Tribal members from outside Oregon can soon attend three of the state’s universities for reduced prices.
Southern Oregon University on Monday announced that it will offer in-state tuition to Native American students from outside Oregon starting this fall. Oregon State University and Portland State University made similar announcements this month.
Eligible Native American students can save between $5,000 and $18,000 on tuition, depending on where they live, according to a statement from SOU.
“We believe that our entire university community will benefit from encouraging the enrolled members of tribes across the country to join us at SOU and enrich our campus,” SOU President Rick Bailey said in the statement.
Out-of-state tuition at SOU costs about $10,000 per term for undergraduates pursuing 15 credits, compared to in-state tuition of less than $4,000 per term. The university reported having 251 students who identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native in last year’s fall term, and 167 of them were from Oregon.
SOU offers a Native American Studies program that added faculty and courses in recent years, according to the university. Last year that program helped launch an Indigenous Gardens Network to restore areas where “first foods” and other culturally significant items can be grown and harvested.
Members from Oregon’s nine tribes can also get almost all tuition costs covered at the state’s public universities and community colleges through a state grant program that launched in May. The Oregon Tribal Student Grant covers costs of attendance — including housing and books — after all other scholarships have been applied, at more than 40 participating colleges and universities.