Oregon’s community colleges have a problem with HECC

By on Friday, January 12th, 2024 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – Oregon’s community colleges are joining forces for the 2024 session of the legislature that begins next month. They intend to object to a move by the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Council to create a new formula that determines who qualifies for Oregon Opportunity scholarship grants.

Blue Mountain Community College President Mark Browning said that formula only looks at two factors, the cost of tuition and the fees.

“That means that 85 percent of those dollars will go to students who are attending four-year institutions,” Browning said. “The entire criteria of this scholarship is to help under-served populations. That speaks directly to the mission of every community college in this state.”

Browning said he has already met with legislators from BMCC’s region.

“We have been very engaged with our delegation, and I have to say that Rep. (Bobby) Levy (R-Echo) jumped on this very early on and just banged doors down and would not be denied,” Browning said. “That’s what we’re really pushing for there.”