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201 South Mountain Ave.
Ashland, OR 97520
Phone: (541) 482-8771
Fax: (541) 482-2172
Contact: Kelly Tygerson, Office Manager
Email: 
Financial Aid & Scholarships

Resources on College and Career Pathways for Seniors and Families

As always, Jen Marsden, our College and Career Specialist, is available to help you navigate the college admissions process. Many seniors and parents/guardians have questions about how to proceed, especially in light of the uncertainties we are all facing. Rest assured that colleges are adjusting their expectations and deadlines along with the rest of the world. In addition, a few of you may be considering some new criteria as you work on finding an educational or career pathway that is going to be a good fit for you this coming fall. Ms. Marsden is here to support you through your planning and decision-making process, so please reach out to her with your questions and concerns at jennifer.marsden@ashland.k12.or.us. She will also be happy to schedule a time to talk with you on the phone.

Below is information on common questions we have been receiving with links to helpful resources. This page will be updated in the coming weeks as more information and resources becomes available. The following table of contents is bookmarked to those sections of this document:

Financial Aid Awards

Seniors may have already received financial aid award letters from colleges or found their financial aid awards posted in their student portal on the college website. Sometimes these awards can be confusin to decipher. Remember, loans are considered a part of financial aid and may be included in your financial aid package. Ms. Marsden is available to help you understand and evaluate your financial aid awards. Please reach out to her if you want to set up a time to discuss them.

Colleges are aware that the financial situation of many families may be changing and different than what is reflected in the 2020-21 FAFSA students completed, which was based on 2018 tax information and family assets held when the FAFSA was filed. All colleges have a professional judgment process, where they can reevaluate and adjust a student's financial aid award based on a family's current income and assets.

The following article will walk you through what to look for when evaluating your financial aid award(s) and also offers suggestions on how to write a financial aid appeal asking for professional judgement:

How to Understand Your Financial Aid Award Letter

Oregon Promise Grant

If seniors applied for the Oregon Promise Grant, and met eligibility requirements (2.5 GPA, listed a community college on their submitted FAFSA, and applied to an Oregon Community College), they should have received an email from OSAC updating them on their Oregon Promise Grant status and directing them to log into their OSAC account to see their OP award.

The final deadline to apply for the OP Grant is June 1, but seniors should apply as soon as possible and make sure to also add an Oregon Community College to their FAFSA. Below is a link to the general Oregon Promise FAQ page that includes information on how to apply:

The following video explains how OSAC calculates each student's Oregon Promise Grant, which currently range from $1000 - $3,750. While the video is a couple of years old (and the top award has increased), the information on award calculation is still accurate:

While in past years there has been no income (or EFC) cap to receive the OP Grant, eligibility requirements can change based on available funding. OSAC recently announced “a tentative EFC limit of 34,000 for new applicants (Class of 2020) who will begin college in fall 2020.” If a student's EFC is 34,000 or above, their OP status will read as “pending” in their OSAC portal. The state has said “the final EFC limit will be determined in July 2020.” In the spring of 2019 the State announced a tentative EFC limit of 18,000 for the Class of 2019, that limit was lifted in July and all eligible students received an OP Grant regardless of EFC. We are hopeful that will also be the case for the Class of 2020. Students and parents can always appeal to the community college for professional judgement on their OP award based on a change in financial status.

Information on Oregon Community Colleges, Public Universities and Private Colleges

Check out these two websites for updates on college admissions and acceptance deadlines, links to virtual tours and other helpful information:

Information on How to Apply to Rogue Community College

Applying to RCC is free. Students can complete the online application by going to the following link: https://web.roguecc.edu/admissions

If students have taken an AHS class for RCC College Now dual credits (or taken an RCC Driver Education class), they already have an RCC student ID #. If students have forgotten their RCC ID#, they can use their SSN to login on the RCC website, and then indicate they have forgotten their password.

