Oregon Scholarships for College Students

 August 16, 2020
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Thinking of going to school in Oregon? Then it’s time to start considering how you’ll fund your education. Along with loans, you should consider Oregon scholarships and grants, which, unlike loans, do not need to be paid back. The more grant and scholarship money you get, the less debt you should graduate with.

Grants are often based on financial need, while scholarships are often merit-based, although both can offer a mix of the two. Based on our research, here are some of the best Oregon scholarships to consider.

Oregon scholarships

Because Oregon offers a large number of scholarships, it may feel overwhelming finding ones that are right for you. You can start by browsing the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) Catalog. You can look up scholarships by your high school type (for example, if you go to a traditional or alternative school, or if you are home-schooled) or by the requirements of the college you’d like to attend.

Some scholarships need you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA), which is for Oregon residents who have undocumented status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and/or Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Other scholarships do not require that you fill out these firms. Make sure you know all the requirements of the scholarships before applying.

Here are some great Oregon scholarships you can consider while exploring your other options:

Note too that these are just a sampling of the many Oregon-based awards available. As noted above, you can go to OSAC and Oregon Goes to College to find more.

Beat the Odds Scholarship

If you’re a high school senior enrolled in a public school in Oregon, you might qualify for the Beat the Odds Scholarship, which aims to recognize students who have overcome adversity to succeed.

Requirements: You’ll need to demonstrate financial need as well as have a 3.0 GPA, particularly if you have shown improvement and marked effort. You also will need to prove you’ve succeeded despite hardships that may include poverty, disability, homelessnes or the loss of a loved one, and you should have engaged in activities that are helpful to others.

You will also have to provide a personal statement between 500 and 1,000 words, and get one letter of academic recommendation and one letter of personal recommendation.

You should feel comfortable with the prospect of sharing your story and speaking publicly about how education helped you overcome adversity. If you receive the award, you’ll be expected to create a video about your accomplishments and you may be the subject of local news stories.

Award amount: You may receive $4,000, which is renewable for up to four years if you maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete 12 or more credits per term, as long as funding is available.

How to apply: You can go to the Stand for Children website to create an account and apply for the scholarship.

American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon Scholarship

Graduating seniors or students with no previous college education who are looking to enter the field of engineering may win a scholarship award from the ACEC Oregon Scholarship Committee.

Requirements: Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.30, a minimum verbal SAT score of 500, a minimum math SAT score of 600 or an ACT composite of at least 28. They must be looking to major in civil, electrical, environmental or mechanical engineering. Applicants should be looking into a career in engineering consulting. Applicants should be entering any Oregon four-year college that offers Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredited programs in the noted fields of study. The FAFSA is not required, as the award is not based on financial need.

Award amount: $2,500, automatically renewable if criteria is met.

How to apply: You can apply annually for this award directly through OSAC. Note that there is an annually early-bird deadline of Feb. 15, for which applicants will be submitted into a drawing for one of several $1,000 Early Bird scholarship awards. March 1 is the final regular deadline.

Ford ReStart Program scholarship

If you’re an adult student in Oregon, you might be able to get the need-based Ford ReStart Program scholarship to attend college. Each year, 46 scholars are selected.

Requirements: You must be at least 25 years old by March 1 of the application year, a resident of the state (the scholarship is also open to residents of Siskiyou County, Calif.) and be enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in an Oregon college or university. You’ll need to submit a FAFSA along with your application, as the award is based on financial need. Applicants must also have a 3.0 GPA or GED of 660.

Award amount: This scholarship covers 90% of unmet college costs and is calculated using your college’s cost of attendance, minus other grants and scholarships you may have received. The limit is $40,000 per year.

How to apply: You can go to the Ford Family Foundation website to apply.

Ida M. Crawford Scholarship

The Ida M. Crawford Scholarship is open to any high school graduate attending an accredited college or university in Oregon. There are some restrictions. Students majoring in law, medicine, music, teaching or theology don’t qualify. And employees of U.S. Bank, their children and close relatives aren’t eligible.

Requirements: You must have at least a 3.5 GPA, be enrolled in school full-time and complete a FAFSA to qualify. You must submit an essay and provide a copy of your transcript when you apply.

Award amount: It varies.

How to apply: You can apply on the OSAC portal. Keep in mind you must register with the site to apply for any scholarships.

Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants scholarship

If you’re a full-time Oregon undergraduate student, you might qualify for a scholarship from the Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) Educational Foundation. You’ll have a better chance of getting the award if you’re pursuing a career in accounting, or working toward being a certified public accountant, especially if you plan to work in Oregon.

Requirements: A 3.2 GPA, both in accounting courses and cumulative, and enrollment in an Oregon college are required. Students who are enrolled full-time in a community college are eligible but will receive less scholarship money than those going to four-year colleges. You will need an online educator reference as well.

Award amount: You could receive between $500 and $3,500.

How to apply: You can apply through the OSCPA foundation.

Southern Oregon Latino Scholarship Fund

This annual award provides educational opportunities for Latino/Hispanic students who are residents of the Southern Oregon region. The aim is to build community leadership in the region.

Requirements: Applicants must be a resident of Jackson, Josephine or Klamath counties and be of Latino heritage. They must be enrolled full-time in an accredited community college, technical institute or a public or private university in Oregon. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a combined SAT score of 1010, or a minimum of 21 on the ACT. Applicants must have two references and submit a two-page personal statement essay.

Award amount: $1,000 annually for a four-year university and $500 annually for a community college. The scholarship may be renewable for up to four years as long as requirements are met.

How to apply: You can find the latest application on the program website.

Oregon Jewish Community Scholarships

The Oregon Jewish Community Foundation (OJCF) offers two scholarships for higher education:

  1. The Rebecca and Sada Tarshis Memorial Scholarship provides $1,000 to $3,500 for one year to Jewish students at accredited Oregon colleges, universities and graduate schools. A student must demonstrate both financial need and merit to qualify, and be an Oregon resident. Students can apply annually.
  2. The Lester & Annette Goldschmidt Hillel Scholarship Fund is specifically for students attending the University of Oregon. This is a one-year $1,000 scholarship for students who demonstrate both merit and financial need.

Requirements: To apply for either scholarship, students must submit transcripts, one letter or recommendation from a Jewish communal professional or lay-leader and two single-spaced essays of up to one page each. One of the essays should describe your connection to Oregon’s Jewish community and how being a part of it has impacted your life. The other should describe your specific educational plans and career goals.

Award amount: From $1,000 to $3,500.

How to apply: Go to the OJCF site to apply.

More ways to finance college beyond Oregon scholarships

Scholarships can provide some of the best funding opportunities, but you might not qualify or win every award. In that case, you’ll want to search elsewhere to cover the rest of your college costs.

Completing the FAFSA will ensure that you can qualify for federal and local college scholarships and grants. If you’ve taken advantage of all scholarship opportunities, you can explore Oregon grants, which include the $3,500 Opportunity Grant and the Promise Grant, for which you may receive $1,000 to $4,000 toward community college tuition. The Student Aid Report you receive after filling out the FAFSA will detail your federal loans alongside your scholarships and grants.

If you need more money to cover college costs, you might consider private student loans. These loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks, instead of the federal government. They tend to have more stringent repayment terms when compared with federal loans. But private student loans can help you pay for school when there are gaps in funding.

Before considering loans, however, you’ll want to explore all your grant and scholarship options, well beyond what you can get in Oregon. Here you can discover 18 places to find scholarships or grant money for college. And here’s another resource for finding great scholarships. Here, finally, are 10 search tools to help you find money for college.

Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report.

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