WHAT IS OREGON PROMISE?
The Oregon Promise is a state grant that helps cover tuition at any Oregon community college for recent high school graduates and GED® test graduates. This program was launched by legislation passed in 2015, and grant awards first became available for Oregon students to attend college in Fall 2016. Oregon Promise does not cover the full cost of college attendance; see award amount details below. Oregon Promise is administered by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission Office of Student Access and Completion.
ONCE A STUDENT IS AWARDED A GRANT, WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO REMAIN ELIGIBLE?
Once awarded, students maintain eligibility by:
CAN STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN THE OREGON PROMISE IF THEY HAVE BEEN OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS?
No. Participation in Oregon Promise is limited to students who begin community college, and begin receiving the Oregon Promise Grant, no more than six months after high school completion or GED® test graduation. You must also meet the appropriate application deadline for Oregon Promise, based on their graduation or GED® test graduation date.
Certain students may be eligible for a waiver of the 6-month enrollment requirement for Oregon Promise, including students who experience significant hardship, students who are engaged in military active duty or training, certain new Oregon National Guard recruits, and students who enter into service with certain career and technical student organizations relating to farming. If this applies to you, you must have already applied for and been awarded an Oregon Promise Grant by OSAC to be considered for a waiver. Please contact your college Financial Aid office or OSAC for more information: (800) 452-8807.
HOW LONG CAN I RECEIVE THE OREGON PROMISE?
Once awarded, you can receive Oregon Promise until you have attempted a total of 90 college credits. There is no limit to the number of years or terms you can receive the grant; it is based on the 90 credit limit. Watch this video to learn more about the 90 credit limit.
All of the following types of credits may count toward the 90 credit limit:
*Oregon Promise does not pay for summer courses.
IF YOU ARE AWARDED AN OREGON PROMISE GRANT, BUT THEN DO NOT ATTEND AN OREGON COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CAN YOU USE THE GRANT LATER?
No. When a student applies for The Oregon Promise and is awarded the grant, it is for a particular term when they must begin attending an Oregon community college. If the student delays enrollment, attends a 4-year college or other college instead, then they cannot use the grant at a later date.
Certain students may be considered for a waiver of the 6-month enrollment requirement for the Oregon Promise, including students who experience significant hardship, students who are engaged in military active duty or training, certain new Oregon National Guard recruits, and students who enter into service with certain career and technical student organizations relating to farming. If this applies to you, you must have already applied for and been awarded an Oregon Promise Grant by OSAC to be considered for a waiver. Please contact your college Financial Aid office or OSAC for more information: (800) 452-8807.
HOW DOES GPA VERIFICATION WORK?
For most students, their transcript that includes their seventh-semester grades will be used to demonstrate a cumulative, unweighted high school GPA of at least 2.0. There are two ways to complete the GPA/Transcripts Section (#5) of the application:
High School Staff: If you would like to complete GPA Verification in the High School Portal, please complete the email OSAC form and click "Partner Portal Request - High School." Learn more about GPA Verification by reading the OPG High School Resource Guide or reviewing the GPA Verification Instructions.
I DON'T HAVE MY FINAL TRANSCRIPT YET, CAN I STILL APPLY?
YES. High school students do not have to wait until they have their final transcript to apply for Oregon Promise. Students can start applying as soon as the application cycle opens for their graduation date range (typically September).
High school registrars also do not have to wait until final grades are completed to begin verifying GPAs. Typically, we only ask for final grades if a student does not have a 2.0 when they apply and we give them a chance to update their application with their final transcript/revised GPA verification, if applicable.
GED® students do have to have all four tests completed to access their GED® test transcript to complete their Oregon Promise application.
Most high school students have to apply for Oregon Promise by June 1 at 5:00 PM during their senior year.
CAN A STUDENT APPLY DURING THEIR SENIOR YEAR, EVEN IF THEY DON'T HAVE A 2.0 GPA?
