Financial Aid & Scholarships

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.

4 Types of Financial 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.)

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

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:

  • 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 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:

Oregon Student Aid: Scholarships (OSAC and Ford Scholarship Program)

How do I apply for OSAC scholarships?

The OSAC Scholarship application contains many scholarship opportunities just for AHS seniors and other scholarships for students from Jackson County and Oregon that AHS students can apply for. The majority of OSAC scholarships can be taken out of state. The OSAC Scholarship eApp goes live in early November and is completed and submitted online. The OSAC eApp has a final deadline of March 1 at 5:00 pm, and an Early Bird deadline of February 15 at 5:00 pm. Students who submit by the Early Bird deadline are eligible for one of several $1,000 Early Bird Scholarships that are randomly drawn; early applicants will also be notified if there are any errors in their application and given until the March 1 deadline to make corrections.

A student’s OSAC Scholarship eApp will include an activities chart, four required personal statements, and an official transcript. The transcript must show all coursework taken through fall semester of senior year and will be uploaded by the AHS Registrar. Some scholarships require students to submit other information or documentation. Please read all scholarship eligibility requirements carefully.

AHS provides OSAC scholarship information sheets (see below) to help students determine which scholarships they may want to apply for. If a scholarship has a code of “auto” that means it is automatically attached to every AHS student’s OSAC eApp and they do not have to specifically apply for it. Students should read through the AHS OSAC scholarship information sheets and use the OSAC scholarship search engine to find other OSAC scholarships they may be eligible for. Students should also complete their FAFSA before the OSAC March 1 deadline to be eligible for all OSAC scholarships.

Important OSAC Links

Ford Scholarships

The Ford Scholars Program, funded by the Ford Family Foundation of Oregon, offers scholarship awards to eligible students in Oregon that cover 90% of a student’s unmet college cost of attendance at an Oregon public or private university. To be eligible for the Ford Scholarship, a student must have a FAFSA EFC of 6000 or below. For more information about the Ford Scholars program and to complete an application (due March 1), please visit the Ford Scholars website. Students can also learn more about the Ford Scholars Program and eligibility requirements here.

Oregon Student Aid: Grants (Oregon Opportunity Grant and Oregon Promise)

Oregon Opportunity Grant

The Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) is Oregon's largest state-funded, need-based grant program for students planning to go to college in Oregon. Nearly 40,000 students receive OOG’s each year. The OOG is awarded first to students with the greatest financial need (not on a first-come first-served basis), based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC). In 2020-21 students with EFCs of 3,500 or less were eligible for an OOG. The maximum student award was $3,600 for students attending a 4-year university and $2,779 for students attending a community college. Oregon students apply for the OOG by completing the FAFSA or ORSAA. The ORSAA is an alternative to the FAFSA for undocumented Oregon students, including students who have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status. The ORSAA opens October 1 each year. Do NOT complete the ORSAA if you are a U.S. citizen or a legal noncitizen with an Alien Registration number.

Your FAFSA or ORSAA information is automatically forward to OSAC (Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion); OSAC determines eligibility for the OOG. Students must complete a FAFSA or ORSAA each year to ensure access to both federal programs and the grants that OSAC administers. OSAC encourage applicants to submit their FAFSA or ORSAA as close to October 1st as possible to ensure priority consideration.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be an Oregon resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. Members of Native American tribes with traditional ties to Oregon may be considered Oregon residents.

  • Be an undergraduate student with no prior baccalaureate degrees. Be enrolled at least half time at a participating Oregon-based postsecondary institution.

  • Have financial need: qualify for a full or partial Pell Grant.

Oregon Promise

In 2015, the State of Oregon launched the Oregon Promise Grant, offering recent high school graduates and GED recipients the opportunity to have all or the majority of their community college tuition covered by federal and state grants. To be eligible for the Oregon Promise (OP), students must graduate from an Oregon high school with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (or complete the GED with qualifying scores), and have been an Oregon resident for at least 12 months prior to enrolling in community college. In addition, students must enroll at a community college within six months of completing high school or the GED.

The Oregon Promise online application opens on November 1st. Besides submitting the Oregon Promise application, students must also complete the FAFSA or ORSAA and list an Oregon community college on their application. Currently, there is no income cap (or EFC cut off) for the Oregon Promise, but that is subject to change based on funding. For the Class of 2020, an EFC cap of 22,000 was put in place due to budget concerns. An EFC cap has not been set for the Class of 2021, so all students are encouraged to apply for the OP. In 2020, Oregon Promise grants ranged from $1,000-$3,750.

College Board's CSS Profile

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:

How to Get Scholarships

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 ( regardless of income level to be eligible for any of these scholarships. The OSAC application is available on-line at

    • 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!).

Local Scholarships


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:

Current Scholarships & Opportunities

Ashland Firefighters Scholarship


  • Important Government Webpages

  • Scholarship Planning & Resources 



      • Another source of information on available student aid


      • Another source of information on available student aid

    • - RCC Scholarship Central

      • Database maintained in-house with rotating scholarship deadlines and a demographic search tool.

    • - Student

      • Career & Salary database, scholarship resources and Foundation Database for additional funding sources.

    • - SALT

      • Resource for student loan management, internships, scholarships and financial goal setting. Free to RCC students and alumni.

    • - FastWeb

      • Survey that constantly searches for scholarships best fitted to your academic goals.

    • -

      • 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.

    • - USA Funds

      • National organization to support higher education leading to a fulfilling career. Grants available.

    • - College Board

      • Request AP & SAT transcripts, complete CLEP testing, search for colleges and get application FEE waiver for up to four colleges (conditions apply).

    • - 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
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
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
Contact via email or phone to schedule an appointment.