TUALATIN, OR – On behalf of the more than 24,000 students attending Oregon’s independent, private, nonprofit colleges and universities, the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (The Alliance) applauds the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee for approving House Bill 5025, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) agency budget. This budget includes a historic $100 million increase to the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG), the state’s primary need-based financial aid program, bringing that budget to $308.4 million, as well as funded the Oregon Tribal Student Grant on a continuing basis at $24.2 million. This significant investment by the Joint Ways and Means Committee and Oregon’s budget writers will provide much-needed financial aid and expanded educational opportunities for Oregon students seeking higher education.
Student recipients of the OOG award often must overcome significant odds to apply, qualify, and attend the college or university that best suits their needs. By investing in the OOG and continuing to fund the Oregon Tribal Student Grant, the Legislature is helping to ensure we give families and students the opportunity to plan for college and persist once they begin. The Oregon Opportunity Grant and the Oregon Tribal Student Grant programs have and should continue to fund students and not institutions, to protect the program pillars of portability, access, and success.
“We are deeply grateful for the increase to the Oregon Opportunity Grant and funding of the Oregon Tribal Student Grant by the Joint Ways and Means Committee,“ said Brent Wilder, President of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities. “We know the independent sector plays a key role in serving students and fulfilling the state’s talent and economic development needs, and we are working vigorously to ensure our contributions are better understood. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to ensure all Oregon students have access to affordable higher education that best fits their distinct and individual needs and we are pleased to continue our role as a committed partner to address the challenges facing our communities, state, and nation.”
The OOG is a critical lifeline for students pursuing their dreams and aspirations at any of Oregon’s institutions of higher education. To shed light on the remarkable return on investment (ROI) these students achieve at The Alliance’s private, nonprofit member colleges and universities, here are some figures from The Alliance’s recently completed Economic Impact Study (EIS) conducted by Lightcast, the global leader in market analytics.
According to the economic impact data, the benefit-cost ratio for students at Alliance member institutions is an impressive 3.5. In simpler terms, for every dollar invested by students through out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, they can expect a cumulative value of $3.50 in higher future earnings. Applying this ratio to the $4,742,816 OOG allocated to the private, nonprofit sector in 2017-18, the total value generated amounts to an astounding $16,599,856.
Furthermore, the economic impact data reveals that for every dollar invested in the Alliance member institutions, the people of Oregon receive a cumulative value of $6.90 in benefits. Multiplying this figure by the $4,742,816 OOG allocated to the private, nonprofit sector in 2017-18, the total benefits generated equate to an impressive $32,725,430.40.
It is essential to note that these incredible returns of $16 million+ and $32 million+ are solely attributable to the approximately 2,400 students enrolled in Alliance member institutions who received the OOG. This represents nearly 30% of the total number of undergraduate students from Oregon attending an Alliance member institution in 2017-18. These figures underscore the undeniable workforce and economic development outcomes associated with investing in the Oregon Opportunity Grant and the broader impact of The Alliance’s member colleges and universities.
The Alliance strongly believes that education is a powerful catalyst for social mobility and economic prosperity. By increasing access to higher education and empowering students through financial assistance, we are nurturing a more prosperous future for Oregon and its citizens. The $100 million increase to the Oregon Opportunity Grant and funding of the Oregon Tribal Student grant on a continuing basis is a remarkable step towards realizing this vision.
As we celebrate this significant milestone, The Alliance would like to extend its sincere gratitude to our esteemed fellow higher education organizations, the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA), the Oregon Council of Presidents (OCOP), and the Oregon Student Association (OSA) for their support and collaborative efforts in advocating for this substantial boost to the Oregon Opportunity Grant. Together, we have successfully emphasized the importance of affordable and accessible education for all Oregonians.
For media inquiries or more information, please contact Alliance President Brent Wilder at 503.342.0004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Alliance
The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (“The Alliance”) is comprised of 12 private, nonprofit, independent colleges and universities in the state of Oregon. These institutions deliver high-quality experiential learning with high-impact teaching strategies. The Alliance is the collective voice of Oregon’s independent, nonprofit higher education sector. For more information, visit www.oaicu.org.