All Oregonians deserve fair and equitable access to the high quality and affordable educational opportunities provided by Oregon's colleges and university.
In 2013, we supported a successful tuition equity bill, expanding access to higher education by allowing all Oregon high school graduates to pay in-state tuition and public colleges and universities. In 2015, the legislature passed another bill allowing students who qualify for tuition equity the ability to apply for in-state financial aid. And just last year, we supported another successful bill that allowed these same students access to financial aid and scholarshops. This year, SB 859 advances tuition equity by ensuring students at public universities who qualify for tuition equity are charged in-state tuition for graduate programs.
Tuition equity ensures these students can access the educational opportunities that they have already earned. These students -- who are our neighbors, our friends, and often our family members -- enrich our state and contribute to its vibrancy.