Students gathered in the EMU board room on Friday morning to testify against the Oregon University System’s six percent tuition increase.

Over the past ten years, annual increases to tuition have caused the cost of attending the University of Oregon to double in the last decade, and the rising costs are taking a toll on students. Many of the students who spoke on Friday are barely able to make their school payments as it is, and even then, many have had to take creative measures to pay for their education, including taking on more jobs and less credit hours.

Despite her efforts to cut costs, UO student Liz Avalos said she often has less than 10 dollars in her bank account after making her term payment. The six percent increase, the equivalent of a term’s worth of books or a few weeks of groceries, mean Avalos would have to find more ways to stretch her money.@@*[email protected]@

“Will I have to cut back on groceries, books or credit hours?” Avalos said.

According to junior Lamar Wise, many students have to make similar choices.

“We have students who have to decide between their next meal or their education,” he said.

For many students, the tuition increase will mean more loans. UO student John Olson said he will graduate with over $10,000 in loans, and rising tuition only means more loans to come.@@*[email protected]@

“The increase is unreasonable,” he said. “Where am I going to get the money for that?”

The OUS board will make its decision on the tuition increase on June 21.

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