Plan & Pay for College

Pay for College

There are many ways to afford postsecondary education, but having a plan for how to pay for college or training programs is essential for success.

The HECC Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) is the entity that administers state financial aid for the benefit of Oregonians, including Oregon’s largest need-based grant program, the Oregon Opportunity Grant, and other programs.

Learn about applying for state and federal financial aid programs, including the Oregon Opportunity Grant, Oregon Promise, and more.​

Understanding College Costs

Students should be aware of how much money is required to obtain an education. There are a variety of costs associated with college and career school, including:

  • Tuition and Fees: instruction, labs, libraries, student activities, health centers, etc.
  • Room and Board: dorms or other housing, and meals.
  • Books and Supplies: textbooks, writing materials, and special supplies.
  • Personal Costs and Transportation: personal computer, furniture, travel, etc.

Learn about estimating student costs, and explore your financial options.

  • Savings: explore opportunities to save for your educational expenses, such as through the Oregon College Savings Plan. This is a 529 plan sponsored by the State of Oregon, which is an investment vehicle specifically designed specifically for postsecondary education savings. The Oregon College Savings Plan website ​also offers tools for estimating and planning for higher education expenses.

Applying for Financial Aid

There are many financial aid opportunities available to help reduce out-of-pocket costs for education.

A number of government and private programs offer financial aid to help students ​access higher education. Students should apply for as many forms of financial aid as possible. The primary types of financial aid include:

  • Grants: funds that do not need to be repaid, available through federal and state governments, state agencies and individual colleges.
  • Scholarships: private funds that do not need to be repaid, and are obtained through a competitive application and selection process.
  • Student Loans: borrowed money that must be repaid after college, with interest. There are different types of loans, each with their own repayment requirements and interest rates.
  • Work-Study: a work program where students earn money to help pay for school.

Most states and colleges offer need-based aid, merit-based aid, student loans and work-study opportunities. Learn more about applying for public financial aid programs.​

Quick Tips


State Financial Aid Deadlines and Fact Sheets

OSAC Update 2018

An update on OSAC programs, deadlines for financial aid opportunities, college fair dates, and more.

OSAC Outreach Resources

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