Connecting Your Business with the Industry’s Best
Print Access Find the right printer for the BEST results.
print Access

Free Community College Tuition - OREGON

Posted Thursday, August 13, 2015 by Association of Oregon Industries.

As we look to the future employee needs… now’s the time to be a voice for trade training and opportunities in PRINT.

Got a student heading to community college next year? Recently passed legislation may make it a little more affordable. Signed by Governor Kate Brown in July, SB 81, the “Oregon Promise” provides $10 million for tuition payments to students who complete high school in Oregon no more than six months prior to pursuing a certificate or degree at any of Oregon’s 17 community colleges. Approximately 4,000 - 6,000 students per year are expected to be served by the program, which will begin dispensing grants of $1,000 and up for the 2016-17 school year.

Although the statutory criteria for receiving a grant are not based on financial need, SB 81 does allow the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to establish additional eligibility requirements by rule. The HECC may therefore direct funding to students in programs that improve academic success or address Oregon’s specific workforce needs, and may give preference to graduates of certain school districts or high schools. This rulemaking authority provides flexibility for the HECC to address the ever-evolving needs of Oregon’s student population. In following this rulemaking process, AOI will advocate for funding to be directed not only toward students with financial needs, but also to those pursuing degrees in fields critical to Oregon employers.

To be eligible, a student must:

- One-year curriculum for students transferring to another post secondary institution; Associate degree; or

- Program in career and technical education.

A student will continue to be eligible for the Oregon Promise after the first year if he or she:Maintains a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better;Makes satisfactory academic progress;Completes a FAFSA each academic year; andEnrolls at least half time each term for at least three terms each consecutive academic year.Full-time students (12 or more credits/term) enrolled for the full year (three terms) in eligible courses may receive grants covering up to the full cost of their tuition, although they will be required to pay $50 per term as a co-payment. Grants will be reduced by the amount of any state or federal grant aid received (e.g., Pell Grant, Oregon Opportunity Grant) down to a minimum $1,000 annual grant for full-time, full-year enrollment.

Even if a student’s tuition is fully covered by state or federal grant aid, they are eligible for Oregon Promise grants, which they may use for other costs such as transportation, books, and living expenses.

Information about the program will be available online at the Office of Student Access & Completion (OSAC) and the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB) websites.

Rulemaking is expected to begin this fall; for questions about the process, please contact Betsy Earls at AOI.

To view SB 81, you may go to the Oregon State Legislature website.