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Paying for College FAQ

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WHICH FINANCIAL AID FORM DO I FILL OUT?

 

FAFSA

Free Application for Federal Student Aid
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible noncitizens should complete this form to receive federal, state and institutional aid including grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Opens October 1.

ORSAA

Oregon Student Aid Application
Eligible undocumented and DACA-mented students in Oregon should complete this form to receive state aid including the Oregon Opportunity Grant and the Oregon Promise grant. Opens October 1.

Some colleges also require students to complete the CSS/Financial Aid 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.

 

FAFSA FAQ

  • What is the FAFSA?

    FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the form that students complete in order to access financial aid including grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Learn more here.

  • Who should complete the FAFSA?

    (Almost) everyone! Basic eligibility requirements:
          be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
          have a valid Social Security number;
          if male, be registered for Selective Service;
          enrolled or accepted in an eligible degree or certificate program.

    Eligible undocumented students should complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) instead. DACA-mented students can complete both the FAFSA (for aid from the college - check with each college for specific instructions) and the ORSAA (for state aid and scholarships).

  • When should students complete the FAFSA?

    The FAFSA opens October 1 for the following school year. Apply as early as possible during your final year of high school to receive the most financial aid. You will need to fill out the FAFSA each school year.

  • I have more questions. Whom should I ask?

    Talk to a counselor or other trusted adult at the school.

    Attend a financial aid workshop or College Goal Oregon event at the school or a location near you.

    Use the FAQ page on the FAFSA Help and Federal Student Aid Information websites or contact the Office of Federal Student Aid via e-mail, phone or live chat.

 

ORSAA FAQ

  • What is the ORSAA?

    ORSAA stands for Oregon Student Aid Application and is the form that eligible undocumented and DACA-mented students complete in order to access state financial aid including the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the Oregon Promise grant and some OSAC scholarships.

  • Who should complete the ORSAA?

    Eligible undocumented or DACA-mented students should complete the ORSAA. U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens should complete the FAFSA instead. DACA-mented students may also choose to complete the FAFSA to be eligible for aid from colleges.

    Determine your eligibility:
          undocumented or DACA-mented;
          lived in Oregon for at least 12 months before starting college.

  • When should students complete the ORSAA?

    The ORSAA opens October 1 for the following school year. Apply as early as possible during your final year of high school to receive the most financial aid. You will need to fill out the ORSAA each school year.

  • I have more questions. Whom should I ask?

    Talk to a counselor or other trusted adult at the school.

    Attend a financial aid workshop or College Goal Oregon event at the school or a location near you.

    Contact OSAC at: ORSAAHelp@hecc.oregon.gov or (541) 687-7400.

 

OREGON OPPORTUNITY GRANT FAQ

  • What is the Oregon Opportunity Grant?

    The Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) is Oregon's largest state-funded need-based grant program for students planning to go to college. Like federally-funded financial aid, state-funded aid is funded primarily by taxpayers, in this case, by Oregonians.

  • Who is eligible to receive the Oregon Opportunity Grant?

    Qualified students include those who are residents of Oregon or those exempted from paying nonresident tuition, who plan to attend an eligible Oregon college or university, and:
          are working towards an undergraduate credential, such as an associates degree or a bachelors degree;
          are enrolled in an eligible program of study; and
          are making satisfactory academic progress.

  • Which colleges and universities participate in the Oregon Opportunity Grant?

    Eligible colleges and universities include all of the following:
         
    Oregon community colleges
          Oregon public universities
          the Oregon Health Sciences University
          eligible Oregon-based, private not-for-profit college or university

    Find a list of Oregon's public and private, not-for-profit colleges and universities here.

  • How can students apply to receive the Oregon Opportunity Grant?

    U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens should complete the FAFSA.

    Eligible undocumented and DACA-mented students should complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA). Start here to see if you qualify.

  • I have more questions. Whom should I ask?

    Talk to a counselor or other trusted adult at the school.

    Visit the OSAC website or contact OSAC at: awardinfo@osac.state.or.us or (541) 687-7400.

 

OREGON PROMISE FAQ

  • What is the Oregon Promise?

    Oregon Promise is a grant program that covers most of the costs for eligible students who plan to attend one of Oregon's 17 public community colleges.

