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SOU announces tuition increase

file photoA student returns to campus after picking up lunch in between Shasta Hall and McLoughlin Hall at SOU.

The cost of tuition for Southern Oregon University students will increase across the board next academic year, and the university targeted its smallest rate hike for in-state undergraduates, according to numbers released by SOU Friday.

Oregon undergraduates will see a $5 increase to $201 per credit hour for the 2021-22 academic year, while Western University Exchange undergraduate students from those 16 western states and territories will see a $7.50 increase to $301.50 per credit hour. A $17-per-credit increase awaits other out-of-state undergraduates, raising tuition for that group to $597 per credit from $580.

Graduate students from Oregon will be charged $505 per credit hour, a $15-per-credit increase over the current school year, while nonresident graduate students will pay $610, up from $593.

The announcement came after the SOU Board of Trustees agreed Friday with a recommendation from SOU’s Tuition Advisory Council and President Linda Schott. The Tuition Advisory Council consists of students, faculty and administrators.

“Determining the cost of tuition and fees is a key responsibility that every SOU trustee takes very seriously,” Paul Nicholson, chair of the SOU Board of Trustees, said in a news release. “Thanks to the great, collaborative work of our Tuition Advisory Council, the board readily approved a recommendation from the council and the president that seeks to balance the cost of a high-quality education with access and affordability for our valued students.”

According to the minutes from the Tuition Advisory Council’s March 19 meeting (available at sou.edu/president/tuition-advisory-council), the rate increase for in-state undergraduates considered by the council generally ranged from 1.99% to 2.99%, and at least one of the factors figuring prominently into that argument was a projected enrollment decrease of 3%. The rate increase for resident undergraduates ended up splitting the difference at 2.55%.

“We are absolutely committed to making an education at SOU as affordable as possible, while preparing our graduates for the regional job market and giving them tools to achieve fulfilling lives of purpose,” said Schott, who last week announced her intention to retire by the end of the year. “These tuition rates will keep our university among the most affordable in Oregon.”

Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-821-0829 or jzavala@gmail.com.