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Admitted Student Questions: Financial Aid

It probably comes as no surprise that Financial Aid was the most popular topic for admitted students. We’ve answered all 79 of the questions we received during the Admitted Student Webinar on April 15. If you have more questions, take some time to peruse the Financial Aid website or contact the Office of Financial Aid.

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Financial Aid Award Packet

When do I have to accept my financial aid packet by?

We ask that you accept your financial aid offer by August 1. Learn more about the awarding and accepting process.

The financial aid packet that arrived at my house via mail, under grants and scholarships has “resident opportunity scholarship” written. BUT on the banweb in the award overview, it’s not listed… Who do I contact, or how do I fix it?

Your most up-to-date financial aid award is in your student account on Banweb. We mailed awards to students who submitted their FAFSA application by February 1, 2020. However, if we received more information after that date, your award could have been revised and the updated award is what you will see online. We do not send out revised paper awards. If you have questions about your award contact the Office of Financial Aid. 

I have not yet received my financial aid letter in the mail. I did receive an email about it and I checked it out on Banweb.

Your most up-to-date financial aid award is in your student account on Banweb. We mailed awards to students who submitted their FAFSA application by February 1, 2020. However, if we received more information after that date, your award could have been revised and the updated award is what you will see online. We do not send out revised paper awards. If you have questions about your award contact the Office of Financial Aid. 

If my financial aid award package does not cover the estimated cost of attending PSU, are there ways to gather more grants/scholarships/ or loans?

If you need more assistance than we’ve been able to offer you, you might consider pursuing scholarship support from private organizations or agencies or an education loan through a private lender, like a bank. If you are a dependent student, your parents may be able to borrow on your behalf under the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan as well.

Is there a difference in tuition costs if we take classes online? 

Yes, online courses have an additional fee of $35 per credit hour. For example, a 4 credit hour online course would have a fee of $140. Learn more about the affordability of our online programs.

If I received the Resident Opportunity Scholarship, do I have to “accept” it somehow? If so, is there a deadline?

Yes, you do need to accept the terms and conditions presented on your Banweb account. However, the status of the Resident Opportunity Scholarship is defaulted to acceptance.  This should be done prior to August 1.

Are there ways that I can resubmit my FAFSA or add some sort of addendum if my financial situation has significantly changed within the past few months?

If your financial circumstances have changed since you submitted the FAFSA, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid for guidance. The income information on the FAFSA represents income from a specific year.

I recently received my Financial Aid Award Letter. I have qualified for Oregon Opportunity Grant up until now. However, it is not listed in this letter. Does this mean I no longer qualify, or did it simply not populate?

You should contact Financial Aid to check on this for you. There is a FAFSA cut off date for the Oregon Opportunity Grant which could be a factor. We would have to review your record to determine your specific circumstances.

Can I still enroll even if PSU hasn't fully processed my financial aid documents yet?

It is possible to register and begin classes without having a finalized financial aid award although we recommend having all requested documents submitted prior to August 1.

I have not accepted my award package. How late can I wait to accept this? I would first like to see what grants and scholarships get awarded to me.

You should accept your award package no later than August 1.

How do you accept your award?

You go to your Banweb account, then Student Finances tab, then View my Award - you will need to read and accept the Terms and Conditions first and then you will be able to accept or decline the various aid offered.

Once you get your financial award, is the amount final?

Awards are subject to change if a student's eligibility or enrollment changes.

The amount I received would just cover the one year. Does that mean none for my second year?

Applying for financial aid is an annual process. You will be able to reapply for your second year on or after October 1, 2020 but definitely before February 1, 2021.

If I do not live on campus will my financial aid award chart change to remove room and board?

The room and board component of the cost of attendance is an estimate of costs associated with rent and food whether you are living on or off campus. If you contact us and inform us that you are choosing to live at home with your parents, the amount of the room and board component will be reduced.

Scholarships

I applied for scholarships in March through the PSU website. When do I find out if any of those were awarded?

Most PSU Scholarships have been awarded and recipients have been notified. We hope to have all decisions out by mid-May.

I applied for multiple scholarships, will my financial aid package be updated as I receive scholarships?

Yes, your financial aid award will be revised if we receive notification that you are receiving additional scholarships.

Are incoming freshmen allowed to apply for merit-based scholarships? What is the process?

The majority of aid provided to students at PSU is need-based but there are some merit scholarships that students can apply for each year through the PSU Scholarship application. The application is available October 1 and closes on February 1 each year with recipients being selected over the course of the spring term for scholarships to be received the next academic year.

I am a transfer student from PCC and I was awarded the diversity scholarship. If I was to take a year off can I go into the following year with the scholarship or do I lose it?   

