Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.27
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date March 4, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Oregon State University
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
2.77 / 4.00 Brandon Trelstad
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
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Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

The Oregon University System Supplemental Tuition Waiver (SCW) program provides limited tuition funds to full-time resident freshmen and sophomores. Eligibility is limited to students with high financial need.

OSU's Degree Partnership Program is a unique program that allows for students to dual enroll with OSU and another institution. OSU's program is one of the most expansive in the nation and has agreements with all community colleges in Oregon and has now expanded to other states including Hawaii. These programs allow for students to receive OSU credit by taking classes at a community college, paying community college prices.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

Data on student loan debt, average monthly loan payments in correlation to average starting salaries is updated annually and distributed to academic college leadership teams. This information will be available to faculty, staff and students on the OSU website.

A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

OSU offers numerous pre college programs that are designed to prepare students for postsecondary education, as well as provide teacher and high school counselor information sessions on admissions requirements and which curriculum best prepares students for success in college. OSU also has early college high school partnerships in which high school students simultaneously complete high school and an associate’s degree from the local community college. Students who complete their degree through this program are admitted to OSU and offered a tuition scholarship or need-based grant.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

The Diversity Achievement Award is a competitive award offered to entering undergraduate freshman and transfer students aimed at building upon the diversity and educational goals of the university. Evaluation of award application and financial need are also factored into selection process.

Generally, OSU's model is a Shared Responsibility Model which was adopted in 2009. The Shared Responsibility Model ensures that students that receive/qualify Pell Grants from the Federal Government will not pay any money to attend OSU. The Shared Responsibility Model works such that the state will offer some grant money to those that receive Pell grants and then OSU will pay the difference of the amount left after the Pell and OOP (Oregon Opportunity Grants) have been paid out.

OSU also works closely with the OSU Foundation and the Benton Community Foundation to make sure there is need based scholarship money available for students. Additionally each department within OSU has their own scholarship programs with a mixture of academic and need based scholarships and grant programs.

A brief description of any programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

OSU has a website dedicated to navigating the sometimes complicated world of financial aid. This site puts in plain language different OSU programs offered to lower-income prospective students and parents. http://oregonstate.edu/financialaid/information-parents

A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

OSU has an outreach program through the Financial Aid office and will go to high schools throughout the state to talk about how higher education can be affordable even though it may seem out of reach. This program is coupled with an admissions program that helps students understand the admissions process and is targeted not only for the traditional student but also the first generation and low income students that may not have a parent that can guide them through the process. The Student Support Services office is also a key player in this process as they are able to provide academic counseling, tutoring, and cultural enrichment opportunities for students who qualify for the program. In addition, financial assistance is available to students who meet certain additional criteria.

A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Students whose FAFSA results indicate moderate to high financial need are not charged an admissions application fee or advanced tuition deposit. Admissions also holds application workshops during which students and their parents are assisted in completing the admissions application. Eligible students are admitted on the spot and given information about scholarships they will receive.

A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

OSU has many different policies and programs for financial aid, several of which are discussed above. There are also a number of less traditional programs including the Human Services Resource Center which provides emergency housing services, a food pantry, health insurance subsidies, food subsidies, student parents child care subsidies and much more.

OSU's Bridge to Success Program is a financial aid initiative that allows certain Oregon-resident students to attend OSU free of charge.

The program, which is the largest of its kind in Oregon, covers all tuition and fee costs for in-state students. Additional funds will cover books and supplies for half of qualifying students.

The awards are based on financial need and students' ability to show satisfactory progress toward completion of degrees, including taking 15 credits each term.

A brief description of other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Oregon State University recognizes the importance of quality child care information and services for university-associated families. On the OSU Childcare & Family Resources site you will find on-campus resources like child care subsidies for students, staff and faculty, child care centers, research, lactation rooms and a map showing where they all are.

You'll also find links to the many community resources available. We keep an up-to-the-minute calendar of family friendly events happening in our community.


A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

OSU has Degree Partnership Programs with all 17 Oregon community colleges, in which students apply through a single admissions application for both institutions, they are allowed to concurrently enroll and financial aid is coordinated using the combined credits/enrollment. This program has resulted in the average age of undergraduates at OSU to increase.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 36.30
The graduation/success rate for low-income students 72.20
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 54.90
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt 13.30

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:

The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs is available:

Statement from the OSU Provost, February 2013:

Oregon State University shares concerns with students and their parents over the importance of keeping a college education accessible and affordable. We recognize that access to post-secondary education, declining college affordability, and a high proportion of students who fail to graduate from colleges in a timely manner are critical issues for academic institutions in Oregon and nationally.

At Oregon State, we are committed to effectively address these issues in timely and on-going ways.

The university continues to build an increasingly diverse and inclusive student community. To help the state advance towards its 40-40-20 goal, the university has increased its enrollment in the past three years by 20 percent, ensuring access for qualified Oregonians. At the same time, Oregon State works hard to attract high achieving students from Oregon high schools and community colleges to ensure that we retain them in the state. And we are committed to maintain affordability, and yet improve the quality of education we offer students, and reduce the time it takes for a student to earn a degree.

To help achieve these outcomes, Oregon State has:
• Provided support to more than 2,800 students each year through the Bridge to Success program, which covers full tuition and fees for students in the program
• Raised $150 million for academic scholarships through the Campaign for OSU in collaboration with the OSU Foundation. Each year, more than 4,000 students receive donor-funded scholarships and fellowships totaling more than $7.5 million.
• Consolidated business services and academic units to reduce administrative costs and direct as much funding as possible to the delivery of educational programs that allow on-time graduation.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.