YES. The student must submit their Oregon Promise application by the appropriate deadline and ensure that their high school verifies their GPA by the appropriate deadline. If the GPA does not meet the 2.0 minimum at the time of application, then the student may provide an updated transcript (or the high school may reverify the GPA) once final grades are available. If you are not sure of the deadline to provide this, please contact OSAC: OregonPromise@hecc.oregon.gov
WHAT IF I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RAISE MY GPA TO THE 2.0 LIMIT IF I WERE ASSIGNED LETTER GRADES IN SPRING OF 2020?
OSAC will allow your high school to verify your GPA as MET if it would have been mathematically possible for you to achieve a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 2.0 if your grades during Spring 2020 (March 2020 - June 2020) were letter grades (and if they were changed only due to the emergency declaration).
If your high school does not participate in GPA verification, request a cover letter with your final transcript from your high school registrar to submit to OSAC.
You must submit your application by appropriate deadline.
WHAT IF MY GPA WAS IMPACTED DURING SPRING 2020?
In the event a student is unable to achieve a cumulative, unweighted 2.0 GPA as a result of school district actions relative to local or state emergency orders made during March - June 2020, when it would have been mathematically possible to do so with a final term of grades, they may be considered for the Oregon Promise Grant. The updated calculation for the Oregon Promise GPA requirement is for current high school students who had their potential GPA impacted due to the change to P/N grades in Spring 2020.
High school graduates can be considered as meeting the GPA limit if it was mathematically possible to achieve a 2.0 cumulative, unweighted GPA had the school district assigned letter grades during the final term of high school.
DOES OREGON PROMISE CONSIDER A "WEIGHTED" GPA?
No. Oregon Promise uses unweighted, cumulative high school GPA to determine qualification for the grant.
WHAT IF A STUDENT DOES NOT LIST AN OREGON COMMUNITY COLLEGE ON THE FAFSA or ORSAA?
This is a required part of the application process and must be included for consideration for Oregon Promise. OSAC relies on the college school codes listed on the FAFSA and the ORSAA to identify which students plan to attend community college.
In order to receive an Oregon Promise award, the student must list the community college where they end up attending. This can be updated on the FAFSA or ORSAA. If a student does not list an Oregon community college, they will be ineligible for Oregon Promise.
HOW AND WHEN DO APPLICANTS KNOW IF THEY ARE AWAREDED THE OREGON PROMISE GRANT?
OSAC notifies students of their award via email, and the information is also available in the OSAC Student Portal. Make sure that your email is updated in the Student Portal, so that you receive all notifications.
For spring graduates, awarding typically begins in March or April each year for students who have completed all application requirements.
OSAC also notifies community college financial aid offices of students' awards on a regular basis. Colleges include this award information in students' financial aid offer letters.
WHAT IS A STUDENT MISSES THEIR DEADLINE TO APPLY?
Students can only apply once for Oregon Promise based on their high school or GED® test graduation date. Most students must apply during their senior year of high school. If a student misses their deadline to apply, they are no longer eligible for Oregon Promise moving forward.
OSAC has an appeal process for students who miss the Oregon Promise deadline. The appeal must be submitted by the student to Oregon Promise staff within two weeks after the missed application deadline to be considered for review. Please contact OSAC for more information: OregonPromise@hecc.oregon.gov
HOW MUCH OREGON PROMISE MONEY WILL I RECEIVE?
Awards range from $2,000 to $4,128 per year (in 2022-23) for full-time students. Your Oregon Promise award amount depends on your remaining financial need after you receive other state and federal grants.
These factors determine your Oregon Promise award amount:
DOES OREGON PROMISE COVER ALL COMMUNITY COLLEGE COSTS?
No. Oregon Promise helps pay for community college tuition after other state and federal grant aid has been applied. However, there are other college costs of attendance that Oregon Promise does not cover, such as books, fees, and housing.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF CREDITS THAT OREGON PROMISE PAYS PER TERM?
Oregon Promise covers up to 12 credits per term (fall, winter, spring) up to a maximum total of 90 credits attempted. Students are responsible for paying for any additional credits above 12.
DO AWARD AMOUNTS DIFFER ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF CREDITS TAKEN?
Yes. You must enroll in at least 6 credits per term to receive Oregon Promise. Oregon Promise covers up to the average cost of 12 credits per term. Students are financially responsible for paying for any additional credits above 12.
