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SOU trustees to vote on tuition rates and fees

Undergraduates could see an increase of nearly 4%

The Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees are scheduled to vote Friday on tuition rates and fees for the upcoming academic year, which includes an almost 4% increase in costs for resident undergraduates.

The tuition rate increase for that group could increase to $3,135 per term, which amounts to a 3.98% increase for the 2022-23 school year.

That rate does not include the addition of fees, which could total $763 per term, if approved.

SOU undergrads who live in the state now pay $3,015 per term in tuition and $707 in fees.

Joe Mosley, director of community and media relations, broke down the proposed rates by credit hour, including for those students who are not undergraduates.

If approved by the Trustees, non-resident graduate students will pay $630, up from $610. graduate students from Oregon will increase to $525 per credit hour, up from $505. Undergraduates from Oregon will pay $209 per credit hour at SOU, up from $201 this year. Residents of 16 Western states and territories that are part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange will pay $314, up from $301.50. Other non-resident undergraduates will pay $617, up from $597.

Decision time for the SOU board comes as some universities already have decided or proposed tuition rates for next year.

On the low end, Western Oregon University approved a 3.19% increase to resident undergraduate tuition at the board’s meeting April 20. On the high end, Oregon Institute of Technology approved April 7 a tuition increase of 7%, which requires approval of Higher Education Coordinating Commission because it is over 5%.

Endi Hartigan, communications director for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, said it is too early to say whether the governing board she works for would have to review SOU’s tuition increase, because the Ashland institution has not made a decision yet. But she noted the 5% or more rule.

The latest tuition and fee proposals came about through a tuition advisory council, which makes recommendations to the SOU president, who presents the plan to the full board for approval.

Before that presentation takes place, however, the SOU Finance and Administration Committee will review the tuition rates and fees April 21.

SOU Board Chair Danny Santos commented about the up-and-coming proposal ahead of the meeting, set to take place in the Meese Room at the Hannon Library on campus.

“President (Richard) Bailey's recommendations of tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year are very thoughtful, and based on many months of analysis and hard work that have taken place throughout our campus,“ Santos said in a prepared statement.

”These recommendations were put forward by the president, but were also formed by students themselves, as well as faculty and staff who sit on committees that understand well the needs of our students and the institution,“ Santos said.

Mosley elaborated more on non-resident tuition and fees, pointing out that students from five counties in California that are close to Oregon qualify for in-state tuition under the North State Promise Program.

Out-of-state students from several western states can get discounts under the Western University Exchange program.

“A fairly small minority of our students pay the full out-of-state (nonresident) rates,” Mosley wrote in an email.

A closer look at board meeting materials shows proposed mandatory enrollment fees, totaling $250 to pay for health services, building debt and technology infrastructure.

Other costs, such as the student incidental fee, student recreation and green tag, would all amount to $513 per term, if approved.

The green tag fee, although not new, is particularly noteworthy, Mosley said. It came about after students voted several years ago to charge themselves this fee so that the student government could invest in worthwhile environmental projects each year. These range from solar arrays on campus to stream enhancement efforts in Southern Oregon.

The one-time matriculation fee that new undergraduates must pay could be $350 per term, totaling $1,050 per academic year.

Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.