Oregon posts below average community college grad rates as PCC ups per-credit cost

Study: Oregon community college complete a 4-year degree 10 points below the national average.

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Affording classes became more expensive Friday as a report was released finding that Oregon community college students complete their four-year degrees at a below-average rate.

The study, “Complete College: A State-Level View of College Attainment rates,” found that students who went to community college went on to complete a four-year degree only 30 percent of the time, which is just shy of 10 points below the national average. OregonLive.com reports:

That reinforces the need for Oregon to ensure that community college students get more coaching, advising, counseling and financial support so that they don’t just start college – they finish with a degree or industry-recognized certification so they can get good jobs, says Ben Cannon, executive director over higher education in Oregon. To meet its target of getting far more adults to earn higher education credentials by 2025, Oregon doesn’t primarily need to get more students to start college, Cannon said.

“To reach our state goals for college completion and to equip our people for success in jobs and life, Oregon policymakers should start with the students who are already showing up but aren’t succeeding,” Cannon said.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Portland Community College Board approved a 4-percent tuition hike over protests from students.

The Willamette Week reports:

Several of Oregon’s 17 community colleges haven’t set tuition for the upcoming school year, so it’s not possible to put the increase in statewide context. PCC’s tuition this year was close to the state average of $90.78 per credit hour. But PCC has lower student fees than other community colleges, meaning its overall annual cost of $4,476 is lower than the state average of $4,640. Chemeketa Community College in Salem last year offered the lowest tuition—$80 per credit hour.

“It’s not exorbitant, and it’s not anything that’s unreasonable given where we are,” says Courtney Wilton, a member of PCC’s board.


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