EUGENE — The University of Oregon is considering raising in-state undergraduate tuition by 10.6 percent in the fall to pay for increased salaries, health care and retirement costs for school employees.
The Register-Guard reports that under a plan backed by UO President Michael Schill, annual tuition for full-time, in-state undergraduate students would increase $945 as of the 2017-18 academic year. Mandatory fees would also increase $186. Out-of-state tuition would also increase by $945, or three percent.
An in-state undergraduate student taking 15 credits per term would pay $9,855 for a three-term school year under the proposal. The student would also pay $2,037 in fees. An out-of-state student would pay $34,572 in tuition and fees.
Schill said in a letter to students and staff that the state's fiscal problems leave him little choice but to accept the major tuition increase. He said UO's operating expenses are rising steadily. In particular, retirement benefits under the state Public Employee Retirement System are requiring large contributions from the university.
"I wish it were not necessary for us to increase tuition by these significant amounts," Schill wrote. "Yet the state's fiscal problems leave us no choice."
The proposed increase comes after years of steadily rising tuition and fees for both in- and out-of-state students. However, the proposed 10.6 percent tuition increase is above the 8.3 percent average annual tuition and fee increase for in-state students for the past decade.
Last year, UO trustees raised tuition 4.8 percent for resident students and 4.5 percent for out-of-state students, sparking student protests.
The UO Board of Trustees must approve the tuition hike. They will consider the proposal March 2-3.