• Financial Aid

    How much money you or your family has does not have to determine whether or not you go to college. The choices you make, the work you put into searching for money, and the ability to strictly follow deadlines all contribute to the assistance you can find.

    Overview

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available beginning October 1st, and seniors are encouraged to fill it out as soon as possible after it opens. This form will require students to enter income for themselves and their family for the prior calendar year. It helps determine if students are eligible for money for college (financial aid). If students are applying to some private colleges, they will likely also need to file the CSS Profile, a second financial aid application required by some colleges. These colleges generally have more financial aid to offer to low- and middle-income students

     

    Types of Financial Aid

    There are four main types of financial aid for college (three of which are federal aid):

    • Grants: Grants are given to you by the government (federal or state) or your college and do not have to be paid back. Grants are usually based on the financial need of your family. After you complete the FAFSA, it will be decided if you qualify for federal and state grants. Grants may be offered to students with their financial aid packages (i.e. Pell Grant), or may require a specific application.
      • The Oregon Promise is a state grant that helps to cover tuition costs at an Oregon community college. Students must file FAFSA/ORSAA, have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or higher, attend an Oregon community college within 6 months of high school graduation, and complete an application.
    • Loans: Loans are money borrowed that you must payback. Loans can be from the government or from your bank. The type of loan that you take will determine when you have to pay it back and the interest that you will be charged
      • Federal loans: The government also gives loans as financial aid. Federal loans will be offered to students with their financial aid packages.
        • Subsidized loans are based on FAFSA results and are the loans that are the most cost-effective. They need to be paid back, but interest does not begin until after you have left college.
        • Unsubsidized loans are also available and are not based on financial need. Unsubsidized loans begin to collect interest right away, so you can choose to begin to pay interest or delay payments until you graduate.
    • Work-study: Work-study is another option to pay for college. In a work-study program, students work at their college on a part-time basis and the money earned helps pay for their tuition. 
    • Scholarships: Scholarships are awards given to you by your college or other organizations and providers. Scholarships can be based on academic performance, extracurricular performance, participation in organizations, or community involvement. They may be offered one-time, or on a renewable basis.  
      • Merit scholarships: awarded to students with a qualifying GPA (often 3.0+), athletic ability, and/or for an accomplishment in something.  Merit scholarships may require an application, or can be automatically awarded by a college/university with a student’s acceptance. 
      • Need-based scholarships: awarded according to a student’s financial need, and many require completion of the FAFSA before applying. Many need-based scholarships require an application.
      • Other scholarships: awarded for specific achievements (athletic ability, community service, leadership), to specific populations (gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity, etc.) or for specialized skills (art). Most of these scholarships require an application. Athletic scholarships typically require that students connect with coaches and/or register with the NCAA.

    The Application Process

    Junior year is the ideal time to become familiar with the process, to explore the costs of college, and for students to have financial conversations with their families. We encourage students and parents to have honest discussions regarding students’ goals, and realistic financial contributions or implications that the cost of college has on your family. We encourage families to keep an open mind to the possibility of college and to seek our assistance in navigating the options and the processes. Students can also get a preliminary estimate of their financial aid eligibility by using the FAFSA 4 CASTER tool, which can be helpful as students explore the costs of colleges.

    The process of applying for financial aid takes place over several months during students’ 12th-grade year. The first step will be to create an FSA ID, and then submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or ORSAA (Oregon Student Aid Application), but not both. Students who have an undocumented status, are DACA, or are TPS may be eligible for the FAFSA instead of the ORSAA. Click here to determine which financial aid application to complete.

    Once students file FAFSA/ORSAA, they will receive an initial response with a dollar amount that the government estimates is the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to the cost of college. The EFC dollar amount is calculated by using the family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security). This information will be sent to the colleges that students apply to, as long as students enter the names of the institutions in their FAFSA account. Once accepted to a college, that college will use the student’s FAFSA information to determine the amount and type of financial aid that the college will offer the student, referred to as a financial aid package. Students can apply for scholarships to get additional money to pay for college, to replace the need for loans, or to take the place of the EFC. Students should not wait until receiving their financial aid packages to search for scholarships! Students will receive financial aid packages in the Spring to serve as an aid in deciding what college to go do. 

    Websites to know:

    • Students will submit their FAFSA here
    • Students will submit their ORSAA here
    • Students can learn more about FAFSA, ORSAA, Oregon Promise, and OSAC here.