Oregon Promise awards are based on standard enrollment ranges:
|Credits Attempted Per Term||Enrollment Status||Oregon Promise Award Amount|
|12 or more credits||Full time||100% of award|
|9-11 credits||Three quarter time||75% of award|
|6-8 credits||Half time||50% of award|
Students receive the same award amount within a given credit range. For example, a student receives the same award amount whether they take 9 credits or 11 credits.
HOW DOES OSAC DETERMINE EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC) CRITERIA FOR OREGON PROMISE?
OSAC evaluates several factors on an annual basis: available funds, cost of awarding new applicants, cost of awarding current recipients in future years, and changes in tuition costs. OSAC uses these factors to determine if and where to establish an EFC limit for each new group of applicants. OSAC may be required to reinstate, remove, or adjust the EFC limit each year. OSAC typically announces EFC limit information in early spring each year.
WHAT IS MY EFC?
Your EFC is a number that is calculated according to financial and other information that your family submits on the FAFSA or ORSAA. You are required to complete either the FAFSA or the ORSAA when you apply for Oregon Promise. Once you complete the FAFSA or ORSAA, you can find your EFC in your account:
Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of financial aid you will receive. Learn more about the Expected Family Contribution calculation.
CAN UNDOCUMENTED AND DACA STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN THE OREGON PROMISE?
Yes. Students must meet all eligibility requirements for the grant, including living in Oregon for at least 12 months prior to attending college. Undocumented and DACA students must complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) (instead of the FAFSA) and complete the Oregon Promise application. Learn more about Financial Aid for Undocumented & DACA Students.
CAN HOMESCHOOLED STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN THE OREGON PROMISE?
Yes, provided they meet all eligibility requirements. In the Oregon Promise Application, you must submit all 3 documents as a home-school student:
HOW DO GED® TEST SCORES TRANSLATE INTO A 2.00 GPA?
A GED® test score of 145 is equivalent to a 2.0 GPA for Oregon Promise. Students who pass each of the four GED® tests with a score of 145 or better meet the Oregon Promise requirement of a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
The GED® test graduation date is the date of their final/fourth GED® test, as listed on the official GED® test transcript.
IF A STUDENT IS RELEASED FROM A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, ARE THEY ELIGIBLE FOR THE OREGON PROMISE?
Yes, as long as they meet all eligibility criteria. These applicants may be eligible to begin attending a community college and use Oregon Promise within 6 months of their release date (rather than their graduation date).
Passed in 2019, House Bill 2910 expanded eligibility requirements for the Oregon Promise Grant to support eligible individuals who obtain their high school diploma or GED® test credential while incarcerated or in custody in an Oregon correctional facility. HB 2910 is effective as of January 1, 2020. This change only impacts students who obtain their high school diploma or GED® test credential on or after January 1, 2020 while in an Oregon correctional facility.
Learn more about deadlines for HB 2910-eligibile applicants:
IF A STUDENT GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL YEARS AGO, CAN THEY EARN THEIR GED® NOW AND BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE OREGON PROMISE?
No. Graduation eligibility dates pertain to a student’s first high school graduation or GED® test graduation date.
IF A STUDENT HAS TAKEN COLLEGE CLASSES WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL, CAN THEY STILL BE ELIBIBLE FOR THE OREGON PROMISE?
Students will be eligible for Oregon Promise as long as they have not already earned 90 college credits. College credits earned while a student is still enrolled in high school will be included in the student’s cumulative GPA at the community college. College credits from high school will also count toward the 90 credit limit allowed by Oregon Promise.
IF A STUDENT PARTICIPATES IN AN EXPANDED OPTIONS PROGRAM (FIFTH-YEAR SENIOR PROGRAM), CAN THEY BE CONSIDERED FOR OREGON PROMISE?
Yes, provided that:
If you are not sure of your official high school graduation date, please confirm with your high school registrar.
IF A STUDENT RECEIVES A MODIFIED DIPLOMA, CAN THEY BE ELIGIBLE FOR OREGON PROMISE?
