One Easy Application for more than 400 Scholarship Opportunities for Oregon Students

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(541) 687-7400 osac@hecc.oregon.gov

December 8, 2011

Eugene, OR – Students and parents wondering how to pay for college expenses next fall can turn to the Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC) for help. OSAC's scholarship application season is now underway and closes March 1, 2012, the final application deadline.

OSAC provides students with one easy online application to select from among more than 400 scholarship opportunities administered by the agency. Students can apply for as many scholarships for which they feel qualified. "Using OSAC's online application to apply for numerous scholarships is not only easy, but also increases the student's chances of receiving more than one scholarship to help cover education expenses," says Josette Green, Executive Director of OSAC.

According to Green, Oregon students are also encouraged to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning January 1, 2012 to see if they are eligible for federal and state financial aid, including the state's largest need-based grant, the Oregon Opportunity Grant, which is administered by OSAC. "The Oregon Opportunity Grant is awarded on a first come basis, so students are strongly encouraged to file their FAFSA by the February 1, 2012 priority deadline," Green said. "The FAFSA is also used for many scholarships that consider financial need," Green added.

Scholarship opportunities are privately funded by individuals, employers, membership organizations, professional associations, and foundations such as The Oregon Community Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation, and are not limited to merit or financial need. Scholarships cover a range of student needs and characteristics such as the high school attended, residency, college major, career and special interests, single parents, first generation attending college, college transfer, and special needs. "Our donors partner with OSAC to award deserving Oregon students and families in their quest to access postsecondary education and a better future," Green said.

To help students find scholarships and to apply, students can visit OSAC's website at www.OregonStudentAid.gov. Click on the scholarship link to access the application and search for scholarships to add to the application. OSAC also has published a scholarship guide listing more than 400 opportunities that is available at all high schools, college financial aid offices, Oregon public libraries, and state employment offices, Green said.

Deadline to submit the online application to OSAC is March 1, 2012. To encourage students to submit their application early, OSAC is offering a $500 Early Bird Scholarship. All error-free applications received by February 16, 2012 will be considered for a drawing for the Early Bird Scholarship. To qualify as an error-free application, students must submit their correct transcript with the application. For details on transmitting correct transcripts, visit www.OregonStudentAid.gov/scholarships.aspx.

For the 2010-11 academic year, privately funded scholarships administered by OSAC generated nearly $15 million dollars in awards that went to more than 3,000 Oregon students. Combined with state need-based grants and other public grants administered by OSAC, more than $36.9 million in scholarships and grants helped a total of 17,454 Oregon students finance their educational needs.

Students wishing to keep apprised of new scholarships, information on grants, tips, and deadlines, can follow OSAC on Facebook.com/OSACscholarships or Twitter at Twitter.com/OSAC. For details, visit www.OregonStudentAid.gov or contact OSAC at 800-452-8807.