State board rejects tuition hikes at PSU and U of O

State board rejects tuition hikes at PSU, UO

PORTLAND, Ore – The Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, a state board, rejected proposed tuition hikes for Portland State University and the University of Oregon, the Oregonian reports.

This comes after PSU officials voted in favor of raising tuition last month, but it still had to be approved at a state level.

PSU asked for an 8.6 percent tuition increase. The University of Oregon asked for 11.5 percent. The OHECC, which has to approve any request above 5 percent, rejected both universities.

At PSU, this is a win for students who protested, saying they cannot afford to pay more for tuition. But it puts the university in a tight spot.

PSU is already looking at a $20 million shortfall, and had already figured out $9 million in cuts to make, according to a statement the university gave KGW:

Today’s vote by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission will mean deeper cuts this fall at Portland State that will impact our students. PSU faces a $20 million budget shortfall this fall, and the Board of Trustees last month unanimously approved a tuition increase combined with $9 million in cuts for next year to bridge the gap. Today’s HECC vote will mean an additional $5 million in cuts will have to be made to balance PSU’s budget. Details of those cuts are not yet determined, but the size of the cuts will likely mean that programs and need-based scholarships will be affected. There are no good options here, and we are asking the HECC to reconsider today’s vote.         

In April, Gov. Kate Brown  told the commission she was "deeply concerned" about proposed tuition increases and urged members to reject those from schools that failed to give "serious consideration to alternatives." 

The board did allow three schools to hike tuition: The Oregon Institute of Technology, Southern Oregon University and Western Oregon University.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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