Yes. Students who receive an Oregon Modified Diploma are eligible for the Oregon Promise if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
IF A STUDENT RECEIVES AN EXTENDED DIPLOMA, CAN THEY BE ELIGIBLE FOR OREGON PROMISE?
No. Based on the published Executive Memorandum in 2014, students who receive an Extended High School Diploma are not eligible for Title IV Financial Aid, which includes the Oregon Promise Grant.
CAN ADULT HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETERS PARTICIPATE IN OREGON PROMISE?
Yes. Students who receive an Adult High School Diploma are eligible for the Oregon Promise if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
CAN CURRENT AND FORMER FOSTER YOUTH PARTICIPATE IN OREGON PROMISE?
Yes. Current and former foster youth who meet all eligibility requirements can participate in the Oregon Promise program.
Passed in 2020, Senate Bill 1605 expanded eligibility requirements for the Oregon Promise Grant to support eligible foster youth who obtain their high school diploma or GED® test credential while in out-of-state placements.
Foster youth who obtain their credential in an out-of-state foster care will have the residency requirement waived, due to their placement. These students also will have 12 months, instead of 6 to enroll at least half-time at an Oregon community college. Students must apply for the Oregon Promise Grant by the appropriate deadline. Please email OregonPromise@hecc.oregon.gov for deadline and application information, related to SB 1605.
SB 1605 is effective as of July 1, 2020. This change only impacts students who obtain their high school diploma or GED® test credential on or after July 1, 2020 while placed in out-of-state foster care.
CAN FOSTER YOUTH ACCESS OREGON PROMISE AND THE FOSTER YOUTH TUITION AND FEE WAITER SIMULTANEOUSLY?
Yes. If a student is eligible for the Tuition and Fee Waiver, the waiver comes into effect if tuition and fee costs still remain after all grants and scholarships have been applied, including Oregon Promise.
For students whose tuition and fees are fully covered by the Federal Pell Grant and the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the Tuition and Fee Waiver would not apply. They would be eligible to receive $2,000 under Oregon Promise for other educational expenses (if attending full-time, full year).
For students who do not receive sufficient Federal Pell Grant or Oregon Opportunity Grant funds to cover their tuition, the Oregon Promise grant would cover most or all of their remaining tuition costs. In that case, the Tuition and Fee Waiver could be applied to their student fees or any tuition costs that exceed the amount covered by Oregon Promise.
WHAT IS THE AWARDING CRITERIA FOR CONTINUING OREGON PROMISE RECIPIENTS?
For students who began receiving the Oregon Promise Grant in 2021-22 or earlier, they will be notified if they are authorized or not for a 2022-23 award in mid-June. Students must meet all requirements for renewal, including submitting the FAFSA or ORSAA by JUNE 1.
WHAT IS THE AWARDING CRITERIA FOR APPLICANTS IN FUTURE YEARS?
For students who graduate in March 2023 or later, OSAC has not determined if there will be an Expected Family Contribution limit. OSAC evaluates available funds on an annual basis to determine if and where to establish an EFC limit for each new group of applicants. OSAC may decide to adjust or eliminate the EFC limit in future years, depending on available funds. OSAC typically announces any EFC limit information for the upcoming year during spring. All awards are subject to action and adjustments by the Oregon Legislature.
I HAVEN'T APPLIED FOR THE OREGON PROMISE YET. CAN I STILL APPLY?
If you graduated high school or GED® on June 30, 2022 or earlier, then you have missed your deadline to apply. If you graduate between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, the application will open mid-September 2022.
HOW CAN I CHECK MY STATUS? I HAVEN'T RECEIVED ANY EMAILS FROM OSAC.
AS OF MARCH 2022, THERE ARE NEW UPDATES TO THE OREGON PROMISE GRANT
SB 1522 passed during the 2022 Legislative Session, which brings equity-focused changes to the Oregon Promise Grant:
Watch this quick video explaining the changes to the grant.
WHEN WILL AWARDING BEGIN?
Awarding for the 2022-23 academic year started on April 17 for new students. There is no EFC/income limit for Class of 2022 applicants. Students must apply by June 1 at 5:00 PM to be considered for the grant.
Renewal student awarding began in mid-June.