OSU Launches Oregon’s Largest Commitment to Financial Aid and Access for Oregonians

April 18th, 2008

Exciting news on campus this morning! The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has announced the Bridge to Success Program. The new program will aim to fund 1,500 of OSU’s most needy in state students. Those students will not have to pay tuition and fees.

From the Gazette Times:

Oregon State University is leveraging state and federal financial aid packages in a new program that will allow 10 percent of its in-state students — about 1,500 people — to attend the university without paying tuition or fees.

“We’re pretty excited. Tuition costs and the costs associated with a college education are pretty daunting for many of our students,� said OSU President Ed Ray.

“Some pretty extraordinary people come from pretty ordinary circumstances, and they need help to get their education. But then they accomplish extraordinary things.�

The program, called “Bridge to Success,� starts this fall, and students already at OSU would be eligible.

The university is identifying students with the greatest need who would qualify for the additional grant money. The aid would not have to be repaid.

Award amounts will vary, but could be as much as $4,800 annually on top of federal and state financial aid, said Emilio Vejil, OSU director of financial aid.

I think that the most remarkable feature of this program is that students don’t need to complete additional applications beyond the application for admission and the FAFSA. This is an important concept because one of the huge challenges that students with high need face is a lack of good information. This process will remove that wall for our neediest students.

If you have any questions about the Bridge to Success Program, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

This is a truly great day for OSU and the State of Oregon! Full press release here.


12 responses to “OSU Launches Oregon’s Largest Commitment to Financial Aid and Access for Oregonians”

  1. J Payton says:

    While this seems like a good idea for people who are from families that are needy, others that are here and are from fortunate families are also in need. I know lots of people that are from high class families that have cut them off for various reasons and are having to pay for everything on their own. I am a Junior and have seen many things on campus that are unreasonable and money should not of been spent for it. I know athletics is a big money maker for the campus and we are spending tons of student money on making these bigger and better. I know that we can’t just make tuition lower, but somethings should be eliminated that aren’t being used properly. This is a good way for people in need to get an education, but I feel they should have to pay it back or only have it for a period of time. Their grades should be exceptional also to be eligible. I am curious though to how many students currently enrolled would be considered to be in this program, and also how many people in Oregon would be qualified. Above it states that it is hard for people that are in need to get information on college and how to apply and other information. If that is the case shouldn’t that be the school’s problem and how they can get the information out to them easier? It is difficult for me to say that this program is great and I’m glad that our school wants to do this for people. We have to think about the people already in school and how to help them out too.

  2. Asiah Epperson says:

    I agreed with J Payton’s view. It seems like there is a lack of information on the selection and qualification criteria and it would be good if that can be transparent to all.

  3. Eric Stoller says:

    I’m going to guess that eligibility will be based on the expected family contribution (EFC) data that comes from the FAFSA application. While I agree that a high EFC does not always mean that a student will get a lot of funding from their family, students with a low EFC generally have the highest financial need. A wealthy student who has been “cut off” from their family’s wealth has still benefited from being wealthy up to the point where they were cut off. A student from a low socioeconomic background has most likely never had a lot of wealth from the first day of their life.

    I feel that, similar to the Pell program, these funds should be given to eligible students without any repayment clauses. Besides, most of the students who qualify for this program will already be receiving grants and loans (which they will have to repay). This program is apparently going to bridge the distance between the total financial aid (grants, loans, scholarships) that a student is receiving and the total cost of tuition/fees at OSU.

    Kudos to all at OSU who are involved in this new endeavor.

  4. It is great to see that such Financial Aid and Scholarships Programs are launched by several Universities all over the world. I am a German student and here we also have to pay fees which makes education hard for some, cause the need to work while studying or get a Students loan from Germany. If an University is supported with money most this comes from the Economy. Can you tell me where the money comes from for this large Financial Aid?

    Regards from Germany,

  5. James says:

    That’s a great question, Marcel!

    In the US, public and private institutions receive federal financial aid money so that they can offset the cost of higher education for their students. Usually, universities are able to offset some cost but students in many cases have to take out loans to complete their financial package. In this case, OSU is taking money that it has raised and money it already is using for financial aid purposes and directing it towards our neediest students. This definitely won’t take away from other student who aren’t necessarily eligible for the total aid package described here but it will allow our highest need students to get a leg up.

    Thanks for your comment!

  6. Jimmy Miller says:

    This program seems to point to a strong interest in actually helping current students make it through their education.

    I have to validate actions such as these.

  7. […] OSU unveiled its Bridge to Success Program last month we have been receiving great feedback here on the blog and from counselors all over the […]

  8. Chamroeun Lim says:

    Does it make sense for incoming freshmen to take out more than $5,000 in Parent Direct Loan with high interest to come to college without the support of Perkin Loan and Institutional Based Aid?

