Financial Aid Coronavirus Updates
Updated 8/27/20. There are many changes happening related to financial aid. Here’s what we know right now.
As always, if you have specific questions about a financial aid offer from a particular college, you should contact the financial aid office. If you have more general questions about financial aid, send a message using the e-mail icon in the lower right hand corner of the screen. An Oregon financial aid expert will respond as soon as possible.
This page will be updated as new information becomes available.
☛ Financial Aid Forms
If you will be going to college at any point next year, make sure to complete the FAFSA or ORSAA.
☛ Grants and Scholarships
Oregon Promise: Generally, the eligibility and deadline requirements remain the same for those graduating high school by June 30.
- Important change: Some students whose GPA is below a 2.50 will be eligible. If it would have been mathematically possible to achieve a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 2.50 with a final term of grades, you may be considered for the grant. Calculate an estimate of your GPA with your expected Spring 2020 Pass/Fail grades. Then contact your school counselor or registrar if you think you might be eligible.
Oregon National Guard State Tuition Assistance: The Spring 2020 application deadline has been suspended and applications will be accepted until further notice.
Scholarship deadlines: Some colleges and scholarship providers have extended their deadlines. Continue researching and applying for scholarships to earn more money for college.
- Portland State University’s Four Year Years Free: GPA eligibilty for Fall 2020 has been changed. Your final GPA must be at least 3.08.
- University of Oregon’s PathwayOregon Scholarship: There have been no changes to GPA eligibility. If you have questions or want to appeal for specific circumstances, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Western Oregon University’s Pell Plus Program and Presidential Scholarships: If you were close to meeting the GPA and/or test score requirements before the spring term, you may still be eligible. Send an email to email@example.com as soon as possible to ask for a review.
- OSAC Scholarships: OSAC is working with scholarship donors to provide some flexibility to scholarship recipients who are unable to meet the minimum enrollment requirements for Spring term 2020. Students who are not meeting the minimum enrollment requirements for a scholarship should contact OSAC.
☛ Changes to Your Financial Situation
Emergency Grants: Some colleges may have emergency grants available for current college students to help pay for technology like laptops, course material, food, housing, health care and childcare.
Financial Aid Appeals: If your financial situation has changed due to COVID-19, you can ask for a review of your financial aid offer. Use this free tool to help you write the letter, then download and email it to the financial aid office to start the conversation.
Enrollment Deposit Waiver: Most colleges require you to pay a deposit to hold your spot. If you have decided to attend a college or university but are unable to afford the enrollment deposit, you can ask for the fee to be waived. Work with your counselor to fill out and submit the NACAC Enrollment Deposit Fee Waiver Note: colleges are not required to grant the request.
☛ Student Loans
The CARES Act provides some relief for federal student loan borrowers. If you currently have federal student loans, you should receive an email from your loan servicer with details about whether your loans are eligible. If you do not receive that email, log into your account to find information about your loans. The two key things to know are:
- The interest rate on eligible loans has dropped to 0% from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
- Payments on eligible loans have automatically been stopped through December 31, 2020.
If you can afford to continue making payments during this time, you should do so. It will reduce the amount of money you pay over the life the loan.
☛ Tips & Advice from Colleges
“Be sure to complete the financial aid process at all schools you are considering. During uncertain times, it may be even more important than usual to have a financial aid offer from a school close to home.” Ryan West, Director of Financial Aid and Veterans, Chemeketa Community College; President, Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
“You got this! We know this is a stressful time for everyone, particularly due to the impacts of the COVID-19, so remember your financial aid office is here to help you navigate if you need it. Please have some patience with us though as we are scrambling to figure everything out too.” Rylan Wall, Financial Aid Advisor & Outreach Coordinator, Oregon State University
“Contact your Financial Aid Office if you are having a COVID-related hardship. There may be resources available to help you through it.” Mary Yonker, Director of Financial Aid, Concorde Career College