Oregon Opportunity Grant
The Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) is Oregon's largest state-funded need-based grant program for students planning to go to college. Opportunity Grants are funded primarily by Oregon taxpayers. Nearly 29,000 students received OOG awards totaling more than $43.3 million in the 2011-12 academic year, and a similar number of students are projected to receive awards of up to $1950 in 2012-13.
Oregon students apply for the Opportunity Grant by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is also the application for most federal student aid programs. Students must complete a FAFSA each year to ensure access to both federal programs and the grants and scholarships that OSAC administers.
Information for 2013-14:
Application Deadline: February 1, 2013 (midnight Central Standard Time). We encourage applicants to submit their FAFSAs as close to January 1st as possible to ensure priority consideration. Opportunity Grants are awarded first-come, first-served by application date until funds are depleted. In spring 2013, OSAC will make awards and notify students by email of their potential grant eligibility. To ensure receipt of future email notifications from OSAC and from the US Department of Education, students should include an active email address on their FAFSA.
Award Amount: $2,000. A fixed award amount of $2000 will be available for full-time, full-year attendance at any eligible Oregon-based postsecondary institution. Students' financial need must be at or above $2000 to be considered for an award. OSAC will disburse a portion of the award to the student’s school account at the start of each academic term (quarter or semester).
NOTE: Simply submitting a FAFSA by the priority deadline does not guarantee an applicant will receive an award. To improve potential grant eligibility, students should watch for emails from the US Department of Education about their Student Aid Report (SAR), check the SAR as soon as it becomes available, and resolve any errors right away.
Information for 2012-13:
Application Deadline: February 1, 2012.
All funds have been awarded for 2012-13. OSAC notified students of their awards by email in February and March 2012. To ensure receipt of future email notices from OSAC and from the US Department of Education, students should include an active email address on their FAFSA.
Award Amount: $1,950.
A fixed award amount of $1950 is available for full-time, full-year attendance at any eligible Oregon-based postsecondary institution. Students' financial need must be at or above $1950 to be eligible. OSAC disburses a portion of the award to the student’s school account at the start of each term (quarter or semester).
Use this estimator to determine your potential eligibility for an Opportunity Grant for the 2012-13 academic year. Grant amounts shown are estimates based on the information you provide in the estimator, not guaranteed awards. The estimator for 2013-14 will be available soon.
TIP: Students can submit a FAFSA now using their most recent tax information as the basis for estimating last year's income; they do not have to wait until after they file a tax return for the previous year. Once they have filed a tax return, students can go online and update their FAFSA record with actual income and other information manually or import their tax return data directly from the IRS by using the online Data Retrieval Tool.
- Be an Oregon resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. Members of Native American tribes with traditional ties to Oregon may be considered Oregon residents.
- Be an undergraduate student with no prior baccalaureate degrees.
- Be enrolled at least half time (i.e., at least 6 credit-hours) at a participating Oregon-based postsecondary institution.
- Have financial need, based on the difference between cost of attendance, federal aid, and financial resources of the student and student's family, if applicable.
- Have no defaults on federal student loans and owe no refunds on federal student grants.
- Not be incarcerated.
Income Limit – Student/family adjusted gross income of $70,000. Only students with incomes at or below the limit are considered for the grant.
Enrollment Status – In years with limited available funds, grants are only available to students who enroll at least half-time at an eligible Oregon institution. Students who are awarded grant funds but delay enrollment until later in the academic year may lose eligibility. In addition, awards for students who are enrolled half-time in fall term may be limited to half-time amounts for all subsequent terms during the academic year.
OSAC awards Opportunity Grants according to a formula that includes the following:
- Average cost of attendance at an Oregon community college or an institution in the Oregon University System
- Student share ($5700 at a community college; $8700 at a public or private nonprofit 4-year institution)
- Family share (expected family contribution, or EFC)
- Federal share (Federal Pell Grants and/or assumed higher education tax credits)
Students may receive an Opportunity Grant for up to four years (12 quarters or 8 semesters) of full-time enrollment, providing they maintain satisfactory academic progress and file a new FAFSA each year. Awards are prorated for half-time enrollment. Students enrolled in courses of study leading to degrees in theology, divinity, or religious education are not eligible.
Six Steps to Improve Your Chances of Being Awarded an Opportunity Grant:
- File your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 and well before the published priority deadline. Estimate your prior-year income and taxes, and update your FAFSA with actual numbers after you file your tax return.
- If you are a first-time student, be sure you complete the application process for admission to at least one Oregon public or private nonprofit college/university and apply for financial aid.
- Watch for an email from the US Department of Education about your Student Aid Report (SAR) and fix any errors right away. The email usually arrives about 3 or 4 days after you submit your FAFSA. If you don’t receive an email, check to make sure you completed the FAFSA submission process.
- Respond promptly to any requests for additional information or documents from your college/university.
- In the spring, watch for information about your financial aid package from your college.
- Watch for an email from OSAC about your potential OOG eligibility.