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Many students choose to pursue degrees at online colleges in Oregon for the affordable tuition rates, plentiful resources for tuition assistance, and healthy state economy. Online programs in Oregon, such as Portland State University's bachelor's in human resources management , offer high quality education at an affordable price. These programs equip graduates for careers in Oregon industries like management, healthcare, and sales. Oregon workers enjoy low unemployment rates and comfortable wages. In-state learners who need financial help to earn an online degree can apply for Oregon scholarships from resources like the Ford Family Foundation .
This guide provides an overview of what students at online colleges in Oregon can expect in tuition expenses, financial aid opportunities, and post-graduation job prospects.
Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in Oregon
Oregon graduates can anticipate a comfortable job outlook. In 2018, Oregon workers enjoyed an annual mean wage of $51,010 , which is slightly above the national average of $50,620. As of 2017, the state's unemployment rate rested at 3.8% , right at the national average.
Though many positions from the state's highest employing industries (food preparation, serving, and transportation) do not require college degrees, industries employing mostly high school-educated workers tend to pay above the national averages. For example, food preparation and serving workers make $26,310 in Oregon and $24,710 nationally , on average. Industries employing large numbers of skilled workers also compensate well in Oregon. For instance, Oregon healthcare practitioners make $91,280 on average , annually, while they only make $80,760 nationally, on average.
Meanwhile, most of the top industries and professions in Oregon, with its population at 4.9 million , show average location quotients. The Oregon economy presents a healthy pool of job opportunities for both entry-level and degree-holding workers. Graduates from accredited online colleges in Oregon can find employment quickly, regardless of their skill level.
Unemployment Rate, August 2018
Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
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Cost of Online Colleges in Oregon
Students in online programs typically pay around the same tuition rate as their on-campus counterparts. However, online students can expect to save on certain fees that online programs do not incur, such as those for textbooks, transportation, and facility usage.
Generally, Oregon college students pay higher tuition than the national average. For public four-year schools in Oregon, the average tuition of $10,610 stands only slightly higher than the national average of $10,202. In contrast, public two-year schools in Oregon average $5,310 for tuition, which is significantly higher than the national average of $3,660. This dramatic difference in tuition reflects the state's higher living standard and wages for unskilled labor, as well as the greater breadth of programs available at accredited online community colleges in Oregon. Articulation agreements can make getting an online degree in Oregon quicker and less costly. Resources like the Oregon Community College Distance Learning Association's course sharing model can greatly reduce the time and cost of a degree.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Oregon
Because many schools receive funding from their state government, most offer a reduced tuition rate for in-state students. This often substantial tuition difference can help prospective students choose between in-state schools or going out of state for their education. Many students choose to attend in-state public schools due to affordability. On average, attending a public school in state costs around $10,230, while venturing out of state averages $26,290. Some students may also choose to attend an out-of-state public school, as public schools often cost much less than private schools. Private schools do not receive state funding and generally charge a flat tuition rate for both in- and out-of-state students.
The in-state versus out-of-state tuition difference in Oregon is similar to national averages, as in-state students at Oregon public schools pay $10,610 annually, while their out-of-state counterparts pay $30,750. Some public schools may also choose to charge online students a flat tuition rate regardless of whether they reside in or out of state. Others offer online learners the same tuition rate break. Online students in Oregon should strongly consider accredited online colleges in Oregon offering discounted tuition to in-state learners.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Oregon
Prospective students can go about seeking financial aid in Oregon in several ways. For all learners, financial aid starts with filling out the FAFSA form to determine eligibility for aid. To determine your amount of financial need, your school looks at the information you entered on the FAFSA form and subtracts your expected family contribution (the amount of money you and your family can likely spend on schooling) from the cost of attendance. Students demonstrating a great enough need may receive federal Pell or state grants. Unlike scholarships, grants are need based and do not need to be repaid.
Scholarships often come from private entities or from the state rather than the federal government, often stipulating conditions for continued eligibility to receive funds. Learners can also access federal work-study programs where they partly pay for their degrees through on-campus work.
Subsidized loans, loan forgiveness, and tuition reimbursement programs can make it easier for learners to pay for schooling. Students attending Oregon online college programs may want to make use of resources like Oregon National Guard tuition assistance or the Oregon Health Care Provider Assistance Program .
State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Oregon College Students
Learners can more easily pay for online college courses in Oregon by accessing numerous state-specific scholarships and grants for a variety of majors and career interests. Some of these scholarships and grants are available through the state, while others originate from among the best online colleges in Oregon.
Who Can Apply: Single parent residents of Oregon or Siskiyou County in California with custody of dependent children and planning on earning an associate or bachelor's may apply to this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate need, community involvement, and present a minimum 3.0 GPA. Awardees may renew the scholarship for up to 10 years.
Who Can Apply: The Eldercare Support Foundation (ESF) presents one award to a certified nursing assistant working in long-term care and pursuing LPN, RN, BSN , or MSN training. Applicants must agree to stay employed in the field for at least three years and complete a two-page essay on their commitment to long-term care.
