Oregon Student Grants for College
Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money
The state of Oregon has established an agency called the Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC) to assist the student population in planning and paying for college. OSAC has expanded its mission to offer help in different ways, for example advertising a volunteer mentoring program for middle and high school students that points them in the direction of college while giving them plenty of time to prepare (the ASPIRE program, or Access to Student Assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone).
OSAC also encourages donors to create individual scholarships or contribute to existing ones administered by the OSAC Scholarship Fund.
Grants From the State of Oregon
Oregon has continued to fund five state grant programs for its college students.
Oregon Opportunity Grant
The Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) is the state’s largest financial aid program, and although it helps about 29,000 students every year, funding is limited. Since OOG money is distributed in the order in which students apply until it runs out, the state recommends filing the required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible, beginning January 1. The annual award maximum for the 2013-2014 academic year is $2,000, and your financial need must be at least that much to receive consideration.
OSAC offers some helpful advice on eligibility: check your Student Aid Report (SAR) to correct any misunderstandings immediately. The SAR summarizes your FAFSA information and provides the amount of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the amount you’re expected to contribute toward your education. Your SAR will come as correspondence from the U. S. Department of Education.
Here are OOG’s criteria for eligibility. You must:
- Be a U. S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen, and live in Oregon. Interestingly, students who belong to Native American tribes that have roots in Oregon may be considered state residents on that basis.
- Be an undergraduate working toward a first degree.
- Attend an in-state school on the approved list, taking at least six credit hours (which qualifies as half-time enrollment). The list includes public universities, community colleges, and private schools.
- Have financial need remaining after you have used all other available resources to pay for school.
- Be in good standing with the federal Title IV programs, meaning no default on a student loan or outstanding debt on a federal grant.
- Not be imprisoned.
Oregon Barber and Hairdresser Grant
The Oregon Barber and Hairdresser (B&H) Grant goes to students training for these vocations: barbering, hair design, cosmetology, and manicuring. You must attend a licensed school in Oregon, and that school must participate in both Title IV, mentioned above, and the B&H Grant program. The duration of your training must be nine months or 900 clock hours.
Incarcerated persons are not eligible, nor is anyone not in good standing with Title IV aid. You may not receive B&H money while simultaneously attending high school and the training program. Only students with financial need that qualifies as significant will receive the B&H, and it is not renewable.
Chafee Education and Training Grant
The Chafee Education and Training Grant is intended to help students who are or were in Oregon’s foster care system. You must meet one of two standards: either you:
- Are now in foster care, or
- Were in foster care for at least six months after you turned 14, but left the program after turning 16.
Alternately, you may qualify by participating in the program at 21, which ensures your eligibility until age 23 while you are progressing satisfactorily in college. Financial need is required, and the most you can receive is $3,000 for a full three- to four-term year, $2,000 for two terms, and $1,000 for a single term.
Note: the Department of Human Services’ Independent Living Program is responsible for approving your Chafee application.
Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant
The Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant program supports dependents (children and stepchildren) of public safety officers who lost their lives or were disabled in the line of duty. The list of eligible officers includes the following professions: firefighter and fire marshal, police, sheriffs and deputies, parole, probation, and correction officers, and finally the Department of Justice’s criminal investigators.
Applicants must live and study in Oregon, exhibit financial need, and attend school as full-time undergraduates. The benchmark maximum is standard tuition and fees (for a public school), or University of Oregon tuition and fees (for a private school). The award may continue for four years until the first degree is taken, and then during four years of graduate school.
Oregon Student Child Care Grant
The Oregon Student Child Care Grant takes a practical step toward encouraging adult education by covering the cost of reliable child care while parents attend college. Eligibility requires that you must:
- Live in Oregon with a child under 12. A special needs child over 12 is acceptable.
- Be a U. S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Enroll in a qualifying Oregon school as an undergraduate and make satisfactory progress in classes.
- Remain in good standing with Title IV programs.
Your enrollment must be for half-time, at minimum, and your eligibility for receiving Student Child Care awards is limited to six years.