The increase of online colleges in Oregon shows that the state is blazing new trails when it comes to higher education.
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.
This goal, known as the 40-40-20 education goal, was later clarified to focus on young Oregonians, starting with the class of 2025.
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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.
Online Colleges in Oregon
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) states that 27% of Oregon’s postsecondary students were enrolled in fully online degree programs, and another 28% were enrolled in one or more online courses. The numbers continue to rise as colleges increase their online course offerings and more students pursue Oregon online degree options.
Many of the state’s online learners are attending one of the many accredited online colleges within the state. Most schools offer more than 40 undergraduate degree programs including Agricultural Sciences, Computer Science, Horticulture, and Psychology, and more than 30 graduate programs. The state first began offering degree programs and courses online in 2002. Today there are over 1500 online courses to choose from.
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You can also opt to earn certificate programs as well as associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs all from the comfort of your home. Working adults may be especially interested in their degree completion programs available in a variety of fields.
Common Online Degrees in Oregon
There are many different online programs offered by Oregon colleges that might align with your personal interests and career goals. These are 5 common online degree programs offered by online universities in Oregon:
- Accounting: A bachelor’s in accounting introduces students to core accounting principles and systems, economics, business finance, and statistics.
- Healthcare Administration: This degree prepares healthcare professionals for a leadership or management position by including coursework in healthcare quality management, human resources, healthcare economics and finance, and delivery systems.
- Marketing: A marketing degree can teach students how to build and promote a brand, analyze consumer data and trends, and implement effective marketing strategies that align with a business’s goals.
- Engineering: There are several types of engineering degrees, such as civil, electrical, and mechanical, which include topics on engineering fundamentals, design methods, and other STEM-focused coursework.
- Computer Science: Students are introduced to computer science theory and fundamentals, including software development, information systems, and computer networks and systems to prepare for a career in computer science or information technology.
There may be many other online degree options available depending on the college, but these are just some examples of popular online programs.
Overview of Higher Education in Oregon
In Oregon, there are 55 degree-granting institutions, according to the NCES. The breakdown is as follows: 26 public schools, 25 non-profit private schools, and 4 for-profit private schools. This includes Oregon community college options as well.
The NCES reports that Oregon residents will pay about $14,227 to attend one of the 4-year public. Non-residents will pay closer to $23,828. 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.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Oregon
About 1.8 million professionals are employed in the state of Oregon, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state has a 4.7% unemployment rate, which is higher than the national average.
Some of the highest areas of employment in the state include general and operations managers, registered nurses, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, and teaching assistants. Occupational groups that show the most annual job growth include construction, leisure and hospitality, and government.
According to the Business Oregon official state website, major target industries with the most employment include business services, high technology, and forestry and wood products. A large portion of Oregon is covered with vast forests, which provides employment opportunities in forestry and lumber production in rural areas.
Careers & Salaries in Oregon
Earning an online degree may open up a wider range of job opportunities in the state of Oregon. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree can be beneficial for gaining employment in an entry to mid-level position.
Advanced degrees or considerable job experience can prepare individuals for senior-level or management positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the annual median salaries of careers in Oregon that typically require some postsecondary education or a bachelor’s degree:
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$128,420|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$119,140|
|Project Management Specialists||$81,680|
|Accountants and Auditors||$75,880|
|Human Resources Specialists||$62,210|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$41,910|
|Forest and Conservation Technicians||$39,290|
Salaries can vary depending on the specific job title, the employer, and the level of experience and education. Job availability can also vary based on those factors and where you live. Some jobs, such as registered nurse, may require additional certification to practice.
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Jobs in demand or found in the highest areas of employment in the state may be more readily available. Office and administrative support, sales, and business and financial operations are some of the highest areas of employment in the state.
Oregon Colleges Online Admissions Requirements
College admissions offices typically have a set of requirements that may need to be fulfilled prior to applying. Additional materials aside from the application form may also be requested at the time of application.
These are some general admissions requirements that Oregon online colleges may have:
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- High school diploma or GED
- Any official transcripts from high school or undergraduate education
SAT and ACT scores may be used to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in different subjects, but many schools no longer request them.
