There were a record number of applicants for the 2001-2002 school year. Over 20,000 PSU students applied for aid, and 9,434 were awarded aid money said Samuel Collie, director of student financial aid. Due to the nationwide recession, more applicants are expected in the fall, Collie added.
According to Collie, there is no “hard deadline” for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) at PSU. However, there is an Oregon State deadline of March 1 for priority consideration of aid. Even though there is no set deadline, in order to get the most money, the FASFA should be complete and submitted by no later than February 2002 for awards in the 2002-2003 school year.
The award year for Portland State starts in the fall and ends in the summer. This makes it quite important, Collie said, that students get their applications completed by January or February. This is because the later you apply, the less chance you have of receiving extra free money that is bound to run out. This is because the first applications that are processed are the first to receive the extra grant money. The Perkins, Supplemental Education Opportunity, Work/Study and Oregon Opportunity grants run out of money by the end of June.
Another benefit of applying early is that you will be guaranteed to receive your money on time. Also if there happen to be any mistakes in your FASFA, the office can notify you well ahead of the beginning of fall term 2002.
This year the Office of Financial Aid at Portland State awarded a total of 96 million dollars in grants to students. There are two ways to apply for Financial Aid. First, you can go to the Office of Financial Aid in Neuberger Hall and pick up a FASFA (make sure it is the 2002-2003 application) fill it out and mail it as soon as possible. The Internet allows the application to be processed as soon as it is received due to the new Personal Identification Number you can obtain. This PIN will allow you to electronically sign the application and send it right away. You can get a PIN at http://www.pin.ed.gov and you can also get the online FASFA at http://www.fasfa.ed.gov. However, the government advises you not to both mail and e-mail an application. The school code for Portland State University is 003216.
After you have applied, you should receive a “Student Aid Report” from the federal aid processor confirming your information. If you change address, you must update it with PSU in order to ensure smooth processing of your application. Also, call the Financial Aid Office at 503-725-3461, or 1-800-547-8887 occasionally to check the status of your application.
If you’re interested there are also scholarships that are made available to students through PSU, and the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. Yet, both of these scholarship programs have “hard” deadlines. The Financial Aid Office has information about both of these scholarship programs, or you can check out http://www.ess.pdx/edu/fao for information. Other financial aid and scholarship information can be found at http://www.finaid.org, and http://www.osac.state.or.us.