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Oregon Commission Reverses Course, Approves Tuition Hikes For UO And PSU

Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission approved tuition increases Thursday for two of the state’s largest universities.

Portland State University and University of Oregon appealed the commission's decision to reject the tuition increases earlier this month.

After reviewing more detailed proposals from the universities, commissioners voted unanimously to approve Portland State University’s 8.4 percent increase in tuition and fees.

Commissioners approved University of Oregon’s 11.5 percent hike on a 7-1 vote.

HECC members had initially rejected the increases, in part, because of concerns the universities had not done enough to engage students and student groups.

PSU and UO join Western Oregon University, Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Institute of Technology in gaining approval this year to increase tuition and fees.

Those schools have said they need the rate increases to keep pace with growing student bodies and rising costs.

The state’s other public universities, Oregon State University and Eastern Oregon University kept their tuition hikes under the 5 percent ceiling set out by Gov. Kate Brown, so they didn’t need HECC approval.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Rob Manning is a news editor at Oregon Public Broadcasting, with oversight of reporters covering education, healthcare and business. Rob became an editor in 2019, following about 15 years covering schools and universities in Oregon and southwest Washington as OPB’s education reporter.