What is financial aid?
Financial aid for college comes from a variety of government and private programs:
- Grants – do not have to be repaid
- Scholarships – (competitive) not repaid
- Loans – must be repaid after the student leaves college
- Work-Study – wages for work performed (check with your school’s financial office)
How can anyone afford this?
Regardless of your economic status, you should be able to find enough resources to cover your needs. In addition to your family resources, most states and colleges offer:
- need-based aid
- student loans
- merit-based scholarships
Students should apply for all forms of aid. One additional source is the IRS Publication 970: “Tax Benefits for Higher Education,” which explains the HOPE and Lifetime Learning tax credits, tax-advantaged college savings programs, and other tax benefits for students.
Tips for OSAC Application Success
Always complete the OSAC Application process.
You never know when a donor might make a new award available, but you can’t get an OSAC award if you’re not in the database.
Take the SAT or the ACT.
High school students need to take the SAT or ACT in order to be more competitve when applying for scholarships, even if it’s not required by the school.
Apply for federal financial aid.
The federal government is the biggest source of financial aid (loans, grants, and work study) and you must start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Include complete transcripts.
High school transcripts must include seven semesters, including course work for fall semester of your senior year, for a student to be considered for OSAC scholarships. If your school reports grades by four quarters, make sure that your transcripts reflect the first two quarters of your senior year. Read and follow the OSAC application instructions carefully!
Follow directions on required essays.
For example, if the application asks for a one-page essay and a student writes a longer essay, he or she may receive a lower score because instructions were not followed.
Identify your application properly.
The student’s name and last four digits of his or her social security number must appear at the top of every page in the application.
The postmark matters!
If the application is postmarked before or on March 1, we accept it. If the postmark is after March 1, it is rejected.
Apply for scholarships every year you are in college.
As long as you remain an Oregon resident, you are eligible to compete for OSAC scholarships.