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Tuition hike of 10.6 pct approved for University of Oregon

EUGENE — University of Oregon trustees have approved tuition increases for the upcoming school year of 10.6 percent for in-state students and 3 percent for out-of-state students.

The Register-Guard reported that Thursday's 11-1 decision by the trustees means that the cost of attendance for the 2017-18 school year ncluding fees will be $11,931 for residents and $34,611 for nonresidents.

The university's chief financial officer, Jamie Moffitt, said the tuition increase is necessary because the state Legislature did not increase funding for schools next year even though next year's costs are increasing by $25 million.

About 40 students attended the meeting, urging trustees not to approve the increase.

Freshman Maria Slade said the increase will be a huge burden for her parents and that her father had told her he would have to work until he reaches age 70 for her to stay at the school.

“I hated that. I'm unwilling to watch my parents make more sacrifices to keep me in a school that, as is apparent with this proposed increase, doesn't seem to care whether I stay or go,” Slade said.

Board member Peter Bragdon said lobbying is needed with state lawmakers to ensure better university funding and avoid future tuition increases.

Higher education leaders have asked the Oregon Legislature for an additional $100 million over the $667 million that Gov. Kate Brown has proposed for public universities in her budget.

The state faces a $1.6 billion shortfall driven by rising costs in the state's public pension system and Medicaid, as well as unfunded directives passed by voters in November.

About $7 million of the cost increase is required by the Public Employees Retirement System's demands. Moffitt said that required retirement system payment will increase by a similar figure every two years for the next three or four budget cycles.

The Legislature has long been looking for a solution to curb rapidly rising costs associated with the public retirement system.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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