Financial Aid and Scholarships
Neuberger Hall Lobby
The professional staff in the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is ready to help students determine the level of their financial need and to plan for the most efficient use of their financial resources for education.
To assist students and families in financial planning and in determining eligibility for assistance, the following expenses are taken into consideration: tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation and personal/miscellaneous expenses. Specific allowable student expense budgets are shown at www.pdx.edu/finaid/apply under cost of attendance. Note: All tuition and fee costs are subject to change by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.
The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships provides qualified students with financial aid in the form of education grants and scholarships, student employment and student loans. Underlying the awarding of financial aid at PSU is the nationally accepted philosophy that parents are the primary source responsible for helping dependent students to meet their educational costs. The amount of the contribution expected from parents is related directly to a family’s financial strength as reflected by adjusted gross income, number of dependents, allowable expenses, and assets. Both dependent and independent students also have a responsibility to make a reasonable contribution toward their costs from earnings and savings. Financial aid resources serve to supplement these primary resources and are intended for educational related expenses only. Aid eligibility is calculated using a federally established formula determined by the U.S. Department of Education.
Students should apply annually using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be filed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov FAFSA on the Web Worksheets are available at high schools or at college financial aid offices.
PSU’s federal school code to be used on the FAFSA is 003216.
Applications for aid
Applications for aid
Applications for financial aid must be submitted annually for the academic year and/or summer aid. The academic year at Portland State University begins with fall term and ends after summer term. While the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships accepts (FAFSA) applications at any time during the year, priority is given to admitted applicants who submit their FAFSA in January and who provide all requested information promptly. It is recommended that students apply by January 15th each year. It is not necessary to wait for formal admission to the University before submitting the financial aid application. Scholarship applications are only accepted within the scholarship application open and close dates.
In order to be eligible to receive federal, state or institutional financial aid, students must remain in good academic standing as defined in the University Scholastic Standards Policy. Students also must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy requirements described at the end of the Financial Aid section. The student must be officially admitted to an aid-eligible degree or certificate seeking program, and must be a U.S. citizen or be an eligible non-citizen. Students may not receive aid beyond the established limits of each aid program. These limits include both, a maximum time frame as well as an aggregate dollar amount. Information about each aid program is available at www.pdx.edu/finaid/apply
Undergraduate students may receive consideration for financial assistance through the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal TEACH grant, Federal Perkins loan, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Stafford Loan programs. Oregon resident students may also be eligible for the Oregon Opportunity Grant. Parents of students who apply as dependent students may borrow through the Federal PLUS Loan program, described in the Educational Loans section.
Post-baccalaureate students may receive consideration for financial assistance through the Federal Stafford Loan programs. Parents of post-baccalaureate students who apply as dependent students may borrow through the Federal PLUS Loan program, described in the Educational Loans section.
Graduate students may receive consideration for financial assistance through the Federal TEACH grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Stafford Loan and Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Programs.
International students are not eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs but are eligible for scholarships.
An Award Notification will advise applicants of the decision on their financial aid application. Award amounts will be displayed on the PSU student account at www.banweb.pdx.edu. Students must review and accept the terms and conditions of receiving financial aid and then accept or decline their aid offer.
Delivery of aid
After the financial aid award is accepted and all requirements have been completed, available financial aid will be automatically credited to pay tuition and other PSU charges for enrolled students each term. Excess financial aid and other University refunds are then refunded to the student by the Portland State University Student Financial Services Office according to the refund preference that the student has established with the University. Website: www.pdx.edu/financial-services/student.
Federal Work-Study is earned on a monthly basis and paychecks are issued at the end of each month by the University’s payroll office. Students may authorize direct deposit of their Work-Study pay to their bank account, or pick up their paychecks from the cashier window in Neuberger Hall lobby. Program information can be found on the website: www.pdx.edu/finaid/apply.
Aid Disbursement Policy
Financial aid can be disbursed to a student’s Portland State University revolving charge account as early as ten days prior to the start of each term. Aid will only disburse at this time if a student’s enrollment level matches their award level for the term, and there are no outstanding requirements. Our ability to disburse aid prior to the beginning of a term means that we must have a “census date” that corresponds to a student’s official aid eligibility for a term. Census dates for the 2016-17 aid year and minimum enrollment requirements for the various sources of aid can be found on the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Web site at www.pdx.edu/finaid/eligibility. At the census date of each term, each student’s final enrollment is locked. Financial aid for that term is then adjusted, based on the enrollment level at that time. When a reduction in aid is required due to a student’s reduced enrollment level at the census date, the reduction can create a balance due on the student’s PSU account. If there is tuition refund because of dropped credits, the tuition refund will be used to reduce the balance due on the student’s account.
