SOU expected to raise tuition for upcoming academic year

Southern Oregon University expected to raise tuition (Marissa Olid/News 10).

Southern Oregon University is expected to raise tuition for the upcoming academic school year.

The Tuition Advisory Committee made up of faculty, students and administrators voted the tuition increase unanimously. Tuition could increase anywhere from 8.5% to 13.5% depending on what the Legislature allocates to higher education this session.

"The board takes this very seriously. We don't like to raise rates anymore than anyone else does but we do have to ensure the financial stability. We want our university to be fully accessible," said Lyn Hennion, chair of the SOU Board of Trustees.

For students, it comes out to $23 per credit hour, adding up to a little over $300 per term for students taking 15 credits.

Linda Schott, President at SOU said there has been tuition increases since she has been president at the university. She has now been president at SOU for three years.

She said, her first year there was a 12% increase, last year a 4.22% increase and this year can range anywhere from 8.5% to the highest being a 13.5% increase.

Although tuition is expected to increase, the Board of Trustees is still concerned about affordability and are looking at other ways to reduce student cost.

Schott said in the past they have helped students find text books at little to no cost and will be offering lower meal plans for students who do not wish to have three meals a day.

"If you're a parent of a student or if you're a student who is worried you won't be able to continue at SOU because of this increase, I want you to go see our financial aid office and see what they can do for you because we will do our very best to meet the financial needs of students who simply cannot afford this increase," Schott said.

Hennion also makes it clear that they would like to keep the university as affordable as possible. Hennion said Southern Oregon University does not like to see people graduate with debt.

"The level of debt that the SOU students leave on average leave the university with is the lowest of any of the public universities in the state," Hennion said.

Schott advises any parent or student who has strong opinions make their voice heard and contact their representatives.

The increase goes into effect in September for the 2019-20 school year.

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