Portland Community College Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

How award amounts are determined

Most aid is awarded based on financial need. To determine financial need, we subtract from the cost of attendance the following amounts: your expected family contribution, any Pell Grant amount you’re eligible for, and any other financial aid you’ll receive. If anything is left over, you’re considered to have financial need for additional federal aid.

Financial aid funds are limited, so the total amount you receive might be less than the amount you’re eligible for.

What is "expected family contribution"?

We use an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number when we determine your need. The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated from the information reported on your FAFSA. Your EFC will appear on your Student Aid Report (SAR). The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s income, assets, and benefits are all considered, as well as your family size and the number of family members who will attend a college.

How is "family" defined?

This depends on if you're a dependent or independent student. Read more: Am I dependent or independent?.

  • If you're a dependent student, you will report your and your parents' information.
  • If you're an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you're married, your spouse's).

Cost of attendance

To determine financial need, we use a standard, full-time budget. In other words, we use the same budget for all students. This doesn't necessarily reflect your costs, nor will you be billed for these amounts.

Standard full-time budgets

2020-21: resident student not living with parent
Costs for a resident student not living with parent
Costs 1 Term 2 Terms 3 Terms 4 Terms
Tuition & fees $1,603 $3,206 $4,809 $6,412
Books & supplies $577 $1,154 $1,731 $2,308
Room & board $4,145 $8,290 $12,434 $16,579
Transportation $527 $1,054 $1,581 $2,108
Personal $614 $1,228 $1,842 $2,456
Total expenses $7,466 $14,932 $22,397 $29,863
2020-21: resident student living with parent
costs for a resident student living with parent
Costs 1 Term 2 Terms 3 Terms 4 Terms
Tuition & fees $1,603 $3,206 $4,809 $6,412
Books & supplies $577 $1,154 $1,731 $2,308
Room & board $1,346 $2,692 $4,037 $5,383
Transportation $527 $1,054 $1,581 $2,108
Personal $614 $1,228 $1,842 $2,456
Total expenses $4,667 $9,334 $14,000 $18,667
2020-21: non-resident student not living with parent
Costs for a non-resident student not living with parent
Costs 1 Term 2 Terms 3 Terms 4 Terms
Tuition & fees $3,223 $6,446 $9,669 $12,892
Books & supplies $577 $1,154 $1,731 $2,308
Room & board $4,145 $8,290 $12,434 $16,579
Transportation $527 $1,054 $1,581 $2,108
Personal $614 $1,228 $1,842 $2,456
Total expenses $9,086 $18,172 $27,257 $36,343
2020-21: non-resident student living with parent
costs for a non-resident student living with parent
Costs 1 Term 2 Terms 3 Terms 4 Terms
Tuition & fees $3,223 $6,446 $9,669 $12,892
Books & supplies $577 $1,154 $1,731 $2,308
Room & board $1,346 $2,692 $4,037 $5,383
Transportation $527 $1,054 $1,581 $2,108
Personal $614 $1,228 $1,842 $2,456
Total expenses $6,287 $12,574 $18,860 $25,147

How enrollment affects your aid

In most cases, your original financial aid award will reflect full-time enrollment for the full academic year. Your actual financial aid eligibility will be based on your enrollment at the end of the 2nd Tuesday of each term (or at the time of disbursement, if you accepted your award after that). We revise your award to reflect the terms you will be enrolled. Enrollment less than full time may cause financial aid funds to be reduced or canceled.

Waitlisted classes do not count toward your enrollment status. Read more about waitlists for classes.

Enrollment status credits per term
Enrollment status Credits per term
Full time 12 or more
¾ time 9 to 11
Half time 6 to 8
¼ time 1 to 5

Minimum enrollment for financial aid

You do not need to be enrolled full time to receive financial aid. This table shows minimum enrollment for different financial aid programs. (Enrollment levels aren't the only thing that determine eligibility - you still have to demonstrate financial need.)

Minimum enrollment for financial aid
Financial aid program 6 credits less than 6 credits
Direct loan, subsidized and unsubsidized x  
PLUS loan x  
Pell Grant   x
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant   x
Oregon Opportunity Grant, Oregon Promise Grant x  
Work study x