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Community colleges make pitch for more money

Oregon community college officials say the more money they get out of the Legislature, the more likely they are to scale back planned tuition increases.

Students have been expecting tuition hikes since they were announced a few months ago. Klamath and Chemeketa community colleges say if legislators approve at least the $450 million statewide allocation under discussion, then students will get a break.

Greg Harris at Chemeketa says the college planned to raise tuition and fees by $6 a credit back in February.

“Now we’re looking at the option of being able to cut that back, because of higher-than-expected allocations from the legislature.”

The director of Oregon’s community college association, Andrea Henderson, says most colleges are unable to do what Klamath and Chemeketa are planning at the $450 million funding level.

But she says if that goes up to $470 million or even $490 million, as college supporters want — then more community colleges could avoid tuition increases.