Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

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

Cost of Attendance is PCC’s estimate of how much it costs to attend for one academic year. PCC will not bill you for these amounts, other than Tuition & Fees, and in some cases Books & Supplies, but we are required to disclose these estimates to you and we hope they help as a planning guide.

Certain costs may not apply to you or your individual circumstances. Certain programs, such as aviation, nursing, or auto repair, may have additional costs for additional equipment or flight time which would be noted in more detail on the program website.

See Cost of Attendance budgets »

How enrollment affects your aid

In most cases, your original financial aid award will reflect full-time resident enrollment for the full academic year. Waitlisted, audited, or other ineligible classes do not count toward your enrollment status. Read more about waitlists for classes.

Your actual Cost of Attendance will be updated based on your enrollment at the end of the 2nd Tuesday of each term based on your actual enrollment and residency (or at the time of disbursement, if you accepted your award after that).  Enrollment less than full-time may cause financial aid funds to be reduced or canceled.

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