OR Online Colleges Accreditation
If you’re ready to start exploring Oregon online universities and degrees, you might want to keep accreditation in mind. Postsecondary institutions and programs can request to be evaluated by a regional accrediting organization to receive accreditation.
The screening process involves the review of various components of an institution and its departments to ensure it’s delivering quality education to its students. Accreditation may affect your eligibility for federal financial aid, graduate admissions, or future employment opportunities.
You can find a list of accredited postsecondary institutions and more information on accreditation guidelines on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Oregon residents have access to a lot of financial aid, including federal, state, and private. To be eligible for this aid, consider filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) oversees a number of financial aid programs for residents, including:
- Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG): This program offers need-based aid to students.
- Oregon Promise: This program is for students going to community colleges.
- Chafee Grant: This grant is for current and former foster care youth.
- Childcare Grant: This grant program provides assistance with childcare costs for parents pursuing higher education.
- Barber and Hairdresser Grant: This is intended 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: This program is 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.
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OSAC awards more than $10 million in scholarships each year, with a wide range of eligibility requirements. There are many other scholarship opportunities for Oregonians. Here are a few examples:
- Abby’s Closet Dreams Scholarship: $2500
- Ford ReStart Program: Varies
- Janet Cullen Tanaka Scholarship Fund: $1500
- Margaret Murphy Carley Scholarship for Nursing Education: Up to $5000
- Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants Scholarships: $500-3500
You may also want to 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.
Oregon Online Education Resources
These online education resources for Oregon students may provide you with valuable information:
- Oregon Goes To College: This site provides resources on Oregon colleges and degrees, trade schools, career opportunities, essay writing and admissions tips, and financial aid.
- Oregon Student Aid: The state of Oregon provides resources and webinars on financial aid opportunities, career planning, and other college tips.
- Oregon College Savings: The Help & Resources section of this website offers information on financial aid, student benefits, and college prep.
Utilizing these resources may give you access to new information about Oregon colleges and universities, degrees, career planning tips, and more.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Oregon Online University?
The cost of college can vary depending on the type of institution and degree, major, and residency status. Out-of-state tuition rates are usually more than in-state tuition rates, but out-of-state tuition may be cheaper for online programs. Public colleges and universities are typically less expensive than private institutions.
Online community colleges in Oregon may have cheaper tuition rates compared to on-campus community colleges and four-year programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the cost of tuition for in-state Oregon public colleges is around $11,537. Out-of-state and private college tuition rates were significantly higher.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
State reciprocity programs may be available to you, which can help cut down the cost of tuition as an out-of-state student.
Oregon is one of 16 participating members in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). As a member of the WICHE, Oregon partners with other participating states to share resources and cut down the cost of out-of-state tuition rates. The WICHE offers a number of programs for undergraduate, graduate, and healthcare college students to reduce tuition rates.
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The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is available to eligible students who live in a participating state and attend an WUE-approved program. The WUE allows eligible students to pay no more than 150% of their prospective institution’s in-state tuition rate. The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) is available to eligible graduate students.
What Jobs Are in Demand in Oregon?
According to the State of Oregon Employment Department, these are some of the fastest-growing occupations in the state:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors
- Medical and Health Services Managers
- Skincare Specialist
- Information Security Analyst
Nurse practitioners must earn a master’s degree and obtain licensure to practice. Exercise trainer, group fitness instructor, and skincare specialist jobs may be attainable with a high school education or some postsecondary education. Medical and health services managers and information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Oregon?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the annual median salaries of the highest-paying jobs in Oregon that typically require a bachelor’s degree:
- Chief Executives: $251,430
- Architectural and Engineering Managers: $147,950
- Computer and Information Systems Managers: $140,712
Professionals typically build up a considerable amount of experience in their field before entering a management or senior-level position. Podiatrist and dentist are the two highest-paying jobs compared to all other occupations in the state. These positions require a doctoral degree for entry.
List of Online Colleges in Oregon
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Bushnell University offers online and evening classes designed for nontraditional students. Most programs are fully online, but a few are attended in a hybrid format.
