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UO President Commits $17 Million To Boost Graduation Rates

Rachael McDonald

University of Oregon President Michael Schill Tuesday announced his goal to increase the school's graduation rate by 10 percent in 5 years and to expand access for lower-income Oregon students.  Schill is committing $17 million to the effort.

President Schill addressed the U of O campus in the crowded ballroom of the Erb Memorial Union. He talked about the Pathway Oregon Program which offers free tuition to students who graduate from state high schools and qualify for federal Pell Grants. Schill says he wants to expand it. Wyatt Waterbury is a junior at the U of O.

Waterbury: "I'm actually a Pathway Oregon student so it was pretty awesome to see that they're going to keep funding the program and coming from the experience of having it pay for my tuition I think it's an awesome opportunity for people to have that same chance as I've had."

Schill's proposal includes more support to help students graduate on time. The Oregon Legislature boosted funding for higher education this year. Schill says that combined with federal aid and fundraising makes the 5-year $17 million investment possible.   

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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