It's important to understand the types of financial aid available to you, where they come from and, how to access them. To do this you will need to learn about the FAFSA or ORSAA, state and federal grant programs, scholarship programs, and possibly about student loans.
Paying for college can be intimidating. OSAC/ASPIRE assists students and families as they complete the financial aid process. ASPIRE sites often host financial aid events that include information and in some cases FAFSA and ORSAA completion events. OSAC has ongoing financial aid webinars to assist you as you walk through the financial aid process.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for all federal and state aid programs. You need to file the FAFSA each year you are in college in order to be considered for aid. Filing is FREE.
The Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) is an alternative to the FAFSA for undocumented Oregon students including students who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status or Temporary Protected Status (TPS). By filing the ORSAA, eligible undocumented and DACA students in Oregon can get help paying for college through grants, scholarships, and tuition reduction.
Grants are money for students to pay for college. Grants are typically provided by the state (OSAC) or federal government. In most circumstances, grants generally do not have to be paid back. For many grants, eligibility is based on your own and/or your family's financial need, which is determined by submitting the FAFSA or ORSAA. Some grants consider additional factors. Most grants have their own application and deadlines.
Scholarships are money for students to pay for college. These are funded by individuals, schools, foundations, employers, membership organizations, and much more. Like grants, scholarships do not have to be paid back.
Student loans are moneys for college that must be paid back, often with interest. Student loans can come from the federal government, private banks, or other sources. Because they must be paid back, student loans should be taken out with a degree of caution.
Federal Student Loans: