The Office of International Student and Scholar Services has increased its processing fee, one of many fees exclusive to international students, within the last nine months from $10 a quarter to $20 a quarter.
Non-resident students, which includes international students, already pay an average of three times more in tuition than residents. According to Portland State’s 2018–19 Tuition & Required Fees assessment, 16 credits costs a resident student $2,736 per term, while a non-resident student pays $9,120.
Christina Luther, director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, commented on the use of funds generated from this fee. “[The fee] pays for our immigration compliance software, our student employees and, in some cases, provides funding for international students who are experiencing financial emergencies,” Luther said.
Luther said the reasons for increased fees are primarily due to a combination of the university anticipating a decline in the number of international students enrolled and “an increase in the expenses associated with this fee.”
According to Hakan Kutgun, international affairs director for Associated Students of Portland State, the news was delivered as a “slight increase,” the terminology of which “undermine[s] the impact of this decision on international students.”
An anonymous international student voiced her thoughts about the processing fee raise, saying, “I’m almost immune to schools increasing everything. I almost expected it and it doesn’t even come as a surprise. Almost every term I see my tuition going up, and that’s not just for international students; it’s for domestic students as well. I think at the end of the day we are all in the same boat.”