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Policy Notes & Events

New Higher Ed Funding Formula Adopted

Based on earlier work that Oregon Learns did on restructuring postsecondary governance and funding in Oregon, in April the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) adopted a new funding formula for state government investment in Oregon’s seven state universities. The HECC approved the “Student Success and Completion Model,” which shifts the basis for state funding from enrollment to access and successful completion of degrees for resident students. This innovative student-focused model aligns state funding to advance Oregon’s 40-40-20 education attainment goal.  It also increases the focus on improving outcomes for students least likely to enroll and complete today.

This marks a decisive turn from the opaque funding of the past. Schools will be funded largely based on the number of Oregon students they enroll and on how many of those students complete a degree. There are weights in the formula to cover high-cost programs and to provide additional funding for low-income students, and those weights apply regardless of what school a student chooses to attend. There is direct funding to support campus missions (providing additional funding for small schools and to support the larger universities’ research functions), but that funding is relatively small and is expected to shrink relative to the student-based funding over time. There’s more information on this breakthrough in the HECC press release.