Information on How to Apply to Southern Oregon University

The SOU admissions application remains open for fall 2020. Merit-based renewable scholarships for Oregon residents are being awarded on a rolling basis.  SOU is now test optional. An SAT or ACT test is not required for admission. A first-year or transfer student can also self-report their high school GPA or community college GPA for admission to SOU. Ms. Marsden can also email students a pdf of their unofficial transcript to submit to SOU. In addition, SOU is deferring their $60 application fee. Students seeking to apply can select the “fee defer” button at the end of the application, so no payment will be needed to submit an application. Miranda Stiles is the SOU admissions counselor for Southern Oregon. She encourages students and parents/guardians to reach out to her with any questions at stilesm1@sou.edu

Job Corps Update

Job Corps is still accepting applications. Job Corps is a NO-COST Job Training and Education Program, where full-time dormitory and board accommodations are provided! To learn more about available programs and eligibility requirements, visit the Job Corps website or contact Joshua Wells, the Southern Oregon Job Corps representative at wells.joshua@jobcorps.org or 541.282.5819.

General FAFSA Information

If seniors have not already submitted a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), now is the time to get it done! All financial aid revolves around the FAFSA and submitting the FAFSA sooner than later allows students to access maximum amounts of federal, state and institutional aid. Even if you think your family will not qualify for federal financial aid, it is important that you complete the FAFSA senior year. Some schools will not give students merit aid unless they have a FAFSA on record. Students must also complete the FAFSA to qualify for the Oregon Promise (OP) grant ($1,000-$3,750) for community colleges.

Following is general FAFSA information: The 2020-21 FAFSA will use parent tax information from 2018. Parents should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA to avoid being selected for verification. Legal guardians do not provide financial information on the FAFSA, but can help their student complete the application. The majority of our seniors have already created an FSA ID (their FAFSA signature) and started their FAFSA. One of a student's parents will also need to create an FSA ID (unless they already have one) to complete their student's FAFSA.

Spring 2020: Resources on College and Career Pathways for Juniors and their Parents/Guardians

Jen Marsden, our College and Career Specialist, is available to help students explore educational and career pathways, and to assist in navigating the college admissions process. Many juniors have questions about how to proceed, especially in light of the uncertainties we are all facing. Rest assured that colleges are adjusting their admissions expectations for the Class of 2021. Ms. Marsden is here to offer support as juniors (and their parents/guardians) explore post high school options, so please reach out to her with questions at jennifer.marsden@ashland.k12.or.us and check out the helpful resources below!

Reassurance for Juniors: An Open Letter from a College Dean of Admissions

This article highlights a letter from a Dean of Admissions to juniors, offering them (and their families) a thoughtful and compassionate perspective on the college admissions process in the time of Covid-19.

AHS College Handbook

Explore the 2020-21 AHS College Handbook, which contains useful information for all students planning to pursue post high school education. Topics covered include how to find an educational pathway that’s a good fit, information on applying to community colleges and four-year public and private universities, ACT/SAT information, how to access financial aid and scholarships, and other useful information.

Oregon Community Colleges, Public and Private Universities

Most colleges around the country are now offering virtual tours and live online information sessions. Check out these websites for links to tours/info sessions at Oregon schools and other helpful resources:

In addition, Oregon’s public universities recently announced they will no longer require ACT/SAT scores for admission. Read more about this decision here.

Virtual College Exploration Week Continues!

During Virtual College Exploration Week April 20-23, juniors could choose from over 90 information sessions hosted by college admissions professionals from around the country (and world)! Strive Scan is extending their virtual college exploration through May 8th. Listed sessions cover general admissions topics to information on specific schools and majors. Students can explore the scheduled sessions and register for those that interest them. This a great resource for juniors (and sophomores) who would like more college information. Due to limited capacity, students are encouraged to register early.

SCOIR

Now is a good time for juniors to continue exploring resources in SCOIR, our new career and college platform. To access their SCOIR account, students use their school email and password. When logged into SCOIR, students can go to “My Profile” and scroll down to find the YouScience link. Once they’ve finished their YouScience assessments, students can explore careers, programs of study, and colleges based on their individual aptitudes and interests.

ACT and SAT Updates

Juniors planning to apply to four year colleges and universities usually take ACT/SAT tests in the spring of their junior year. Colleges know that many juniors will not have this opportunity due to our current circumstances and are adjusting their admissions requirements. Please check these links for updates about ACT /SAT testing, and check college websites for any changes in their admissions guidelines.

Students who qualify for Free/Reduced lunch are eligible for fee waivers for both the ACT and SAT. Please contact Karyn Barats (karyn.barats@ashland.k12.or.us) to obtain a fee waiver code.

