Fairness. Integrity. Maximized resources that impact student lives.
These are the hallmarks of the Office of Student Access and Completion, whose roots go back to 1885, when the Oregon Legislature created a scholarship program to decrease tuition costs at the Oregon Agricultural College by $15.
Now, over a century later, OSAC is the known source for scholarships for Oregon students. With more than 400 privately-funded scholarship programs, OSAC is unique in the nation for its public-private partnership for scholarship administration. As an independent state agency, OSAC prides itself on objectivity and integrity in following the donor’s intent to reach qualified students planning to attend a public, private, nonprofit, or for-profit college. The professional financial stewardship of your scholarship dollars is our mission.
Advantages to entrusting your scholarship with us include:
“One-Stop Shopping” and Fair Process for Students
- OSAC’s Single Online Application is fast and simple for students to apply from among the hundreds of different scholarship opportunities available. The search for scholarship opportunities can overwhelm students and many scholarships often are unfilled because of a limited applicant pool. OSAC’s central clearinghouse ensures that your scholarship will receive the qualified applications and attention it deserves.
- OSAC ensures impartiality by using its tightly controlled database to maintain a level playing field where all applicants have equal opportunity to compete fairly with other qualified applicants.
- Confidentiality and access to student information is tightly controlled and secure. All employees undergo background checks and volunteers are closely supervised when reviewing scholarship applications.
Casting a Wide Net Statewide
- Announcement of OSAC’s scholarship application season occurs each fall, with 77,000 OSAC Scholarship Application Workbooks distributed to over 950 Oregon high schools and colleges, public libraries, employment offices, donors, tribes and community organizations. OSAC’s scholarship season is also announced through the media. This statewide effort helps capture the qualified applicant pool that your scholarship requires.
- Outreach and Information Distribution continues during the fall with OSAC consultants presenting workshops at college fairs and other events on how to apply for scholarships. Scholarship flyers announcing the programs are distributed across the state and in conjunction with ASPIRE, a unique program using trained mentors for high school students planning their college education and training after high school.
Professional and Unique Experience
- OSAC’s years of experience in designing scholarship programs in consultation with donors, result in defining realistic scholarship criteria for target populations and identifying potential impact the criteria may have on attaining a qualified applicant pool.
- OSAC serves as an information clearinghouse to answer scholarship questions from students, counselors, parents, business and financial aid office staff, legislators, the media, and can direct interested parties to appropriate resources.
- Application Processing and Review is conducted by trained scholarship employees and volunteers who inspect all scholarship materials for completeness— (essays, activities charts, transcripts, additional documents required for some programs).
- Scholar Matching with Scholarship Criteria is conducted by a highly sophisticated computer program. OSAC’s research analysts conduct queries to match eligible applicants to each scholarship’s specific requirements. Copies of applications matching the donor’s criteria are sent to selection committees.
- Financial Need Data required by some scholarships is accessible to OSAC due to its unique position as the state record holder of student financial aid information. OSAC can search for basic levels of financial need to assist selection committees weighing financial need and merit issues.
- Verification of Membership or Employment Affiliation is required for employer- and membership-sponsored scholarship programs. OSAC sends a list of applicants to the employer, union, or association for verification of each applicant’s relation to employees or members.
- Selection Committees receive copies of applications and applicants listings sorted by GPA, financial need, or other eligibility criteria. The committee reports selected recipients to OSAC.
Follow-through with Colleges and Students
- Award Letters sent to recipients must be signed and returned to confirm the recipient’s college and understanding of award conditions (e.g., a program may be limited to certain colleges, majors, or financial need level).
- Award Disbursement & Accounting occurs prior to the fall semester or term each year. OSAC sets up scholarship disbursements for all confirmed students. Colleges are familiar with OSAC requirements and contact staff directly if questions arise about a student’s eligibility for an award. OSAC works directly with students and financial aid offices to maintain and ensure proper scholarship management.