A student whose census date enrollment is less than half-time is not eligible for federal student loans. In these cases, the entire loan amount for the term will be returned to the Federal Student Loan program. The return of loan funds creates a bill on the student’s PSU account, but also reduces the outstanding principal balance due on the student loan. Any current term aid disbursed after the census date will be based on the student’s enrollment on the census date, or their actual number of credits enrolled at the time of disbursement, whichever is less. Credits added after the census date cannot be used to increase aid eligibility. Retroactive aid (aid for a term that has ended prior to disbursement) must be disbursed based on completed grades/credit hours, or census date registration, whichever is less. This includes retroactive grants and loans. Grades that are considered “complete” for disbursement purposes are: A, B, C, D, P, I or IP.
Please see the annual Registration Guide or visit www.pdx.edu/registration for the university policy regarding dropping classes and tuition refunds. Students who withdraw completely during the term and are receiving federal and/or state financial aid may have a percentage of their aid reversed, based upon a formula prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education. These students will have any unearned portion of their aid charged back to their PSU account, and may owe repayment directly to the U.S. Department of Education of any overpaid Federal grants. Federal student aid recipients who begin attending classes and who cease attending or performing academic activities prior to the end of the quarter are considered by the federal government to have Unofficially Withdrawn. A student receiving all X, M, NP, W or F grades for a term often reflect an unofficial withdrawal. If University records indicate that student did begin attending classes but subsequently unofficially withdrew, the University will consider the Unofficial Withdrawal date to be the midpoint of the quarter (unless documentation exists of an earlier or later date of attendance/academic activity by the student). If no attendance or academic activity can be documented, the Unofficial Withdrawal student must repay the entire amount of aid disbursed for that term. If University records show a federal student aid recipient never attended a class and/or performed an academically related activity for a quarter or term, then the recipient never established eligibility for any aid funds that may have been disbursed for that quarter or term. In addition, any student aid recipient who drops all classes or voids his/her schedule with an effective date prior to the first day of class for a quarter or term did not establish eligibility for any funds that may have been disbursed for that quarter or term.
In either case, the student aid recipient must repay the entire amount of aid disbursed for that quarter or term. Website: www.pdx.edu/finaid/withdrawing/
Comprehensive details on the federal aid programs are available in the Funding Education Beyond High School Guide, published annually by the U.S. Department of Education and also located online at www.studentaid.gov. Students and families can also find Financial Aid consumer information and guides at www.pdx.edu/finaid.
Federal Pell Grant
This federally funded grant program is designed to provide assistance to eligible undergraduate students. The federal government determines the amount of the grant with the University acting as the disbursing agent. Eligibility is based upon financial need as determined by the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Students have a lifetime limit of the equivalent of 6 years of full time enrollment for Pell Grant eligibility. Students apply for this grant by completing the FAFSA.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
This is a limited federally funded grant program under which eligible applicants are selected for awards by Portland State University. Eligibility is based upon exceptional financial need and awards are limited to undergraduate students only. Students apply for this grant by completing the FAFSA.
Oregon Opportunity Grant (Oregon residents)
All Oregon resident undergraduate students applying for financial aid will be considered for the Oregon Opportunity Grant awarded by the Office of Student Access and Completion (formerly Oregon Student Assistance Commission). Awards are based upon financial need. Details about eligibility can be found at www.oregonstudentaid.gov. Awards are renewable for 12 terms provided satisfactory academic progress and financial need continue each academic year. Oregon students apply for this grant by completing the FAFSA.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program
This grant provides up to $4,000 per year in grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time as a highly qualified teacher in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Graduate students are eligible for $4,000 per year ($8,000 total). Undergraduate students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and/or up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time students are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced.
Important Notice: If a student fails to complete the four-year teaching obligation, they must repay the grant with interest under the federal Stafford Loan program. Students apply for this grant by completing the FAFSA.
Portland State University Tuition Grants and Scholarships
A variety of school funded programs that provide tuition assistance to eligible students. Students apply for these institutional programs by completing the FAFSA.
Athletic Grants-In-Aid and Scholarships
Athletic grants-in-aid and scholarships are administered by the institution’s financial aid and athletic departments. Each head coach is responsible for selecting recipients based upon eligibility and athletic ability. The National Collegiate Athletic Association sets forth the eligibility and financial aid requirements for Portland State University men’s and women’s athletic teams. Any prospective PSU student should contact the coach of the desired sport about availability of scholarships and the recruiting process. Each coach will then consider the prospective student’s athletic ability, eligibility, finances available, and the need of that particular sport. An athletic grant-in-aid request is then submitted to the director of Athletics for award to the prospective student.
