Last Updated: September 14, 2021
Oregon - The Beaver State
Oregon is situated in the Pacific Northwest region of the US and has a population of around 4 million. Salem is the state's capital city, whereas Portland is the largest city. Oregon was declared as a state on February 14, 1859. It is officially known as the "Beaver State" because of the large beaver population that contributed to the economy with its fur. It was hunted to a great extent with a possibility of decline. The government later initiated efforts to save the beaver population. Interestingly, the back of the state flag consists of the picture of a golden beaver. The American beaver is also the state's official animal. Oregon is a state of diverse landscapes- from several valleys, rivers, forests, arid as well as fertile lands, and experiences a temperate to a Mediterranean climate.
Major Cities in Oregon
Situated in Multnomah County, the city of Portland is the largest city in Oregon. It has a population of around 645,000. The city was founded in 1845 and is popularly called 'City of Roses' because a wide variety of roses are grown here. It is also popular for inhabiting people from diverse communities and is a cultural hub. Portland is also a technological center with major companies like Intel, HP, Tektronix, and FLIR systems headquartered here. Other popular firms like Adidas North America, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, etc. are also situated here. The city has a cost of living higher than the national average. Top educational institutes like the Portland State University, Reed College, University of Portland, are located in this city.
Salem was founded in the year 1842 (initially called Chemeketa) and was established as a city in 1857. It is the second-biggest city after Portland and has a population of about 170,000. A beautiful and vibrant city, Salem is also the capital of the state of Oregon. It was once known for its flourishing agricultural sector and the fertility of its land. It also got its nickname 'Cherry City' because of the abundant cherry production in the past. The city is popular for its Oregon State Fair, and the Salem Film Festival, as well as one of the top educational institutions, Corban University.
Founded in the year 1846, the city was named after a famous explorer, Sir Eugene Franklin Skinner. It was incorporated as a city in 1862. Eugene is the third-largest city in Oregon with a population of about 168,000. It is home to major institutes of higher learning such as the University of Oregon, and Northwest Christian University. The city is widely popular for its scenic beauty ideal for various fun activities like biking, hiking, and trekking. Popular tourist attractions in the city are Alton Baker Park, the Lane County Farmers Market, Cascades Raptor Center, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Hendricks Park, Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House, Owen Rose Garden, and so on. The cost of living is higher than the national average, especially the cost of housing and transportation.
Named after the American Civil War general, Walter Quintin Gresham, the city was established in the year 1905. It is the fourth largest city in Oregon with an approximate population count of 110,000. Gresham was once known for its strong agricultural sector that greatly contributed to the state's economy. Serp Enterprise, ON Semiconductor, US Foods, Microchip Technology Inc., etc. are the major companies located here. The city is also known for its wide range of outdoor activities and houses several tourist attractions such as Oxbow Regional Park, Powell Butte Nature Park, Blue Lake Regional Park, Dabney State Recreation Area, and so on.
The state of Oregon once used to have a mostly agro-based and potentially strong economy. With time, the state faced major changes that introduced many other sectors that contributed to the state's economy to date.
- Top agricultural products are greenhouse and nursery products, potato, hay, peppermint oil, onions, cherries, plums, and dairy products.
- Apart from Agriculture, the major economic sectors are Fishing and Forestry, Healthcare, Technology, Retail, Tourism, Manufacturing, and Mining. The largest companies located in the state are Nike, Daimler Trucks North America, Precision Castparts, Fred Meyer, KinderCare Learning Centers, The Greenbrier Companies, and Lithia Motors.
- The economy of the state went downstream after the rise of the covid-19 pandemic, especially during the lockdown period. However, there is a significant recovery occurring, and the state is adapting to the virus.
- According to Forbes, the state ranks 6 in terms of GDP growth among all states. The economic activity has also risen from 0.34 to 0.72 in recent months.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Oregon
The cost of living is high in Oregon, making the state the 5th most expensive state to live in. Housing costs are the highest, whereas healthcare and utilities are lower when compared to the national average. The median household income is around $63,000. However, with an average salary higher than the nation's average, the cost of living can be somewhat compromised. For students planning to live in this state for pursuing higher education, it is advisable to be financially secure and look for the best scholarship options. With a wide range of scholarships and grants offered, education is mostly affordable, especially for in-state students.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
The top universities/colleges in the state of Oregon are:
- Oregon State University Situated in the city of Corvallis, Oregon State University is considered one of the best institutions. This is a public research institute founded in the year 1868, known for its beautiful campus, and outstanding faculty. With around 39,000 and about 4,700 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. The fee is around $13,000 for in-state students and around $34,000 for out-of-state students. This university strives to offer the best education by providing some of the best courses and programs for students to choose from (more than 200 academic programs).
