The COVID-19 pandemic has left countless students and families financially overwhelmed or even jobless. Although over 98% of UP students are already on some type of financial aid according to Director of Financial Aid Janet Turner (including federal, state, institutional, or outside aid), students right now may still be scrambling to find a way to pay for their education. Students can apply for additional scholarships with unique eligibility currently available through Sept. 7 on Self Serve.
The application on Self Serve, which is offered annually according to Turner, includes 17 questions which require the applicant to self-identify their disability status, citizenship status, race and ethnicity, parentage, and other unique criteria. The questions are specifically directed at students who meet requirements which would grant them eligibility for certain endowed scholarships.
These UP endowed scholarships average around $2,000 each, with $73,000 total to be awarded. The scholarships being offered change each year depending on if they can be renewed, but some of the current offerings include the Columbia Prep Endowed Scholarship, the Goldie Chan Lam Scholarship, and the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship. Selections will be made at the end of October, at which time the Office of Development will reach out to those who have been awarded.
More financial aid possibilities can be found on UP’s Opportunities page. The page currently has 116 external scholarships, fellowships, and grants organized by subject, state eligibility, whether or not citizenship is required, and deadline.
Other than the endowed scholarship application on Self Serve, Turner suggested a few other financial aid resources that might interest students, including scholarship search tools through CollegeBoard, Sallie Mae, Fastweb, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Turner also suggested searching for state-specific scholarship sites. Some of these include the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion scholarship application, the Hawaii Community Foundation, and the Alaska Community Foundation.
Along with these outside scholarships, UP received around $2.6 million in CARES Act funding, half of which was allocated to student grants. Though much of this allotted amount has already been given away, the deadline to apply for the remaining funds is Sept. 15.
Turner encouraged all students needing extra financial help due to COVID-19 to look into these resources, as well as the “Special Circumstances” section of the Financial Aid Office’s FAQ.
“We do consider special circumstance appeals for FAFSA filers for different things like loss or reduction of income, parents who are divorcing, large out of pocket medical or dental expenses,” Turner said.
The Presidential Hope Emergency Fund, which provides emergency relief (typically ranging from $100-$1000) for expenses such as tuition support or travel, is available for UP students whose education may be at risk because of their financial situation, according to Turner.
Sadie Wuertz is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.