Some Oregon higher education institutions lower tuition increases due to state funding

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
July 6, 2021 11:11 p.m. Updated: July 7, 2021 12:37 a.m.

Both the Oregon Institute of Technology and Clackamas Community College are reining in tuition increases due to higher-than-expected state funding

Back in April when the Oregon Institute of Technology set its tuition for the new academic year, the university’s board had agreed on a 4.9% increase. But, the board said it would not increase tuition that much, if Oregon’s public universities received more state funding.

That ended up happening. Oregon’s seven public universities were originally slated to receive $836 million from the state, but they ended up making out with $900 million at the end of this legislative session.


As a result, OIT will be increasing its base tuition rates by 3.9% instead of 4.9% for undergraduates and grad students. For a resident undergraduate student, that change equals about an $8 per credit hour increase instead of roughly a $10 per credit hour bump for the 2021-22 school year.


That means average tuition for in-state undergraduate students, of 15 credits per term, is going up from a little more than $9,200 to about $9,570 per year. Yearly tuition would have been a little more than $9,660 with the initially agreed upon increase.

“The financial commitment from the Oregon Legislature will allow us to pass savings directly on to our students and keep our tuition increase lower than we expected,” Ken Fincher, OIT’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement, said in a statement. “We have been advocating with other public Oregon universities for an increase in the state’s funding for public universities and we are relieved that the state is investing in education at such a crucial time.”

Clackamas Community College is making a similar call. The college’s Board of Education had initially approved a tuition increase of $5 per credit hour. It’s lowering that increase to $3 per credit hour.

“On behalf of the CCC Board of Education, I want to thank our legislators for giving community colleges the support they need to continue to serve our students and help with the state’s economic recovery,” Board Chair Greg Chaimov said in a statement.

At CCC, in-state students attending full-time will see an increase from about $4,860 in tuition per year to about $4,995. The average yearly tuition would have been $5,085 with the initial increase.

Oregon’s community colleges received about $703 million from the state for the upcoming two-year budget cycle. That’s more than $60 million more than they received during the last budget cycle.