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7 tips on how to apply for financial aid

Hands on a laptop computer with the Oregon State University logo in the bottom-right corner.

Oregon State financial aid experts share advice for online students

By Tyler Hansen

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Oct. 1, 2019. It was most recently updated on Aug. 16, 2022.

Let’s be honest: Receiving financial aid can be the difference between earning your college degree and not being able to go back to school at all.

That makes applying for financial aid a hugely important process, and we at Oregon State want to help you navigate it like a pro.

Straight from the experts in Oregon State’s Office of Financial Aid, here are seven tips for prospective online learners:

1. Apply for aid opportunities early

  • Oct. 1: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens
  • Nov. 1: OSU ScholarDollars application opens
  • Feb. 1, 2023: OSU ScholarDollars priority deadline
  • Feb. 15, 2023: OSAC scholarship early bird application deadline for Oregon residents
  • Feb. 28, 2023: OSU’s FAFSA priority filing deadline
  • March 1, 2023: OSAC scholarship application deadline for Oregon residents
  • Please note: Applying for these aid opportunities means you are applying to receive funding for the 2023-24 academic year.

2. Estimate your costs

  • Use the OSU Ecampus tuition and fees calculator to compare costs to the amount of financial aid you’ll receive each term.
  • Create a plan to pay any remaining amount owed. OSU’s Office of Financial Aid can help you develop a clear plan.

3. Be aware of limits and guidelines

4. Select OSU as your institution

  • To receive financial aid from Oregon State, you must cancel any aid you’re receiving at any other schools.
  • Update your FAFSA to add OSU as a recipient school (code 003210).

5. Once admitted, check your OSU email

  • You’ll be notified by email when your financial aid offer is ready or if more info is needed.
  • You can also find notifications on MyOSU in the Paying for College tab.

6. Explore the Ecampus need-based grant

  • The financial aid office awards a need-based grant to eligible, degree-seeking OSU Ecampus students. Funds are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

7. Have questions? Just ask.

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