Pay for College
College costs can include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. Explore ways to help pay for college.
The cost of college can seem overwhelming; however, most students don't pay full price. Use a Net Price Calculator to get an estimate of what you will actually pay after including some types of financial aid.
Most students pay for college in a variety of ways including financial aid, earnings from part-time or full-time jobs, savings and money from parents and family. Some students may consider an apprenticeship, which helps pay for school and on-the-job training for specific trades, or the Military to help pay for college. Undocumented and DACA-mented students have special considerations when applying for financial aid and paying for college.
Financial aid is money to help pay for college. Students receive financial aid based on need (what the family can contribute to college costs) and merit (achievement in academics, sports, or other areas). There are four main types of financial aid:
Grants: Money from the state government, federal government or the college that does not need to be paid back; need-based.
Work-Study: Part-time jobs, often on campus, to help pay for college costs; need-based. Students are responsible for finding a job that accepts work-study students once they arrive on campus.
Loans: Money for college that must be paid back; need-based. Loans made by the federal government usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources.
Scholarships: Given by colleges or organizations for good grades, community service, athletic ability, or other unique personal qualities; merit-based.
One application for over 475 scholarships available for Oregon students. The early bird deadline is February 15; the final deadline is March 1.
Applying for Financial Aid
In order to receive financial aid, students should complete the FAFSA and/or the ORSAA. Students should complete the form(s) as soon as possible after it opens to be eligible for the most aid.
Some colleges also require students to complete the CSS Profile in order to receive financial aid. In Oregon, Lewis & Clark College and Reed College require it; check with out-of-state colleges to see if they require it.
Students should apply to as many scholarships as possible including regional, national and college-specific scholarships. Deadlines and amounts vary.
COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
It’s never too early or late to start saving money for college. There are many types of college savings accounts including 529 plans that offer tax advantages. Discuss options with a bank or financial institution.
A state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan that helps families and individuals plan for the cost of higher education.