 

Quick Steps to Financial Aid

  1. Apply for the FAFSA (free)
    • Review our FAFSA information below.
  2. Sign up with OSAC (free)
    • Review our OSAC information below.
  3. Sign up for the College Board's CSS Profile (some cost)
    • Review our College Board's CSS Profile information below.
  4. Apply for scholarships (free)
    • Local scholarship are posted here.
  5. Apply for financial aid at your college of choice (free)
    • Many colleges have money set aside specifically for financial aid of students attending their college. Check with the college of your choice's admissions about additional aid.
  • Grants - Free money from the government
  • Scholarships - Free money from private organizations
  • Loans - Money you borrow
    • Government Student Loans (Stafford, Perkins, etc.) “good debt” Very Low interest rate, no payments due until 6 months faster you leave college. It’s easy to skip payments if you are unemployed, sick, etc.
    • Private Student Loans (from banks) - “not-so-good debt” High interest rates banks are aggressive if you can’t make a payment.
  • Work Study - Financial aid you work for (student jobs on-campus). They’re great jobs for students because they’re so flexible (you work for a few hours between classes, you can take time off easily if you need to stuffy for a test, etc.)

The FAFSA is an online application which calculates the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to college costs. A student’s EFC is then used by colleges to determine whether a student is eligible for the federal Pell Grant. The FAFSA is also used by the State of Oregon to determine if a student qualifies for the Oregon Opportunity Grant and the Oregon Promise.

For more information about FAFSA and to see FAQs visit:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa

  • All families are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA, regardless of income. Many scholarships (even some that are merit based), and student and parent loans require a completed FAFSA.
  • The FAFSA for the following school year becomes available on October 1st – seniors and their parents should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st to guarantee students receive all aid for which they qualify.
  • Before starting the FAFSA, get an FSA ID. The FSA ID is your electronic signature. Both the student and one parent need to attain an FSA ID. Students should complete their own FSA ID application, as they will use their FSA ID throughout college to access their FAFSA information and to accept student loans if they decide to take them:
  • To get an estimate of your family’s EFC, you can use the FAFSA4caster at
  • Make sure to apply for your FAFSA at the official government site at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Other sites are not secure, and often charge fees to complete the application. Never pay to complete the FAFSA!
  • When you file the FAFSA, your financial information is automatically submitted to OSAC (Oregon Office of Access and Completion), which determines if students are eligible for the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) and Oregon Promise (OP). These are need-based grants for Oregon residents planning to attend Oregon colleges. More information about the OOG and OP can be found at these links:

How do I apply for OSAC scholarships?

Submit a complete application to OSAC by the required deadline of March 1. The OSAC application (eApp) is available online in early November.

Your completed online eApp will include your Activities Chart, four required Personal Statements, extra scholarship essay if required by a specific scholarship, and an official transcript. This must show all coursework taken through fall semester of your senior year. Your transcript must be uploaded by our AHS Registrar as an electronically transferred PDF file. When you get to the transcript section of your eApp, please select the option to have your school upload the transcript. This means that you need to start your application in enough time for her to be able to view your application online and process your request before the deadline.

Read the scholarship descriptions carefully to determine your eligibility and to find additional essay topics or required documentation. Make sure your essays are grammatically correct and specifically respond to the topic.

File a Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA) form as early as possible after January 1. Do not wait for income tax forms to be prepared. Instead, use estimates. You can make corrections after you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) and have finalized your tax returns.

Important OSAC Links

College Board's CSS Profile is an application used by many private colleges to grant institutional aid based on financial need. The CSS Profile is distributed by the College Board, and used by many private schools to get a closer look into the finances of a student and family. In addition to the FAFSA, which determines if a student qualifies for federal aid (a Pell Grant), these colleges use the CSS Profile to determine how to distribute their institutional aid based on financial need. The CSS Profile is much more extensive than the FAFSA, and if parents are divorced, requests financial information from both parents.

Unlike the FAFSA (which is free), College Board charges a fee to complete the CSS Profile, and then an additional fee to send it to each school requested. Students who qualified for (and received) a fee waiver to take the SAT or to send scores to colleges, can get a waiver for CSS Profile fees.

