UO Works on Lowering Higher Education Costs

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), October 9, 2012 | Go to article overview

UO Works on Lowering Higher Education Costs


Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Roger Thompson

The rising cost of higher education is causing some to wonder if the dream of a college degree is still realistic. Reductions in state and federal support for our students' education have squeezed students and institutions alike.

At the University of Oregon, we recognize this problem. And we are working to confront the issue of college affordability head-on.

The state contributed $6.5 million toward UO student aid last year, and the university offered a total of $35 million in tuition forgiveness and foundation grants and scholarships. Our students are fortunate that so many of the university's supporters have helped us provide this financial aid.

During the UO's last fundraising capital campaign, we raised nearly $100 million in private gifts for scholarships. We need to raise more, and we will.

These scholarships provide critical financial assistance to a range of undergraduates and address the ever-changing needs of Oregonians.

For example, the UO's Pathway Oregon program guarantees that academically prepared in-state residents from lower-income backgrounds will have all of their tuition and fees covered. Pathway students also receive academic and personal support to enable them to succeed and graduate from the UO within 12 terms, keeping the cost of additional classes at bay.

That's an important factor in college affordability; an extra term adds thousands of dollars to the cost.

Another example is the Mary Corrigan and Richard Solari Scholarship program, which saw its first recipients begin classes at the UO this fall. The program supports students from middle-income families who cannot afford college but aren't eligible to receive other sources of aid. These scholarships provide $5,000 awards that are renewable for up to four years.

Finally, students who achieve the highest levels of academic success in high school will be rewarded financially with two new scholarships at the UO, awards that will double or triple scholarship values over current offerings.

The new Summit and Apex Scholarships will be awarded to UO freshman students starting in fall 2013. …

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