Portland State University offers in-state tuition to out-of-state Native American students

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
July 22, 2022 12:28 a.m.

Enrolled members of federally-recognized tribes can qualify for the tuition discount starting this fall

Portland State University announced Thursday a tuition discount for any student from a federally-recognized Native American tribe.

Portland State University Campus

Portland State University Campus

Hanin Najjar / OPB


Starting this upcoming fall, students who are members of the country’s nearly 600 federally recognized tribes across the country will receive in-state tuition.

“Portland State offers this benefit to tribal members as part of our ongoing effort to provide a welcoming environment for Indigenous students in downtown Portland,” Chuck Knepfle, PSU’s vice president of enrollment management, said in a statement. “This offer of in-state tuition is a small way to honor the legacy of Indigenous nations from across the country.”


PSU noted in its announcement that it already offers support for students from Indigenous backgrounds including scholarships, programs and student groups through its Native American Student and Community Center.

The discounted tuition will be offered starting this upcoming fall term to students who can provide their official tribal residency documentation to PSU. The university does not require any other information to be considered for the discount.

The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is roughly $420 per credit hour or about $19,000 per academic year for students enrolled in 15 credits, according to PSU.

While some universities and colleges offer tuition discounts or waivers to students who are members of in-state tribes, PSU says it’s not aware of any other schools that have also made the move to offer discounts to Native American students on a national scale.

Statewide, the Oregon Legislature approved the Oregon Tribal Student Grant program earlier this year. The grant goes toward tuition and other college-related expenses at colleges and universities for members of Oregon’s nine federally-recognized tribes.

State higher education officials are urging eligible students to apply for that statewide grant by the priority deadline, Aug. 1.