WPU Stands Out for Diversity and Affordability Among Oregon Private Colleges

September 13, 2018

Warner Pacific Students at GothamWarner Pacific University, along with other Oregon private colleges and universities, served 34,289 students in 2016-17 according to a recent, comprehensive research project the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities published on behalf of its’ seventeen member-institutions.

Across all Alliance member institutions, a third of undergraduates identify as a student of color, and almost a quarter were first in their families to earn a college degree. Warner Pacific continues to lead the way in campus diversity, with 63 percent of students coming from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds and 57 percent who are the first in their family to earn a college degree.

Affordability is another theme of the report where Warner Pacific stands out. The University’s recent 24 percent tuition reduction has made it the most affordable private college or university in the state. An additional partnership with the Alliance’s E3 Matched Savings plan empowers students from under-represented socioeconomic backgrounds to stretch their earnings and savings further to reach their educational goals.

Jim Bauer, president of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities says, “This Snapshot project took a measure of Oregon private colleges related to student success, affordability, and our impact on the economy in Oregon. This corrects myths about Oregon private college affordability.”

The Alliance Aggregate Snapshot 2016-17 is segmented into three higher education themes; enrollment, affordability and outcomes. Highlights of each area include:

  • Four-year completion rate for first generation students is impressive at 62 percent. A 60 percent Four-year completion rate for students of color indicates how Oregon private colleges “person first” education environment is a good choice for underrepresented students. Oregon’s seven public university completion rates come near that, but only after six-years of schooling.
  • Annual earnings calculated at age 34 show Oregon private college students earn 21 percent more than the national median post student income. This data sourced from the “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility.”
  • Oregon private institutions provide 85 percent of undergraduates with institutional aid and 99.8 percent of undergraduates with need receive institutional and/or public aid. This upfront aid helps students keep debt on par with Oregon public universities.
  • An indicator that Oregon private colleges are a good choice for high school students who want to earn a degree within four-years is that 75 percent of bachelor degree earners are aged 18-24.

The Alliance represents 17 of Oregon’s regionally accredited, nonprofit, private institutions of higher education. Together, Alliance colleges and universities enroll more than 34,000 students. The Alliance intersects the needs of business and industry, with private nonprofit colleges and the public good to create real solutions that build a more educated and skilled workforce for Oregon. For more information visit www.oaicu.org.