The Oregon Promise may not be as free as residents of the state were led to believe. The program was signed into law in July with the governor promising students an “undergraduate education tuition-free at their local community college.”
The promise provides tuition grants to high school students who graduated with at least a 2.5 grade-point average or earned a general educational development degree. They have to enroll in one of the community colleges in the state at least part-time within six months of high school graduation.
Most Oregon students will receive free tuition, according to the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission. However, the commission estimates about 3,700 will have to pay something, anywhere from a couple of dollars to about $300 per year, depending on where they enroll.
Oregon Promise deducts the amount students receive in Pell and state opportunity grants from the cost of tuition. Students are responsible for $50 per term and tuition charged for attending more expensive schools or additional costs from taking heavier class loads.