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    Most students pay for college in a variety of ways. Undocumented and DACA-mented studentsadult learners and veterans have special considerations when applying for financial aid and paying for college.

    What is financial aid?

    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). Because of this, it is important for ALL students to file FAFSA or ORSAA.

    There are four main types of financial aid: Student loans, Work-study, Grants, and Scholarships.


    How do I understand the financial aid packages from universities? Check out this resource: Financial Aid Letters: Why they're so confusing and how to read them


    Types of Aid 


    The cost of college can be overwhelming, but 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. Consider all of the costs when choosing a college. The cost of attendance can include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. Most colleges also require students to have health insurance or buy student health insurance.

    Residents pay a lower price, known as in-state tuition, at public universities and community colleges. Oregonians also have access to reduced tuition at select public 2-year and 4-year colleges in 14 western states through the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE).

    Compare financial aid awards carefully, and create a monthly budget based on your projected needs. Consider this Finance Guide for College Students, shared with you by a local Girl Scout (thanks Emilia!), to start thinking about budgeting and other important financial resources in college! Need help? Reach out to the Financial Aid Office at the schools on your college list or come chat with us in the College & Career Center!


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