Federal Direct Loan Programs
Portland State University participates in the federal Direct Loan programs. Under this program, funding for student loans is provided by the federal government through colleges rather than by banks. When loans are due, borrowers repay them directly to the federal government through a loan servicer which is assigned by the U.S. Department of Education to each borrower once the first disbursement of a loan is processed. Any subsequent loans are then serviced by the assigned loan servicer. Loans are available to students and parents of dependent students through the Direct Loan program. Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students can borrow Federal Stafford loans; graduate students can borrow Federal Stafford loans and Graduate PLUS loans; and parents of dependent students can borrow a Parent PLUS loan. Graduate students and parents may apply for the Graduate PLUS or the Parent PLUS loan online at, www.studentloans.gov or by paper application by contacting the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Students apply to participate in the Direct Stafford Loan program by first completing the FAFSA but, to complete the loan application, a student borrower must then accept the loan(s) as part of their financial aid award acceptance process, sign a Master Promissory Note or have previously signed a Master Promissory Note within the last 10 years and complete new borrower entrance counseling before they may receive the loan disbursement.
Parents apply to participate in the Direct PLUS Loan program by submitting a loan application online at www.studentloans.gov. The student must have completed a FAFSA for their parent borrower to participate in this loan program.
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
Subsidized loan eligibility is based upon the demonstration of financial need and in conjunction with other sources of student assistance. The federal government pays the interest on this loan while the student is in school, enrolled at least half-time and, during the six month grace period directly after a student separates from school. For students who are new borrowers after July 1, 2013, interest is paid by the federal government up to 150 percent of the published length of the academic program. The student is responsible for all interest on the loan once repayment begins or after 150 percent of the published length of the academic program is exceeded.
The federal government has set loan annual limits: $3,500 for the first academic year of undergraduate study (up to 44 credits); $4,500 for the second academic year (45–89 credits); and $5,500 an academic year for the remaining years of undergraduate study. Not all students are eligible for the maximum loan amount. Graduate students are not eligible for Subsidized Stafford loans.
Student borrowers must be enrolled in good standing at least half-time and have been accepted for admission to a program leading to a degree or certificate. Once repayment begins, borrowers are charged a fixed interest rate. For current interest rates, visit the Department of Education’s website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.
Students must complete a FAFSA each year to participate in this loan program.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
This program provides unsubsidized federal Direct loans to students who do not qualify, in whole or in part, for the subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan. All Graduate level Stafford loans are Unsubsidized. Unsubsidized loans are not eligible for the federal government payment of interest while the student is in school. The student may make interest-only payments while in school, or the interest will be added to the loan balance. The interest rate for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is fixed. For current interest rates, visit the Department of Education’s website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates. The student is responsible for the interest that accrues while in school, during their six-month grace period, and any authorized deferment periods. The federal government has set loan limits: $2,000–$5,500 for the first academic year of undergraduate study (up to 44 credits); $2,000–$6,500 for the second academic year (45–89 credits); and $2,000–$7,500 an academic year for the remaining years of undergraduate study. Graduate and doctoral students may borrow up to $20,500 per year.
Lifetime (aggregate) Stafford Loan borrowing limits by academic program: A student may borrow up to an aggregate limit of:
$31,000 (only $23,000 may be subsidized) as a dependent undergraduate or post baccalaureate student.
$57,500 as an independent undergraduate or post baccalaureate student (only $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized).This aggregate amount includes all previous loans borrowed as a dependent Undergraduate student.
$138,500 as a graduate or professional student (only $65,500 of this may be subsidized). This aggregate amount includes all previous loans borrowed as an Undergraduate student.
Additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied access to the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students program may be eligible for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funding. Students with fewer than 90 credits may borrow a maximum of $4,000 a year in additional funds above the maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan annual limits (but may not exceed aggregate limits). Students who have earned 90 credits or more may borrow a maximum of an additional $5,000 per year (but may not exceed aggregate limits). Not all applicants will qualify for the maximums in additional funding. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan may be used to replace expected family contribution, but total Direct loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) borrowing cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
Students must complete a FAFSA each year to participate in this loan program.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (PLUS)
This program provides loans to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Parents may borrow up to an annual amount that is equal to the cost of attendance minus any financial assistance the student receives during the periods of enrollment. The parent borrower may use the amount of the Federal Direct PLUS to replace the expected family contribution and cover unmet need for the loan period. The Federal Direct PLUS loan is limited to parents who do not have an adverse credit history or who have obtained an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. A Direct loan program servicer, contracted by the federal government, performs the required credit check. The interest on the Federal Direct PLUS is fixed. For current interest rates, visit the Department of Education’s website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.
