How do I qualify for merit-based scholarships?
Merit-based scholarships are based on prior academic performance. Other criteria may include leadership, involvement in activities, geographical background, ethnic background, intended major, and career goals. Pay special attention to the eligibility requirements and selection criteria for each scholarship.
How do I qualify for need-based scholarships?
To be eligible for need-based scholarships at UO, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal FAFSA. The government uses this form to calculate an estimated family contribution (EFC). The financial aid office subtracts your EFC from your cost of attendance to determine your financial need. If you are determined to have financial need, you may be eligible for some need-based scholarships.
What scholarships are available to transfer students?
At the UO, transfer students are eligible for all scholarships available to returning students. Scholarships are generally awarded at the beginning of the academic year, which may make sources very limited for mid-year transfers.
What scholarships are available to graduate students?
At the UO, graduate students may be eligible for the General University Scholarship Program, the Diversity Excellence Scholarship, and Graduate School Scholarships, Awards and Fellowships. Graduate students are also eligible for Graduate Employee positions.
What scholarships are available to international students?
UO Excellence, General University, Summit, and Apex Scholarships are available to qualified international students, as are a number of awards through International Affairs. You may also want to search for other scholarships.
Typically, what are the deadlines for scholarships?
Prime months for scholarship deadlines are January through April for awards starting the following fall term. Keep in mind that many scholarships are only awarded once a year, so missing a deadline can mean missing out until the next cycle. Applications submitted past the deadline are usually not considered.
What are some good tips for finding scholarships in my community?
Scholarships can be found through churches, high schools, and private organizations. You can learn about these opportunities by utilizing free web searches like Fastweb. You may also want to be in direct contact with large companies in your area, your parent's employer, or other organizations with whom you have a connection. In some cases, you may not have to be directly associated with an organization to qualify for a scholarship.
Where do I start?
Read about the UO’s scholarships and how to find other sources or visit the financial aid office in Oregon Hall. It takes a lot of work to get scholarships, but the reward is well worth the time involved.
What effect will outside scholarships have on my financial aid package?
If you have earned any outside scholarship funds, you are required to notify the financial aid office so the information can be used in calculating your financial aid eligibility. If the UO has met 100 percent of your demonstrated need and subsequently you receive an outside scholarship, one or more of your financial aid sources may need to be adjusted. Loan assistance is adjusted first, wherever possible.
Do you have any tips for applying for scholarships?
I've been contacted by companies offering to help me find scholarships for a fee. Is it worth it?
Be wary of scholarship scams! If you have any doubts about a scholarship organization, avoid it. You should never have to pay for a scholarship. If you receive unsolicited offers to assist you in finding scholarships that seem too good to be true, they probably are.
Some phrases that may signal a scholarship scam:
"This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
"You can't get this information anywhere else."
"We'll do all the work."
"This scholarship will cost you some money."
To find out more about scholarship scams, visit the scholarship scam section on finaid.org for information on how to detect and report scams.
How can companies provide scholarship services for free?
Some companies, such as Fastweb, offer free scholarship services. They often make their money from advertising.
It's much easier to apply for a few large, well-known scholarships. What's the advantage of spending time looking for smaller, more obscure ones?
The problem with large, well-known scholarships is that they tend to attract a large number of highly qualified candidates. Many of the lesser-known scholarships cater to a smaller population (children of the employees of a specific company, for instance). Applicants are competing against a smaller pool and therefore enhance their chances of receiving a scholarship.
What is the Hope Scholarship?
Rather than a scholarship in the usual sense of the word, the Hope Scholarship is a tax credit, providing a financial benefit to students or their parents based on the first $4,000 in postsecondary education expenses paid by the taxpayer during the tax year. Another program called the Lifetime Learning Credit provides a federal income tax credit based on the first $10,000 in postsecondary education expenses paid by the taxpayer during the tax year. You cannot use the Lifetime Learning Credit with the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit for the same student in the same year, but you can use them for different students' educational expenses in the same year. Consult IRS tax rules for more on how these programs work and how they might benefit you.