Q1: How is aid different for an Ecampus student?
A1: If you are an Ecampus student, your federal aid eligibility is calculated using the same federal formula that is used for on-campus students. After filing the FAFSA each year, an eligible student is offered Ford Direct loans. If you meet the federal qualifications of financial need, and are seeking your first bachelor’s degree, you may also be awarded the Pell Grant. The parent of a dependent undergraduate student may also be eligible to apply for the Parent PLUS loan. Check out the Federal Aid section of our webpage for more information.
Q2: What are the enrollment requirements to receive federal aid and loans?
A2: Enrollment requirements for receiving aid are the same for Ecampus and on-campus students. In order to receive federal loans, you must be enrolled at least half-time in a term (minimum 6 credits if undergrad/post-bacc or 5 if graduate*). We award aid based on the expectation of full-time enrollment (12 credits a term for undergraduates and 9 credits a term for graduate students). If you will be enrolled less than full-time, you must submit an enrollment revision form to avoid disbursement delays. If we are not notified of your enrollment plans beforehand, your aid will be adjusted and disbursed after the Financial Aid Census Date for that term.
*Graduate certificate-seeking students may only receive federal aid based on credits required for certificate completion.
**For undergraduates seeking their first degree, second repeats of passed courses are excluded for federal aid purposes.
***For undergraduates seeking their first degree, graduate-level coursework is excluded for federal aid purposes.
Q3: How does cost of attendance differ for an Ecampus student?
A3: The estimated cost of attendance (COA) for an Ecampus student contains the same budget components as an on-campus student. Even though you are living off-campus, housing and dining expenses are included in your budget. These expenses are not charged to your student account but having them as part of your COA allows us to potentially offer aid to help cover your off-campus living expenses. If there is financial aid remaining after your OSU student bill is paid, you will be sent a refund that can be used for additional educational and living expenses.
The primary difference in an Ecampus student’s COA is tuition and fees. Tuition and fees for Ecampus will vary by program.
Q4: How do I pay for textbooks?
A4: Financial aid is usually applied to your OSU billing account the week prior to the start of each term. If there is aid remaining after your OSU financial aid eligible charges are paid, you will be sent a refund that can be used to pay for textbooks and other education or living expenses. We advise students to set up direct deposit for faster processing. If your aid is not enough to cover what is on your OSU student billing account, a refund would not be sent. Because the refund process takes place close to the start of each term, many students prefer not to wait for this refund and pay for textbooks and supplies out of pocket. There is also an emergency loan that may be available through the Cashier’s Office that can be used for such expenses. Contact the Cashier’s Office for more information about this emergency loan.
Q5: Where can I find grant and scholarship opportunities?
A5: A limited need-based Ecampus grant may be offered to eligible students who completed the FAFSA application, are admitted and enrolled in a program of study that is delivered online by Ecampus. (A program of study is defined as an undergraduate or graduate degree program or minor, undergraduate or graduate certificate program delivered by Ecampus.) The Office of Financial Aid awards these grants to eligible recipients at the time of packaging based on financial need level. Funds are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. No additional application is required. To be considered, file your FAFSA as close to October 1st as possible each year. The Ecampus need-based grants may be awarded up to $1,000 per term and cannot be used for expenses other than Ecampus tuition and fees. Students must usually be enrolled at least half-time each term to retain their full Ecampus Grant award.
Oregon State Ecampus offers a grant to online students experiencing unforeseen financial difficulty that interferes with their academic progress at OSU. Visit Ecampus Financial Hardship Grant to learn more about eligibility and application guidelines.
Information about OSU, OSAC, and private scholarships are posted online. Check with your academic advisor for scholarships that might be available through your department.
Q6: What if my aid offer is not enough to cover my expenses?
A6: Federal aid has yearly and aggregate maximums that may not be enough to cover the entire cost of being a student. Many Ecampus students choose to attend part-time, allowing them to work while completing their degree. In order to receive federal loans, you must be enrolled at least half-time in a term (minimum of 6 credits if undergrad/post-bacc or 5 credits if graduate). If you plan to be less than full-time an enrollment revision form must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid.
Some students choose to supplement their education funding with private/alternative education loans. Alternative loans are loans obtained from a bank, credit union, or other lending agency. For most students, federal loans are a better option and should be utilized before private loans are considered. Alternative loans require a credit check and may have higher, variable interest rates. They may not offer the flexible repayment, consolidation, and loan forgiveness options that may be available with federal loans.
Q7: How do I maintain my aid eligibility?
A7: Understanding federal aid requirements, conditions, and limitations is essential! We encourage all students to take the time to review financial aid Terms and Conditions, Aggregate Maximums, Participation Requirements, Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements, Census Date, and the return of federal funds that may be required in the case of Withdrawing or failing to complete courses.