• Allison Styffe

Oregon Promise: Who, What, & How?

In Oregon, the average community college debt for graduating students is a whopping $15,000. Think of all you could do with $15K — we're talking a car, a trip around the world, or a lifetime supply of ramen noodles! Of course, an education is a much wiser investment than that last option, but do you have to invest that kind of money into an associates degree? Thanks to something called Oregon Promise, the answer is a resounding NO!

Oregon Promise is a state grant that helps cover tuition at any Oregon community college for recent high school graduates and GED completers. So let's take a look at who is eligible, what the grant covers, and how to apply!

WHO is eligible?

There's a handful of basic criteria you'll need to meet in order to receive the Oregon Promise grant, and this video does a great job of summing it up.

Simply put, you must:

  • Be a recent Oregon high school graduate or GED test graduate. (You must apply during your senior year, or immediately after GED test completion).

  • Attend an Oregon community college by your required start term*, based on your graduation date.

  • Cumulative high school GPA: 2.50+ or higher, or a 145 grade on all GED® tests.

  • Be an Oregon resident for at least 12 months prior to college attendance. For dependent students, your parent(s) must also live in Oregon.


*See far right column in the chart below to determine your required start term.

WHAT does it cover?

There are three main points to remember when it comes to what this grant covers:

1. Up to the average tuition charged by an Oregon community college ($3,834 in 2019-20). Some community colleges have a higher or lower tuition cost than this average. If the tuition cost is above the average, the student is responsible for the difference. If the tuition cost is below this average, Oregon Promise pays up to that college’s actual tuition cost. It's important to note that the grant only covers tuition, which means you'll still be responsible for the cost of all other college expenses (e.g. books, fees, housing, transportation).

2. Up to 12 credits per term (fall, winter, & spring). Students are financially responsible for paying for any additional credits above 12, and students taking fewer than 12 credits will only be awarded partial funds. This chart breaks it down for you:

3. Up to 90 total attempted credits. This video does a great job explaining the 90-credit limit:

HOW to apply?

First: make sure you know WHEN you need to apply; for most people this is during senior year (before graduation). You can use this tool to find out your application deadline.

Second: Submit the online Oregon Promise application by clicking here.

Third: Submit the FAFSA or ORSAA for the year that you will start college. List at least one Oregon community college on the FAFSA or ORSAA.

Have questions about Oregon Promise? Contact your College & Career Counselor!
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