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The Western Tuition Promise
Frequently asked questions(FAQ)

What is the Western Tuition Promise?

Oregon University System

approves WOU's tuition promise

OUS power point screen shot

On Oct. 6th, 2006 the Oregon State Board of Higher Education approved the WOU Tuition Promise presented by David McDonald, Associate Provost


View the two presentations


This is our commitment to help students and families more effectively plan for and afford the cost of attending and graduating from WOU. We guarantee that undergraduate students who enroll during the 2010-11 academic year will have the same tuition rate as the year they enter for four academic years. WOU is the only public university in the western U.S. to offer this guarantee to students and their families.


Video - The Western Tuition Promise



Who is eligible?

  • All new WOU undergraduate Oregon resident and Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Students entering in winter or spring terms will have the same tuition rate as fall enrollees.
  • The eligible time period for transfer students will be based on the number of transferable credits to WOU, using 15 credits as equal to one term.
  • Students in the dual enrollment program with Chemekata, Clatsop and Portland community colleges will begin their four-year tuition guarantee period based on the first academic year dually enrolled.

Who is not eligible?

  • Graduate and international students are not included in this program.
  • Out-of-state undergraduates not in the Western Undergraduate Exchange Porgram.


What benefits does this provide students?

  • Substantial savings in total tuition paid after four years
  • Fixed-rate tuition for four years (no increase)
  • Price certainty
  • Savings compared to attending other universities in region.
  • Reduced loan debt
  • Incentive to graduate in four years


Will a student have the choice not to participate?

No. This tuition guarantee will involve all new WOU undergraduate students from Oregon or participants in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Program.


Are other universities offering this?

Yes. Many private colleges in the Midwest offer this guarantee to students, and some public universities in Illinois and Georgia also provide this service. However, WOU is the only public university on the west coast to offer this guarantee to students and their families. Experiences at these other universities and WOU that have implemented the program have found improved student retention to be a key benefit.


How do students sign up?

There is no need to sign up. The Western Tuition Promise is automatic for all eligible students.


What is not covered by this program?

  • Housing (average increase has been six percent a year)
  • Student fees such as the building (set by the legislature), health service, incidental (set by WOU student government), and technology
  • Specific fees for courses that have extra expenses such as physical education, art or science labs


What about enrollment beyond the fourth year?

After four years, the tuition rate will increase each year to the level paid by students currently in the fourth year of their tuition group. For instance, a student who entered in the fall 2010-11 class will pay the same tuition until the end of spring 2014. If that student continues to enroll in the 2014-15 academic year, the tuition rate will be the same as for those students entering WOU in the 2011-12 academic year

  • For students in one of the majors that require more than four years to complete a fifth year extension will automatically be granted.
  • WOU actively supports students seeking a global experience. Students who participate in a study abroad program or international internship during an academic term (Fall, Winter or Spring) will receive an automatic extension.


Is there a process to have the four-year time period extended?

Yes. Students with legitimate reasons to request an additional period of time beyond four years may request an extension. Extension requests will be reviewed by a committee comprised of students, staff and faculty.


Is it four calendar years or four academic years?

It is four calendar years from the original term of enrollment. Students who do not enroll continuously will continue to be eligible, but the time away from WOU will count against the four-year time limit.


Is this fair to part-time students?

Yes. The tuition guarantee applies to the per-credit hour rate.


Savings Generated by a Tuition Promise

WOU students do not experience tuition
increases. Students in California pay
more each year.
Tuition changes for freshmen
fall 2008 to fall 2011
California State 68.6%
University of California 68%
Western Oregon University
no tuition increase

The Tuition Promise would have saved the California State student who started fall 2008 $5,000 and the University of California student almost $10,000.

How much tuition will students save?

We project that, over four years, the average WOU student taking 15 credits a term will save over $2,000 compared to the pricing model used by other universities and colleges.


What will tuition be?

Tuition rates are approved by the Oregon Board of Higher Education in the Spring. It is estimated for2010-11 that students in the Western Promise will pay around $136 per credit for Oregon residents and $195 and $210 per credit for participants in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program.

Note: Student fees are not included in the cost estimates - between $425 and $503.


The expected tuition at Western Oregon University will remain slightly below the average rates of Oregon's other public universities.


How are members of the military affected?

Students who are members of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves, and are called into active duty will have their tuition level frozen during their duty period. They will have 12 months from the official end of active duty assignment to re-enroll at WOU and retain their original tuition level. Their four-year period will be adjusted to take into account the service to our country.


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California Admissions | Micah Howe503-838-8037 | or e-mail:
Location: APSC room 408