You’ve been admitted, you’ve filled out your FAFSA, you’ve received your financial aid award letter. Here are a few tips to help you understand your financial aid award.
Start by Looking at the Total Cost of Attendance
We encourage you to hit the books, do your research! Even though schools will typically only bill you for direct costs (tuition bill), it’s important to estimate your additional expenses such as housing, food, books and transportation in order to budget accurately.
Next, learn about the types of financial aid that you are eligible for
Your Financial Aid is based on many factors unique to you. (Don’t worry, it’s all calculated for you) here are the major ones:
Your academic record, family and finances:
- Your financial strength (Estimated Family Contribution or EFC from FAFSA)
- Your high school or college transfer GPA
Your college program and enrollment
- Your admission level (undergraduate, graduate etc)
- Your academic level (freshman, sophomore, junior etc)
- Your enrollment level (full time, part time etc)
Your state of residence
- In state Oregon resident
- Out of state (not an Oregon resident)
Your financial aid package will help you make clear comparisons among the other financial aid offers you may have received.
Then, map out your degree path. Save time and money!
We are committed to helping you graduate in four years, saving you thousands of dollars in tuition and college costs. Check out this snapshot of how PSU compares to other universities in the area:
Kick the tires, crunch the numbers and get an estimate of what you’ll pay while at PSU. The bottom line is that you should know the value of your investment and shouldn’t feel like you’re throwing your money away.
College is an investment and we want you to be successful which is why we’ve worked to ease the cost of college by offering more financial aid opportunities.
Fill in the Gaps
For some students, the financial aid programs may not cover all their costs, which means students need to find alternative options to decrease bills and increase financial aid. For other options, check out the Financial Aid Resources page at www.pdx.edu/finaid/resources
If your parents plan on helping you out, make sure you talk to them and know the difference between borrowing money in their name and your name. Paying for college can seem overwhelming but know there are lots of options so be smart, plan ahead, and only borrow what you really need so you can set yourself up for success down the road.
As always, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for assistance with award letters or to answer any questions regarding financial aid.