Tuition process for next academic year wraps at board meeting

The UO emblem on Dads Gate

The tuition process for 2018-19 came to a close Friday, as the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon approved changes for the university and two of its colleges.

Board members adopted a modest increase for resident and nonresident tuition, established differential tuition in the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, and adopted a reduction in the differential tuition for the Robert D. Clark Honors College.

The proposal from President Michael H. Schill — which grew out of discussions by the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board, public forums and an online survey — will raise resident tuition by 2.84 percent and nonresident tuition by 2.49 percent, or $6 and $18 per credit hour, respectively.

Additionally, the Lundquist College of Business will add a $20 per credit hour fee to undergraduate business school courses, with 20 percent of revenue from the fee going to need-based scholarships as well as investments in student advising, counseling services and tenure-track faculty lines.

At the same time, the Clark Honors College differential tuition will be reduced from $4,195 per year to $2,700, a 35.6 percent reduction. The reduction will be funded through the university’s Strategic Initiative Fund, as well as by cuts implemented by the college.

The general tuition increase is modest by recent standards.

“I know that any tuition increase can be a challenge for our students,” Schill said. ”We will continue direct 10 percent of tuition revenue for financial aid and we will continue make PathwayOregon an important part of providing support to Pell-eligible students.”

However, even with these increases the university must still cover a $2.8 million budget gap, and Schill expressed concerns that the university still is not able to invest in long-term goals.

“Raising tuition to just cover increased costs means that we are not investing in some very important strategic investments,” Schill said.

“Nobody wants to raise tuition,” said trustee Ross Kari, chair of the board’s Finance and Facilities Committee. “But leadership has accepted a $2.8 million challenge to find other revenue or cost savings in this proposal and also a $5.5 million challenge to increase revenue through enrollment growth. I hope trustees keep this in mind when considering this proposal.”

“We are all committed to keeping education high-quality and affordable,” added trustee Joe Gonyea. “We need to collaborate with students and faculty make higher education a greater priority in the state of Oregon.

Full details of the 2018-19 tuition and mandatory fee proposals are available on the board’s website.