Resident Tuition at PSU for Native Americans Across The Country: Academic Guilt Run Amok

On April 21, 2022, Portland State University (PSU) announced approval of a 3.6% increase to in-state undergraduate tuition for the 2022-23 academic year. Even this increase will be a cut from current service levels because of projected inflation., noted Vice President of Finance & Administration, Kevin Reynolds. 

Resident undergraduate tuition for the 2022-23 academic year will be $9,000 for students enrolled in 15 credits a quarter for three quarters, according to PSU.

Non-resident undergraduate tuition for the 2022-23 academic year will be $27,900 for students enrolled in 15 credits a quarter for three quarters.

“Tuition is a necessity,” said PSU President Stephen Percy, moaning about limited state support being behind tuition increases. “The state covers less than 35% of our education costs. We strive to be affordable, but we also must meet our obligation to deliver an outstanding experience to our students — in the classroom and outside it. That requires resources and the resource need increases each year.”

So what does PSU do next in the face of the grim realities of its fiscal challenges?

On July 21, it announced that, starting this upcoming fall, students who are members of the country’s nearly 600 federally recognized tribes across the country will receive in-state tuition. 

“Portland State offers this benefit to tribal members as part of our ongoing effort to provide a welcoming environment for Indigenous students in downtown Portland,” Chuck Knepfle, PSU’s vice president of enrollment management, said in a statement. “This offer of in-state tuition is a small way to honor the legacy of Indigenous nations from across the country.”

PSU told Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) it is not aware of any other schools  in the United States that have also made the move to offer discounts to Native American students on a national scale. There’s probably a reason for that.

This is nothing more than academic guilt run amok!

Tribal members who are Oregon residents already have access to resident tuition andthe Oregon Tribal Student Grant program that  will provide grants that can be used for tuition and other college-related expenses at colleges and universities by members of Oregon’s nine federally-recognized tribes.

Expanding resident tuition benefits to out-of-state tribal members means foregone revenue for increased services. And despite the tendency of left-leaning idealists to see government benefits as free, Oregonians will have to cover the cost of this new non-resident benefit. 

It’s just more wrong-headed feel-good performative activism, at the expense of Oregon taxpayers.

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