Enrollment Services Center
Financial aid at Southern Oregon University consists of scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study employment. The Enrollment Services Center (ESC) administers student financial aid programs in compliance with applicable law, regulations and policies that govern federal, state, institutional and private funds. The ESC is committed to integrity, accuracy and timeliness in the delivery of financial assistance to all students admitted to Southern.
Financial aid assistance at SOU is available for those who qualify. The ESC staff awards financial aid and provides financial aid counseling.
Since SOU has a limited amount of financial assistance available, the primary responsibility for meeting the student’s educational expenses rests with the student and the family.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for financial aid. Students may access the FAFSA on the Internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Students who do not have access to the Internet may call 800-4FED-AID to obtain a paper FAFSA. A student must be admitted to SOU before a financial aid offer will be made.
For “first consideration” for many of the financial aid funds, you should file the FAFSA between January 1 and February 16 to meet the March 1 priority deadline. If you meet the March 1 deadline and you have been formally admitted to SOU, you can expect an award offer in March or April. You may still apply after March 1. By applying late, however, you run the risk that some aid funds will be depleted. Students should apply as close to the January 1st date as possible in order to receive the maximum funding available. Many funds are awarded on a “date ordered” basis and may be depleted far before the March 1st priority date.
Financial aid awards are for a one-year period. Applicants must reapply through the FAFSA each year to receive continued consideration for financial assistance. For more information, contact the Enrollment Services Center at 541-552-6600 or visit www.sou.edu/enrollment.
Scholarships, Awards, Grants, and Gifts
During the last academic year, SOU students received more than $5 million through SOU sources or other public and private scholarship donors. Students should contact the Enrollment Services Center or visit www.sou.edu/enrollment for more information about scholarships.
Scholarships. SOU offers a number of scholarships ranging from $100 to full tuition/fees. Many scholarships are awarded to students already attending the University. However, approximately 275 freshman scholarships are available, including the SOU Diversity, Presidential, Laurels, Incentive, Provost, Smullin, Robert W. and Betty F. Root, and Ruth Kneass Memorial Scholarships.
Many scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, while others are based on need or community service. Applicants must file the FAFSA to be considered for need-based scholarships.
To apply for SOU scholarships, students must fill out the Southern Online Scholarship Application (SOSA). Consult www.sou.edu/enrollment for information about the scholarship application and information. Applicants will be considered for every scholarship for which they are eligible.
Federal Pell Grant. This award provides students with up to $5,550 for each undergraduate year. Pell Grants are awarded to low-income families who complete a FAFSA application. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). This grant provides up to $1,000 a year to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need who filed the FAFSA early. Students must be Pell-eligible to receive SEOG consideration.
Federal TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education)
. This grant is available to students who plan to become teachers and agree to serve as full-time teachers at certain schools and within certain high-need fields for at least four academic years within eight years of completing the course of study for which a grant was received. Applicants must meet certain academic standards and fill out a separate application, available at
. The maximum award is $4000 per year.
Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG). The Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC) considers undergraduate students who are Oregon residents for this grant. The OOG is based on financial need and is renewable annually for up to twelve terms, provided financial need and satisfactory progress continue. Early filing of the FAFSA is strongly advised to be considered for the OOG.
The Federal Perkins Loan is a 5-percent deferred interest loan. First priority in awarding is given to early FAFSA filers with high financial need. At SOU, the average award is $1,000 a year. These funds must be repaid. Repayment begins nine months after the student graduates or leaves school.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan
The Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan is available to all eligible students. Students with financial need borrow first from the Subsidized Stafford/Ford Loan (interest deferred). Students categorized as “no need” are only eligible to borrow through the Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loan (interest accrues while enrolled). Annual limits for both unsubsidized and subsidized loans for 2011-12 are: (dependent undergraduate) $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores, $7,500 for juniors and seniors; (independent undergraduates) $9,500 for freshmen, $10,500 for sophomores, $12,500 for juniors and seniors; and $20,500 for graduate students.
The total combined Stafford/Ford Loan debt maximums are $31,500 for dependent undergraduates and $57,500 for independent undergraduates. The graduate maximum of $138,500 includes loans received as an undergraduate. Of the lifetime maximum amount, only $23,000 can be borrowed under the Subsidized loan program.
Postbaccalaureate students or those pursuing a second bachelor’s degree are limited to borrowing the appropriate undergraduate amount.
For loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2006 interest rates are fixed. The interest rate for unsubsidized direct loans is 6.8%. The interest rate for subsidized direct loans disbursed between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 is 3.4% for undergraduate students and 6.8% for graduate students. The interest rate for loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2006 is variable.
New loan processing fees of 1% are deducted from each loan disbursement. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below 6 credits.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans are available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. No family income restrictions are attached to this auxiliary loan program. A credit check is required. The interest rate at this time is 7.9%. Loan processing fees of 4 percent are deducted from each loan disbursement. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid. These loans may be used to offset expected contributions by the parent. (If a parent is not eligible to borrow under this program due to credit, the student may become eligible to borrow some additional funds under the Unsubsidized loan program.)
Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans are available to graduate students. No family income restrictions are attached to this auxiliary loan program. A credit check is required. The interest rate at this time is 7.9%. Loan processing fees of 4% are deducted from each loan disbursement. Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid. These loans may be used to offset expected contributions by the student.
The Federal Work-Study Program provides federally subsidized part-time employment for students with analyzed financial need. Work-Study funds are limited, so file the FAFSA early to be eligible for Work-Study. Job hours are coordinated with the student’s class schedule. Positions are available in campus departments and off-campus nonprofit agencies, including community service work.
To see the listing of available work-study jobs, go to the SOU CareerLink ( http://www.sou.edu/studentemployment/jobs ).