If you defer admission, you will lose the scholarship.

Are scholarship applications still open, and if so where can I go to view them?

The PSU scholarship app is closed, BUT there are millions of dollars in scholarships that go unawarded every year. On our website we have a bunch of resources for searching for scholarships for free, and we suggest people take advantage of it as soon as possible to get as much free money as possible.

If we receive an outside scholarship, and the scholarship is being sent to PSU directly from the organization, how does that work?

You will need to inform the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships about any outside scholarships you are awarded.  More information can be found on the Financial Aid website’s awarding section, Step 3: Confirm Award is Complete.

Will we be receiving one email for all scholarships that we applied for, or is it possible we may receive multiple scholarships and they will come in separate emails? Thank you.

You should receive separate emails for each if they are departmental scholarships. If recipients are selected by the general financial aid review committee, then the scholarship will be awarded and viewable through your student account. You'll receive one email from the Office of Financial Aid notifying you to check your student account on Banweb.

When will we find out what scholarships we have received from the PSU scholarship database?

Most PSU Scholarships have been awarded and recipients have been notified. We hope to have all decisions out by mid-May.

My financial aid is based on what I made in 2018, however, my annual income has drastically changed since 2018. I was told I had to wait for my award to go through to amend my application. How do I contact to get that started?

You should contact the Financial Aid Office and ask that they post a Student Re-evaluation form to your Banweb account. They can discuss the form and your options. 

Should I wait to accept my financial aid until I see if I’ve received scholarships?

It is not necessary to wait unless it makes you more comfortable.

Can you still apply scholarships after you've accepted your financial aid?

Most scholarship deadlines have already passed for the 2020-2021 academic year but if there are any still available, yes! Read more about our scholarship opportunities.

FAFSA

If you've already completed the FAFSA, do you need to complete the ORSAA?

No, if you have completed the FAFSA you are likely not eligible for the ORSAA. The ORSAA is for Oregon residents who do not qualify for federal student aid. So, if you’ve completed the FAFSA, you have already completed what you need for now!

I had to correct my FAFSA, do I have to notify someone in order to get my financial aid package or will you automatically be notified?

We will be notified of any corrections or updates you make to your FAFSA and will revise your financial aid award if your aid eligibility changes. You can contact us to see if changes you make will impact your eligibility. 

If we were chosen for FAFSA Verification, by when do we need to turn in the additional documents asked for?

We ask that you submit all requested documents before August 1.

My mom filled out the FAFSA months ago but after talking to some people she is unsure if it was filled out correctly or if there was something wrong. How can we check to see if it was completed correctly or if there is still something that needs to be done?

You should contact Financial Aid to check on this for you.  We would have to review your record to answer your question.

Grants

If I get enough money from scholarships to cover my cost of attendance, could I use the Federal Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant to cover housing costs?

Grants and scholarships are used to address tuition and fee charges first and foremost. Once those costs are covered, any excess grant and scholarship assistance can be used to address housing costs.

If I am not eligible for the Pell Grant, what other scholarship or financial aid can I get at PSU?

Students who are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant are often eligible to borrow under the federal student loan programs and may be considered for PSU Scholarships by submitting the required scholarship application each year.

Loans

Can the total cost of attendance be covered with Parent PLUS loans?

Yes, it is possible for a parent to request Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan funds equal to the cost of attendance. However, it is common for students to cover some portion of the cost of attendance through Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan funds.

If I am getting private loans, when should I make sure to have this loan money to pay for school? And do we have to pay and apply every term or can we pay the whole school year upfront?

We recommend that you apply for the loan for the academic year prior to August 1. We will direct the lender to disburse the loan across your anticipated terms of enrollment. Tuition and fees are charged each term based on that term's registration. Students receive a billing statement each term. If your financial aid doesn’t cover your full bill, you can pay the bill by the end of the term, using the PSU Payment Plan.

Do you guys have a preferred financial lender for student loans?

Federal student loans are made through the US Department of Education and repayment is managed by contracted loan servicers. Private loans are made through a variety of private lenders. We do not have a preferred lender list. 

If we accept more of our Stafford Loan than we end up needing, can the financial aid department take the loans back?

It is possible to return excess loan funds within fourteen days of the funds being applied to your student account.

Are there student loans that can be taken out directly by students to cover the remainder of their costs? If so, are these required to be paid back during attendance or are they set back until after graduation?

We recommend that students consider federal student loans first before turning to private loans but understand that the annual loan limit of the federal loans may make it necessary to borrow private loans.  The terms and conditions of repayment for private loans vary but typically you are not asked to repay the loan unless you drop below half-time enrollment.

What is the interest rate for the student loans?

