EUGENE, Ore. — A new report shows public universities in Oregon have seen the largest increase in student enrollment out of every state in the country. But students attending the public universities are getting less money from the state.
For the past five years, public universities in Oregon have seen enrollment increases of 36 percent; but, they’ve also seen a 32 percent decrease in state appropriations for higher education.
The University of Oregon is expanding, building more dorms and classrooms; but as it grows, it’s relying on private donations and higher tuition to pay the bills.
As state support decreases, it forces students to buy a larger percent of the education cost in the form of tuition increases.
“We are very cognoscente of the fact that every time tuition increases, it places a higher burden on students. It makes it more difficult for them to go to school,” said Phil Weiler, University of Oregon spokesman.
While the university says it’s trying to do everything it can to help students bear the burden of increasing tuition, some students say that it’s not enough.
“It makes it more difficult. I mean, we end up here longer because if you have to take on another job, or do a bunch of things on the side to pay for tuition, then you take fewer classes,” said student India Chilton.
Not only are state cuts affecting the University of Oregon, but the sequester in Washington will also affect federal financial aid to students. Some students will pay more for their education next year, but the total is unknown because of the sequester.