Students can take advantage of many forms of financial aid to support their education goals. Most states and colleges offer need-based aid, merit-based aid, student loans, and work-study opportunities.
The HECC Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) administers state financial aid for the benefit of Oregonians, including Oregon’s largest need-based grant program, the Oregon Opportunity Grant.
Federal and State Student Aid
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward obtaining federal and state aid for college, career training, or graduate school. The FAFSA is a required step to obtain federal funds such as the Pell Grant as well as many Oregon funds.
Students must complete the FAFSA each year; the opening date to complete the FAFSA is October 1.
Students who are not U.S. citizens nor eligible noncitizens are not eligible for federal aid. See the federal guidelines here related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students and others. In Oregon, these students may be considered for some state financial aid programs by submitting the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA), the State of Oregon’s alternative to the FAFSA. For more information, see Financial Aid for Undocumented Students on the OSAC website.
Apply to Oregon Grant and Scholarship Programs
Oregon residents can find key information and apply for the following state financial aid programs on the OSAC website. Take time to learn about deadlines and other key requirements for eligibility.
- Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG): The OOG is Oregon’s largest state-funded, need-based grant program that helps students pay for college at public community colleges, public universities, and participating private institutions statewide.
- OSAC Scholarships: OSAC administers over 500 private scholarships for Oregon students to pursue college and career training beyond high school.
- Oregon Promise: provides funds for recent Oregon high school graduates and GED recipients to attend Oregon community colleges.
- Oregon National Guard State Tuition Assistance Grant: program provides funds for tuition at Oregon community colleges and public universities for current eligible service members of the Oregon Army National Guard and the Oregon Air National Guard.
- Oregon Tribal Student Grant: provide grants to eligible Oregon tribal students to offset the cost of attendance for attending eligible Oregon colleges and universities.
- Chafee Grant: helps current or former foster care youth with postsecondary education and training.
- Childcare Grant: assists parents enrolled in postsecondary education obtain safe, dependable care while allowing completion of the parent’s academic programs.
- Barber and Hairdresser Grant: supports high financial need students to attend a licensed barbering, hair design, cosmetology, or manicure school in Oregon.
- Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant: assists eligible dependents of Oregon public safety officers who were killed or disabled in the line of duty.
Key deadlines are in OSAC's outreach documents. (Order/Download)
Learn more about the HECC’s commitment to affordability in Affordability Initiatives.
- As soon as possible starting October 1, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA), for students who are not eligible for federal aid through the FAFSA) to be considered for federal and/or state financial aid, including grants and loans. For more information, see Financial Aid for Undocumented Students on the OSAC website.
- Start exploring scholarships as soon as possible; the earlier you begin, the greater the possibilities. The OSAC Scholarship Application is due March 1.
- Families can consider saving early with pre-paid tuition (where available) or 529 plans such as the Oregon College Savings Plan.
- Veterans can explore GI benefits resources to afford college and programs.
- Exhaust all funding opportunities that do not have to be repaid (scholarships, grants, work-study), before considering student loans.