Oregon wants 80 percent of its adults to hold a college degree or postsecondary certificate by 2025. To meet that goal, lawmakers are focused on making college more affordable—whether that means increasing funding after years of budget cuts or rethinking tuition payments altogether.
Currently, about a third of students in the Beaver State don’t graduate from high school on time—or at all—and just 61 percent of graduates immediately head to college. A third of Oregon students are nonwhite, and half of students are low-income.
State and local funding for higher education dropped by 32 percent between 2007 and 2012 even as enrollment jumped by 36.2 percent, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Unsurprisingly, Oregon students are paying 18 percent more in tuition and fees than the national average, and students’ debt loads are soaring.
Here are three ideas kicking around the state Legislature that would make college free, or much cheaper, for Oregon’s increasingly diverse student population. If the state can successfully pilot these concepts, they could catch on nationwide.
Read more. [Image: Robb Carr/AP Photo]