    OSU Director of financial Aid and Director of Enrollment launching a new campaign call
    “Bridge to Sucess” which will cover a full paid tuition
    for 1500 students for the next school year. However, I been doing some analysis for one
    freshmen this year compare to a freshmen next year after the this campaign.

    I don’t have much in the way of facts, except what I’ve observed with individual awards.
    I’m comparing awards for freshmen during 2007-08 with incoming freshmen for 2008-09.

    Here’s an award for a typical high need freshman for this year:
    4310 Pell
    1752 Oregon Opportunity Grant
    2400 Perkins Loan
    2000 workstudy
    1000 supplemental tuition grant
    1100 supplemental educational Opportunity grant
    3500 Ford loan
    ******$1320 parent loan*****(This is what they have to borrow this year)

    17382 total = typical cost of attendance

    Here’s an award for a typical high need freshman for next year:
    4731 Pell
    3200 Oregon Opportunity Grant
    1500 workstudy
    3500 Ford loan
    ******$5378 parent loan*****(This is what they have to borrow after the campaign)

    18309 total = typical cost of attendance

    Note the higher amounts of Pell and particularly Oregon Opportunity Grant for next year.
    This student has tuition and fees covered and that’s what the Bridge to Success Program
    is designed to do. However, none of this aid is out of OSU’s campus based programs. The
    Supplemental Tuition Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants this
    year’s freshman received are OSU campus based programs. Next year’s freshman doesn’t
    receive this unless their combined Pell and Opportunity grants are less than $6123, and
    then they only receive enough to make up the difference between these grants and the
    $6123, which is the estimated cost of tuition and fees for next year. The end result is
    that no matter the students eligibility for these grants, the parent loans are very high.

    I have heard that the amount of Perkins loans OSU has available is greatly dimished and
    are available only for juniors or seniors next year, so that explains $2400 of the
    problem. And it looks like they’re trying to avoid running out of workstudy by lowering
    the awards from $2000 to $1500, accounting for another $500 of the problem. And the cost
    of attendance increased by $927. Altogether, these unavoidable problems amount to $3827.
    But the Pell and Opportunity grants increased by a combined $1869, so there should have
    only been an increase of $1958 of the Parent Loan, which would have been completely
    erased by the new increase in the Ford loans.

    So what’s missing? The combined total in Supplemental Tuition Grants and Supplemental
    Educational Opportunity Grants of $2100. Where did these grants go? That’s the
    pertinent question to ask.

    Here’s one possibility I’ve been speculating on: a student is eligible for a $400 Pell
    Grant and no Oregon Opporunity Grant, which means they need an additional $5723 in OSU
    based grants to cover tuition and fees. Is that where it all went? It’s possible.
    Which essentially means they’ve sacrificed the very high need students, students whose
    family income is under $25,000, to the students whose eligibility for Pell is borderline.
    Not that borderline Pell eligible students aren’t hurting. Hurting vs not able to come
    here at all. Were they thinking?

    Also, was there an increase in merit based scholarship awards? that’s another possible
    explanation for where this money went. One student also told me there was a reduction of
    these OSU based grants, but she wasn’t at all clear on it.

    Do we really need this Program after all?

  9. […] received a lengthy comment from Chamroeun Lim on our first post describing the Bridge to Success Program. Does it make sense for incoming […]

  10. C. says:

    I would like to comment about this program, and would like to thank all of the people who created this program. I’m one of the students that will most likely receive this aid, and am eternally grateful. I was dreading going to school this year because i’m having to move away from family and help and had no idea how i was going to make it. My parent can’t help me pay anything, and there is no way i’d be able to work full time to pay for school and still get a good grade. I’m pre-med, and know that med school will cost at least 200,000 in the end, if not more. I don’t really know who to thank, but even if I didn’t receive aid, this is a really big and great thing that is being done. Of course there are many (most) college students that need help, but this is giving people who come from families that have no money a fighting chance to make a difference in their lives. Thank you, sincerely.

  11. pj says:

    I will be an incoming freshman( 2009-2010 ) and I’m from Washington State. I am from a very low income family and will rely heavily on my aid package, scholarships and work study. How realistic is it to apply to Oregon State as an out of state, low income student. Is there a tuition waiver or supplemental grant I would qualify for? Will my aid consist mostly of loans? I’m so confused about all of this.

  12. James says:

    @ PJ:

    OSU offers need and merit based financial aid to offset the cost of attendance. Make sure that you complete the FAFSA and put OSU’s school code down. Additionally, you will want to apply to OSU by Feb. 1st and complete the scholarship application.

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