State Board of Higher Education approves higher tuition rates for this summer

In a meeting Friday afternoon, the State Board of Higher Education unanimously approved tuition increases for the summer 2012 term.

The board approved an average 8.9 percent increase in tuition and fee rates for all Oregon University System (OUS) institutions, ranging from 16.6 percent at Oregon State University to 5.3 percent at Eastern Oregon University for students taking 12 credit hours.@@[email protected]@

The University of Oregon faces a 7.6 percent increase for undergraduate rates and a 7.4 percent increase in graduate rates from 2011. Summer tuition for this year will land at $2,141 for undergraduate students taking 12 credits and $3,700 for graduate students, according to the proposed summer fee book.@@[email protected]@

Non-resident undergraduate students will face a 20.4 percent increase, from $2,875 in 2011 to $3,437 for this summer.  Non-resident graduates will have to pay $4,220, a 21.3 percent increase from [email protected]@same [email protected]@

Jan Lewis, OUS assistant vice chancellor for budget operations@@[email protected]@, said that this will be the last time that the Board will approve summer rates separately from the regular academic year. Lewis said that the OUS is transitioning to a once-yearly process that will incorporate both academic year rates and subsequent summer rates into a single approval process.@@[email protected]@

ASUO Executive Ben Eckstein@@[email protected]@ said the summer tuition setting process wasn’t as accessible for students due to the timing of meetings. Students had been encouraged to attend in order to comment and offer input on the situation.

“Summer tuition increases, up until these last few increases, have been on a different schedule, so students have had limited opportunity to comment on summer tuition increases,” Eckstein said.

The Board maintains that these rate increases are due to the fact that the summer session used to be a specialty session and now is more like a regular session. Campuses have reported seeing similar costs to operating a summer session as regular sessions. Summer session student fees have been traditionally lower, and may continue to be so because of limited services available on campus during summer hours.

Eckstein disagrees that summer session is comparable to regular terms due to the deficient resources and services offered during summer session.

“We are losing sight of the priority to make higher education affordable, and it is up to students to make the case to our legislatures, to our state board members and to our University administrators as to why we need to keep that in mind,” Eckstein said.

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