Portland Community College Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Oregon Promise Startup Guide

Understanding Oregon Promise coverage

Oregon Promise Awards range from $850 to $3,537 per year based on the 2018-2019 academic year amounts. Award amounts will vary each year and are subject to legislative approval.

Remember: Oregon Promise covers most of your tuition. There are other costs associated with going to college, such as room and board, books and supplies, and class fees. Make sure you consult with a Financial Aid Advisor if you have any questions about managing and financing these additional costs.

Factors that may impact your cost of attendance

  • Varying tuition costs: Community college tuition costs vary from school to school. Oregon Promise covers up to the average cost of tuition. Tuition at some colleges may be higher than what is covered by Oregon Promise.
  • Up to 12 credits: Oregon Promise covers up to 12 credits per term. Students are financially responsible for any additional credits.
  • Standard fees: Community colleges have additional fees (i.e. lab fees, shop fees, class fees, health fees). These are not covered by Oregon Promise.

How grant amounts are calculated

Oregon Promise grant amounts are calculated to cover the average cost of 12 credits per term at an Oregon community college. Students need to understand that:

  • Oregon Promise will cover up to the average tuition charged by Oregon community colleges.
  • If the tuition cost is above this average, students are responsible for the difference.
  • If the tuition cost is below this average, Oregon Promise pays up to that tuition cost and not more.

College A: Above average tuition cost

Extra costs

College A's tuition is above average, so the student is responsible for the remaining costs.

College B: Average tuition cost

College B's tuition is average.

College C: Below average tuition cost

College C's tuition is below average, but Oregon Promise doesn't pay any extra money.

Grant amount examples

Here are some examples to help illustrate how the Oregon Promise grant is applied. In each of these examples, note that:

  • Oregon Promise pays the remaining tuition amount (up to 12 credits per term) after all need-based federal and state grants have been applied, if eligible.
  • Need-based Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant are determined by the expected family contribution calculated through the FAFSA or ORSAA.
Example 1: Lower expected family contribution

A student with a lower level of expected family contribution is typically eligible for a larger Federal or State financial aid award. For this student, Oregon Promise will cover any remaining tuition amount after Federal and State aid are applied:

$$$
Pell Grant
Federal this section is the largest

$$
OR Opportunity Grant
State this section is the second largest

$
OR Promise
State this section is the smallest

Example 2: Higher expected family contribution

A student with a higher level of expected family contribution is typically eligible for a smaller Federal or State financial aid award. For this student, Oregon Promise will possibly cover a larger portion of their remaining tuition amount after Federal and State aid are applied:

$
Pell Grant
Federal this section is the smallest

$$
OR Opportunity Grant
State this section is the second largest

$$$
Oregon Promise
State this section is the largest

Example 3: Highest expected family contribution

A student with the highest level of expected family contribution is typically not eligible Federal or State financial aid awards. For this student, Oregon Promise will cover their entire cost of tuition:

$
Oregon Promise
State this section fills the full space

Credits are prorated on a range

The amount of Oregon Promise funds a student receives varies depending on the number of credits they take. These credits are prorated on a range (1/2 time, 3/4 time, and full time) rather than by credit. What this means is that students receive the same amount of money within each range, regardless of the number of credits they take.

For example, students in the 1/2 time range receive $516 of Oregon Promise aid whether they take 6, 7, or 8 credits. Depending on how many credits a student plans to take, they should be aware of these amounts so they can make the most of their award.

The following tables illustrate how award amounts impact a student’s tuition costs based on the number of credits taken:

1/2 time students
Tuition, Oregon Promise award, and the difference for 1/2 time students
Credits Tuition
(2018-2019)
Oregon Promise award Difference
(amount you must pay)
6 $666 $565 $101
7 $777 $565 $212
8 $888 $565 $323
3/4 time students
Tuition, Oregon Promise award, and the difference for 3/4 time students
Credits Tuition
(2018-2019)
Oregon Promise award Difference
(amount you must pay)
9 $999 $872 $127
10 $1,110 $872 $238
11 $1,221 $872 $349
Full time students
Tuition, Oregon Promise award, and the difference for full time students
Credits Tuition
(2018-2019)
Oregon Promise award Difference
(amount you must pay)
12 $1,332 $1,179 $153