low tuition rate increase approved

SOU Board of Trustees approves low tuition rate increase for second year in a row

(Ashland, Ore.) — The Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees agreed today with a recommendation from the university’s Tuition Advisory Council and President Rick Bailey, Jr., for tuition rates in the 2022-23 academic year to increase by $8 per credit hour for resident undergraduate students. The new rates were approved following a lengthy, collaborative process involving students, faculty and staff members, and came just a year after the university enacted its lowest tuition rate increase in recent memory – just $5 per credit hour.

SOU’s tuition rates will remain among the lowest of Oregon’s seven public universities, and the increase approved today for the coming year ranks near the middle of increases ranging from 3.19 to 7 percent that have been approved or proposed at the other schools for 2022-23.

Undergraduates from Oregon will pay $209 per credit hour at SOU, up from $201 this year – an increase of 3.98 percent, following last year’s increase of 2.55 percent. Residents of 16 Western states and territories that are part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange will pay $314, up from $301.50; and other non-resident undergraduates will pay $617, up from $597. SOU’s tuition rates for graduate students from Oregon will increase to $525 per credit hour, up from $505; non-resident graduate students will pay $630, up from $610.

“These tuition rates are the result of a very thoughtful process, and based on many months of analysis by our students, working alongside faculty and staff members,” said Daniel Santos, chair of the SOU Board of Trustees. “The Tuition Advisory Council members very clearly understand the needs of students and the university, and I appreciate them finding this balance between the costs of a high-quality education and affordability for our students.”

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the rates recommended by SOU’s Tuition Advisory Council, which met eight times and is made up of students, faculty and administrators. President Bailey reviewed the council’s recommendations and forwarded them to the trustees.

SOU has committed to keeping higher education within the reach of all students and prospective students, and strives to offset any tuition increases with opportunities for institutional aid – particularly for those who are least able to afford additional costs. The university has also implemented measures to reduce student expenses for textbooks, and to maintain affordable room-and-board costs for those who live in residence halls.

“All students who want to improve their lives through higher education should absolutely have the opportunity to do so on our campus,” President Bailey said. “We are committed to innovations that will change the current funding model, which relies almost entirely on tuition revenue from students and funding from the legislature. With creative endeavors, over time, we can relieve the dependence on both.

“We are actively pursuing a variety of other revenue sources for SOU, and those could prove to be transformational for our students and the institution. In the meantime, we must do our best to balance the academic and financial interests of our students.”

The state paid for two-thirds of its universities’ operating budgets 30 years ago and tuition covered the remaining third. The ratio is now exactly opposite.