Financial Aid & Scholarships
Quick Links Scholarship Tips Online Resources Scholarship List
Financial Aid Night
Each year in December the Counseling Department sponsors Financial Aid Night to help students and parents navigate the complexities of paying for college. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn all about applying for financial aid through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and OSAC (Oregon Student Access Commission). Students and parents, please plan to attend together.
Application Fee Waivers
If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, you are eligible for an SAT/ACT fee waiver. Once you use a fee waiver for the SAT or ACT, you will then be eligible to apply to up to six Common Application schools with no application fee. See your counselor to sign up for the fee waiver.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA application opens on October 1. Aim for completion by November 1. Get all the information now so you will be prepared to apply by next year's application date.
The online FAFSA application provides students access to grants, loans, and work-study aid from the federal government. It is also required by many colleges and universities as part their financial aid application. Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st, 2016, to have the best chance of receiving limited aid funds. Before you assume that you won't qualify for aid, go to 9 Common Myths About Financial Aid. Then watch the video below for helpful tips on filling out the FAFSA.
SIgn up now for free webinars that will inform you about changes to the FAFSA for next year, how to create an FSA ID, and filing the form. Space is limited.
How to Understand Financial Aid Award Letters
Financial aid award letters can be confusing: is it a grant or a loan? does it cover room and board or just tuition? This online guide can help you evaluate the award and determine the true cost of college.
Need More Help?
FAFSA Support Direct: 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 319-337-5665. They prefer to talk with the student directly.
Selective Service Registration and the FAFSA
Male students must register with the Selective Service in order to be eligible for federal student loan and grant programs. If you are at least 18 years old and have not yet reached your 26th birthday, you can register by checking the appropriate box on the FAFSA. (Note: If you are not yet 18, your data will not be transmitted to Selective Service and you will not be registered.) You can also register online at the Selective Service web site.
Financial Aid: Ideas to Help You Qualify for More Money!
Always Apply for Financial Aid
Some schools will not give merit money unless you apply for financial aid and file the FAFSA. Some colleges, mostly private, require you to also file the PROFILE, which requires a fee. College Board has a list of schools that require the PROFILE. Check each college’s website to verify requirements. Need-based aid: This is aid awarded to families who would have trouble paying for college. If you are eligible for free or reduced lunch, you will certainly be eligible for need-based financial aid. Some colleges even award money to families with income up to $150,000 a year. Again, every college is different. Be sure to come to our Financial Aid Night in December to get your questions answered. Applying for financial aid is a confusing process.
Some schools say that they will meet 100% of your demonstrated need. Most of these schools are highly selective schools with huge endowments. If you come from a low-income family and qualify for admission to these most competitive schools, you are most likely to get a full ride with no loans. All schools calculate your need differently, which explains why you will get many different financial aid offers. Most colleges will not be able to meet your full need, which is why you will also be interested in merit-based aid.
Most of the scholarships and tuitions discounts that students receive come from the colleges to which they are applying. Most schools, especially private, do offer merit aid. Merit Aid is awarded for many reasons: high grades, good test scores, community service, leadership skills and activities, athletic skills etc. Some schools, mostly the most highly selective colleges mentioned above, do not offer any merit aid. You will get the most merit aid, in general, from schools where your grades, test scores, and activities put you at the top of that school's application pool. In other words, if your grades and scores are better than most of the students applying to a particular school, you will be offered their best scholarships.
If you have very strong talent in art, music, or theater, you may be offered scholarships based on your talent. Many times, a school will accept and give more aid to a student with strong talent even as they reject another student with higher grades. It’s hard to know what each school is looking for each year. If they need a strong bassoonist, painter or method actor, the student with the particular talent they need that year will get the money. The school may be looking for completely different talent the next year. Make sure you meet, or at least talk to, the main professor(s) with whom you will work. You will be with this person much of the time, for four years. You want to have someone with whom you can work well and who shares your artisitic philosophy!
