Starting at the beginning of January, the University Budget Committee began annual tuition forums to determine the amount at which tuition will be increased for the 2020-21 school year.
“We’re trying to find a way that this works and it’s easy for students to attend…what we do with that input is, if they are actionable things or questions, we will take them back to the committee as part of the tuition discussions,” said Sherman Bloomer, the associate vice president for the Budget and Resource Planning at Oregon State University.
At the first two forums on Jan. 15 and Jan. 27, the committee arranged the forums in a more casual manner, but are aiming for classroom settings in the forums to come. Bloomer and other members of the committee will be asking students about their concerns regarding tuition, and providing resources for students to become more literate on where their money is being spent.
With the current tuition cost, 57% of money paid is going to colleges, centers, departments and schools at OSU. The rest of the money is divided between facilities, operations, administration, athletics, student services and other separated categories, according to the winter 2020 budget breakdown by the UBC.
“For some students they may not pay attention if they’re in a situation where their parents are able to take care of the tuition bill, they may never think about it,” Bloomer said. “But for lots of students, they need to think about it and manage those costs and it’s a shock if the only time you hear about it, is when the board votes on tuition.”
The next forum will be Thursday, Feb. 12 in the Memorial Union room 215 from noon to 1 p.m. and is open to all students and faculty who are interested in the tuition increases.
According to Bloomer, the justification behind the annual increase of tuition is due to inflation. He said, “‘How do we make sure the university keeps offering the same quality of programs and the same opportunities, and makes those opportunities better over time?” is an important question the UBC asks themselves when increasing costs to continually increase the quality of academia and other services at OSU.
The schedule for the following tuition forums, happening until the end of March can be found on the Budget and Resource Planning’s section of the OSU website.