Frequently asked questions about PSU’s tuition
Author: University Communications
Posted: April 11, 2017

Frequently asked questions about PSU’s tuition 

Q: What is PSU’s proposed tuition for the 2017-18 academic year? 

A: The Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday, April 11 to approve an annual tuition increase of $693 for resident full-time undergraduate students. That would bring annual tuition to $9,030, a 9 percent increase over this year. For other students, the annual increase would be $1,278 for non-resident undergraduates, $1,251 for resident graduate students and $1,107 for non-resident graduate students.     

Q: Why the increase? 

A: The state projects a revenue shortfall for the next biennium of $1.6 billion, and Gov. Kate Brown and the Joint Ways and Means Committee have recommended no increase in spending on higher education over two years. The current plan would allocate less in the first year and more in the second, which would result in a 5 percent cut in state funding for PSU next fiscal year. Other factors driving the proposed tuition increase are increases in pension costs, health care benefits and wages. Those increases total nearly $12 million in PSU’s general fund next year. In addition, enrollment trends suggest a decrease in enrollment next fall that would reduce tuition revenue. All told, PSU faces a $20 million gap next year to achieve a balanced budget.  

Q: What about cuts?   

A: To bridge the $20 million budget gap, PSU officials recommend cost reductions next year totaling $9 million from the current budget. Those include personnel reductions through unfilled vacancies and retirements, increased teaching loads in certain cases, organizational consolidations and other cuts. The remaining $11 million needed to balance the budget would come from increased tuition revenues.         

Q: What about student fees? 

A: The Student Fee Committee, a board elected by students to oversee funding of student services and organizations, has recommended an increase in mandatory fees. Other fees for buildings would decrease, fees for health services would increase and fees for the recreation center remain unchanged. When these fees are included, the net increase in tuition and mandatory fees for full-time resident undergraduates at PSU would be 8.3 percent next year.    

Q: How does PSU tuition compare to other Oregon universities?

A: Oregon’s other six public universities have either approved or are proposing tuition increases. Even with the increase, PSU’s tuition will remain more affordable than the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, where the current annual tuition is $10,762 for UO and $10,366 at OSU for full-time resident undergraduates.         

Q: Did students have input into the tuition-setting process? 

A: Yes. The Student Budget Advisory Committee, which includes students, met five times to discuss budget planning and tuition. PSU budget officials also met with the Associated Students of PSU and the Student Senate. A campus budget forum was held last month, and ASPSU and other students have submitted comments on the budget and tuition. Jose Rojas Fallas, a student leader, told the board Finance and Administration Committee that students oppose a tuition increase and instead recommends that the Legislature allocate more money for Oregon universities and schools by raising business taxes.        

Q: Will the tuition proposal change before next fall? 

A: PSU trustees and President Wim Wiewel said the board will lower the tuition increase if the Legislature allocates more money for higher education. Oregon’s public universities have asked legislators to allocate an additional $100 million to higher education for the next two years to help keep tuition affordable.         

Q: What’s next? 

A: The state Higher Education Coordinating Commission is scheduled on May 11 to review tuition increases proposed by universities that exceed 5 percent. The PSU Board of Trustees will finalize PSU’s 2017-18 budget with a vote on June 22 prior to the July 1 start of the fiscal year.  It is not yet known when the Legislature will vote on a biennial state budget, which typically occurs at the end of the session in June or early July.