Oregon promises a college education to successful high school students

Posted by Meagan Banta-Lewis on

In 2013, the national graduation rate reached a record high of 81.4 percent, while Oregon reached 68 percent. In turn, the western state had one of the worst graduation rates in the entire nation.

New legislation in Oregon was recently passed in an attempt to improve the rate. The Oregon Promise is designed to provide successful high school students a chance to earn a degree. Graduating students with a clean record and a GPA of 2.5 or higher are now able to attend Oregon community colleges -- tuition free.

The ultimate goal for the program has been labeled “40-40-20,” a plan to have 40 percent of students to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher, 40 percent to attain an associate degree, and the remainder to finish high school. Leaders of the program within the state have set a shared goal of graduating 100% of high school students by 2025.

With the amount of students in the state outnumbering the entire population of Portland, state legislatures recognize the challenge in sustaining this movement.  In the past, budget cuts from the education department resulted in teacher lay offs, larger classes, and more days out of school. The state is working to address the gap in funding by increasing the states investment and reevaluating public employee retirement plans.

With more backing, the Oregon Promise hopes to increase their diminished graduation rates and get more students into higher education.

For further information visit The Oregon Promise website.