Below are links with information about the CSS Profile. The first is a student guide; the second takes you to the College Board CSS Profile website, which provides extensive details on how to complete the application and FAQs:

What exactly is a scholarship? How can I get one? Scholarships come from many different sources and are awarded for various reasons. The more you educate yourself about the scholarship process, the better your chances will be to receive one.

All scholarship applications should be started at least three weeks before they are due. Many will require letters of recommendation and essays. Applying for scholarships is a tough job, which requires good organizational and time management skills.

  • Always start with the websites of the colleges or universities where you are planning to apply. Visit their scholarship page and look over their offerings. Review any applications and make note of deadlines.
  • Some schools do not require applications for their scholarships, while others do. Make sure you look for these scholarships early on in the process (even if you have not been accepted to the school), because those that do have applications often have fairly early deadlines.
  • The annual OSAC Scholarship Program typically starts in December, with most applications due in February/March. Much like the Common App, the on-line OSAC scholarship application contains over 400 different scholarships. Students must have their parents fill out the FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) regardless of income level to be eligible for any of these scholarships. The OSAC application is available on-line at www.oregonstudentaid.gov.
    • To get help with the application, see your Academic Counselor or ASPIRE Mentor.
  • Our annual AHS Local Scholarship Program typically starts in December, with most applications due in February. Applications will be available on-line at the AHS website. Typically we offer about 25 different scholarships to our graduating seniors, totaling over $105,000. Listen to the daily announcements and your senior advisor to find out when applications will be unveiled on-line at the AHS website.
  • Writing scholarship essays: This is truly one of the most important ingredients to winning a scholarship, and help is available. Learn what NOT to write and get help honing your essays through the ASPIRE program, and/or books available in the AHS library.

What Scholarship Committees Consider

  • Academics
    • GPA, course rigor, and test scores
  • Extracurricular Activities (work outside the classroom)
    • Volunteer activities, leadership, work, etc. Make sure your activities chart is as thorough and complete as possible.
  • Life experiences
    • Your essay/personal statement is your opportunity to tell your unique story; something about you the rest of your application doesn't reveal. Use your own voice, and write in the "first person".

Scholarship Interview Tips

Some scholarships may require you to participate in an interview:
  • Remember your audience
  • Re-read your application
  • Practice your interview skills
  • Make a positive first impression
  • Establish eye-contact
  • Display poised, confident body language
  • Dress appropriately
  • Be your self

Final Tips

  • Utilize all of your resources to maximize money earned.
  • Follow the instructions
  • Meet deadlines
  • Spell check and proofread
  • Order the correct transcript(s)
  • Reflect your best work, and submit your application with the best presentation possible (folder/binder)
  • Submit all required documents and keep copies for yourself (It'll make it easier to turn it again!).

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

Ashland is fortunate to have a large number of local scholarships available to graduating seniors. Every year, over $100,000 is awarded by local service organizations and foundations of Ashland. Local Scholarship Applications will be posted here and available to students in mid-December.  Students will have approximately nine weeks to complete and submit applications to the Counseling Office by mid-February. For more details or questions, please visit the Counseling Office.

  • The Local Scholarship application is available on-line each year by December. Turn in completed applications for each scholarship, along with required documents, to the Counseling Office by the deadline indicated on the Local Scholarship List.
  • If a scholarship requires an unofficial transcript, the Counseling Office can print one for you.
  • If a scholarship requires letters of recommendation from a teacher or counselor, please complete a Teacher and/or Counselor Recommendation form and allow them at least one week to write your letter. It is up to the person writing the letter if they want it in a confidential envelope or not. If your recommendation letters are in envelopes, staple the envelope to the back of the application vertically.
  • If selected as a scholarship recipient, Scholarship Awards Night invitations delivered in early May.
  • You will be responsible to write a thank you note to the sponsor of the scholarship(s). The name and address of the person/organization will be on the back of the certificate(s) you receive on Awards Night.
  • Any scholarship money you receive will be sent to the college you designated on your Senior Survey you completed in mid-August. It is your responsibility for making sure that Ashland High School has your current school, address, email, and phone number. You may forfeit your scholarship if we are unable to contact you.
  • If you have questions, please visit the Counseling Office. We are ready and willing to help you.
  • Below, you will find the following information to start your scholarship application process:

