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Oregon Student Access Commission. Finding Funds For Oregon Students. Helping Students Plan and Pay for College. Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC) . Manages:. ASPIRE and Outreach Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) Grants for foster youth, student parents, and more…

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Oregon Student Access Commission

Finding Funds

For Oregon Students

Helping Students Plan and Pay for College


Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC)


  • ASPIRE and Outreach
  • Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG)
  • Grants for foster youth, student parents, and more…
  • OSAC Scholarship Application


Topics to Cover


  • Financial Aid Terms
  • Oregon Opportunity Grant Other Grants & Tuition Waiver


OSAC Scholarship Program & Application Tips



Part 1

Financial Aid Terms

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • Helps evaluate a student’s ability to pay for college
  • Calculates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Re-apply each year
  • Determines eligibility for financial aid


Pt. 1

Financial Aid Terms

    • Need-based aid
  • Determined by FAFSA and/or other statement of financial need
  • VS.
    • Merit-based aid
  • Determined by other factors: talent, academics, interest, etc.


Pt. 1

Financial Aid Terms

    • Grants
  • Eligibility based on need
  • No repayment
    • Scholarships
  • Eligibility based on EFC, remaining need, merit, or a combination
    • Work study
  • Awarded by the college using FAFSA information

Pt. 1

Financial Aid Terms

  • Student Loans
  • Federal and Private Loans
  • Must be paid back
  • Federal Education Tax Credits
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit (modified Hope Credit): Up to $2,500 annually
  • Lifetime Learning Credit: Up to $2,000 per family per year for additional years

Part 2

Oregon Opportunity Grant

  • FAFSA is the application for OOG
  • Submit the FAFSA by February 1, 2014 to be considered for a 2014-2015 Opportunity Grant.
  • The OOG award is a flat amount of $2,000 for 2014-15 for eligible students at participating Oregon institutions.
  • Awards are made first-come first- served until the funds run out.
  • OSAC will notify OOG awardees by email of their award.


Pt. 2

Tuition & Fee Waiver for Foster Youth

  • HB 3471 passed in 2011 and effective starting the 2012-13 academic year.
  • After federal and state grants, institutional aid and scholarships are applied, remaining tuition and fees are waived for foster youth and former foster youth at Oregon community colleges and universities.
  • OSAC gives these students priority awarding for the OOG.
  • Oregon DHS identifies eligible students and notifies OSAC & the schools.
  • Questions? Contact the school’s financial aid office or Peggy Cooksey 541-687-7443.

Pt. 2

Other Grant Programs at OSAC

  • Chafee Education and Training Grant
  • Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant
  • Student Childcare Grant


Part 3

OSAC Scholarship Program

  • 450+ scholarships
  • More than $15 million awarded
  • Average award is $2,000
  • 3,800+ awardees
  • One easy application


Pt. 3

OSAC Scholarship Program Deadlines

  • February 15, 2014
    • Priority deadline for Early Bird Review
    • Opportunity to correct errors
    • If error-free, enter a drawing for a $500 scholarship
    • 5:00 pm (PST)
  • March 1, 2014
    • FINAL deadline
    • Oregon Scholarship Applications & all required documents must be received at OSAC by 5:00 pm (PST)


Pt. 3

Scholarship Application Features

  • Apply for multiple scholarships on one online application!
  • High school juniors can begin their application for submission their graduationyear
  • Scholarship Application Worksheet
  • OSAC will send email after application is received and again after review


Pt. 3

Scholarship Programs

  • Ford Scholars – For graduating high school seniors and community college transfer students pursuing a bachelor's degree at an eligible Oregon college
  • Ford Opportunity – For single parents who are "head of household" and without the support of a domestic partner, pursuing a bachelor's degree at an eligible Oregon college
  • Ford ReStart – For students, age 25 years or older, beginning or returning to full-time enrollment in an Oregon certificate or degree program
  • Ford Sons & Daughters - For dependents of employees of Roseburg Forest Products Co. who are 21 years old or younger by the application deadline; applicants may attend any eligible college in the U.S.


Pt. 3

Application Requirements

  • Applications require:
      • Student Profile
      • 4 Personal Statements
      • Activities Chart
      • Transcripts
      • Scholarship-specific essays and other documents may be required

Application Student Profile Page

Your Personal “go-to” page

Pt. 3

  • What can you do in your Student Profile?
    • Print your application
    • Verify whether OSAC accepted your application
    • Check if you have been awarded a scholarship, and if awarded, accept/decline it online
    • Update your personal contact info, college choice and college major
    • Copy (refresh) prior year’s Oregon Scholarship Application data to updateand apply for the current year
    • Check your Student Profile often for messages from OSAC about your application!

