Recruiting Squeeze: Some Worry That UO’s Methods Leave Out Middle Class Families

Tim Goral's picture

The University of Oregon is taking command of its student demographics by using business intelligence software — developed by airlines and other marketers — to induce the students it most wants to enroll for the lowest cost to the university.

So far, the student body is demonstrably smarter, richer and probably more tan — when they first arrive — because a growing number hail from Southern California.

Of 5,131 freshman at the UO this fall, 2,761 — or 54 percent — are from out of state and 1,329 of those are from the Golden State, according to the Oregon University System.

SoCal students and other out-of-staters come from families who can write a check for their children to attend because families on federal grants couldn’t assemble the money to cover the comparatively steep out-of-state tuition, said Roger Thompson, UO vice president for enrollment management.

Some of the newcomers are not as serious about school as their Oregon classmates who attend college by piecing together federal grants, loans and part-time jobs, said a UO junior from Oregon, Brandi Gardner.

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