There are six start dates offered each year, and classes are attended in an accelerated, 8 week format. Students may be able to earn credits for life and work experience. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in fields of study such as accounting and nursing.
Bushnell University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Corban University offer fully online bachelor’s degree programs in business, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies. The online courses are asynchronous with weekly assignments. Students may take 1 to 3 classes at a time. Each class is 8 weeks long with start dates every eight weeks. Students can potentially earn credit for work and life experience through Corban’s generous transfer policy.
Corban University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Eastern Oregon University offers over 20 online programs to help make learning convenient for nontraditional students. The school’s online courses are completed asynchronously.
Eastern Oregon offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees that can be earned online, and many of these programs can be finished in just 2 to 3 years. Some programs may be attended in a hybrid format. Fields of study offered include anthropology, creative writing, and fire services administration.
Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
George Fox University offers several online learning options. Many programs are offered fully online, while others are offered in a hybrid format and require campus visits. The First Year Online program allows incoming freshman to complete their first year remotely. George Fox offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees that may be earned online. Fields of study offered include project management and education.
George Fox University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Lewis & Clark offers two law degrees that may be earned entirely online: an LLM and an MSL in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law. The LLM is designed for students wanting to practice law, while the MSL is for students pursuing other careers. These programs can potentially be completed in just 3 years with asynchronous learning.
Lewis & Clark is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Linfield University offers a limited number of bachelor’s programs for online students. Some programs can potentially be finished in just 2 years. There are multiple start dates offered throughout the year, and courses are conducted in an accelerated format. Fields of study offered include international business, accounting, marketing, and nonprofit management.
Linfield University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Multnomah University offers four bachelor’s, six master’s, and four seminary programs that can be completed online. Many of these programs can be completed fully online, and most courses are asynchronous. Students typically devote at least 10 hours per week to each course. Areas of study offered include theological studies, counseling, and aviation.
Multnomah University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Best Colleges ranked the Oregon Institute of Technology among the best online colleges in the state. The school offers fully online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs with mostly asynchronous programs. Courses are 8 to 11 weeks long, and there are four start dates offered each year. Fields of study offered include allied health and information technology.
Oregon Tech is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
U.S. News & World Report named Oregon State University among the best online colleges in the country. The school offers online bachelor’s degree programs designed for busy students. OSU’s online programs aim to provide the same education and degrees as their on-campus counterparts. Classes are attended fully online or in a hybrid format. Topics of study offered include botany and public policy.
Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Pacific University currently offers one degree that can be earned fully online: a Bachelor’s in Health Science. EduMed.org named the program one of the best online bachelor’s degree programs in health science. It is a degree completion program, so students need an associate degree before applying. The program can potentially be completed in just 11 months.
Pacific University Oregon is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Portland State University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that may be attended online. Many of these programs are fully online, while others are offered in a flexible format, meaning at least 75% of the courses are online. Topics of study offered include business blockchain, applied behavior analysis, and futures thinking and foresight practice.
Portland State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Southern Oregon University offers a select number of online programs for students who need flexibility in their school schedules. There are several start dates offered throughout the year, and courses are conducted in an accelerated format. The school offers bachelor’s and graduate degrees in fields of study like business administration and early childhood and development.
Southern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The University of Oregon currently offers four graduate programs online in applied behavior analysis, psychology, sports product management, and immersive media communication. All these programs can be completed fully online. Courses in these programs follow a semester schedule and are asynchronous with weekly deadlines. UO also offers undergraduate courses online but not complete programs.
The University of Oregon is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Warner Pacific University has been educating adult learners for over 25 years. The school offers fully online programs and programs that meet once per week. Programs start each month, and students progress through the accelerated courses with a cohort. Fields of study offered include healthcare administration and criminal justice.
WPU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Western Oregon University currently offers over 20 fully online graduate degree and certificate programs. Students with some qualifying core college credits may be able to earn a bachelor’s degree through the school’s pathway program. Most programs are fully online, but some are offered in a hybrid format. Fields of study offered include psychology, organizational leadership, and information technology.
Western Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Online Degree in Oregon
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.
You may want to consider researching accredited Oregon colleges and universities online to narrow down your list of options that offer your chosen degree program.