Oregon institutions raise tuition to combat growing funding uncertainty
Starting summer of 2017, students are expected to see a two dollar increase per credit. However, even with the increase Central Oregon Community College will still be among the top three most affordable community college in Oregon.
COCC’s Director of College Relations, Ron Paradis, stated that COCC typically increases about two percent. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is at 1.9 percent, meaning that as a college, COCC’s tuition and fees cost is barely keeping up with yearly inflation.
Paradis stated that the increase happens at the end of almost every spring term in either tuition, fees or both.
The increase will be as low as two dollars for in-district students and up to ten dollars for students depending on Veteran status, residence, etc. Based on an in-district students 15 credit schedule, there is a $30 increase in tuition costs.
Paradis also mentioned that there will only be tuition increases, no fee increases, meaning that the increases will be relatively small compared to other institutions who are also making adjustments for potential funding cuts.
COCC’s Board of Directors is set to meet and vote on the $399,000 total increase at the end of April.
“The Board knows COCC is among the lowest,” said Paradis. “They really do want to keep it that way, and that’s a good thing.”
A topic of conversation throughout Oregon recently has been the possible funding cuts for public education, including universities.
For example, the total potential in-state tuition increase at University of Oregon is nearly $3,977 per term, a ten percent increase beginning fall term according to figures found on their website.
Although COCC’s closest university partner is Oregon State University – Cascades, according to Seana Barry, Director of COCC’s CAP Center, the tuition increases at U of O will possibly affect a number of COCC’s transfer students being that they see around 4,000 in-state transfer students per year. First-year students usually pay higher fees at universities, as well, which increases this cost even more.
“State funding uncertainty is causing all institutions to look at other funding avenues,” said Barry. U of O and COCC’s potential changes are due to the State of Oregon’s first budget proposal by the Ways and Means Committee where plans were present to either cut funding or keep it where it is currently.
Barry mentioned that the best thing a potential transfer student can do is keep an eye on scholarship deadlines and changing costs at schools you might attend and work with your advisor. She also stated that it relieves costs to be more strategic with classes at a community college since they are less expensive.
If the increase concerns you, COCC’s next budget committee meeting is April 12, 2017 at 5:45 p.m. in Boyle Education Center. The meeting that will result in a determining vote on the increase immediately follows at 6:45. The public is welcome at all board meetings.
McKayla Schneider | The Broadside