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7 tips on how to apply for financial aid

A student sits at a table while working on his laptop, a typical online learning environment

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 April 1, 2024.

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. And here’s more good news: Nearly all students who apply for federal financial aid — and meet the enrollment requirements — qualify for some form of assistance.

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, 2024: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens
  • Nov. 1, 2024: OSU ScholarDollars application opens
  • Feb. 1, 2025: OSU ScholarDollars priority deadline
  • Feb. 15, 2025: OSAC scholarship early bird application deadline for Oregon residents
  • Feb. 28, 2025: OSU’s FAFSA priority filing deadline
  • April 1, 2025: OSAC scholarship application deadline for Oregon residents
  • Please note: Applying for these aid opportunities means you are applying to receive funding for the 2025-26 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.


  • Ahmed hassa says:

    Good day
    Please I want to find out if an international student qualifies for financial aid??? Thank you

  • Tyler Hansen says:

    Hi Ahmed. Thank you for reaching out and for your question. Unfortunately, international students do not qualify for federal financial aid from the U.S. government. But there may be opportunities for international students to receive financial aid through university-based scholarships and other types of aid.

    I recommend that you contact the Oregon State Office of Financial Aid to gather more information and ask additional questions. You can reach them at or by phone at 1-541-737-2241. More contact information here:

    I hope this helps. Thanks, Ahmed.

  • Eric coles says:

    I would like to get more information on the online classes and financial aid for HVAC .

  • Tyler Hansen says:

    Hi @Eric Coles. Thanks for contacting us. The best way to have your questions answered about Oregon State’s online classes and how to apply for financial aid is to connect with our enrollment services team.

    You can reach on enrollment specialists at or 1-800-667-1465 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. PT. We’d be happy to help you out. Thanks, Eric.

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