>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

Observer 11/24/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow MY VOICE arrow Fostering a future


Fostering a future

News stories and editorial pieces have drawn attention to the dramatic increase in tuition and other costs for students at Oregon's public universities.

Graduates in 2007 are carrying a record debt load of $19,000 — the eighth highest average debt in the nation. Oregon's community colleges boast the second highest tuition rates in the West. Average annual in-state tuition and fees have climbed from $1,943 in 2001 to $3,074 today — triple the cost of California's community colleges. Additionally, Oregon state aid is funded at embarrassingly low levels, ranking 45th nationally on higher education spending.

It's a sad state of affairs. For Oregon. For the higher ed system. For the average Oregon family that must devote 36 percent of its income after financial aid to ensuring their child can attend a public university. For students, who, yes, come out with a degree, but also graduate with more debt than ever. Everyone loses out when education and opportunities for career success are limited or altogether unavailable.

So what can be done to address this issue?

The Oregon Legislature took a good first step this year with an increase in Oregon Opportunity Grant funding to help students needing tuition assistance, boosting funding by $35 million to dramatically increase the number of students helped. In 2008-09, that grant will be funded at $72 million.

Businesses, organizations and individuals can — and should — be part of the solution, too. Consider donating funds, volunteering and becoming an active participant in the futures of Oregon students.

Some ideas for making a difference include:

• Establishing or contributing to a scholarship fund or tuition assistance program through The Oregon Community Foundation, the Oregon Student Assistance Commission and other organizations. Through such funds, worthy and financially needy students' lives can be transformed.

• Supporting mentoring programs like Access to Student Assistance Programs in Reach of Everyone (ASPIRE) that help students prepare for post-secondary education and ensure those who want to attend public institutions can. ASPIRE offers guidance on financial aid and scholarship application and admissions processes in nearly 100 Oregon high schools, serving 8,300 students and involving 1,400 volunteers.

• Becoming involved in local and state decision-making and legislative processes, ensuring lawmakers are working toward solutions that benefit the state's higher education system. We must look in every corner of the higher education system to hold costs down whenever possible, cut waste, find efficiencies and pool resources.

• Advocating for the underrepresented student population, particularly former foster youth, who need support accessing higher education opportunities. Contributing to the Oregon Student Assistance Commission's Dream Scholarship specifically for former foster youth is one way to help.

It's clear that something must be done to soften the impact of rising tuition and fees. It's clear there needs to be steadfast dedication to ensuring Oregon students have access to higher education that is best suited for them. We can all be a part of making this issue a priority…and making a real difference to the future of this state and its citizens.


Mary Koza of La Grade is the director of distance degrees in the Division of Distance Ed at EOU. She serves on The Oregon Community Foundation's Northern Oregon Heritage Fund Advisory Council. For more information, visit www.ocf1.org or call 503-227-6846.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

cheapest access 2007 
best site to buy microsoft publisher 2010 cheap dreamweaver for mac photoshop elements teacher discount
best price windows 7 home premium software http://www.cfaiurc.fr/?pk_n=4064&pk_kwd=... buy rosetta stone italian
  • cheapest microsoft windows 7 ultimate download windows seven 64 bits buy final cut express
  • purchase microsoft office publisher 2010 buy audition 3 australia download adobe acrobat extended
  • http://web.taftcollege.edu/athletics/alu... download camtasia 7 trial adobe design suite cs5.5 download mac
    achat silagra cialis 5 mg precio farmacia cialis remboursement secu
    http://www.nhcadsv.org/book9/index.php?p... cialis d'inde http://www.nhcadsv.org/book9/index.php?p...