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Higher Ed Board lowers tuition increase after Legislature provides $15 million in additional funding

PORTLAND, July 12, 2013 – The State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) voted unanimously today to reduce previously approved tuition rates for resident undergraduates, effective this fall, when the Legislature provided an additional $15 million to the Oregon University System’s budget on the last day of the Legislative Session.

In June the Board approved average tuition increases of 4.8% for resident undergraduates attending the seven OUS institutions and one branch campus. With the infusion of $15 million, the increase is lowered to 3.5% for these Oregon students for each of the two years of the biennium.

“We are grateful to the Governor and Legislature for this additional investment, which helps make our public universities more affordable for current and in-coming students,” said Melody Rose, interim chancellor of the Oregon University System. “Our hope, which I know we share with Oregon students and families, is that this is the beginning of a rebalance in the state-student share of college costs.”

Twenty years ago, the state covered about 70% of the cost of educating a student in the OUS. Today, students are shouldering the 70%, with the state covering less than 30%. Oregon ranks 44th in per-student funding of higher education at $4,649 per student, compared to average national funding at $7,294 per student.

The Legislature, in adopting the budget for the Oregon University System, directed through a Budget Note that all seven campuses and one branch campus (EOU, OIT, OSU, OSU-Cascades, PSU, SOU, UO, and WOU) may not exceed a base rate of an average of 3.5% at any individual campus in any given year of the 2013-15 biennium. For students choosing the Tuition Promise program at WOU, rates of increase over the prior cohort may not exceed 5.7% in any given year. These limits on tuition apply to all campuses for the next two academic years (2013-14 and 2014-15) regardless of the outcome of any governance changes that may be implemented during the biennium.

Board members expressed their thanks to the Governor and Legislature for appropriating the additional funds for the tuition “buy-down” and also for the 2013-2015 combined operating and capital budgets, which represent the highest budget increase since before the recession.

The table below summarizes the proposed changes to resident undergraduate base tuition rates and the incoming WOU Promise rate in accordance with the Budget Note.

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

Annual Rates for RESIDENT UNDERGRADUATE Students for 15 Credit Hours 

Public University 

Tuition Only

Tuition & Mandatory Fees[3]

Revised 2013-14 Tuition

2012-13 Tuition

$ increase over        2012-13

% increase over                 2012-13

Revised 2013-14 Tuition & Fees

2012-13 Tuition & Fees

$ increase over        2012-13

% increase over                 2012-13




























OSU-Cascades Campus (Bend)[1]




































WOU (Base)[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 a 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 offers both a traditional Base rate and a Tuition Promise program guarantees that tuition rates for continuing students will not increase for 4  years.  The entering 2013-14 entering Promise rate is 5.7% higher than the prior year, but returning Promise students have 0% increase.  An additional base rate option that is 3.4% over last years entering rate will also be available for new students.  This table averages the rates and the increases.

WOU (Average of Base and Promise Cohorts)[2]









WOU - Entering Promise only









[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.

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. For additional information, go to

For docket materials from today’s meeting, go to /state_board/meeting/dockets