Pt. 3

OSAC Activities Chart

You can:

  • Begin to add activities
  • Certify that you have no activity in a specific category, if applicable
  • Import your CIS Activities

Activity list:

  • A. School Activities
  • B. Volunteer Activities (Community/Family)
  • C. Paid Work History
  • Include:
  • Dates
  • Hours (time spent)
  • Responsibilities/Accomplishments (115 characters)

Pt. 3

Personal Statements

1000 characters max

1. Explain your career aspirations and your educational plan to meet these goals.

2. Explain how you have helped your family or made your community a better place to live. Please provide specific examples.

3. Describe a personal accomplishment and the strengths and skills you used to achieve it.

4. Describe a significant change or experience that has occurred in your life. How did you respond and what did you learn about yourself?


Pt. 3


  • High school seniors submit transcripts that that provide grades from the first semester, trimester, or second quarter of senior year.
      • Additional requirements for home-schooled students
  • College students submit transcripts that includes all work through fall semester/term
  • Three options for submission:
      • School submits electronically (IDTS or OSAC secure web portal)
      • Student scan and upload to application
      • Student sends hardcopy (blacken first 5 digits of SSN)

# 1 reason for a rejected OSAC application:

A missing or incomplete transcript


Pt. 3

How do students receive scholarships?

  • Students
  • Accepts award through online OSAC Student Profile
  • Notifies OSAC w/any changes: address, school, etc.
  • School
  • Verifies eligibility
  • Receives funds from OSAC at beginning of the term

Issues? Contact the financial aid office and then OSAC


Tip #1

Search Additional Scholarships

  • Search LocalColleges (including depts.), employers, parents’ employers, member organizations, local civic organizations, foundations, high school
  • Search StateOSAC
  • Search NationalGates Millennium Scholarship Program, Coca-Cola, Duck Tape

Do not pay for search tools – use the FREE ones!


Tip #2:

Scholarship Search Engines

  • OSAC -
  • Fastweb -
  • College Board –
  • Peterson’s –
  • College and Career Centers
  • Career Information Systems (CIS)


What Selection

Committees Consider

Tip #3:

  • Academics
    • GPA, course rigor, transcripts, and test scores
  • Outside the Classroom
    • Volunteer activities, leadership, work, etc.
  • Life Experiences
    • Serving your community, helping your family
    • Tell your unique story using your four Personal Statements, Activities Chart, and transcript

Tip #4:

Writing Essays or

Personal Statements

  • Get inspiration from past activities
  • Answer the question
  • Consider the reader
  • Don’t repeat information (like your GPA)
  • Be original, creative, and honest
  • Be clear and purposeful about your academic and career goals
  • Be careful about using too much humor

Tip #5:

Don’t be Shy

  • In what ways are you unique?
  • What are your leadership qualities?
  • How do you take initiative?
  • Any special recognition?
  • Tie your past and present with your future
  • Put YOU on paper
  • Passion with a purpose

Tip #6:

Get Help and Feedback

  • Friends and family
  • Office/job associates
  • Professors/teachers
  • Learning resource centers
  • Writing centers

Tip #7:


  • Print it out and read it
  • Read backwards sentence by sentence
  • Read out loud and silently
  • Read it slowly
  • Take a break and review again
  • Have someone else proofread your essays

Tip #8:

The Interview

  • Remember your audience
  • Reread your Application & Personal Statements/essays
  • Practice your interview skills
  • Make a positive first impression
    • Establish eye contact
    • Display poised, confident body language
    • Dress business casual
    • Be yourself
    • Shake hands firmly and remember names
  • Arrive early

Tip #9:

Beware of Scams

  • Why pay for a service you can get for free?
  • Must still do the work and getting a refund is not that easy
  • Services that “guarantee” scholarships are questionable
  • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission


OSAC Communications

  • Podcast Topics
  • The OSAC Scholarship Application, American Tax Credit, Avoiding Scholarship Scams, etc.
  • Follow OSAC on Twitter and Facebook
  • Receive updates on new scholarships, tips during the scholarship season, reminders, and more!
  • Tip Sheets
  • How to analyze College Financial Aid award letters, What you need to know about student loans, and more!



January 4, 11, 18, 25, 2014

FREE help completing the FAFSA at 20+ sites. Pick from one of four dates!


Thank you for attending

“Finding Funds for Oregon Students”