The University of Oregon’s $945 tuition increase hit a wall today when the Higher Education Coordinating Commission voted not to pass the hike in Salem.
Students from the Oregon Student Association protested the meeting by wearing orange life jackets and holding signs reading, “Students are drowning in debt.”
The HECC, a 14-member board in charge of funding of higher education in Oregon, followed Oregon governor Kate Brown’s recommendation to vote down any tuition hike over 5 percent.
“This is a tremendous set back for the University of Oregon,” said UO spokesman Tobin Klinger in a statement to the Emerald. “We must now go back and quickly evaluate the impact of this vote on the university’s overall financial picture, assess our options and determine our next steps.”
The rejected plan proposed a 10.6 percent increase for residents and 3 percent for non-residents. For both types of students, this equates to an extra $945 per year.
ASUO President Quinn Haaga traveled to Salem for the meeting with other UO students. She said she was surprised to hear the decision because she thought it would be similar to the UO Board of Trustees meeting in March, when board members passed the tuition increase.
“As of now, it’s difficult to say if it is a success,” she said. “It’s too early to say what it will mean for the university.”
She said she is still extremely concerned about staff and faculty cuts at UO.
Haaga said that the Oregon Student Association had a huge influence on the votes because the HECC members “were literally looking at students who could be priced out of the university.”
The HECC board also voted on tuition increases for other schools. The board passed tuition increases for Western Oregon University and Southern Oregon University. It denied an 8.3 percent increased for Portland State University, along with the University of Oregon’s 10.6 percent.
— Oregon Student Assoc (@OregonStudents) May 11, 2017