – The Oregon State Board of Higher Education’s Finance and Administration Committee today forwarded recommendations for tuition increases, averaging 4.8% across the Oregon University System, for the 2013-14 academic year to the full Board for final consideration on June 21. This is the lowest increase since 2008-09, and compares to average increases in 2012-13 of 6.0%, and in 2011-12 of 7.5%.

Jan Lewis, OUS assistant vice chancellor for budget operations, provided background and summarized the tuition increases. She noted recent legislation which has triggered policy changes in the Fee Book, including Tuition Equity which became law on April 2, 2013, amendments to the tuition waiver for Foster Youth, and bills still in play that provide aid to veterans or their dependents that go beyond current programs in place.

She noted that all of the universities face and negotiate a number of economic conditions and trends when determining needed tuition increases, including growing student enrollments, declining state funding, and increasing costs of healthcare and retirement costs. Within these factors, the system strives to meet board goals for access and affordability, while also taking into account institutional missions, student demographics, and the campuses’ overall financial position. Over the last five years, OUS enrollment has increased 17.2% while state enrollment funding decreased almost 35%. Retirement costs for the system in the same period increased 15.2%, and healthcare costs increased 16.4%, adding more cost pressures on campuses which are not within their control.

Oregon University System Tuition and Fee Rates for 2013-14 Academic Year

Annual Rates for RESIDENT UNDERGRADUATE Students for 15 Credit Hours

OUS University

Tuition Only

Tuition & Mandatory Fees[3] 

Proposed 2013-14 Tuition

2012-13 Tuition

$ increase over        2012-13

% increase over                 2012-13

Proposed 2013-14 Tuition & Fees

2012-13 Tuition & Fees

$ increase over        2012-13

% increase over                 2012-13




























OSU-Cascades Campus[1]




































WOU average[2] 









SYSTEM AVERAGE (unweighted)









[1] OSU has been maintaining a tuition plateau from 12 to 16 credit hours, i.e., charging the same tuition for any student enrolled between 12 and 16 credit hours. This results in students paying variable per credit hour rates, with some receiving up to a 25% discount from the standard per credit hour.  OSU is proposing a three year phase-out of the tuition plateau. The proposed structure for 2013-14 reduces the plateau to between 12 and 15 credit hours.

[2] WOU's Tuition Promise program guarantees that tuition rates for continuing students will not increase for 4 years.  The entering 2013-14 entering Promise rate is 7% higher than the prior year, but returning Promise students have 0% increase.  An additional base rate option that is 3.4% over last year’s entering rate will also be available for new students. This table averages the rates and the increases.

[3] Mandatory Enrollment Fees include Building, Incidental, Health Services, and Recreation Center/Student Union fees, most of which are recommended by student organizations and/or approved by student referendums.












































Leaders from each of the universities presented background information and rationale for proposed tuition increases. Students from most of the campuses presented testimony on the proposed increases, noting their desire for lower to no tuition increases, but also understanding the need for a high quality education which means funding for faculty, facilities and student support. Many of the students felt that they are on the edge of being able to afford a university education with the recent levels of tuition increases, and that they need relief in order to stay in college and finish their degrees.

Board members discussed the tuition recommendations, noting their concern that tuition increases are impacting student’s ability to access and stay in college, and that the level of debt that many of them need to incur to get a degree can also be a barrier. Members felt that the tuition setting process, with greater inclusion of students on tuition committees on campus than in the past and more standardized background on rationale, is more transparent than in the past. But they also expressed concern about the ability to meet the state’s 40-40-20 educational attainment goal with these continuing tuition increases, as many of the students who will be in this population are low income students. Members expressed that this was a “gut wrenching” decision to increase tuition and that the state cannot continue shifting the vast majority of costs to students as higher education budgets decline.

After much discussion, the board voted to recommend that the proposed tuition rates from the OUS institutions be forwarded to the State Board of Higher Education for review and approval on June 21. They also directed the interim chancellor, Dr. Melody Rose, to develop a statement expressing the Committee’s desire to partner with the Legislature and the Governor to appropriate additional funding to address rising tuition rates for students.

In other action and discussion at today’s meeting, the Board and/or its Committees:

  • Approved a Fee Book “housekeeping” motion to repeal the 1992 Tuition Policy.
  • Approved the revised 2012-13 allocation of Sports Lottery funding due to the reduction in state funding, decreasing overall funding by $187,232.
  • Accepted the Quarterly Management Report for March 31, 2013, as presented by Michael Green, OUS controller.
  • Accepted the investment report for the third quarter of FY2013, as presented by Karen Levear, OUS director of Treasury Operations.
  • Accepted the Quarterly Risk Management Report for March 31, 2013, as presented by Ellen Holland, OUS chief risk officer.
  • Approved the May 2013 Quarterly Internal Audit Division Progress Report and the updated Internal Audit Division charter, as presented by Patricia Snopkowski, OUS chief audit executive, Tara Partridge, OUS associate audit director; and Kathy Berg, OUS associate audit director.
  • Jay Kenton, vice chancellor for Finance and Administration, updated the Committee on the Outcomes-Based Budget Workgroup and the budget model being developed by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.                                                                

The Oregon University System (OUS) makes college a reality for Oregonians statewide by keeping higher education accessible, affordable and high quality. We integrate Oregon’s public universities with the entire PreK-20 education system to ensure student success. OUS’ higher education offerings meet the needs of Oregon’s economy today and in the future, contributing to the vitality of the state and the success of more than 20,000 graduates a year.

The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of fifteen members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate.  For docket materials from today’s meeting, go to /state_board/meeting/dockets