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Census

The census date is when enrollment for a term becomes official for financial aid purposes. After this date the Office of Student Financial Aid revises awards to match your enrollment level as of the census date. Financial Aid is awarded based on the number of credits you are enrolled in each term; thus, full time students are generally eligible for more aid than they would be if they dropped to half time. Your award is based on the information you provide when you submit your FAFSA unless you update it using a Revision Request form. When disbursement begins prior to each term, your payment is based on your estimated enrollment which may differ from your actual enrollment at the census date. If after the census date your estimated and actual enrollment levels are different, your financial aid award may be reduced and you may have an outstanding balance with the university. Students who add courses after the census date and wish to have these credits considered for financial aid eligibility must submit a Census Date Disbursement Appeal form to the Office of Student Financial Aid.


The full disbursement policy is available here.


See the below example which shows how a difference between disbursement enrollment and census date enrollment can impact the amount of financial aid awards:


Vicky Viking said on her FAFSA that she would be full time and her student financial aid award for this term is:
Pell Grant    $1500
Oregon Opportunity Grant    $800
Oregon Supplemental Tuition Grant    $300
Subsidized Stafford Loan    $1700
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan    $500
Total Full time award    $4800

Vicky’s bill for her 8 credits is $1400 so when her student financial aid pays to her student account Vicky’s bill is paid and she receives a refund of $3400 which she can use to pay for her books and living expenses for the term. It is important to note that although Vicky is currently enrolled in 8 credits, the aid she received is for full time and the Office of Student Financial Aid is still expecting her to register for another 4 credits.


At the census date Vicky is still only enrolled in 8 credits and at this point the Office of Student Financial Aid must go back and revise her award to what she is eligible for at half time. Vicky’s half time award is:


Pell Grant    $750
Oregon Opportunity Grant    $400
Oregon Supplemental Tuition Grant    $0
Subsidized Stafford Loan    $1700
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan    $200
Total Full time award    $3050

Since Vicky has already received $4800, the university must bill her back for the $1750 that she was not eligible for this term.
*Please note: These numbers are estimates used for the purpose of example. For information about your specific award, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.