WOU: The Western Tuition Promise

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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, Interim Dean of Admissions for WOU.

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 will have the same tuition rate as the year they enter for four academic years, beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year. WOU is the only public university in the western U.S. to offer this guarantee to students and their families.

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 community college will begin their four-year tuition guarantee period based on the first academic year dually enrolled.

Who is not eligible?

  • Returning students, those admitted and enrolled at WOU before September 2007, will continue on a tuition plan subject to annual increases, unless they choose to opt into the tuition promise during registration for fall semester.
  • Graduate and international students are not included in this program.
  • Online courses are not included in the Tuition Promise.

What benefits does this provide students?

  • Fixed-rate tuition for four years (no increase)
  • Price certainty
  • Savings in total tuition paid after four years
  • 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 students. Former undergraduate students who re-enroll at WOU will not be affected until September 2011. These students are classified as returning students.

Are other universities offering this?

Yes. Some private colleges in the Midwest offer this guarantee to students, and a small number of public universities 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 that have implemented the program have found improved student retention to be a key benefit.

How do students sign up?

Starting in fall 2012 new WOU undergraduate students were given a choice of selecting the Tuition Promise or the Traditional Plan with annual increases.

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 2008-09 class will pay the same tuition until the end of spring 2012. If that student enrolls in the 2012-13 academic year the tuition rate would be the same as for those students who entered WOU in the 2009-10 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 and staff.

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.

Estimated cumulative tuition increase

2007-08 to 2010-11

(15 credits per term)

$5,200 Oregon private institutions
$2,300 Other Oregon University System institutions
$0 Western Oregon University
no tuition increase


Private college data – The College Board Annual Reports on College Pricing
OUS data – OUS Fee Books (www.ous.edu)

How much tuition will students save?

We project that, over four years, the average WOU student taking 15 credits a term will save between $900 and $1,000 compared to the current pricing model.

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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WOU Admissions | Financial Aid | Tuition and Fees | Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

About Western | Visit Campus | Maps and directions 


The Office of Admissions toll-free at 1-877-877-1593 | or e-mail: wolfgram@wou.edu
Location: APSC room 408

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