University of Oregon to raise tuition for incoming students

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
March 9, 2021 10:15 p.m.
Students walk across the University of Oregon campus on a rainy March day in this 2015 file photo.

Students walk across the University of Oregon campus on a rainy March day in this 2015 file photo.

Alan Sylvestre / OPB

Tuition is going up at the University of Oregon — at least for some students. UO’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to raise tuition for incoming undergraduate students by rates of 3% for out-of-state students and 4.5% for students with Oregon residency.


Those increases only affect the incoming cohort of undergraduate students, not returning students. That’s due to UO’s Oregon Guarantee, a program begun last year, which locks in tuition and administratively-controlled fees for each class of new students for five years.

Students who first enrolled at UO during or after the summer 2020 term are the first to have their tuition locked in place by the guarantee. Those students won’t be affected by those 3% and 4.5% increases.

“This year’s first-year cohort will be the first to experience no increase when they move on to their second year,” UO President Michael Schill said in Tuesday’s board meeting.


Currently enrolled students who started before the guarantee was in place, prior to summer 2020, are locked into fixed increases, which were previously set at 3% annual increases for a four-year period.

The average in-state undergraduate student currently pays about $13,800 per year in tuition and mandatory fees to attend UO, not including housing or other costs such as books and supplies.

The UO board Tuesday also approved graduate tuition rate increases ranging from zero to 5%, depending on the program.

Even with the tuition increases, the university still estimates a budget gap of $11.8 million next year in its education and general fund, though that deficit could be decreased slightly depending on how much money UO ultimately receives from the state.

“This is assuming that state appropriation is only at the [governor’s recommended budget] level,” UO chief financial officer Jamie Moffitt said Tuesday. “The governor put that out in December. Since that time, we have had a more positive economic forecast in Oregon.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s budget proposal recommended about $836 million in funding for public universities — the same amount of money the universities received last biennium.

UO, and the other public universities in Oregon, are advocating together during this current legislative session to increase the state’s funding for public universities to $900 million.