Scholarships and Grants in Oregon
Couldn't We All Use Some Extra Cash?
Nearly every college-bound student will need to secure some level of financial aid to help them cover the costs of their post-secondary education. To answer the financial needs of their resident students, most states sponsor a variety of grants and scholarships designed to make a college education more accessible, and more affordable. Oregon is no exception, and currently offers a variety of scholarships and state-funded grants, for its resident students who are struggling to meet the rising costs of a college education.
Oregon’s student aid programs are administered through the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, as well as through the financial aid offices of state supported colleges and universities. These programs are a mix of need-based and merit-based awards, and they provide valuable financial assistance to the resident students of the Beaver State.
Submitting the FAFSA
The first step in any college-bound student’s search for financial aid should be the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is used by Federal and state agencies to determine the levels of financial aid for which a given student is eligible. Once students have submitted their FAFSA, they will be issued with a Student Aid Report which will outline the full extent of the financial assistance for which they have qualified.
Students should make the FAFSA a priority in their search for college funding. In addition to being a requirement for all state and Federal student aid, the FAFSA is also used by most colleges, private associations, and lending institutions to determine an applicant’s eligibility for financial aid.
Education Grants for Oregon Students
The state of Oregon sponsors a variety of education grants for its resident students. Eligibility requirements vary greatly among these programs, as do the monetary awards. As with all state-funded financial aid programs, funding is subject to change according to economic conditions within the state.
The following examples should illustrate the range of education grants available to Oregon’s resident students.
- The Oregon Opportunity Grant is the state’s largest need-based financial aid program. The OOG is available to undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time at an Oregon state college or university. Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having an annual gross income of less than $70,000. The maximum award allowance is $1950 per academic year.
- The Chaffee Education and Training Grant provides financial assistance to Oregon students who are in, or who have recently aged out of, the state’s foster care system. Applicants must be aged 14 to 23 years, and must demonstrate the requisite level of financial need. Award amounts vary, and are determined by need, and status as a full or part-time student. Awards range from $1000 – $3000.
- The Oregon Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant was designed to provide financial assistance to the dependents of public safety officers who have been killed, or disabled, in the line of duty. The grant is available to college aged children of firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and corrections officers. Applicants must be enrolled in a state college or university. Award amounts may not exceed the total costs of tuition, less any other financial aid already received.
- The Oregon Barber and Hairdresser Grant provides financial assistance to resident students who are enrolled in a licensed school of barbering, hair design, or cosmetology. Applicants must be enrolled full-time, and must demonstrate the requisite level of financial need. Award amounts vary according to availability of funds.
Scholarships for Oregon Students
The Oregon Student Assistance Commission administers a wide variety of scholarships for students attending a college or university within the state. Most of these scholarships are funded through private endowments, or through corporate funding. The scholarship programs administered by the OSAC run the gamut from general need-based awards to highly specialized merit-based awards.
The following examples are just a few of the many scholarships available to residents students within the state of Oregon.
- The Bend Branch of AAUW Charles and Helen Weil Memorial Scholarship is available to students who have graduated, or completed 93 credit-hours, at Central Oregon Community College. Applicants must have a minimum 3.25 GPA, and must be continuing their education at a state supported non-profit college or university. Awards are determined by financial need, and preference is given to female applicants.
- The Sehar Saleha Ahmad and Abrahim Ekramullah Zafar Foundation offers scholarships to female high school graduates who are enrolled, or preparing to enroll, in one of Oregon’s four-year public colleges. Students must be pursuing a degree in English, must have a 3.80 GPA, and must demonstrate the required level of financial need. Award amounts vary, and the scholarship is renewable.
- The Russ and Rose Otte Choir offers a one time scholarship to graduating seniors of Ashland High School who have participated in the school’s choir, band, or orchestra for a minimum of 2 years. Applicants must be enrolled, or preparing to enroll, in a state supported college or university.
- The Ronald and Karel Bennett Scholarship is available to graduating seniors of any Jackson County High School who will be entering college as a Sophomore. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and must be pursuing degrees in accounting, architecture, business or engineering.
- The Eugene Bennett Scholarship for the Visual Arts provides a one time award for students enrolled in an undergraduate, or graduate, graphic arts program at an Oregon public college or university. Applicants must have a minimum 2.75 GPA, and awards are determined by portfolio submission.
- The Dorothy Campbell Memorial Scholarship is available to graduating female seniors of any Oregon High School. Applicants must have a minimum 2.75 GPA, and must have been a participant in their high school’s golf team. Students must submit an essay describing their interest in the sport of golf. Awards are determined on the basis of academic merit, essay submission and financial need.
- The Ford Opportunity Scholarship is supported by the Ford Family Foundation, and provides annual scholarship awards to undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at one of Oregon’s public colleges or universities. Applicants must be enrolled full time, and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. The scholarship is renewable as long as eligibility requirements are maintained.
- The Ford ReStart Scholarship is also supported by the Ford Family Foundation, and targets the needs of adult students 25 years of age or older who are heading to college for the first time. Applicants must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree at an Oregon public college. The award is renewable, but can not be combined with any other Ford Family sponsored scholarships.
These are just a few of the many scholarships administered through the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. Many more scholarships are available, and students are encouraged to consult the Oregon Student Assistance Commission’s Scholarship Catalog [https://secure.osac.state.or.us/listScholarships.aspx] for information on additional programs, and to download the necessary application forms.
The government of Oregon understands the importance, and value, of making college more accessible to its residents. Through the hard work of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, resident students of the Beaver State have access to some of the best grant and scholarship programs in the country.