Financial Aid Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Deadline to Apply For Financial Aid?

Yes.  Each financial aid award year ends in June.  The FAFSA application deadline for an award year is the end of June.  For example, spring term 2011 is the last term of the current 2010-11 award year.  The absolute 2010-11 FAFSA deadline is the end of June; however, our spring term ends before June 30th.  Our advise is: apply for financial aid well before you want to begin your program of study.

May I receive financial aid as a part time student?

Yes, students generally must attendance at least half time to receive federal financial aid.  Some undergraduate students may demonstrate a very high need and be eligible for a less than half time Pell Grant.  Students awarded federal loans must attend at least half time to receive their loans.

If I attend part time, will my aid be reduced?

Students receiving Federal Pell Grants and Oregon Opportunity Grants will have those award amounts revised to reflect part time attendance.  Depending upon a student’s total aid offer, loan amounts may be the same for full or part time attendance.

What is the income cut off to receive financial aid?

There is not one income cut off for financial aid.  Undergraduate students with low Expected Family Contributions (EFCs) are eligible for Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant and other federal aid programs.  Students with higher EFCs may not be offered grant awards.  There are several factors that determine a student’s EFC including:  student and parent income, family size, number of students in college, and parent assets. If you do not understand how your EFC reflects your FAFSA information, please call our office and we will help you.

How is the information on my FAFSA used to determine my EFC?

A student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated using a formula that determines the family’s ability to contribute towards a student’s education.  The formula is part of the Higher Education Act (HEA as amended).   For dependent aid applicants, the formula looks at student and parent taxable and untaxed income, taxes paid, family size, number of students in college, and assets. Generally, students from low income families have low EFCs and students from higher income families have higher EFCs.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes!  You must complete a FASFA for each year you attend and want to receive financial aid.  The FAFSA processing year begins October 1st each year.

My parents don’t have their taxes done yet; do I have to wait until they complete their taxes to apply for financial aid?

No!  You can apply for financial aid using the FAFSA on the Web and provide an estimate of your federal income and your parents federal income.  If you FAFSA is selected for federal verification, your financial aid offer will not be final until EOU has received all requested documents and completed the verification process.

What is Verification?  Why do I have to submit copies of my federal tax form and my parent’s federal tax form to your office?

Verification is a process that selects some student aid application records for a review of income, taxes paid, and household size information.  Colleges do not select aid application records, the US Department of Education’s FAFSA processor selects application records for verification.  If an application record is selected, the college must follow up with a request for documents necessary to complete the verification file review.  Students (and parents of dependent aid applicants) must submit the documents.  Financial aid offers will not be finalized and no aid will disburse until verification is complete.

I applied for aid and now my parent’s situation or my situation has changed–we don’t have the ability to contribute to my education.  What can we do?

Sometimes, families experience  a change that affects their financial stability after the student has submitted a FAFSA.  Common circumstances that impact the family’s or student’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses are:  parent loss of employment, divorce, death of a parent, independent student’s loss of employment, divorce, death of a spouse.  If you have extraordinary circumstances, the financial aid office can reevaluate your financial aid eligibility.  See the Professional Judgment – Unusual Financial Circumstances Form on our forms web page.

I received my financial aid award and it does not cover all of my costs.  What can I do?

If you are an undergraduate student, your portion of your financial aid award may not cover all of your costs.  We offer a PLUS loan to all dependent aid applicants.  If a parent borrows in the PLUS loan program, the loan can cover the difference between the cost of education and the student’s aid.  If you parent applies for the PLUS loan and he or she is unable to qualify, we may be able to offer you additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan funds.

There are non-federal, alternative loan programs.  These programs are credit score based and usually will require a co-signer.  Alternative loans also cover the difference between the cost of education and other financial aid.

What is year-round Pell Grant?

The U.S. Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2017, allows a student to receive Federal Pell grant funds for up to 150% of the student’s Pell Grant Scheduled Award (PGSA) for an award year. For example, if a student’s PGSA was $3,000, he or she now has the potential to be able to receive up to $4,500 ($3000 x 150%) over Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring terms (up to 33.3333% per term).

How do I get year-round Pell Grant funds?

You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  If you are otherwise eligible for a Pell Grant and have not exceeded your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU), and if you are enrolled at least half-time (at least 6 credits) in the term in which you exceed 100% of your PGSA, you will automatically receive additional Pell Grant funds.  For most students this will be Spring term, if they also attended Summer, Fall, and Winter terms.