Parents interested in participating in the Federal Direct PLUS program can obtain application information from the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships or apply online at www.studentloans.gov.
Students must complete a FAFSA each year for their parent to participate in this loan program.
Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students (Graduate PLUS)
This program is offered to credit qualified students with or without financial need, but the student must have financial aid eligibility. Like the Direct Stafford loans for students, the U.S. Department of Education is the lender of the Graduate PLUS loan. Repayment begins within sixty days after the Graduate PLUS loan is fully disbursed. However, students that meet deferment requirements may obtain an in-school deferment from the U.S. Department of Education. Interest begins to accrue at the time the first disbursement is made at a fixed rate. For current interest rates, visit the Department of Education’s website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.
Students must complete a FAFSA each year and first be considered for the federal Direct Stafford program to participate in this loan program.
Federal Perkins Loans
This federally funded loan program is available to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and who are enrolled at least half-time. The interest rate is fixed at five percent and repayment begins nine months after the student is no longer enrolled at least a half-time or graduates.
Students must complete a FAFSA each year to participate in this loan program.
Alternative (to the federal student loan programs) Loans
Privately funded education loans are not based on need, and no federal formula is applied to determine eligibility. However, the amount borrowed cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. Interest rates and repayment terms vary by lender, but are generally less favorable than those provided through the federal Direct lending program. Privately funded education loans are used to supplement the federal programs when the cost of attendance minus the maximum federal aid still leaves unmet need. For information on alternative loans, visit the PSU website at www.pdx.edu/finaid/apply.
Repayment of Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) begins after the grace period which is six months after the student separates from school. A student is considered to be separated from school when their enrollment drops below half-time or after graduation. Repayment of Federal PLUS loans begins within sixty days of the last disbursement. There are no penalties for making payments while in school or during the grace period. Students or parents may make payments at any time directly to their loan servicer.
Entrance and Exit Counseling
First-time federal Direct Stafford and Graduate PLUS loan borrowers must complete student loan entrance counseling. This counseling session focuses on a borrower’s rights and responsibilities and provides information about responsible borrowing. Shortly before graduating or enrolling in less than half time credit hours at Portland State University, Stafford and Graduate PLUS loan borrowers must also complete student loan exit counseling. Both entrance and exit counseling is required of all borrowers and completed online at www.studentloans.gov.
Debt Management and Default Reduction
Portland State University is committed to helping students achieve sound financial planning and debt management. Information about loans, repayment options, and debt management strategies is available in the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. Website: www.pdx.edu/finaid.
The Federal Work-Study Program is a limited, need-based program in which the federal government pays from 50 to 100 percent of student wages and the employer pays the remainder. Work-Study is available to undergraduate and graduate students. Employment opportunities are on-campus and off-campus. On-campus jobs are available with nearly every academic and administrative department. Off-campus jobs are with government agencies and nonprofit groups; many are community service jobs that involve directly serving the community, while providing a good work experience. The America Reads program, which tutors young children in public schools, is one of these programs. The Portland State Univeristy Career Center lists openings for on-campus and off-campus jobs at www.pdx.edu/careers. For Federal Work Study information, please see the Student Employment Coordinator, in the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships or the website at www.pdx.edu/finaid.
Portland State University has a number of scholarships which are administered by individual academic departments, the PSU General Scholarship committee, or special committees developed for specific scholarships. Scholarships generally are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, promise, and financial need. Additional information is available on the web at www.pdx.edu/scholarships.
Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid
In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, Portland State University has established a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for students. All students who wish to receive federal, state or institutional student aid funds must make satisfactory progress toward completion of their program of study. Portland State University monitors the following for all aid recipients:
Course Completion Rate: the percentage of credits taken at PSU, or PSU plus transfer courses which have passing grades, according to the student level.
Grade point average: for PSU courses, or PSU plus transfer courses, according to student level.
Maximum Time Frame: PSU courses plus accepted transfer credits. The maximum time frame for undergraduate students is 270 attempted credits. The maximum time frame for post-baccalaureate students is 90 attempted credits. The Maximum time frame for graduate students is established according to the degree or program being sought.
Repeated Coursework: Students may only receive aid for a previously repeated course where a passing grade was achieved once.
Multiple Withdraws: Financial aid recipients who withdraw from all classes or received all negative grades twice within the school year are placed in immediate Suspended eligibility status.
Graduate students must take courses applicable to their degree or certificate. At least 67% of all credits enrolled in during each academic year must be graduate level courses.
Students who do not meet all requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy will have their eligibility for financial aid suspended. Students whose eligibility is suspended may submit a written appeal.
The full policy is on-line at www.pdx.edu/finaid/eligibility. Printed copies can be found at the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships in Neuberger Hall lobby.