Southwestern offers several types of aid to assist students in their academic pursuits.



Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant is awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree, and your award amount is based upon your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

  • Available to students taking any amount of credits depending on eligibility.
  • Amounts vary based on EFC.
  • Does not need to be repaid.
  • Must file a FAFSA at
  • Cannot receive from more than one school in a term/semester.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
This grant is for undergraduate students with exceptional need. At Southwestern, this grant is awarded to as many of the students with a zero EFC as possible. The funding is limited, however, so awarding is on a first-come first-served basis. Late applicants go on a waiting list.

  • Must enroll in at least half-time (6 – 8 credits).
  • Amount = $600 a year.
  • Does not need to be repaid.
  • Must file a FAFSA at

Oregon Opportunity Grant
This grant is awarded by the Office of Oregon Student Access and Completion to Oregon resident undergraduate students. This grant may only be received for a total of twelve terms or eight semesters. Students who enroll in a theology, divinity, or religious education program are not eligible to receive State grants.

  • Must enroll in at least half-time (6 – 8 credits) at a college or university in Oregon.
  • $2000 for full-time (12+ credits) $1000 for part-time (6-11 credits).
  • Does not need to be repaid.
  • Must file a FAFSA at

Federal Work-Study
The Federal Work-Study program is designed to provide jobs for students with financial need to assist with paying for their educational expenses. Federal Work-Study wages at Southwestern currently coincide with the State minimum wage. Students receiving Federal Work-Study funding receive one paycheck each month they work.

  • Must enroll in at least half-time (6-8 credits).
  • Amounts vary but not to exceed $1575 a term.
  • Can only earn up to award amount.
  • Earned by working.
  • Does not need to be repaid.
  • Must file a FAFSA at
  • Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Must complete a Federal Work-study Request Form each year.

Contact Student Employment Representative for available jobs on campus at 541.888.7411

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. This program encourages the student to work in an area related to his/her course of study. Southwestern also offers the General Student Employment Program (GSE) and Athletic Work-Study (AWS).

Southwestern also participates in the America Reads and America Counts work programs. These two work programs are currently located in Southwestern's Child Care Center but off-campus opportunities will be available soon.

General Student Employment
General Student Employment (GSE) is an on campus work program for students. Contact Student Employment Representative for available jobs on campus at 541.888.7411.

  • Must enroll in at least half-time (6-8 credits).
  • Amounts vary up to $1575 a term, and you earn up to the award amount by working.
  • Does not need to be repaid.
  • The rate of pay is Oregon minimum wage.
  • Can work no more than 19 hours per week.
  • Very few positions on campus.
  • Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Athletic Work-study
The Athletic Work-study Program (AWS) program is through the Athletic department. Please contact 541.888.7452 for more information regarding positions available.

  • A FAFSA preferred but not required.
  • Must meet all NWAACC and institutional eligibility requirements.
  • Can earn up to $1,000 a year by working.
  • The rate of pay is Oregon minimum wage.
  • Can work no more than 19 hours per week.
  • Positions are for athletes only.
  • Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Federal Stafford Loan
Federal Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is awarded based on financial need, and the interest payments do not accrue until you begin repayment. An unsubsidized loan is awarded based on cost of attendance, and the interest accrual starts when the loan is disbursed.

Frequently asked questions about Stafford Loans:

How much can I borrow? 

Student Type  Year 1 Subsidized Year 1 Unsubsidized Year 2 Subsidized Year 2 Unsubsidized Aggregate Subsidized Limit for Undergrad Aggregate Sub/Unsub Limit for Undergrad
Dependent Undergraduate $3,500  $2,000  $4,500  $2,000  $23,000  $31,000 
Independent Undergraduate  $3,500  $6,000  $4,500 $6,000 $23,000 $57,500

What are the interest rates on subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans?
Current interest rate information can be found at

Are there fees deducted from my loans?
Fees up to 4% may be deducted proportionately from each disbursement of the loan. These fees are for loan origination and/or guarantee processing. The borrower owes the gross amount before fees, but will receive a net amount after fees are deducted.

When does repayment begin?
Repayment of the Federal Stafford Loan programs begins 6 months after you leave college or stop attending at least half-time. There are several repayment options available to you.

I need help!!
Southwestern contracts with Solutions at ECMC to provide you with a single resource for all your student loan-related questions. Solutions, a service of the non-profit organization ECMC, is dedicated to helping students manage educational loans and their resources are available to you free of charge.
Contact them for any of your student loan questions:

  • One-on-one federal student loan repayment advice
  • Repayment plan options
  • Forbearances and deferments - what they are and why do you need them?
  • Student loan forgiveness

Use the resources at Solutions as often as you need them - they are free.

Contact Solutions at ECMC by phone at 1 (877) 331-3262 or visit their website at to connect through email or web chat with one of their counselors.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
PLUS loans are for parents to borrow to assist in funding your education as long as you are an undergraduate student and enrolled at least half-time. A credit check is usually required, and if your parent is denied the PLUS loan, you are eligible to receive an additional $4,000 in unsubsidized funding.

  • Must enroll in at least half-time (6-8 credits).
  • Amounts vary.
  • Must be repaid by parent.
  • Cannot exceed cost of attendance.
  • Must file a FAFSA at
  • Parent must complete a PLUS Loan Application at
  • Parent must complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note at

Where do the funds go?
PLUS loan funds are credited directly to the student’s account, and any excess funds are disbursed in the form of a check directly to the parent.

