By Miles Flynn | The Broadside (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
During a nationwide discussion of what should be done over the rising price of education, Oregon took a unique step in implementing the Oregon Promise grant. The grant pays the entire cost of tuition for degree-seeking community college students who recently attained a high school diploma or GED and met certain academic requirements.
For some students, the Oregon Promise grant has opened the door to higher education. The elimination of a budget constraint gave the state the ability to give the grant to all eligible students in the coming academic year, including individuals who were previously limited by their expected family contribution.
Expected family contribution is the amount that a school expects a prospective student’s family to contribute. In the 2017-18 academic year, among students who applied and would have received it, one quarter did not due to the EFC limit.
“We’re expecting about a hundred students that would fall under that situation, and those students haven’t even been notified of this yet,” said Kevin Multop, student financial aid director at Central Oregon Community College. Multop added that the state would be in contact with those students promptly.
Multop also drew attention to the Oregon Opportunity Grant, which is aimed at students coming from households with the greatest financial need which is a lower amount than the Oregon Promise grant pays. “The [OOG] is in long, overdue need of attention and some additional money for students, regardless of whether they just graduated high school or not.”
“It’s important to remember that the Oregon Promise is a very targeted fund; it helps Oregon high school graduates,” Multop said. “High school graduates, I would say, are a smaller percent of the overall student population that we serve, but for that population it is a very important way to help cover costs.”
Anyone interested in more information on the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the Oregon Promise Grant, or grants and scholarships in general can find the financial aid office of COCC in the Boyle Education Center. Contact information is also available on the website of the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion. ■