PSU students protest tuition hike

A tuition hike decision may come in June

Students at PSU rallied against a proposed tuition hike, March 12, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Students at PSU rallied against a proposed tuition hike, March 12, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Dozens of Portland State University students protested a proposed tuition hike for next fall.

The students gathered around noon at the PSU library to show their displeasure at the increased tuition plan: 5%  ($7 per credit) for undergrads, 3% ($11 per credit) for non-resident undergrads, and 3% ($15-$17 per credit) for all graduate students.

The rally started about an hour before the PSU Board of Trustees meeting, and students are expected to fill the meeting room. They’re also expected to speak forcefully during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The professors’ union is also backing the student protest. They are urging faculty to have no consequences who miss class or attend the board meeting.

Scott Gallagher, the director of communications for PSU, said he understands students are concerned about the rising cost of tuition. But if the state doesn’t approve more funding for higher educations, tuition hikes are inevitable.

“The economy is improving but the state has not restored the amount of cuts that have occurred over the last 20 years,” he said.

PSU is not the only school looking at tuition hikes.

School           Current          Increase
PSU                $7,794            4.5%
OSU               $9,123            —
UO                  $8,190            3.7%
WOU              $7,560            Undetermined
EOU               $6,030            5%
SOU               $6,306            Undetermined

“Ultimately,” Gallagher said, “state funding drives the cost of tuition.”

After the PSU Board of Trustees held their meeting, they voted 10-2 to raise tuition 4.2% for in-state undergrads.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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