Schill supports 2.84% in-state tuition increase, may cut back cost of Honors College

University of Oregon President Michael Schill sent a campus-wide email on Friday describing his hope to reduce the cost of the honors college, add a $20-per-credit fee to undergraduate business classes and to continue with overall tuition increases for next year.

Honors college students currently pay $4,194 more than standard UO tuition. Schill wrote in his email that he is proposing to “allocate resources” to allow students to only pay $2,700 extra per year.

UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger said any student in the honors college next year, new and returning, will see this reduction in cost. He said that funds are not being directly taken from one department of the university to afford this tuition cut. Because budgeting around $1 billion for the university begins on a macro-scale, he said, it would be impossible to tell exactly where the funds for this cost reduction are coming from.

The email also stated that Schill supports an estimated $270 overall tuition increase for residents — 2.84 percent more — and $810 increase for out-of-state students — 2.49 percent more. He wrote that these increases would go toward tenure-track faculty, continued compensation and benefits for faculty and staff, and $2 million in strategic investments that would go toward hiring faculty, according to Klinger.

Tuition for all students will increase by an additional $7 per term to improve health and counseling services for students.

ASUO President Amy Schenk, a member of Tuition and Fees Advisory Board, said the recommended increase numbers will probably stay unchanged when the Board of Trustees votes on the increase. The tuition increase does not have to be presented before the state’s committee, the Higher Education Coordinating Committee because the minimum amount required for the HECC to vote on it is 5 percent.

While Schenk acknowledges that this year’s recommended 2.84 percent increase for in-state tuition is much less, she emphasized that this increase is on top of that 6.6 percent increase.

“That’s unethical. These are actual student lives that are being affected,” she said.

Schill’s proposal also includes a $20-per-credit increase for undergraduate business credits, which he wrote is common among similarly ranked schools in the Pac-12. The extra revenue from this increase is estimated to be $1.4 million, but Schill wants to propose 20 percent of that, $280,000, to be used as need-based financial aid for students paying the extra fee.

Schill wrote that he welcomes input on the proposals for himself and for the Board of Trustees, the group that agrees on tuition increases. Anyone can submit comments until Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. at this link here, the same one found in his email.

The UO Board of Trustees will meet on March 1 and 2, and a live stream will be available here.

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Braedon Kwiecien

Braedon Kwiecien