Senator Alan Olsen (R-Canby)
Salem, OR – With a unanimous vote, the Oregon Senate approved House Bill 2158-B on Monday, a bill to give veterans in-state tuition rates at Oregon public universities and community colleges. The bill mirrors Senate Bill 820, a bill introduced by Olsen and a bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives earlier this session.
“Veterans will find access to higher education and the opportunity it represents a little more affordable thanks to this bill,” said Olsen. “Education is key to helping veterans get back into the civilian workforce and embark on a successful path after their service is over. Undergraduate degrees should be accessible and affordable to the men and women who defend our way of life.”
Annual out-of-state tuition at the University of Oregon is $28,660. In-state tuition costs the student $9,310. House Bill 2158-B would allow any veteran who has been honorably discharged or generally discharged under honor conditions to attend an Oregon public university at the in-state tuition rate. The bill would require a veteran to prove residency in the state within 12 months of enrollment. The bill also expands the veteran’s dependent tuition waiver program to include children of recipients of Purple Hearts awarded in or after 2001.
“Veterans have earned the right to access an affordable education at Oregon universities and colleges,” said Olsen. “I hope this bill communicates that this honored group of folks are welcomed and valued in our state.”
As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness, Olsen has worked on a number of bills to support and honor veterans, including a bill that gives veterans the day off on Veteran’s Day.
House Bill 2158-B now goes back to the House for concurrence.