While NCAA Division I, II, and NAIA schools all can overtly offer athletic scholarships, you need to get their attention. Make a short video with highlights. You might also consider including positive recovery from a mistake or disappointment. Contact coaches and send them your video and athletic resume. Get advice from your coaches. While NCAA Division III cannot legally offer athletic scholarships, they do offer non-athletic scholarships to athletes who they want on their team. They can offer academic, leadership, and community service scholarships. Legally, the activities for which they offer scholarships can’t be connected with your role on the team. For example, you can’t get a leadership scholarship if your only leadership activity is captaining your team. Many D3 schools ask that you list every activity you’ve ever participated in, so they have more opportunity to award you money. This can be delineated on a well-organized resume.
Many, mostly private, schools try to keep the ratio of women to men on campus close to 50/50. Boys have some advantage at schools that have trouble getting enough male applicants and girls have an advantage at schools that attract more male applicants. This may not be an issue at public universities.
The Western Undergraduate Exchange is a coalition of schools from 15 western states who agree to let students from neighboring states pay 150% of in-state tuition instead of paying full out-of-state tuition. For some states, this is a great deal because their in-state tuition is very inexpensive, due to excellent state support for education. Not all schools in these states participate in the program and most have requirements that students must meet to be eligible. Some schools restrict the majors eligible for participation, some offer a limited number of WUE placements (apply early), and some have designated test scores and GPAs that must be met. Historically, the best deals have bee offered to students attending WUE schools in Idaho, New Mexico, and Alaska. Good grades can also help students earn extra merit scholarships. Check the website and then check individual school websites. See your counselor with questions.
- Scholarships are not only for high-achieving students; there are scholarships for unusual characteristics, skills and interests:
- Community service
- Unusual characteristics/skills(left-handed, extra tall or short, ability to duck-call)
- Non-traditional students
- Essay contests
- Health issues: search through organizations dedicated to that issue; always ask if there are other organizations addressing the same issue who might offer scholarships.
- The first few scholarships you apply for can take a great deal of time and work, but once the initial work is done you can adapt essays for other scholarships.
- Aim to apply for at least ten scholarships. Apply for as many as possible—you can't win if you don't apply.
- Check any other organizations with which your family is affiliated (parents' employers, insurance, banks, credit unions, unions, veterans' groups, etc.)
- Go through Oregon's OSAC-Oregon Student Assistance Corporation. The final deadline is March 1st; we strongly recommend you submit your application by February 15th to be eligible the $500 early bird scholarship drawing.
- Look on Naviance. Wilson’s guest password for Naviance is "gotrojans." If you don't yet have your own Naviance account, email or visit Sharon Dailey in the Counselor's office right away!
- Look at other local school websites as well for additional scholarship listings.
Site Description FAFSA Federal Application for Federal Student Aid-online Pin for electronic FAFSA Pin number registration for FAFSA CSS Profile Supplement for private schools Oregon Student Assistance Commission Online app. for Oregon student scholarships Federal Financial Aid Federal financial aid information Financial Aid General information College Board download profile of Independent College fin. aid forms Educaid learn how to save money for college Salliemae Financial Aid 101 – the entire process Fastweb Free scholarship info Petersons Free scholarship info
Scholarship Scam Complaints
Click here for a link to many Oregon scholarships: https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarship-directory/residence-state/oregon?sortOrder=duedate&sortDirection=asc
Alert Scholarship, No Deadline, Award: $500.00
Criteria: Seniors with at least a 2.5 GPA. Submit a 650-800 word, double-spaced essay about “A personal encounter you or someone you know has had with drug/alcohol abuse. Discuss how it was dealt with, what was learned from the experience, and what was right or wrong (in your opinion) about the way the incident or problem was handled.” For more information and to apply visit www.alertmagazine.org.