  • Who is eligible to receive the Oregon Promise grant?

    Eligible students include those who:
          have been an Oregon resident for at least 12 months prior to enrolling in community college;
          received a high school diploma or GED certificate, or who completed 12th grade;
          earned a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5+;
          enroll in qualified courses (those required for a one-year curriculum for students transferring to another postsecondary institution, an associate's degree, or a program in career and technical education) at an Oregon community college within six months of completing high school;
          have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) for each academic year; and
          have not completed more than 90 credit hours or the curricula/programs listed above.

  • Can a student receive the grant for more than one term?

    Yes. Students will continue to be eligible for the Oregon Promise if they
          maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better in their community college courses;
          make satisfactory academic progress;
          enroll at least half time each term for at least three terms each consecutive academic year;
          enroll at least half time each term for at least three terms each consecutive academic year; and
          have not completed more than 90 credit hours in the specified curricula.

  • Does the Oregon Promise mean that community college is free?

    No. Every student will pay at least $50 per term. In addition, the Oregon Promise grant does not cover any nontuition costs, such as books and supplies, room and board, transportation, or other miscellaneous expenses.

  • What is the dollar amount for the Oregon Promise grant?

    The grant is meant to offset any remaining tuition after deducting the $50 student fee each term, as well as any state or federal grants that a student receives. Grant amounts will vary. For a student enrolled full time, full year, the maximum award is the lesser of the student's actual cost for tuition or the average cost of tuition at an Oregon community college; the minimum award amount is $1000. Grant amounts are prorated for students who are enrolled at least half time or who are enrolled for less than a full year.

  • How can students apply for Oregon Promise?

    Eligible students can apply for Oregon Promise by completing the application by March 1 as well as the FAFSA or the ORSAA.

    For more questions, contact OSAC at: awardinfo@osac.state.or.us or (541) 687-7400.

  • I have more questions. Whom should I ask?

    Talk to a counselor or other trusted adult at the school.

    Visit the OSAC website or contact OSAC at: info@oregonpromise.org or (541) 687-7400.

 

IN-STATE TUITION FAQ

  • What is in-state tuition?

    Oregon residents pay lower tuition at Oregon public universities and community colleges than residents of other states because Oregonians pay taxes that help support these institutions. Private institutions do not receive support from taxpayers or the state so there is no difference in cost for in-state or out-of-state students. Find a list of Oregon's public colleges and universities here.

  • How do colleges determine residency?

    Information from the student and at least one parent which may include:
          Dates of most recent, continuous presence
          Oregon voter registration
          Oregon income tax
          Military service in Oregon
          Oregon employment information
          Federally recognized tribal membership

  • Are undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition?

    Yes. In-state tuition for undocumented students is also known as "tuition equity" or "exemption from nonresident tuition and fees".

    A student needs to meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for the exemption:
          Student received a high school diploma or GED in Oregon.
          Student attended an elementary school or secondary/high school in Oregon during each of the three years immediately prior to earning a high school diploma or leaving school before earning a diploma.
          Student attended an elementary school or secondary/high school in a state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in each of the five years immediately prior to earning a high school diploma or leaving school before earning a diploma.
          Student shows intention to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States through an Affidavit and Request for Exemption from Nonresident Tuition and Fees OR student submits an official copy of application for registration with a federal immigration program or federal deportation deferral program.

    Students can still use the exemption if:
          They transfer into an Oregon public university after beginning at a community college after high school graduation.
          They take a term or more off from school.
          They attend college part-time.
          They are undergraduate or graduate students.

  • How does an undocumented student request an Exemption from Nonresident Tuition and Fees?

    A student requests an exemption by completing an Affidavit and Request for Exemption from Nonresident Tuition and Fees, which is available at the Admissions Office of each Oregon public university. Part of this Affidavit must be completed in the presence of and notarized by a Notary Public. Students should also check with the campus admissions office to learn about any campus-specific procedures they will need to follow.
          Eastern Oregon University      
          Oregon Institute of Tecnology
          Oregon State University
          Portland State University
          Southern Oregon University
          University of Oregon
          Western Oregon University

  • I have more questions. Whom should I ask?

    Talk to a counselor or other trusted adult at the school.

    Talk to an admissions counselor at the college.