Who Can Apply: The ONF awards up to $1,000 to Oregon resident learners employed in nursing practices who do not yet hold NP licensure. Awardees must be enrolled in baccalaureate nursing programs. The scholarship shows preference to learners with strong leadership skills and experience with other cultures and marginalized communities. Applicants must present a minimum 3.25 GPA.
Who Can Apply: RNs studying to become NPs or APRNs and looking to further their education with Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) membership may apply. The awardee must attend at least two NPO meetings in the 12-month period following receipt of the award, presented either in person or by way of a conference call.
Who Can Apply: Oregon State University offers scholarship awards of varying amounts to high school juniors planning on pursuing an undergraduate degree in business. Applicants must present a minimum 3.75 GPA. The school distributes awards based on entrepreneurial mindset, commitment to community involvement, and work ethic. OSU recognizes awardees at Juniors Visit Day in late March.
Who Can Apply: ONF presents scholarship awards annually to nursing students in Jackson, Josephine, Coos, or Klamath counties or residents of these counties enrolled in accredited Oregon nursing programs. Applicants must present a minimum 3.0 GPA and three letters of recommendation. The scholarship commemorates the legacy of nursing advocate and ONA bargaining unit executive committee member Randall L. Williams.
Who Can Apply: OHSU awards a full grant that covers tuition and fees to a learner enrolled in an MD , DNP, MPAS, or DMD program. The awardee must agree to practice as a healthcare practitioner at an OHSU-approved, Oregon-designated site for a year longer than the number of years for which the learner receives aid. The fund does not provide for living expenses.
Who Can Apply: The Ford Foundation offers awards of varying amounts to 46 Oregon or Siskiyou County, California, nontraditional learners returning to school and seeking an associate or bachelor's degree. The scholarship covers up to 90% of unmet education costs not covered by other resources. Applicants must be at least 25 years old and anticipating many years of continued employment.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship offered through the Harrington Family Foundation offers four renewable awards of $2,500 to Oregon high school students demonstrating community involvement and strong leadership skills. Applicants must commit to attending an Oregon university or trade school. The scholarship was established by University of Oregon graduate Joey Harrington.
Who Can Apply: The Oregon Logging Conference awards 5-10 awards of $750-$1,500 to learners in forestry-related degrees, such as forest engineering and forest management. Previous year recipients remain eligible for the award, which the foundation gives to their school. If the student does not attend the program for a year, the foundation revokes the award.
Best Majors for Online Students in Oregon
Oregon offers diverse and well-paid career options for skilled graduates. According to a June 2018 study, from 2017-2027, the Oregon Employment Department's (OED) Workforce and Economic Research Division (WERD) anticipates the greatest projected growth in employment from the private educational and health services (19%), professional and business services (17%), and construction industries (17%). The WERD further anticipates the greatest gains in occupational employment growth statistics from 2017-2027 in positions in health and medical services, and professional and business services.
Physician AssistantThe OED anticipates a staggering 39.1% growth in employment for physician assistants in Oregon between 2017 and 2027. In Oregon, this highly skilled position, rarely requiring more than a master's, pays $113,210 annually, on average , which is well above the national average of $104,760 . The position could eventually lead to more specialized work or transitioning to medical school.
BusinessAccording to the OED, operations research analysts project an employment growth rate of 34.2%. Many business majors in Oregon end up working in the fast-growing consulting firms in urban areas like Portland. Getting an MBA could lead to a well-compensated position at a fast-growing, Oregon-based company.
NursingAs of 2018, nurses remain in high demand in Oregon. The OED projects the number of nurse practitioners in the state to grow by 34.9% by 2027. Nurses work in highly skilled positions and often pursue specialized roles, such as midwifery. According to the BLS, nurse practitioners in Oregon earn $112,870 , which is higher than the national average of $107,480 .
Resources for Online College Students in Oregon
The Ford Family Foundation : The Ford Family Foundation, not affiliated with the Ford Motor Company, is a private, nonprofit organization based in Roseburg that works heavily in rural and urban areas, primarily in southern Oregon. The organization offers several scholarships to residents of Oregon and Siskiyou County, California, that tailor strongly to nontraditional and economically-disadvantaged learners.
Eldercare Support Foundation : The ESF, based in West Linn and formerly known as the OHCF, advocates for professionals in the long-term care industry in western states. The organization presents many learners every year with scholarships for education and training in fields growing quickly in Oregon, such as nursing and home health aid.
Oregon Student Assistance Commission : The OSAC provides Oregon learners with easy access to scholarships, grants, and tuition assistance programs, including the Oregon Opportunity Grant and financial support for learners with children in daycare. The organization also offers webinars, free publications, volunteering opportunities, and FAFSA completion support. The OSAC's ASPIRE program offers mentoring to at-risk and foster youth.
Open Oregon Educational Resources : Open Oregon promotes affordability for college textbooks in schools across the state. The organization features a searchable resource page cataloging affordable resources statewide. It also offers information on the progress of Open Oregon grant projects within the state. This includes new buildings at schools like Portland and Clackamas Community College.
Oregon Community College Distance Learning Association : The OCCDLA, an association of 17 Oregon community colleges, promotes eLearning and online professional and resource development statewide through collaborative partnerships and research. The OCCDLA makes access to the best online colleges in Oregon easier through its course sharing model, which gives expanded access to over 5,000 courses.
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