Winter tuition transformation

Notice a new price tag on your winter term classes? It’s time to register for next term and students won’t be receiving the same break they used to when taking between 12 to 18 credit hours for undergraduates, and nine to 16 credit hours for graduate students.

This system, known as the tuition plateau, will shrink to 12 to 15 credits for undergraduates and nine to 12 for graduate students. Anything more than this will be charged on a per credit hour rate that will increase a student’s tuition.

In state undergraduates can expect to pay $90 for every credit past 15, while out of state undergraduates will pay $351 per extra credit. Graduate students that are residents will be charged $244 per credit past 12 credits, and non-resident graduate students will pay $455 for every extra credit.

This past July the Oregon University System decided to eliminate the tuition plateau system throughout the state. Each university decided when to eliminate the plateau at their schools.

Student government fought Portland State administration to phase out the elimination of the plateau over time instead of completely losing it winter term. An agreement was reached between both parties to narrow the plateau beginning winter term before completely eliminating it fall 2004.

While tuition hikes are never enjoyed, something like this has the potential to limit students. The 12 to 15 credit hours window for undergraduates keeps them from taking four regular four-credit classes without staying within the plateau.

Being caght in a smaller tuition plateau may also keep students from signing up for extra courses such as physical education classes.

Since this change is occurring mid-year it will also mean financial aid issues for many students as their financial aid was based on a year of the regular tuition plateau.

According to the Office of Financial Aid’s website, students can ask to have their financial aid reassessed when there is a change in tuition like this. The website can be found at

Keep in mind that students are not guaranteed an increase in financial aid just because there is an increase in tuition.