FAFSA and ORSAA

File the FAFSA File the ORSAA

To be eligible for most types of financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA). These applications compile financial information and other details about students and families, which are used by the US Department of Education and the State of Oregon to determine financial need and eligibility for various financial aid opportunities.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)®

The FAFSA opens on October 1 each year (note this is a new opening date effective in 2016). Students should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible each year in order to gain access to more financial aid opportunities.

Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA)

The ORSAA is an alternative to the FAFSA for Oregon students who are undocumented, including students who have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status. The ORSAA opens on October 1 each year. Do NOT complete the ORSAA if you are a U.S. citizen or a legal noncitizen with an Alien Registration number.

If you are a DACA student, you may want to complete the FAFSA in addition to the ORSAA. Contact the financial aid office at your college to find out if you should complete both the FAFSA and ORSAA.

ORSAA Support

If you are unsure whether to complete the FAFSA or ORSAA, take the ORSAA quiz. If you have questions about the ORSAA, contact (541) 687-7400 or ORSAAHelp@hecc.oregon.gov.

Security & Use of ORSAA Data

The ORSAA is used exclusively by the state of Oregon, not the Federal government. The Office of Student Access and Completion shares a student’s ORSAA data only with the Financial Aid Office at the school(s) the student lists on the ORSAA. Data from the ORSAA is private, secure information that is not shared with the federal government or other outside entities. The ORSAA is NOT a tool that is used to identify or deport undocumented individuals.

Why Complete the FAFSA or ORSAA?

The FAFSA is the required application for all federal financial aid opportunities, including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study. A completed FAFSA or ORSAA is required for the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the Oregon Promise Grant, and certain OSAC scholarships. Many colleges and universities also take information from the FAFSA (or the ORSAA, in Oregon) to determine eligibility for aid opportunities at the college.

FAFSA Tips

  • Create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). Each student and parent* must create an FSA ID to securely log in and sign the FAFSA online. Learn how to create an FSA ID(PDF).
    *Parents of dependent students only must create an FSA ID.
  • Watch for emails from the US Department of Education. Within 3 days after filing, students will receive emails with information about the status of their FAFSA and the Student Aid Report (SAR). After 5 days, check the FAFSA website to confirm the FAFSA was submitted correctly.
  • Fix FAFSA errors right away! If the SAR shows errors or FAFSA information that needs to be corrected, resolve those errors right away. The most common errors are missing signatures and conflicts between a student's name and social security number. Students with FAFSA errors are typically not considered eligible for financial aid until errors have been resolved. You can get help from your college’s financial aid office.

FAFSA Resources & Support