By Maura White
Obtaining a college education can be very expensive, despite parents and grandparents best efforts to create college funds for their kids, and kids getting jobs to save money toward college on their own. There are numerous college scholarships available, but students need to spend time searching the Net, visiting the library to review resource books, searching the college-of-their choice web pages, and talking with high school guidance counselors about local scholarships with community organizations, churches, and clubs. Most scholarship applications require essays on everything from a personal mission statement, to a time you met with diversity and much, much, more and it is never too early to start drafting essays. Life anything else in life, the more preparation a student does, while maintaining decent grades in school, the more likely they are to receive grants and scholarship funds.
I have included some helpful information as you begin to weave your way through the maze of funding the pursuit of a college education:
Oregon Student Assistance Commission
Established in 1959 by the Oregon Legislature, OSAC continues to provide innovate programs to thousands of Oregon students and families to ensure access to postsecondary education. Each year, OSAC awards grants and scholarships of more than $118 million to thousands of Oregon students in their quest to achieve a college education. Parents of dependents, or independent students, are also required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ after January 1st each year. Nearly every application requires the FAFSA. For more information, please go to http://www.oregonstudentaid.gov/scholarships.aspx.
Oregon Public Safety Officer Grant Program
Applicants for awards must be the natural, adopted or stepchild of any Public Safety officer in Oregon, as defined by ORS 237.610 who, in the line of duty, was killed or disabled. Eligible public safety officers include: Firefighters, state fire marshals, police chiefs and police officers, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, county adult parole and probation officers, correction officers, and investigators of the criminal justice division of the Department of Justice. Applicants must be Oregon residents, enrolled or planning to enroll as full-time undergraduate students and determined by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission to have financial need. http://www.oregonstudentaid.gov/ddpso-grant.aspx
University of Oregon PathwayOregon Program
Many officers spend time mentoring youth through the Police Activities League (PAL), Boys and Girls Clubs, Friends of the Children, Self Enhancement Inc, and other programs in the Portland metro area. There is an amazing program at the University of Oregon which can help lower-income students achieve a dream of going to Oregon – if they focus on academics and getting good grades during their whole high school career. The PathwayOregon program ensures that academically qualified, lower–income Oregonians will have their University of Oregon tuition and fees paid with a combination of federal, state, and university funds. The highest-achieving students in the program have the opportunity to be selected for a grant to cover housing costs as well. For more information, contact Program Coordinator Carla Bowers, 541-346-3226 or email@example.com.
Finally, if you have a student heading to college next year, download this 52-page document Guide To Federal Student Aid for free, http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/attachments/siteresources/Funding_Education_Beyond_HS_2011-12.pdf.