- Portland State University This is a public research institute situated in the largest city of Oregon, Portland. Portland State University was founded in 1946. With more than 32,000 and more than 1,500 faculty members, the student-to-teacher ratio is 18:1. The fee for in-state students is around $8,500, which is considerably less and affordable. The out-of-state student fee is around $25,000. The university aims to train students to study different issues existing in the world and come up with the most innovative solutions. They aim to make their students the best problem-solvers with the help of an excellent faculty, and more than 200 academic and professional programs. The best undergraduate majors include Psychology, Biology, Computer Science, Marketing, and Accounting, and the best graduate majors offered here include Social Work, Education, Computer Science, Education Leadership & Policy.
- University of Oregon The University of Oregon is located in the beautiful city of Eugene and is also one of the best institutes of higher learning in the state. It is a public university founded in the year 1876. The university has more than 25,000 students, with a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The fee for undergraduate students is about $14,000 (in-state), and about $39,000 (out-of-state). It provides some of the best scholarships for all students such as the Stamps Scholarship, with an overall expenditure of $246M every year on financial aid. Other than being known for its extensive research and stellar faculty, the university also provides some of the best majors to its students. Some of the top majors include Business Administration, Psychology, Journalism, Biology, Political Science, and Human Physiology.
- Reed College Established in the year 1908, this liberal arts college is situated in the city of Portland. The private institute is named after Simeon Gannett Reed and Amanda Reed. With more than 1,400 students and a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the college pays attention to interactive teaching and learning experience. The college offers more than 40 majors along with a comprehensive and structured curriculum. There are also several dual degree programs offered by the college that highlights the interdisciplinary approach of education in this college. The fee for undergraduate students in the college is around $53,000. An interesting fact about Reed College is that it is the only liberal arts college in the world that is equipped with a nuclear reactor. It was successfully set up in 1968 and is solely managed by about 40 undergraduate students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
For a state's economy to flourish, adequate employment opportunities are a must, but it is equally essential to educate the youth of the nation. It is important to make high-quality education affordable and accessible to all. In a state like Oregon, where the cost of living is higher than the national average, solely depending on work-study programs may not be all that easy. For this reason, the state, as well as colleges/universities offer various grants and scholarships to make education hassle-free. These programs are mostly based on several categories like financial need, academic merit, vocation, degree program, ethnicity, and so on. To analyze the eligibility of the candidates, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is to be filled by all students.
- The Stamps Scholarship: This is a scholarship program offered by the University of Oregon, in association with the Stamps Scholarship Program. This program applies to students who are undergraduates and are capable of displaying extraordinary academic merit. It is available to both in-state and out-of-state students (five from each category will be selected every year). To qualify, the candidate is to secure a minimum score of 3.85 GPA during high school and maintain a score of 3.25GPA in college. Other requirements include being a US citizen, participating in extracurricular activities, displaying leadership qualities, answering a series of short questions, and attending an interview. The award amount is around $12,000 that will cover"...tuition, fees, room, and board for four years of undergraduate study." It can also be utilized for studying abroad.
- Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG): This is the most popular grant program funded by the state. This is a need-based grant program. To be qualified, the candidate must be an undergraduate enrolled in a community college or at a 4-year accredited institution (public or private, non-profit). The candidate must be a citizen of the US, and a legal resident of Oregon. The student should also perform academically well, as per the standards of the institution. The award amount varies based on the level of need and the type of institution, wherein, a student from a community college receives approximately $2,500, and a university student receives around $3,500. The candidate can attend the classes on a full-time or part-time basis, but to get the maximum benefit of the program, being a full-time student is favorable.
- Beat the Odds Scholarship: This is a scholarship program for those students who have experienced tremendous hardships and adversities. It is a need-based as well as a merit-based scholarship program. The candidate should be a high-school senior, planning to pursue a degree from an accredited institution. The candidate should be a US citizen, a permanent resident of Oregon, secure a minimum of 3.0 GPA, and prove that they underwent certain adversities in life. The candidate must also engage in community service, submit two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of about 1,000 words. The ideal candidate must be capable of public speaking and facing the crowd, or media. The award amount for this scholarship will be $4,000 or more.
Tourism is a major sector that contributes to the state's economic growth. The primary reason is that Oregon is undeniably one of the most beautiful states to visit in America. With its fertile lands that produce the best and the most fragrant flowers, bewitching forests, and beautiful lakes and rivers, Oregon has an elysian quality to it. Some of the tourist destinations that one must surely visit in this state are Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Cannon Beach, Crater Lake National Park, Mount Hood National Forest, Hood River, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Silver Falls State Park, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Owen Rose Garden, and so on. Apart from these places, the Beaver state also offers some of the most delectable dishes like Pok Pok's chicken wings, Moonstruck Chocolates, Dungeness Crab, Marionberry pie, Dumplings, and more.
Universities & Colleges in Oregon
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)