The 7 percent to 8 percent tuition hike Southern Oregon University has proposed for fall is less than what officials will seek at some of Oregon's seven public universities

The 7 percent to 8 percent tuition hike Southern Oregon University has proposed for fall is less than what officials will seek at some of Oregon's seven public universities

Tuition and fees at the schools would rise as much as 13 percent as the universities brace for state budget cuts under proposals.

Eastern Oregon expects the smallest tuition increase, from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, while Portland State seeks the largest, from 10 percent to 13 percent.

Oregon State's tuition was expected to rise from 9.5 to 10 percent; University of Oregon, 7 percent and Western Oregon up to 9 percent. The projected increase at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls is 7 to 9 percent.

Officials estimate the 86,500-student system could lose up to 10,000 students if the state cuts the system's budget by 30 percent and tuition goes up 12 percent for the next two years.

But school administrators say the increases are necessary to avoid cuts in academic programs.

Oregon lawmakers are grappling with the numbers to pass a balanced budget by June 30 adjournment. The state is facing a $3.8 billion gap between expected revenue over the next two years and the cost of continuing existing services.

— The Associated Press