The Oregon State
University Budget

As Oregon's statewide university, Oregon State is committed to sustainable, transparent and fiscally prudent financial management that invests in student success, as well as OSU's research and outreach and engagement mission. In doing so, Oregon State seeks to contain costs at all times and invest resources wisely.

Like other public universities, OSU is funded through a variety of sources, including state funding; tuition; grant-funded research; philanthropy; and revenues from auxiliary divisions, including athletics and on-campus housing.

To set annual tuition rates, Oregon State University considers a number of factors. These include:

  • Affordability for all students and families
  • Access to a high-quality education delivered via a model that truly integrates teaching, research and engagement
  • Undergraduate financial aid need and allocations to assist students with highest need
  • Minimization of student and family loan burdens
  • Projected costs and revenue changes for the coming fiscal year, including projections for state funding; important emerging strategic university commitments; and on-going commitments
  • Federal higher education policies and funding
  • Current enrollments and future enrollment targets
  • Comparisons of tuition rates with peer universities
  • Impact of tuition increases on enrollment for undergraduate students
  • Any constraints from the Legislature on setting tuition and mandatory fees

Understanding the Budget

OSU budgets by fund accounting, based on the sources and uses of funds.

  • Restricted funds have designated purposes, such as funding research grants, private scholarships, etc.
  • Self-support funds pay for operations through charges for their services, such as Housing and Dining Services, Transportation Services, Printing and Mailing Services and Athletics.
  • Education and General Funds come largely from tuition and state appropriations and support the core academic mission of the university.

The university’s annual budget is more than $1.1 billion. The university’s Education and General budget that supports most instruction and academic operations, and includes expenditures for research and the university’s outreach and engagement programs, is over $600 million.

Education and General Funds are derived from tuition, state appropriations, indirect recovery costs paid by grants, sales and service charges, and interest income. The proportion of each revenue category is quite different for the three parts of the university’s Education and General operations. For example, tuition makes up over 65% of revenues for the Corvallis campus.

(Restricted funds come from grants and gifts, self-support funds from charges and contracts).

OSU’s Education and General expenditures are principally spent on personnel expenditures, including salaries and employee benefits.

The largest part of tuition comes from undergraduate students, including enrollment for Ecampus and Summer Session.

Ten years ago, the state funded about 35 percent of the budget for a resident undergraduate student. Now that amount is 20 percent and declining. This loss of state support has mainly been offset by increases in tuition. OSU also has sought to manage with less state support by implementing other strategies, including diversifying our delivery of teaching through on-line learning offerings, including Ecampus, and by instituting efficiencies in how the university operates. This pattern of declining state support for higher education and rising tuition is common across the United States, but it has been more extreme in Oregon than many other states.

Resident undergraduate tuition at OSU (tuition charged to Oregon residents) is below that of all but one public PAC-12 Conference university, as well as OSU’s strategic peers.

Financial grant aid, not including loans, comes from four sources: federal and state governmental aid, such as federal Pell Grants and Oregon Opportunity Grants university grants, and private scholarships. In order to offset the impact of tuition increases, OSU increased university grants from $11.7 million in 2007 to $35.4 million in 2017. Oregon State also sets aside a share of tuition increases to support increased financial aid in order to mitigate the impact of a tuition increase on lowest-income students and families.

Extended Information