College Financing 101

If you have kids in high school but haven't heard about the FAFSA and OSAC yet, it's time to learn. Independent College Consultant, Marie Morris, stopped by with a lesson in college financing

You'll find more information on Marie's blog.

What is FAFSA?

  • FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it's the form students and parents fill out to receive federal financial aid for college. The FAFSA will ask about the student's demographics, student dependency and student and parent financial info. It is FREE and if one is at a site requesting payment, that is the wrong place!

Why should I fill out the FAFSA?

  • Filing the FAFSA is the only way to qualify for federal and state financial aid, including grants and work study. (Grant money does not have to be repaid!)

Who needs to fill out the FAFSA?

  • The application asks for information from both students and parents, especially when it comes to finances. (EVERYONE!)

What do I need to fill out the FAFSA?

How do I fill out the FAFSA?

  • It's easiest to fill out the application online at because using an online form will yield a more accurate and quicker result. However, paper copies can be requested by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.

WHEN is the FAFSA due?

  • It is available after Jan 1 and should be filed in January. Schools have different priority deadlines so best advice is to get it done in January. Estimate taxes and then file an addendum when taxes are filed.

What if my child is younger?

  • Go to FAFSA4caster and enter information. An EFC will be generated that can help families plan. Also, one can play with the numbers to see how the EFC can change.

College Goal Oregon is a FREE event designed to help Oregon college-bound students and their families with the financial aid application process. Everyone is invited to attend this event, whether they are high school or non-traditional returning students. Financial aid professionals will be on hand to help attendees complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC) scholarship application. For dates and locations, check the College Goal Oregon website.

Finding Scholarships through OSAC:

  • Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC) is a clearing house for many college scholarships for Oregon residents.
  • Students can apply online at
  • There is an early bird drawing of $500 for applying before Feb 15. Final deadline is March1. This is for high school seniors as well as college students.
  • Some of the scholarships are need based and some are merit, but all will require the FAFSA.