Contact: Di Saunders: 971-219-6869 or diane_saunders@ous.edu

"Yesterday's special session legislation to provide tuition relief to our public university students is a great step in making college more affordable for Oregonians. The Oregon University System and the State Board of Higher Education are grateful to Governor Kitzhaber and the Legislature for helping thousands of Oregon undergraduate students attend, stay and succeed in our universities.

"Along with increases made in the Oregon Opportunity Grant, more help for our veterans, and tuition equity passed in the 2013 Session, our Governor and Legislature have advanced the opportunity for Oregonians to go to college in significant ways not seen in many biennia. This puts us on a new path towards affordability that, combined with other reform efforts and the 40-40-20 education attainment goal, will ensure that more Oregonians can earn a degree and contribute to the vitality of our workforce and economy."

The $25 million in appropriations to "buy down" tuition is in addition to $15 million provided in the 2013-2015 OUS budget, for a total of $40 million in tuition relief for resident undergraduate students.  According to the legislative budget note, the new funding will reduce students' current costs beginning in January and through the end of the 2013-14 academic year; and will freeze tuition for the entire 2014-15 academic year at these new, reduced rates.  The Fall 2013 rate will remain at a 3.5% average increase, but Winter and Spring rates will increase only 2.0 percent on average.  Resident undergraduate students1 will see no tuition increase for the entire 2014-15 academic year, the first tuition freeze in Oregon since 2000-01. This will provide a full time student with average savings between $300-400 in 2014-15 depending on the university they attend.

The State Board of Higher Education approves tuition rates for Oregon’s public universities and will consider tuition adjustments at a future meeting.  OUS' Legislatively Adopted Spending Level of $728 million increases 3.43 percent with the $25 million in tuition relief. This brings the 2013-2015 State General Fund appropriation to 12.7% over 2011-2013.

Comparison of Original Tuition Increases1 with New Increases

Term/Year

Original Tuition Increase

New Tuition Increase

Fall Term 2013

3.5% average

Stays the same

Winter & Spring Terms 2014

3.5% average

2.0% average

Entire Academic Year 2014-15 (beginning Fall 2014)

3.5% average

0.0%

1 Students in the WOU Promise program are already protected from any tuition increases for the 4-year promise period. The “buy down” applies to the base rates with differential program rates exempted. For students choosing the Tuition Promise program at WOU, rates of increase over the prior cohort may not exceed 4.3% for the Winter and Spring 2014 terms. For the 2014-15 academic year, for students choosing the Tuition Promise, rates of increase over the prior cohort may not exceed 2.2% for the 2014-15 academic year.

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 www.ous.edu.