Earning a college degree qualifies graduates for higher-paying jobs and prepares them for many employment opportunities. As an Oregon resident, you can benefit from earning an online degree in your home state, taking advantage of lower in-state tuition rates along with networking and career enrichment opportunities.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Oregon
Oregon’s 40-40-20 initiative aims for 40% of its adults to earn bachelor or advanced degrees, 40% to earn associate degrees or postsecondary certificates, and the rest to possess a high school diploma or equivalent by the year 2025. To achieve this goal, the Oregon University System collaborates with the state to issue state- and system-wide policies and programs.
College Access Challenge Grant Programs
Since 2008, Oregon has won two federal College Access Challenge Grant awards. The first encouraged adult learners to pursue higher education through traditional and online formats. The second implemented college enrichment programs in K-12 schools for higher education preparedness and career exploration.
Oregon GEAR UP
The Oregon GEAR UP program began in 2002 to help promote college awareness and career planning from primary and secondary students. The program aimed to increase the number of low-income students enrolled in postsecondary programs.
Popular Programs in Oregon
Many of the degrees conferred by online colleges in Oregon and online community colleges in Oregon reflect state-level trends in industry and economic development. In this respect, Oregon remains best known for industries such as advanced manufacturing, marine science, technology, and forestry and wood refinement. Degrees in these and related fields remain most popular and prepare learners to begin a thriving career.
- Oceanography: This major introduces learners to the field and prepares them to study the marine environment and its relationship with other ecosystems. Degree seekers learn to responsibly use and extract the ocean’s resources.
- Business Management and Administration: In this major, students learn to effectively oversee a profitable organization and manage its production of economic assets. The course of study prepares degree seekers for entry into the state’s diverse workforce by giving them the skills necessary to succeed.
Paying for College in Oregon
Rising rates for fees and tuition are a constant concern for many students. While online education remains considerably cheaper than the traditional experience, students must still consider cost. Weigh your options to ensure your decision aligns with your long-term career goals and remains financially feasible. It helps to compare the cost of online colleges in Oregon with the national average.
Refer to the table below when weighing your financial options. Based on today’s rates, the cost of Oregon online college programs sits slightly above the national average for both public two-year and public four-year programs. Note that the figures below do not include non-tuition-related expenses such as transportation, room and board, and books.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Oregon
When deciding between the best online colleges in Oregon, students must consider future employment opportunities. Strive to select your school and degree with potential career prospects in mind. Oregon’s employment outlook remains steady and promising. As the table below indicates, Oregon’s estimated unemployment rate is only slightly higher than the national average. Oregon’s annual mean wage rises above the national average. Formal higher education plays a significant role in these figures as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that education level typically correlates with lower unemployment and higher wages.
Accreditation for Colleges in Oregon
Pay close attention to accreditation as you consider the best online colleges in Oregon. Accreditation is an important peer review process that ensures higher education institutions satisfy standards of excellence and quality control. Two primary means of accreditation exist. Regional accreditation, generally considered the more prestigious of the two, is granted to academic-focused, nonprofit, public colleges or universities. A body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) gives regional accreditation. An entity approved by the ED and the CHEA also administers national accreditation, which is given to for-profit career or technical schools; this accreditation is usually less rigorous and less prestigious.
Online programs are subject to the same accreditation process as traditional higher education institutions. This means that the best online colleges in Oregon are regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the state’s main regional accreditation agency. These regionally accredited schools meet or exceed high standards of educational excellence and quality assurance.
Scholarships for Oregon Online College Students
Most online colleges in Oregon offer institution-specific financial aid opportunities. However, you can also explore many outside scholarships to help fund online college courses in Oregon. The opportunities below exist specifically for Oregon residents. Explore these grants and scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition, fees, and other expenses.
- Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award remains set aside for high schools committed to promoting a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Applicants must submit a 600-word essay, narrative, or poem that addresses these issues.
- Oregon Community Leadership Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This annually renewable scholarship supports young, emerging Oregon leaders invested in their local communities. The organization issues four awards each year to students who demonstrate excellence outside the arenas of academics and athleticism.
