Portland State University on Tuesday announced a tuition discount for southern Washington residents.

The Washington Border Discount allows residents living in the 11 Washington counties bordering Oregon to pay just 10% more in tuition at PSU than Oregon residents do.

Portland State University

Portland State University

Hanin Najjar / OPB

“At Portland State, our motto is ‘Let Knowledge Serve the City.’ We welcome students to our campus and provide many opportunities for community-engaged learning — thereby sharing empowering knowledge that can generate change in our local communities and beyond,” PSU President Stephen Percy said in a statement. “With the Washington Border Discount, we are recognizing that our regional community does not stop at the Columbia River.”

The 11 Washington counties eligible for the discount are, Asotin, Benton, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Garfield, Klickitat, Pacific, Skamania, Wahkiakum and Walla Walla.

The discount automatically applies to eligible undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students.


Graduate students are not currently eligible for the program, but PSU said they are eligible for the “Washington Border Policy” program, in which students attending the university part-time can apply for in-state tuition.

Currently, Oregon residents at PSU pay about $10,400 per year in tuition, if they take 15 credits per term. With the new discount, students hailing from Washington border counties would pay about $1,000 more than that per year. Meanwhile, out-of-state students paying full tuition are charged more than $29,000 per year.

PSU officials say about 1,000 current students would be eligible for the Washington Border Policy discount. The university’s admissions team also says it has reached out to more than 4,000 high school seniors, transfer prospects and other prospective students from the Washington border counties.

Portland State University, like many other universities and colleges in Oregon, has seen a dip in enrollment during the pandemic.

Several other public universities in Oregon already offer discounts to students from neighboring states.

Eastern Oregon University notably charges Washington and Idaho residents the same in-state tuition rate as Oregon residents. Southern Oregon University offers a similar deal to some northern California residents.

Some Oregon universities, including PSU, participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange — an interstate tuition discount program for some public colleges and universities in the western half of the U.S.

PSU said the new Washington Border Discount cannot be combined with that Western Undergraduate Exchange program.

Portland State says continuing students at PSU who are eligible for its new Washington Border Discount will get an email. Newly admitted students will be considered for the discount automatically, without any separate application process.


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