The interest rate for loans under the Federal Direct Loan Program has not been set for the 2020-21 year yet. This happens on July 1 each year.

Can the Parent PLUS Loan be filled out by an Aunt or Uncle of a student?

No. Only the parent of a student can submit a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan application.

I've completed my Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling and the Federal Student Aid site has stated that they have notified PSU, however, on my Banweb it states that my Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling is still an unsatisfied requirement. What should I do?

We aren’t able to import that information into our system for the 2020-21 year yet. We will though, so don't worry. Just check back after June 1.

When I accept my award is it okay for me to pick the subsidized loan to make it easier on myself?

If you need to borrow a loan, we always recommend you opt to borrow the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and you should only borrow what you need.

Paying

How does paying for college work? Do we store money in our account and the money gets automatically pulled, or do we pay ourselves?

You'll pay your tuition and fees by the due date for each term. There are a number of ways to provide payment (by check, credit card, etc.). You can choose to enroll in a payment plan each term and have the payments automatically deducted from your bank account.

Where and how exactly do I pay the remaining tuition fees I have and how much time until then (fall term)?

You can pay your tuition and fees online through your student account (Banweb). Learn more about billing, payments, and the PSU Payment Plan.

How do we pay and to who? Quarterly or monthly?

You’ll pay your bill by term. If you enroll in the PSU Payment Plan, you pay three payments per term (one payment per month). Review the Payment Plan due dates, enrollment process, and automatic payment setup process.

How do we know when to pay for housing and other bills?

Your student account will include charges not only for tuition and mandatory fees, but also housing charges as well as miscellaneous fees you might incur.  This will all show on the billing statement you receive each term.  Review the Payment Plan due dates, enrollment process, and automatic payment setup process.

What if your EFC is high but your parents won’t help pay for college?

This is a hard situation to be in. If your parents won’t help you pay for college, then the responsibility for covering the parent portion of the EFC falls to you. Some students in this situation turn to private loan funds.

When do we need to have our classes paid for if we are paying out of pocket?

You can pay your tuition and fees online through your student account (Banweb) at the beginning of each term. Learn more about billing, payments, and the PSU Payment Plan.

Work Study

Work study and the Four Years Free award is not included in my financial aid package even though I know I am eligible for both based on the Federal Pell Grant and would like to know how I can get that included.

You should contact Financial Aid to check on this for you. There are a number of factors that could be at play. We would have to review your record to determine your specific circumstances.

What are the pros and cons of work study?

Federal Work-study (FWS) jobs are primarily on campus, although there are some off-campus opportunities of a community service nature. On-campus positions can reduce your commute back and forth and you may find a job in your major department or in an area you're otherwise interested in. Campus employers also tend to be understanding of your schedule as a student.

Who should I contact about obtaining a work study position? How does one go about getting a work study if I’ve been approved to get one?

You should go to pdx.edu/careers and create a Handshake account. If you have a Federal Work-study (FWS) award, you can search for jobs by creating a Handshake account. They won't be able to officially hire you until closer to Fall term though.

Is there a limit to how many hours you can work through work study?

Students are limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

To be eligible for Work Study I believe you had to be eligible for the Pell Grant, but I was not. Are there any exceptions to be enrolled in work study?

Being eligible for the Federal Pell Grant is one of the eligibility requirements for Federal Work-study (FWS) at PSU and unfortunately there are not any exceptions to this. However, the majority of student jobs on campus don't require FWS eligibility. You should visit pdx.edu/careers and create a Handshake account.

When should I apply for work study? Should I apply early, or closer to term start?

You should go to pdx.edu/careers and create a Handshake account before August 1. You can begin to search and apply for positions now, but employers won't be able to officially hire you until closer to Fall term.

When I looked at my financial AID Packages, it did not mention Work Study. Why? Did I miss Something?

You should contact Financial Aid to check on this for you. There are a number of factors that could be at play. We would have to review your record to determine your specific circumstances.

Other

I'm a veteran, when should I be submitting my GI bill paperwork and with who?

You will want to submit your paperwork to the Veterans Certification unit with the Office of the Registrar. We recommend that you submit your paperwork prior to August 1 for fall term.

How do we split our financial aid if planning to go to community college just for summer term?

Most community colleges in this area start the year with summer term, so any loans or grants received for summer enrollment at a community college could impact your eligibility for aid at PSU for fall, winter and spring terms.

Four Years Free

If we received Four Years Free, Federal Pell Grant and government money will the overflow of money cover our room and board and personal expenses?

Grants and scholarships are used to address tuition and fee charges first and foremost.  Once those costs are covered, any excess grant and scholarship assistance can be used to address housing costs.

Four Years Free, Pell Grant, Financial Aid, Work Study