University of Oregon students can expect significant tuition increases next year. President Michael Schill announced that the Tuition Fees and Advisory Board has recommended increasing tuition by $21 a credit hour— or $945 a year— for all students.
The TFAB is composed of students, administrators, faculty and staff members from UO. In addition to the tuition increase, TFAB also proposed a new $50 per term technology fee. The increases have not been finalized but Schill said few other options are available.
“I regret that I have little choice but to accept the TFAB recommendations on tuition and fees for next year,” Schill said in the announcement. “After receiving public input, I will forward my final tuition recommendation to the UO Board of Trustees for consideration at its next regular meeting on March 2–3.”
Out-of-state students are bearing less of the burden than in previous years. Last year they saw an increase of 4.5 percent compared to a potential 3 percent increase this year. Instead, costs are shifting to residents who are looking at an increase of 10.6 percent compared to the 4.7 percent last year.
“I wish it were not necessary for us to increase tuition by these significant amounts,” Schill said. “Yet the state’s fiscal problems leave us no choice. Oregon’s disinvestment in higher education over more than two decades has shifted the burden of paying for college from the state to our students and families.”
Schill called on the university community, students, alumni and friends to urge legislators to prioritize education funding. According to the recommendation, even $20 million given to education would reduce increases by 1 percent.
The Governor’s Budget for 2017-19 does not project an increase in public funding for education despite a letter signed by public university presidents asking for a $100 million increase.
Schill said that even with these increases, the university will still have a gap of $8.8 million next year.
The tuition proposal is available for public viewing, and Schill invited members of the university community to comment on it before his recommendation is made in March. The window to comment will close on Friday Feb. 17.