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SOU Proposes Tuition Increase

ASHLAND, Ore. – Southern Oregon University officials voted Monday to propose a 5.8 percent tuition increase for the 2013-14 academic year.

The proposal was based on the university’s projected enrollment and costs, along with decreased state funding. SOU officials said because of the lack of help from the state, one of the school’s only options is to increase tuition once again. SOU has already seen several increases in the past few years, including a 9.9 increase last year.

Before the amount is approved, it needs to go through a lengthy process. The proposed increase will be sent to SOU President Mary Cullinan, then to the Chancellor of the Oregon University System. From there, the proposal would be discussed in public hearings, before it is ultimately decided on by the Oregon Board of Higher Education.

Several students at SOU were disappointed by the proposed tuition increase, saying that it feels like the University is passing its financial problems off on students.

“We have to pay out of our own pocket,” said SOU Senior Zack Epstein. “And it just amasses more debt at the end. I just wonder, how are we going to pay it off?”

SOU officials said the university is working on ways to limit the financial impact on potential students. They’re currently working on a new jobs program that would provide 50 on-campus jobs for students next year. Officials also said the university is providing $200,000 in discounted tuition for low-income students, and said extra Pell grants would also be available.