Skip To Main Content

How to Pay for College

The question of “how are we going to pay for college?” is something that many parents and students continue to weigh every year. Going to college has become more expensive than ever and it typically requires money coming from multiple avenues in order to pay for an education. 

Looking for funds to help pay for college? Check out these presentations: 

 Financial Aid/ Scholarship Info Night 2021

FAFSA, Grants, Scholarships and So Much More

You can fund your education by:

  • Applying for financial aid (FAFSA/ ORSAA).
  • Checking Naviance for Scholarships.
  • Applying for OSAC Scholarships.
  • Checking the college/university scholarships they have available.

Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

FAFSA stands for Free Application For Federal Student Aid, and is the first step in applying for financial aid. Many states and colleges set priority deadlines by which you must submit the FAFSA form to be considered for the aid programs they administer. There is also a federal deadline each academic year. It is wise to fill out the form even if you believe you will not be eligible for federal and state aid. Some scholarships require FAFSA data as part of the application process. FAFSA applications open each year on October 1.

To increase your chances of success, you should prepare your documentation before October 1. Complete the following tasks before you apply:

  • Create an FSA ID now. The FSA ID is the username and password you will use to access and sign the FAFSA. Both the student and the parent must have an FSA ID. You will need your social security number to create the FSA ID.
  • Gather the information for the student and parent that you will use to fill out the FAFSA:
    • Social Security numbers for the student and parent(s).
    • Alien Registration number if applicable.
    • 2020 Federal tax returns if you filed.
    • Records of untaxed income.
    • Cash, savings and checking account balances.
    • Investments other than the home in which you live.

Find more details informational videos and presentations in the FAFSA Resources website.


Many schools will automatically consider admitted students for a variety of scholarships,  based on their general admissions application and your FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) data.

Seniors – don’t forget to apply for any scholarships offered by the college you choose to attend! Examples of these are Presidential & Diversity Scholarships, Foundation Scholarships, and Department Scholarships.

In addition to these scholarships there are several other scholarship opportunities available. Please check out the resources below to help you get started on your search:

  • Log on to your Naviance account for local and national scholarship opportunities.
  • Here is a Google Sheet that is updated weekly. 
  • Seniors check out the THS College & Career Center Google Classroom for a list of scholarships available. These are the same scholarship as Naviance!!
  • RaiseMe offers micro-scholarship program for students in 9th-12th. For more information visit RaiseMe
  •  Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC)  Due March 1st, Early Bird Due date is February 15th 
  • LCC Foundation has a variety of scholarships available for Local students Due March 1st
  • LCC has created a lists of scholarships available for Hispanic or Latino students

Many students also use large scholarship search engines to discover a wide range of scholarships that they may qualify for. Some common search engines used include:

Western Undergraduate Exchange “WUE”– The Western Undergraduate Exchange “WUE” program is an agreement between schools in western states which basically allows each others’ students to attend school out of state without the burden of out-of-state tuition. Refer to the site for specific information.

If you need help editing your essays or can use a grammar check, make sure to check out ProWritingAid it’s free and helpful.

Be sure to check Naviance and the THS College and Career Center – Seniors Google Classroom often or connect with College & Career Center to stay up-to-date on current scholarship opportunities.

Best Private Loans

Always borrow federal student loans before private loans. Once you've exhausted federal options, compare offers from multiple private lenders to find the lowest interest rate.

Private student loans are used to pay for college costs, but they originate with a bank, credit union or online lender rather than the federal government.

Private student loans can be a good option if:

You have already completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to see if you’re eligible for federal grants, work-study and federal loans.

  • You have already borrowed the maximum in both subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans.
  • You have good credit (a credit score of 690 or above) or a co-signer who does. Most private student loan borrowers have a co-signer.
  • You borrow only what you need.

You can get personalized rates and find NerdWallet's top-ranked private student loans for students, parents, independent students, international students, part-time students and graduate school.

Information for Undocumented Students in Oregon 

Who submits the ORSAA? Oregon residents who have undocumented status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, and/or Temporary Protected Status (TPS). To be eligible for most types of financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA). These applications compile financial information and other details about students and families, which the US Department of Education and the State of Oregon use to determine financial need and eligibility for various financial aid opportunities. Both the FAFSA and ORSAA open on October 1 each year.

ORSAA Students should add to your email contacts so that important messages do not go to your Spam or Trash folders.