     

    Throughout the school year, Counselors and our College & Career Coordinators will host a variety of workshops and events to aid students with their financial aid applications and scholarship searches, and share may resources. Many events are geared towards seniors, as much of the process takes place during senior year, but announcements and notifications will be shared with other grades accordingly. Students are highly encouraged to check their PPS emails regularly for resources and opportunities, and look for events in their Maia Learning calendars.

    More About Scholarships

    Scholarships may be offered one-time, or on a renewable basis.  Scholarships have a wide variety of eligibility criteria, such that hopefully almost every student has an opportunity for some sort of scholarship. Scholarships are typically either merit-based (they have some level of contest to them) or need-based (there is demonstrated financial need). Scholarships are available through a variety of organizations, companies, and resources outside of the college itself. Following acceptance to a college/university, students will receive information from that institution on how to apply for institutio-specific scholarships. Some colleges may also offer students scholarships at the time of acceptance or with their financial aid packages.

    Students interested in scholarships are encouraged to actively search for an apply for scholarships from the summer going in to senior year through the Spring of that year. From time to time, there are some scholarships available to students as early as 9th, 10th, and 11th grade as well, so beginning the process early is recommended. 

    Counselors and our College Coordinator will notify students (especially seniors) of upcoming scholarship opportunities and may offer scholarship workshops and events. Ultimately, the opportunity to obtain scholarships is dependent on each students' diligence with the search process and commitment to submitting applications. There is no limit to the numbe rof schoalrships a student can apply for. 

    Scholarship Resources 

    Students can look for scholarships using a variety of online tools. Click here or see the chart below for a list of scholarship resources.

    OSAC

    The OSAC application (Office of Student Access and Completion) is a scholarship application for graduating seniors in Oregon in which students have access to 500+ scholarships and can apply to 40+ scholarships at once from a selection of 500+ scholarships. 


    The application is due March 1st each year, with an early bird deadline in mid-February that includes an additional scholarship opportunity. Students must first submit their FAFSA application. Once filed, students can fill out their OSAC application, which is typically made available in October/November. Franklin High School Scholarships will also be available using the OSAC application.

    Oregon Promise

    Oregon Promise is a financial aid grant for Oregon students to attend community college. There is a minimum GPA requirement and application to apply. Students must submit their FAFSA first.

    Scholarship Search Tools

    TITLE

    DESCRIPTION

    WEBSITE

    Black United Fund of Oregon

    Offers two different types of scholarships for students ranging from high school seniors to undergraduate college students. The two scholarships are broken down and explained on the site.

    Here

    College Board

    A free website to apply for college and help find scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs. Enter as much information as possible to find the most matches.

    Here

    College Board Opportunity Scholarships

    Students earn a chance at scholarships by completing certain steps and tasks using the College Board website, including things like making a list of colleges to apply to & using Khan Academy for SAT Prep. Students use their College Board account to log in & sign up for the Opportunity Scholarships

    Here

    Going Merry 

    A free website to search and apply for scholarships in 1 place (like a "Common Application", but for scholarships). This user-friendly tool has an extensive list of scholarships!

    Here

    Hispanic Scholarship Fund

    Empowers families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as 

    Here

    Islamic Society of North American Scholarships

    A list of scholarships available to students who identify as Islamic, each with different eligibility criteria

    Here

    National Society of High School Scholars

    Opportunities for students that are members of NSHSS (membership cost $75). NSHSS is a membership-only organization (with eligibility requirements) that connects students to scholarships, college fairs, internships, career connections, personal development events, and leadership opportunities.

    Here

    Open Education Database

    Database that helps break down financial aid, open courses, accredited colleges and provides a scholarship database with a filtered search.

    Here

    OSAC

    Range from $1,000 to $10,000+. No merit or financial need requirements to apply. Choose from thousands of scholarships and apply to 40 scholarships at once. MUST submit FAFSA prior to applying for OSAC. List of recommended OSAC scholarships here. All Oregon students are highly encouraged to fill out their OSAC.

    Here

    Oregon Gear Up

    Scholarship database organizes into a calendar to keep track of all the due dates and a description of qualifications

    Here

    Oregon CIS

    A exploration tool for Oregon students to search for a variety of scholarships (uses your PPS log in)

    Here

    Thurgood Marshall College Fund

    TMCF awards nearly 500 scholarships a year to high-achieving students. The database has a list of scholarships offered and programs that are currently open for application

    Here

    United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

    Scholarships for students identifying as African American or Black. Each program has separate eligibility criteria and deadlines

    Here

    United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI)

    Scholarships for students identifying as Hispanic/LatinX. Includes leadership opportunities for students and partners with companies to provide scholarships.

    Here