The Beauty + Wellness Scholarship: Deadline: This is a quarterly scholarship offered September 30, January 1, March 31, June 30 every year – Award: $500.00
Criteria: Must be a graduating senior, female, planning to attend a 2- or 4-year college, GPS does not matter, and complete a 500-word essay on Healthy Student Lifestyle or Non-toxic skin care (See website for essay details). To apply: visit https://www.skincareox.com/scholarship
Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance
Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance National Art Competition, Due April 28th (all grade levels). To apply and for more information for scholarships: www.cacaportland.com
Sister Adele Scholarship, Due May 24
For students with families of farmworkers in Oregon (includes dairy and nursery jobs, as well as working in the processing and/or transporting of agricultural products). Awards range from $1,000-2,500. One page essay required. www.tfaforms.com/4716021
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Due May 24
Two scholarships at $2,100 each. Must be for tuition at Chemeketa Community College, Columbia Gorge Community College, George Fox University, Oregon State University, Warner Pacific University, or Western Oregon University. Open to STEM Majors. www.hacu.net/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=3030&fbclid=IwAR2ejTOnhEbI0v68CC6j9VJz_kgaqdrttByUT4uhrJLZHSGVx96xBhyekyU
B. Davis Scholarship, Due May 24, Award: $1,000
Criteria: For juniors and seniors, write an essay of less than 1000 words on the following topic: Describe the three characteristics of leadership you value most. Discuss why you believe that these traits are so important and how you feel that they are developed in an individual. Submit to: email@example.com. For more info: www.studentawardsearch.com/scholarships.htm
Lila B. Frances Streeter Memorial Scholarship, Due May 29, Award: $500.00
Criteria: Black or African American seniors who will be attending an Oregon community college or university, must submit resume, community service, and essay (describe a Black woman who has positively impacted you and your future and share a project you developed to help support/strengthen the Black community) to firstname.lastname@example.org. To Apply and for more information: https://www.extraordinaryblackgirl.com/new-blog-1/2019/4/3/issa-scholarship
Abbott and Fenner Scholarship Program, Due June 14, Award(s) $1,000
Criteria: Juniors and seniors may apply, submit 500-1000 word essay on: Describe your educational career and life goals. Explain your plan for achieving these goals. Include your degree/major, why you selected it, and how this degree/major will help you achieve your goals.
For information and to apply: http://www.abbottandfenner.com/scholarships.htm
Fast Water Heater Academic Scholarship, Due September 8, 2019. Award: $500. Eligibility: High school juniors or seniors interested in pursuing a degree in an engineering, mechanical systems or energy efficiency related field with an interest in building sciences. Students submit an application and essay online at www.fastwaterheater.com/scholarship/.
Scholarship for current JUNIORS--Don’t wait to apply: Beat the Odds Scholarship, Due: September 16, 2019, Award: $16,000
Criteria: Must be class of 2020, have at least 3.0 GPA, have participated in activities that are helpful to others, have demonstrated financial need, and have succeeded in spite of hardships such as poverty, disability, homelessness, or personal tragedy. To apply and for more information: http://stand.org/oregon/beat-the-odds
- Scholarships are not only for high-achieving students; there are scholarships for unusual characteristics, skills and interests:
Important Dates for Seniors
OSAC Scholarship application final deadline is Wednesday, March 1 https://app.oregonstudentaid.gov/
Oregon Promise application final deadline is Monday, July 3 (July 1 is a Saturday so it rolls forward to the next business day) https://app.oregonstudentaid.gov/
Oregon Promise Early notification is Monday, April 3 (notification of eligibility only, not whether the funding is guaranteed)
If Applying to PCC:
Future Connect Scholarship/Mentoring application deadline is March 1 https://www.pcc.edu/FutureConnectApp/
PCC Foundation Scholarship application is due March 1 https://www.pcc.edu/foundation/what-we-do/scholarships/
In order to be eligible to receive any of these scholarships, you MUST have filed a FAFSA or ORSAA application https://fafsa.ed.gov/.