Private Loans
If you still have unmet need after all grants, scholarships, and federal loans have been applied to your account, you could apply for a private loan through a private lender. You may also use private loan funds to cover your educational expenses if you are ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

Private loans are based on creditworthiness, carry competitive interest rates and all vary on the amount you may borrow, the fees charged and on their terms of repayment. Ask smart questions when considering an alternative loan. These questions should include, but are not limited to:

  • What are the fees associated with the loan?
  • What is the interest rate on the loan?
  • What are the terms of repayment?
  • Do I need a co-signer?

Each lender has specific processes and requirements for qualifying for a private loan and verifying income as well as certifying enrollment. You are welcome to choose any lender, but be sure to do your research.

A FAFSA is required before Southwestern can certify a private loan:


Institutional Tuition Scholarships
Southwestern offers a variety of tuition scholarships to assist students in paying for tuition at Southwestern.

  • Graduates from high school with a 3.75 cumulative GPA (or higher) may be eligible to receive a scholarship (must have graduated in the Spring prior to attending Southwestern).
  • Southwestern Tuition Grants are available for specific majors and areas of education interest.
  • Southwestern GED graduates who score an average of 650 or higher on the test after completing the GED program.
  • Students that participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan (must have been a resident of the College District at the time of entry into the military or at time of re-activation). Contact the Veteran’s representative for more information (
  • Students who are a child or spouse/domestic partner of a fallen or 100% disabled Oregon military service member who served in the US armed forces may be eligible for a tuition waiver. Contact the Veteran’s representative for more information (
  • Students that participate in other student activities such as Associated Student Government, the Southwester and the Beacon.

Students are also required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to receive institutional funds.

Contact Admissions for more information at All tuition scholarships require that a student be enrolled in a valid degree program and be attending full-time.

General Scholarships - General scholarships can be applied for with Southwestern's General Scholarship Application available online. The Foundation offers scholarships from a variety of donors. The scholarship application is available early December of each year for the upcoming school year and due March 1st.


All Southwestern Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degree programs are approved for VA benefits by the Veterans Administration.

Contact the Veteran's office at

The Veterans Administration requires information concerning each veteran student’s enrollment, date of interruption or termination of training, change in the number of credit hours and unsatisfactory progress or conduct. The benefits you receive from the Veterans Administration (VA) are subject to specific terms and conditions. You will be given a VA Pamphlet of Responsibility that outlines the terms and conditions at the time you meet with the Veterans Clerk. The pamphlet contains the signature portion which needs to be signed, dated and returned to the VA office immediately. This will become a permanent part of your file.

Mandatory Advising Requirement - All first-time VA students will need to meet with an advisor that has been specifically trained for our veteran students. This meeting is designed to properly evaluate the required courses for your degree so that you may receive your VA benefits. If you will be pursuing a degree after leaving Southwestern, you may be eligible to receive funding for transfer courses and will need to discuss this with your advisor at the time of your advising session. Please contact the Educational Support Program and Services Office at 888-7371 or at 888-7405 to make an VA advising appointment.

Attendance - To maintain benefit payments, veteran students must attend classes. It is the responsibility of each registered veteran to officially withdraw from the College if he/she does not desire to attend classes. The veteran should then notify the Veterans Service Office, which will notify the Veterans Administration. Failure to do so may result in an overpayment to the student, which the student must repay.

Developmental Courses - When a veteran student attempts to enroll in developmental courses for more than two terms, an assessment of needed courses will be made and forwarded to the Veterans Administration stating that continued enrollment in developmental courses is useful and necessary. If such a determination is not made, the student will not be certified for continued enrollment in these courses.

Change in Credit Load and Program Requirements - All VA students are required to notify the VA representative of any course changes during the current term as a change in enrollment status may affect your VA funding. For this reason, all VA students will be placed on hold after the refund period to ensure that students notify the VA representative. This means that students must have all current term add/drop forms signed by the VA clerk before processing them at the Student First Stop Center. Early registrations for the upcoming term will also need to be processed at the Student First Stop Center. You may register using myLakerLink starting with finals week and through the first week of each term.

Program of Study - All veteran students must have a declared major and may receive payment only for courses required to complete the major program. Students using Veterans benefits may only pursue a program approved by the Oregon Department of Education, the State Approving Agency (SAA). Not all certificate programs are approved. Consult with the Veterans representative before registering.

Transfer of Credits - Veterans who enter as transfer students, or who have completed any college-level course work, are required to have all transcripts forwarded to the Transcript Evaluator for evaluation. Failure to have transcripts evaluated will result in termination of benefits to the veteran student at the end of the second term of enrollment. Veterans may also be eligible for credit from their military training by submitting a challenge form to the Student First Stop Center. See the Veterans clerk or the Student First Stop Center for the required forms.

Hour Requirements - To receive full-time pay, the student must take a minimum of 12 credit hours; for 3/4 time pay, the student must take nine credit hours; and to receive 1/2 time pay, students must take a minimum of six credit hours. During summer session, full-time pay is based on eight credits.

Satisfactory Progress - Satisfactory progress is defined in the College catalog; however, the Veterans Administration requires that students receiving benefits be terminated after two terms of less than a 2.0 GPA. If VA benefits are terminated, you will receive a letter indicating what steps you will need to take to seek reinstatement of your VA benefits. In addition, students that are placed on Academic Probation will be required to meet with their advisor to discuss their situation and to be informed of resources to assist you while attending classes. The school will maintain records, available to both the veteran and Veterans Administration, which show the final grade for each subject attempted.