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS: For a list of scholarship programs that will give out more than one million dollars to students in the 2019-2020 school year, students from Oregon school districts are eligible for all of the awards. To download this newsletter in a PDF, please visit: https://studentscholarships.org/scholarship The newsletter is available for download here: https://studentscholarships.org/newsletter.php.
Deadlines vary

DISCOVER ACCOUNTING: We are a free educational resource for people looking to learn about careers and education in Accounting. Please visit the following this link https://discoveraccounting.org/scholarships/ for scholarship opportunities in Accounting. Visit this link for a look at accounting degrees: https://discoveraccounting.org/degree/.
Various scholarship amounts and deadlines

DISCOVER BUSINESS SCHOLARSHIPS: As part of our collection of business education resources, our in-house experts Prof. Dennis Masino and Jackie Giuliano, Ph.D. made a list of scholarships for accounting and business students. It provides up-to-date information on 100+ privately funded awards available to college students. It contains detailed information on awards that are available from private sources such as foundations, corporations, and religious and civic organizations. It is our aim to help improve a student's chances of landing a scholarship by making the search process a little easier: Accounting Degree Scholarships from DiscoverBusiness.us; Business Degree Scholarships from DiscoverBusiness.us.
Deadlines vary

ZIPRECRUITER RECURRING SCHOLARSHIP: $3,000 scholarship available to a student 18+ years old and enrolled in classes by deadline date. Entry Rules: 500 to 800-word essaythat addresses the following prompts:

  1. Write a follow-up email for after a job interview.
  2. On a separate page, describe the sections of your job interview follow-up email template, and explain why each section was included.
Visit: ZipRecruiter Scholarship Page for more information or to apply. Deadlines: June 30th & December 31st 2019. Free ZipRecruiter resources: Visit the Student Page link at: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/college-jobsm, & Resume Video/Templates link: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/resume-training.
Deadlines vary

EPIC FLIGHT ACADEMY AVIATION SCHOLARSHIP – $500: Open to current high school juniors and seniors for flight training and seniors for aircraft mechanics. Awarding three scholarships ($20,000 and $5,000 for flight training; $19,500 for aircraft mechanics). For full details, information and links to the online applications, please visit the following website at:  https://epicflightacademy.com/aviation-scholarship/.
Deadline: October 1, 2020

 

Resources

  • Important Government Webpages
  • Scholarship Planning & Resources 

    The Scholarship Search Engine.

    Google Custom Search
    • www.fastweb.com
      • Another source of information on available student aid
    • www.scholarship.com
      • Another source of information on available student aid
    • www.roguecc.edu/financialaid/scholarships - RCC Scholarship Central
      • Database maintained in-house with rotating scholarship deadlines and a demographic search tool.
    • www.studentscholarships.org - Student Scholarships.org
      • Career & Salary database, scholarship resources and Foundation Database for additional funding sources.
    • www.saltmoney.org - SALT
      • Resource for student loan management, internships, scholarships and financial goal setting. Free to RCC students and alumni.
    • www.fastweb.com - FastWeb
      • Survey that constantly searches for scholarships best fitted to your academic goals.
    • www.scholarships.com - Scholarships.com
      • Survey that constantly searches for scholarships best fitted to your academic goals. Also helps search for colleges that best fit academic goals and increases recruitment visibility.
    • www.usafunds.org - USA Funds
      • National organization to support higher education leading to a fulfilling career. Grants available.
    • www.collegeboard.org - College Board
      • Request AP & SAT transcripts, complete CLEP testing, search for colleges and get application FEE waiver for up to four colleges (conditions apply).
    • www.campustours.com - Campus Tours
      • Database of colleges nationwide, including cost of attendance, enrollment statistics, and some admission requirements.

Contact Us

College & Career Center

Karyn Barats
Scholarship Coordinator
Counseling Secretary
541-482-8771 ext. 2114
Karyn.Barats@ashland.k12.or.us
Available Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm.
Meeting by appointment during office hours.
Contact via email, phone, or Teams to schedule an appointment.
Jennifer Marsden
College & Career Center
ASPIRE Coordinator
541-482-8771 ext. 2115
Jennifer.Marsden@ashland.k12.or.us
Available Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
Meeting by appointment during office hours.
Contact via email, phone, or Teams to schedule an appointment.
Katie Howett
College Dreams Representative
khowitt@collegedreams.org
Contact via email or phone to schedule an appointment.



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