Oregon is blazing new trails when it comes to higher education.
In 2011 the state enacted legislation to help reach some of the most ambitious education goals in the country. By the year 2025, Oregon plans to achieve the following:
- 40% of Oregonians will complete a 4-year degree,
- 40% of Oregonians will complete a 2-year degree or certificate, and
- 20% will earn a high school diploma or the equivalent.
In January 2018 this goal, known as the 40-40-20 education goal, was clarified to focus on young Oregonians, starting with the class of 2025.
Oregon legislatures recognize the value of higher education and how it impacts the economic structure of the state, so they are working hard to provide competitive schools, generous financial aid packages and convenient online learning opportunities for all citizens.
Overview of Higher Education in Oregon
In Oregon there are 55 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The breakdown is as follows: 26 public schools, 25 non-profit private schools, and 4 for-profit private schools.
The NCES reports that Oregon residents will pay about $10,286 to attend one of the 4-year public. Non-residents will pay closer to $30,929. Both rates are above the national average.
Students who are unable to find their chosen major at a college or university in Oregon can benefit from their home state’s partnership with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). WICHE’s Student Exchange Program allows students to enroll in degree programs at schools in any of the 16 participating states and territories for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
About Online Colleges in Oregon
2018 data from the NCES shoed that 13.6% of Oregon’s postsecondary students were enrolled in fully online degree programs, and another 18.9% were enrolled in one or more online courses. The numbers continue to rise as colleges increase their online course offerings.
Many of the state’s online learners are a part of Oregon State University (OSU)’s Ecampus, a world-renowned online program that consistently ranks in the US News and World Reports’ Top Online Bachelor’s Programs. OSU’s Ecampus offers more than 45 undergraduate degree programs including Agricultural Sciences, Computer Science, Horticulture, and Psychology, and more than 35 graduate programs. The school first began offering degree programs and courses online in 2002. Today they offer over 1500 online courses, and the school serves more than 24,000 students worldwide.
Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) also boasts a top-notch online program. Oregon Tech began offering online bachelor’s degrees in 2003, and now offers certificate programs as well as associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Working adults may be especially interested in their degree completion programs available in a variety of fields.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Oregon
Oregon residents have access to a lot of financial aid – federal, state and private. To be eligible for this aid, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
It’s important to fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible. It becomes available on October 1st each year, and a lot of the money is awarded on a first come, first served basis.
The FAFSA application will inquire about your finances and the finances of your parents (unless you’re considered independent). The information you provide will be used to determine how much and what type of financial aid you are eligible for.
The State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) oversees a number of financial aid programs for residents, including:
- Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) – Need-based aid
- Oregon Promise – For students going to community colleges
- Chafee Grant – For current and former foster care youth
- Childcare Grant – Assistance with childcare costs for parents pursuing higher education
- Barber and Hairdresser Grant – For students with high financial need who wish to attend a licensed barbering, hair design, cosmetology, or manicure school
- Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant – For dependents of public safety officers who were killed or disabled in the line of duty
Follow each link to learn about the eligibility requirements and how you can apply.
The HECC also oversees the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) Scholarships, a database of over 500 scholarships that students may apply for via a single application. OSAC awards more than $10 million in scholarships each year, with a wide range of eligibility requirements – you need not have perfect grades or extreme financial need!
There are many other scholarship opportunities for Oregonians. Here are a few examples:
|Scholarship Name||Details||Scholarship amount|
|Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants Scholarships||Multiple scholarships for full-time undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate students who are majoring in accounting; Must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher||$500-3500|
|Margaret Murphy Carley Scholarship for Nursing Education||For certified nursing assistants working in the field of long term care and seeking an LPN, RN or advanced nursing degree||Up to $5000|
|Janet Cullen Tanaka Scholarship Fund||For undergraduate females committed to pursuing a career in geosciences; Must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher||$1500|
|Ford ReStart Program||For students 25 years or older who are no more than halfway through their degree program||Varies|
|Abby’s Closet Dreams Scholarship||For female high school senior; Must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher||$2500|
You can find even more scholarship opportunities like these by using search sites like Fastweb.com. Once you enter some basic demographic information, you will be matched with dozens of scholarships for which you can apply.
Finally, check with the financial aid office at the school you choose. Most have financial aid programs available exclusively to admitted students, and will work with you to make your college experience affordable.
List of Online Colleges in Oregon
|Online Colleges in Oregon||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Oregon State University||Corvallis, Oregon||$10,366||Regional||$60|
|Pacific University||Forest Grove, Oregon||$41,054||Regional||$40|
|Oregon Institute of Technology||Klamath Falls, Oregon||$9,625||Regional||$50|
|Eastern Oregon University||La Grande, Oregon||$8,004||Regional||$50|
|Marylhurst University||Marylhurst, Oregon||$20,835||Regional||$50|
|Portland State University||Portland, Oregon||$8,337||Regional||$50|
|Corban University||Salem, Oregon||$30,640||Regional||$40|
Oregon has a strong commitment to higher education, with competitive degree programs at all levels and excellent financial assistance programs. And the state especially excels when it comes to online opportunities.
Indeed, if you’re thinking about pursuing higher education in Oregon, you are on the right trail!