LBCC Board Settles on 5% Tuition Increase

Photo by Sarah Rose Larson

The Linn-Benton Community College Board of Education unanimously approved a 5% tuition increase for the 2023-24 school year during its meeting on Monday, June 26.

The board had considered a proposed 6% tuition increase earlier this year, however, the Oregon Legislature last week approved a larger-than-expected budget for the state’s community colleges, allowing LBCC to reduce the tuition increase to 5%. The tuition increase took effect the same day, applying to students enrolled in classes this summer.

“Ensuring that hard-working students can obtain higher education while affording basic needs is a high priority for the Board of Education at LBCC,” Board of Education Chair Kristin Adams said in a college news release.

“We are pleased that we could reduce the tuition increase in order to support that priority. Education is a ticket out of poverty, but if we do not safeguard its affordability, we are not serving the purpose of our mission. We will continue to collectively advocate for stabilized funding from the Legislature so that student success is at the forefront and not student debt.”

During the discussion of tuition and the college’s budget, John Sarna urged his fellow board members to consider a smaller increase, perhaps 4.5%. Sarna said he is concerned that tuition is getting too high and that students might stop choosing LBCC.

The Oregon Legislature approved HB 5025 to fund the Community College Support Fund last week. The CCSF will receive $800 million for the 2023-25 biennium, an increase of $97 million over what was allocated in 2021-23.

While the college will receive more money from the state over the next two years, board members did not discuss whether to adjust planned program reductions and staff and faculty layoffs. Administrators decided to cut 10 faculty positions and eliminate Computer Science, Criminal Justice and cutbacks in Adult Basic Skills. Students will be able to complete courses in Computer Science and Criminal Justice before those programs go away after the 2023-24 school year, however, three faculty librarian positions were cut effective this summer.

“I am so glad our Board of Education lowered the approved tuition increase for the coming academic year,” LBCC President Lisa Avery said in the news release. “Keeping college affordable is key to LBCC’s mission of providing excellent education at a great value. I look forward to welcoming students in September and watching them succeed at LBCC and get good jobs in our community.”

Below is a look at the tuition increase for the 2023-24 academic year:

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