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Oregon Tuition Equity
In 2013, Governor John Kitzhaber signed HB 2787 into law to provide Oregon high school students greater access to higher education. Through HB 2787, tuition equity is granted to eligible students who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States and meet specific criteria. This means they are exempt from nonresident tuition and qualify for an in-state (resident) rate for tuition at Oregon’s public universities. Governor Kate Brown has since signed SB 932 (2015), HB 1563 (2018), and SB 553 (2021) to update HB 2787.
Who is eligible for tuition equity?
Students who meet all of the following requirements are eligible for resident tuition rates:
- Studied in the United States or US territories for five years prior to graduating from high school (or receiving equivalent certification)
- Attended an Oregon high school for at least three years immediately preceding graduation or equivalent
- Graduated from an Oregon high school (or received equivalent certification)
- Shows intention to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States
- Completes the SOU Tuition Equity Request Form
How does a student demonstrate the intention to become a citizen or permanent resident?
Checking the box in section 4 of the Tuition Equity Request Form, will confirm intent to seek and obtain U.S. citizenship as permitted by federal law. Students may also submit an official copy of their application for registration with a federal immigration program or federal deportation deferral program.
Submit the Tuition Equity Request Form
Send the completed form and any additional documents to:
Office of Admissions
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
Tuition Equity FAQ
What is tuition equity?
Tuition equity is an Oregon law that allows certain students who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States to pay resident tuition rates instead of nonresident rates. Eligible students must earn a high school diploma or Graduate Educational Development (GED) certificate in Oregon and meet other specific residency requirements. On April 2, 2013, Governor John Kitzhaber signed into law the legislative bill on tuition equity, House Bill 2787, directing the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to provide tuition equity at Oregon’s public universities. HB 2787 has been reaffirmed multiple times from 2015 to 2021.
What is resident tuition?
There are different tuition rates for students based on their state of residence. Resident tuition is another term for “in-state” rates for Oregon residents, and nonresident, or “out-of-state,” tuition rates are for residents of all other states. If eligible for resident tuition, a student is allowed to pay the lower rates for Oregon residents, although this does not change a student’s citizenship or immigration status.
How do I find out more about the tuition equity law?
While many people know this law as “tuition equity,” it may be referred to as HB2787 or as the “exemption from nonresident tuition and fees” for eligible undocumented students. Changes to the original bill have occurred through SB 932 in 2015, HB 1563 in 2018, and SB 553 in 2021. References to these bills may be included on tuition equity documents.
How do I request tuition equity (resident tuition)?
A student may request an exemption by completing a Tuition Equity Request Form and submitting it to the Office of Admissions. The Tuition Equity Request Form can be found here.
Who is eligible for tuition equity (exemption from nonresident rates)?
A student needs to meet all of the following requirements in order to be eligible for the exemption:
- Received a high school diploma or GED in Oregon
- Attended an elementary school or secondary/high school in Oregon during each of the three years prior to earning a high school diploma or leaving school before earning a diploma
- Attended an elementary school or secondary/high school in a state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in each of the five years prior to earning a high school diploma or leaving school before earning a diploma.
- Shows intention to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
How do I show intent to become a citizen or permanent resident?
A student will need to check the box in section 4 of the Tuition Equity Request Form, confirming intent to seek and obtain U.S. citizenship as permitted by federal law. Students may also submit an official copy of their application for registration with a federal immigration program or federal deportation deferral program.
How long may I use the exemption?
As the law currently stands, there is no expiration for using the exemption once a student has been approved.
Am I eligible for tuition equity if I transfer to SOU from another university or community college?
Yes, as long as all eligibility requirements (shown above) are met.
Are part-time students eligible for tuition equity?
Yes, part-time students who meet all eligibility requirements can still use the exemption. Students planning to attend part-time should work with their academic advisor to adjust their degree plan appropriately and determine their class schedule.
Is tuition equity for undergraduate students only?
No, tuition equity can apply to either undergraduate or graduate students as long as all of the eligibility requirements (shown above) are met.
If I am eligible, do I automatically receive tuition equity?
No, students must request an exemption using the Tuition Equity Request Form. Once eligibility is determined, the exemption becomes effective at the start of the next academic term.
I have been granted tuition equity. Why am I still listed as a nonresident?
While tuition equity allows you to pay resident tuition rates, it does not update or change your residency status. If you are being charged incorrectly on your bill, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I’ve been granted tuition equity, do I qualify for scholarships?
Yes! Students receiving tuition equity are eligible to receive scholarships and other financial aid at SOU.
Do you have a printable version of this FAQ?
Yes, a printable version is available here.