Deadlines for some key financial aid programs are approaching. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) is reminding students that anyone planning to take college courses any time from fall 2021 through spring 2022 should complete their student financial aid applications as soon as possible.
OSAC awards more than $100 million each year in state-funded grants and privately funded scholarships to help Oregon students meet their college expenses. Students can find links to applications at OregonStudentAid.gov.
In order to be considered for federal and/or state financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA).
Students with undocumented status will fill out ORSAA instead of FAFSA. This includes those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
OSAC Scholarships allows students to apply for up to 40 scholarships with only one application. Scholarship funds are available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate college students, GED students, undocumented and DACA students, homeschooled students and more.
The deadline for the OSAC scholarships is March 1.
Another option for financial aid is the Oregon Opportunity Grant. This is the largest state-funded, need-based grant program. Oregon Opportunity Grants are awarded until funds are exhausted. All students need to do in order to be considered is to complete FAFSA or ORSAA form.
There is also the Oregon Promise Grant, which is for community college students only. Students interested must meet the minimum GPA requirements and enroll in a community college no later than six months after graduation. They must also complete a FAFSA or ORSAA form by their designated deadline. Depending on funding, awards may be limited to those under a certain Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) threshold.
FAFSA completion rates were 18.7 percent lower than they were at the same time last year.