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Affording a College Education

EUGENE, Ore. — With college classes back in session and tuition up again this year, one of the questions facing many students is how to pay for their college education?

Tuition is up across the entire Oregon University System. Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus saw an increase of 6.9 percent for resident undergraduate tuition. At the University of Oregon, resident undergraduates will pay 6.1 percent more in tuition.

Undoubtedly a college education is one of the biggest investments a person will make in his or her lifetime. But what help is out there for those trying to make their dream of a college education come true?

Students from low-income households can apply for Pell grants. At the UO, one in four incoming freshmen is Pell grant eligible.

The university’s Pathway Oregon program, in its fifth year, covers tuition and fees for low-income Oregonians who are academically qualified.

There’s a new form of scholarship for students from middle-income families. It’s called the Solari Scholarship and gives $5,000 annually toward education expenses. There are about 250 Solari scholars at the UO this year.

“It’s important for people to realize that it is an investment. They need to be careful with how they spend their money during their college career, so that they can come out on the other end as best prepared as possible to take on the rest of their lives,” said UO spokesman Phil Weiler.

Weiler says studies show that the average college graduate makes about a million dollars more over the course of their career than someone who did not graduate from college.

At Western Oregon University, incoming students have the option to chose between the normal tuition rate or they can select a fixed tuition rate. Students who opt for the fixed rate will be paying more in tuition this year, but their tuition will not increase for four years.

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