In the midst of a pandemic, Oregon faces tough economic choices despite unexpected stability in recent revenue forecasts. Investing in Oregon’s university students is critical to Oregon’s economic recovery.

An investment of $900 million in the Public University Support Fund (PUSF) will help OSU and other Oregon public universities cover costs, shield students from significant tuition increases and help maintain academic advisors and other wrap-around services for students. An insufficient state investment in the PUSF will lead to the elimination or scaling back of critical student programs and services and large tuition increases at a time when students need support.

The Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) provides direct assistance to Oregon’s low-income students, ensuring all Oregonians, no matter their socioeconomic background, have the ability to access and afford higher education. Approximately 40,000 students receive Opportunity Grants each year. Maximizing funding to the OOG ensures more students receive meaningful state financial aid support.

Here’s why it is important to support state investment in higher education through the PUSF and OOG:

  • Universities provide an important safety net for Oregon students. A recent study at OSU found that nearly a quarter of students experienced food and housing insecurity during the pandemic. It is vital that Oregon invest in making college and its support services available to as many students as possible.
  • COVID-19 is uniquely impacting communities of color – their physical and financial well-being. Investments in public universities promote equity, support wrap-around services, and erode income inequality.
  • A university degree continues to be one of the most important steps on the path to economic prosperity.

State investments are critical to affordability, to containing student debt, to preserving access, and to creating opportunity. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni at OSU look forward to working with legislative leaders to make investments that will protect students and put them on a path to prosperity. Please support at least $900 million in the Public University Support Fund and $200 million in the Oregon Opportunity Grant.