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April 28, 2020 – HECC sends a message of assurance

April 28, 2020 – HECC sends a message of assurance

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission has released a joint message from: the Oregon Community College Association representing Oregon’s 17 community colleges; the Oregon Council of Presidents representing Oregon’s eight public universities; and the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities representing 15 Oregon private non-profit colleges and universities.

View the original message here or on the HECC website. 

To current and future students and their families who are faced with new questions about your college and career plans resulting from the disruptions of the pandemic, we are here for you.

Everyone—students, families, communities, and institutions—is experiencing the extraordinary circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic together. Oregon’s public and private nonprofit colleges and universities are committed to working collectively as a community, and as individual institutions, to help you navigate this crisis, achieve your goals, and plan for your future.

As you consider your next steps toward your college and career goals, please be assured of the following commitments we have made across all our institutions.

  • We recognize that some students in particular—including those who experience disability, who are emerging bilingual, who are in foster care, who are low income, who lack access to technology, or whose family members are losing jobs and income— may find it especially difficult to make the educational progress they had expected this spring. We are committed to ensuring that our policies and practices don’t further disadvantage those students.
  • If you want to pursue postsecondary education in Oregon now or at a future date and are worried about how disruptions to your schooling in spring 2020 will affect your eligibility for admissions, placement, scholarships, or more, reach out to the college or university directly. Oregon colleges and universities are offering a high degree of flexibility with deadlines for the receipt of official transcripts, confirmation of admission offers, and other requirements to ensure that students aren’t disadvantaged due to the effects of COVID-19.
  • If you want to pursue higher education in Oregon and are worried about how changes in your economic circumstances will affect your ability to pay, reach out to the college or university directly. Colleges and universities will re-evaluate financial needs, including eligibility for financial aid, for families whose circumstances have changed. They may be able to defer deposits or fees, where necessary.
  • Students in grades 9-12 who complete high school coursework in spring 2020 and receive a “pass” in lieu of a letter grade will not be negatively affected in the admission process at Oregon’s four-year colleges and universities.

Please do not hesitate to reach out directly to the college or university with your questions, concerns, and hopes.

Other Resources:

See the Higher Education Coordinating Commission COVID-10 website page to learn more about state guidance to the higher education community regarding the pandemic. This website includes a page that links to the COVID-19 updates for every college and university in Oregon, as well as a page focused on Key COVID-19-Related Information by Topic (FAQ). Some topics addressed in the FAQ include state financial aid and college credit courses offered in high schools in partnership with public universities. See the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) COVID-19 Resources to learn more about guidance to the K-12 education system.