The Associated Press

ASHLAND — The Oregon State Board of Higher Education has approved an average 8.9 percent increase in summer-term tuition and fees at the state’s seven public universities.

The increase approved Friday is part of a collective effort by Oregon’s public universities to make the cost of attending class during the summer months consistent with the rest of the academic year, The Ashland Daily Tidings reported.

At Southern Oregon University, undergraduate students from Oregon will pay 7.3 percent more for 12 credit hours during summer. That’s an increase from $1,681 in 2011 to $1,804 for the upcoming summer term.

The increase is still about $200 less than what 12 credits cost during the other SOU terms this academic year.

Out-of-state undergraduate SOU students are facing a 180 percent increase for summer tuition and fees — from $1,801 in 2011 to $5,040 for 12 credits in summer 2012.

“As a student, my initial reaction is that any rise in price is a bad thing,” said 19-year-old Kyle Barnes, an SOU sophomore from Ashland.

For graduate students, the summer tuition increases are heftier at most schools. At SOU, in-state graduate students will pay $4,384 for 12 credits. That’s a 25.9 percent increase.

Out-of-state graduate students are facing an increase of more than 60 percent, or nearly $5,600 for 12 summer credits.

The higher education board discussed the possibility that summer services are lacking for students, according to Jan Lewis, assistant vice chancellor for budget operations at the OES. She said the board agreed to allow each school to assess its own summer services and ensure they are adequate.

Summer terms have evolved from a catch-up or special term to those more closely resembling other terms.

“All of a student’s summer hours count toward a degree, just like fall or spring,” she said. “It makes sense, then, to have those increases.”