How to pay for college

funding options

Paying for college isn't just about tuition -- it includes student fees, room and board, class materials, transportation fees, and more. See: Standard Student Budget 2020-21

To pay for all of these costs, students use four main sources of financing: grants, scholarships, savings/investment accounts, and loans. We want students to receive as much grant and scholarship funding as they can, since these do NOT have to be paid back.

On this page you will find information on Grant programs. Use the buttons below to navigate to other sections and outside resources.

Grants

Grants and scholarships are funds for students that do not have to be paid back, unlike loans, which do have to be paid back. Grants are different than scholarships in that they are typically public funds (from state or federal government) and typically need-based (for students with financial need). Because of this, most grants require students to complete a financial aid application (either the FAFSA or ORSAA) to qualify. Grants for specific populations may require an additional application.

Federal Grants

Federal grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify for a federal grant, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The biggest federal grant program is the Pell Grant, a grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. This is a beneficial source of funding for students, but it is rarely enough to cover the cost of tuition by itself.

Other smaller federal grant programs are (1) FSEOG, which is administered by colleges' financial aid office, (2) TEACH Grant, which is for students pursuing a teaching career (additional requirements apply), and (3) Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for children/dependents of deceased veterans. Undocumented/DACA students are not eligible for federal grants or eligible to fill out a FAFSA (see ORSAA).

Oregon Grants

The state has numerous grant programs for students regardless of citizenship status. All of the grants listed below require students to file a FAFSA or ORSAA. Check the specific grant for additional application requirements, eligibility guidelines, and deadlines. They are divided below into "larger" and "smaller" based on the size of the application pool, not based on the amount of money awarded to students.

larger oregon grants

Oregon Opportunity Grant

The OOG is the largest state-funded, need-based grant program in Oregon. OOG awards are for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Approximately 40,000 Oregonians receive an OOG award each year. Learn more about the Opportunity Grant.

Apply: Students that file the FAFSA or ORSAA are automatically considered for an OOG. No other application is needed.

Oregon Promise

Promise is a large program with specific eligibility requirements. Promise is for students who graduate an Oregon high school with a 2.5+ GPA and enroll in an Oregon community college within six months of their high school graduation. To see additional eligibility requirements visit the Oregon Promise website.

Apply: File a FAFSA or ORSAA and submit an Oregon Promise application by your specific deadline. Find your deadline here.

smaller oregon grants

Chafee Education & Training Grant

Chafee ETG is a grant for current/former foster youth. It's federally-funded but administered at the state-level. Foster youth status is verified by the Oregon DHS. See eligibility details.

Apply: File a FAFSA (ORSAA non-eligible) and complete a Chafee application by March 1.

Oregon Student Child Care Grant

The Child Care grant is for students who are pursuing a college degree while raising children of their own. The grant helps pay for child care costs of dependents age 12 and under. The application is open from mid-January until May 31. Learn more.

Oregon National Guard Tuition Assistance

ONGSTA is a program that provides funds for Oregon National Guard members to attend college. Currently drilling Air and Army Guard members are eligible. Learn more.

Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officers Grant

DDPSO is for children/dependents of public safety officers who were disabled or killed in the line of duty. Read the DDPSO page for full guidelines and instructions on how to apply.