Types of Financial Aid:
- Grants - this is free money you do not have to pay back
- Scholarships - this is free money you do not have to pay back
- Work-study - you work on campus to earn this money
- Loans - you have to pay back this money, with interest
Steps to Getting Federal or State Financial Aid:
- File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if US Citizen or eligible
- Alternatively, file the ORSAA (Oregon Student Aid Application) instead of FAFSA if undocumented or DACA eligible
- After completion of FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that indicates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
- Colleges use the EFC to determine the amount and type of aid they can offer you
- You will receive an award letter from each college that accepts you for admission - the letter will outline the total financial aid (grants, scholarships, work-study and loans) you are eligible for to cover the costs at the college.
- Pay close attention to the loans and what type of loans they are - all loans are required to be paid back, with interest.
- NOTE: If you file the ORSAA, there is no SAR provided. Make sure your information is correct before submitting.
The links on the right are useful as you navigate the Financial Aid process.
Download the College Cost Comparison Worksheet (April 2019). Fill in award letter information for each college to compare financial awards.