Amount: $4,000 per year
- Oregon Opportunity Grant
Who Can Apply: This opportunity is Oregon’s largest need-based, state-supported financial aid program, assisting nearly 40,000 students annually. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, complete the FAFSA, and take classes at least part time.
Amount: Up to $3,500
- Oregon Promise Award
Who Can Apply: This state-provided scholarship helps cover tuition costs for eligible students in need. Interested applicants must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in high school, plan to attend one of the accredited online colleges in Oregon, and complete an online application.
Amount: Up to $3,600
- Linda C. Eby Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award supports outstanding high school students in Oregon. High school seniors planning to pursue higher education within the state must submit a 500-word essay about a school counselor who made a difference in their life.
- Sister Adele Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship remains set aside to provide financial assistance to individuals from Oregon’s farm-working families. Interested learners must demonstrate their status within a family working in the agriculture industry and must take classes at an accredited college.
- Beat the Odds Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award supports college students who achieve academic excellence in the face of difficult obstacles such as poverty and homelessness. Students must contact the organization for further application information.
Amount: $16,000 over four years
- Ford Scholars Program
Who Can Apply: The Ford Family Foundation provides financial assistance to Oregon students facing significant economic barriers that make attending college difficult. Applicants must complete the FAFSA and submit an online application.
Amount: Varies (renewable)
- Seneca Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award supports Oregon high school seniors attending a college within the state. Applicants must submit an essay on forest management and interview at least three individuals working in the industry.
- Ford ReStart Scholarship Program
Who Can Apply: The Ford ReStart program exists for Oregon adults age 25 and older attending college for the first time. Applicants must meet the age requirements and enroll in an accredited college within the state.
Amount: Up to 90% of unmet college costs
Resources for Students in Oregon
- Oregon Department of Education: This organization is the official state division concerned with education and learning. The group fosters collaboration, supports education accessibility, and promotes learning excellence. It provides resources for graduates and offers support for college-bound students. The organization also oversees and administers state-mandated requirements for effective education.
- Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission: Established in 2011, this commission is a volunteer board that works closely with state officials to craft and administer state education policy. The group allocates need-based grants and provides legislative news and resources for the general public. Additionally, the commission develops an annual strategic plan to increase educational attainment across the state.
- HECC Office of Student Access and Completion: This organization is a subdivision of the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission and focuses primarily on need-based financial aid. The group develops and administers a variety of grants and scholarships to students within the state with the overall goal of expanding educational opportunities.
- Open Oregon Educational Resources: This repository of postsecondary education resources focuses primarily on textbook access. It promotes and facilitates the widespread use of low-cost, open-source materials that remain compliant with the state’s education and learning standards. This resource provides data tracking on these materials, tracks student savings, and facilitates statewide sustainability coordination.
- Oregon Goes to College: This organization supports students and their families as they prepare to pursue postsecondary education. The group provides resources for college preparation, creates college checklists, and disseminates general information on different schools and programs. It also sponsors several college preparation events designed to ease students’ transition into higher education.
- Graduation Rate: 52%
- Average Net Price: $20,720
George Fox University
- Graduation Rate: 64%
- Average Net Price: $23,943
Linfield College-Online and Continuing Education
- Graduation Rate: 20%
- Average Net Price: $12,555
- Graduation Rate: 45%
- Average Net Price: $22,340
New Hope Christian College-Eugene
- Graduation Rate: 21%
- Average Net Price: $20,359
Northwest Christian University
- Graduation Rate: 39%
- Average Net Price: $18,186
Oregon Institute of Technology
Klamath Falls, OR
- Graduation Rate: 48%
- Average Net Price: $15,684
Oregon State University
- Graduation Rate: 61%
- Average Net Price: $18,090
Portland State University
- Graduation Rate: 42%
- Average Net Price: $15,726
Southern Oregon University
- Graduation Rate: 32%
- Average Net Price: $14,314
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, OR
- Graduation Rate: 47%
- Average Net Price: $15,652
Warner Pacific College
- Graduation Rate: 54%
- Average Net Price: $22,532