Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.22
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Oregon University
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.92 / 4.00 Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs 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:

SOU is committed to providing quality education at an affordable cost for citizens of its service area. Examples of institutional policies and programs that help keep an SOU education accessible to our low-income students include:
• Waiving the Application fee for low-income prospective SOU students upon the request of their high school guidance counselor;
• Deferral of the Matriculation Fee until financial aid has been disbursed to students;
• Approximately $2 million in institutional tuition remission programs (scholarships) awarded annually based on financial need;
• Availability of Federal need-based financial aid funds, including low-interest Perkins loans;
• No charge for academic support programs and services, including tutoring, writing assistance, academic and career advising.

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

Many SOU faculty and staff members work collaboratively with the TRiO program staff to help student's succeed in college. Further, staff and faculty referrals are a primary method of recruiting students into the TRiO programs.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The Student Success Initiatives Program serves students from low-income backgrounds through case management and services offered through the First Year Mentor Program (FYMP), and the Community of Recovery Program (CORPS). Individual students who are struggling with any significant barrier to academic, personal, or social success may be referred for case management through the Student Success Initiatives Program. They may then be referred for participation in the First Year Mentor Program or the Community of Recovery Program at Southern (CORPS) depending on their specific needs. The FYMP serves first year students who are struggling with making social connections or having difficulty transitioning into university life. Students from low-income backgrounds are specifically invited to participate in FYMP, as it allows them to develop a relationship with a successful upper-class mentor. A special email invitation is sent to students with zero expected family contribution and students who enter the institution in an independent status. Students who are in recovery are encouraged to participate in the CORPS Program, including many students coming to the institution from low-income backgrounds. This provides an intentional community of support, relapse prevention, and recovery protections.

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

All students whose completed FAFSA applications are processed by the Federal Processor on or before March 1 and who have applied for admission to SOU are considered for the nearly $2 million in institutional tuition remissions (scholarships). These remissions range in amount from $600 to $3,000 per year. Students are ranked according to Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The Financial Aid Office uses "Federal Methodology": the standard, federally approved method for determining what funds the family (parent and/or student) should have available to meet the year's educational costs. The EFC is subtracted from the standard student budget for the academic year, and the remaining figure is considered the student's financial eligibility. Students with the lowest family contribution (EFC) are awarded campus-based funds until those funds are fully committed. (The Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans and the Pell Grant remain available all year.)

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

In addition to the college tour and our regular high school visitation program, SOU participates in the GEAR-UP program, and is connected to all of the regional Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs that work with low-income and/or first generation students who aspire to attend college.

SOU also has a Pipeline Program entitled Pirates to Raiders to provide outreach and recruitment to local Latino youth, including hosting a Latino Family Day Program in the Spring. SOU also visit local reservations to provide information on the institution and recruit students and hosts an Overnight Visit Program for underrepresented students.

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

Southern Oregon University has a large non-traditional student population and works to provide support and resources for student success. One such program, The Veterans Resource Office, assists Veterans and their families in pursuing their educational, professional, and vocational objectives. The VRO serves as a liaison between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the university to certify enrollment, provide information on Veteran benefits, and monitor students’ degree plans and academic progress.

The Commuter Resource Center provides support and services for all students, with an emphasis on non-traditional students. The CRC is located on the Ashland campus in the Stevenson Union. They have a lounge, computer lab, kitchenette, nap area (we provide wake-up calls), and group study areas. For students' convenience, they also offer fax and copy service. Students can sign up for a free locker, find out more about the term-paper delivery service, and get information about campus resources. We know that commuting is an added stress and the CRC is there to support students! They also understand that many students need assistance navigating MySOU, registering for classes, and understanding Moodle. Their friendly staff is well-trained and available for one-on-one assistance. Also, the CRC is family-friendly, including a play area for children of students to keep them occupied while a student naps or works on the computer.

A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

The Associated Students of Southern Oregon University (ASSOU) chose to offer students a child care subsidy in order to assist students who have children who are pre-school age or younger to attend classes at SOU. This subsidy is funded from the incidental fee that all students pay when they enroll at SOU.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.