Lake Oswego, Oregon | Oregon private colleges and universities served 34,289 students in 2016-17 with a third of undergraduates identifying as a student of color, and almost a quarter were first in their families to earn a college degree. These are just a few of the results of a recent, comprehensive research project the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities published on behalf of its’ seventeen member-institutions.

This Snapshot project took a measure of Oregon private colleges related to student success, affordability, and our impact on the economy in Oregon. This corrects myths about Oregon private college affordability. Average cost of attendance is more realistically affordable because of generous aid and efficient four-year degree completion, which allows students quicker access to careers and salaries. Oregon public institutions’ six-year completion rates not only cost their students an extra two years of tuition, but two years of potential earnings.

Jim BauerPresident, the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities

The Alliance Aggregate Snapshot 2016-17 is segmented into three higher education themes; enrollment, affordability and outcomes. Highlights of each area include:

  • Four-year completion rate for first generation students is impressive at 62%. A 60% Four-year completion rate for students of color indicates how Oregon private colleges “person first” education environment is a good choice for underrepresented students. Oregon’s seven public university completion rates come near that, but only after six-years of schooling.
  • Annual earnings calculated at age 34 show Oregon private college students earn 21% more than the national median post student income. This data sourced from the “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility.”
  • Oregon private institutions provide 85% of undergraduates with institutional aid and 99.8% of undergraduates with need receive institutional and/or public aid. This upfront aid helps students keep debt on par with Oregon public universities.
  • An indicator that Oregon private colleges are a good choice for high school students who want to earn a degree within four-years is that 75% of bachelor degree earners are aged 18-24.

I appreciate the Snapshot project as a productive, collaboration among all Alliance members. My colleagues and I were impressed with Alliance leadership to achieve the first-ever Alliance Snapshot that clearly represents the good work of all our institutions.

Elizabeth Lee, PhD. Director of Institutional Research at the University of Portland, an Alliance member institution

About The Alliance
The Alliance represents 17 of Oregon’s regionally accredited, nonprofit, private institutions of higher education. Together, Alliance colleges and universities enroll more than 34,000 students. The Alliance intersects the needs of business and industry, with private nonprofit colleges and the public good to create real solutions that build a more educated and skilled workforce for Oregon.

Alliance members include: Concordia University, Corban University, George Fox University, Lewis and Clark College, Linfield College, Multnomah University, National University of Natural Medicine, Northwest Christian University, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Pacific College of Art, Pacific University, Reed College, University of Portland, University of Western States, Warner Pacific University, Western Seminary, Willamette University.