Allow in-state tuition for Oregon students seeking a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

Allow in-state tuition for Oregon students seeking a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

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Caitlin Sinatra started this petition to Representative Earl Blumenauer and

Students in Oregon seeking to obtain their Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Degree do not have access to in-state tuition, as the only two programs are private and cost between $98,000-$111,000. However, residents of Washington, Idaho, and Montana can expect to pay nearly 50% less for the same degree, depending on their program. 

This petition is to add Oregon as a participating state in the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE) Professional Student Exchange Program to grant Oregon DPT students access to in-state tuition in participating states.  

 

According to WICHE's website, "WICHE's Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) enables students in 10 western states and the CNMI to enroll in selected out-of-state professional healthcare programs and pay reduced tuition. States typically fund students to enroll through PSEP if a professional healthcare program is not available at one of their in-state public institutions."

Oregon does not have an in-state public institution offering a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. This leaves Oregon students with limited financial options: 

  1. Apply to programs in Oregon which are private and cost as much as out-of-state tuition
  2. Apply to programs outside of Oregon and pay out-of-state tuition 
  3. Move outside of Oregon and meet the state's residency requirements before applying to programs within that specific state. In Washington, for example, you cannot take classes for 1 year in order to establish residency and receive in-state tuition 

 

Oregon residents pursing Physical Therapy as a career deserve the same access to affordable education that neighboring states are granted. Currently, Oregon students have to pay $40,000-$70,000 more in tuition than their peers because Oregon does not participate in the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education Professional Student Exchange Program. 

 

FUNDING SUGGESTIONS: 

Oregon has been a part of the WICHE program since 1953. According to WICHE's website, "Oregon saved money through not having to establish and maintain costly programs in a number of areas, including some in healthcare."

Also listed on WICHE's website, "Oregon has sent 1,258 students to professional programs through the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP), with students studying in a host of critical fields in the health sciences. Currently, Oregon is a PSEP receiving state, with 82 students enrolled in professional programs, bringing in over $1.9 million in revenue." 

I propose that we allocate a portion of this $1.9 million dollars and include Oregon as a participating state in the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education Professional Student Exchange Program to grant Oregon students access to in-state tuition in participating states. 

Physical Therapy Students in Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming participating in the WICHE program are often offered in-state tuition due to their lack of a DPT program at an in-state public institution. I am simply asking that Oregon students also receive equal access to an affordable Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. 

 

Please help me gain the attention that Oregon Doctor of Physical Therapy Students need by signing this petition and sharing with your friends, family, and peers. 

On behalf of future Doctor Physical Therapy Students in Oregon: Thank you! 

 

 

Cost Comparison of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs as of September 1, 2019: 

Oregon DPT Programs: 

Pacific University: 
$111,228
    No difference for state residency. Some funding is available for WICHE participants (outside of Oregon). 

George Fox University: 
$98,040
    No difference for state residency 
    

 

Washington DPT Programs: 

Eastern Washington University:* 
Resident: $52,149 
Non-Resident: $96,560 
    $44,411 difference; participates in the WICHE program

University of Washington:
Resident: $90,000
Non-Resident: $149,000 
    $59,000 difference: participates in the WICHE program

University of Puget Sound: 
$106,575
No difference for state residency 

 

Idaho DPT Program: 

Idaho State University: **
Resident: $48,588 
Non-Resident: $109,068  
    $60,480 difference 

 

Montana DPT Program: 

University of Montana:
Resident: $46,956 
Non-Resident: $119,172 
    $72,216 difference; participates in the WICHE program

 

 

 

Authors' Notes: 

* Tuition for Eastern Washington University was listed in a PDF; no link was available. Google "Eastern Washington University DPT tuition" for information. 

**Idaho State University is the only University listed above that has a difference between in-state/ out-of-state tuition and does not participate in the WICHE program. 

-The above programs are listed as many prospective Doctor of Physical Therapy Students in Oregon consider proximity to home, quality of the program, and cost of tuition. 

-Oregon State University is starting a DPT program at the OSU-Cascades campus and will be admitting students after 2023. While this is exciting news, this is not helpful for current students seeking Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. 

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