FAFSA and ORSAA
File the FAFSA
File the ORSAA
To be eligible for most types of financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA). These applications compile financial information and other details about students and families, which US Department of Education and the State of Oregon use to determine financial need and eligibility for various financial aid opportunities.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)®
The FAFSA opens on October 1 each year (note this is a new opening date effective in 2016). Students should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible each year in order to access more financial aid opportunities.
Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA)
The ORSAA is an alternative to the FAFSA for undocumented Oregon students, including students who have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status. The ORSAA opens on October 1 each year. Do NOT complete the ORSAA if you are a U.S. citizen or a legal noncitizen with an Alien Registration number.
If you are a DACA student, you may want to complete the FAFSA in addition to the ORSAA. Contact the financial aid office at your college to find out if you should complete both the FAFSA and ORSAA.
MEMO for Secondary and postsecondary administrators, faculty, and staff: State Financial Aid Application for Oregon Undocumented Students
Security & Use of ORSAA Data
The ORSAA is an Oregon-developed application for students who are not eligible to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a confidential application that is used solely by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to qualify students for financial aid in Oregon. It is not used for federal financial aid purposes. Information that is shared with the HECC via the ORSAA is used only by the HECC and partner colleges, universities, and foundations in order to administer grants and scholarships. The HECC does not share data with any other agency, state or federal. The HECC will do everything within its authority and jurisdiction to protect the ongoing confidentiality of the ORSAA information.
Why Complete the FAFSA or ORSAA?
The FAFSA is the required application for all federal financial aid opportunities, including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study. A completed FAFSA or ORSAA is required for the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the Oregon Promise Grant, and certain OSAC scholarships. Many colleges and universities also use the FAFSA (or the ORSAA, in Oregon) to determine eligibility for aid opportunities at the college.
- Create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). Each student and parent* must create an FSA ID to securely log in and sign the FAFSA online. Learn how to create an FSA ID.
*Parents of dependent students only must create an FSA ID.
- Watch for emails from the US Department of Education. Within 3 days after filing, students will receive emails with information about the status of their FAFSA and the Student Aid Report (SAR). After 5 days, check the FAFSA website to confirm the FAFSA was submitted correctly.
- Fix FAFSA errors right away! If the SAR shows errors or FAFSA information that needs to be corrected, resolve those errors right away. The most common errors are missing signatures and conflicts between a student's name and social security number. Students with FAFSA errors are typically not considered eligible for financial aid until errors have been resolved. You can get help from your college’s financial aid office.
FAFSA Resources & Support