Financial Aid Awards for the 2019-2020 Academic Year

Congratulations on your admission to Portland State University! One of your next steps in the enrollment process is to accept your financial aid award. Learn more about your award below. You can also view award letter examples below to see what a financial aid award letter looks like and to understand each section better. We encourage you to review all the examples, each has information pertinent to everyone.

Example of In State Student Financial Aid Award Letters

Example of Out of State Student Financial Aid Award Letters

Financial Aid Award Overview

Your financial aid award estimates your cost to attend one year of college at Portland State. It lists the expenses you are required to pay (and possible other expenses), scholarships and grants you have been awarded from PSU and other financial aid programs that you are eligible to receive to help you pay for college.


The costs included are estimates based on projected tuition and fees, your state residency status, the number of credits you plan to take each quarter, and whether you intend to live on campus or at home.

Grants, Scholarships, Work Study and Loans

The financial aid programs listed on your award letter are based on your academic record, FAFSA or ORSAA, state residency, and enrollment plan. Grants and scholarships, Federal Work Study, and Student Loans have initially been calculated using the best information we have available for you at this time. If your final academic records or your aid application changes, your eligibility for financial aid programs may also change.


The Office of Financial Aid will update your financial aid award based on many factors including your eligibility for grants and scholarships and actual tuition rates for 2019-20. When changes are made to your award you will be notified by email at your email account. You are always able to view your most up-to-date financial aid award in your student account at

Your Annual Estimated Tuition & Books

Tuition & Fees will vary each term. This is an estimate using an average number of credits per term based on your expected enrollment plan. Tuition is estimated at 15 credits per term for full time enrollment. Mandatory fees are included in this amount and cover services such as access to the Health Center and Recreation Center. We assume you will enroll full time unless you tell us otherwise. Final tuition rates for 2019-20 will be published by the board of trustees in June.

Books & Supplies is an estimate for materials you’ll need for your classes including textbooks, lab materials, art supplies, software and highlighters. You can save money by using the University library, renting or finding deals on books and supplies, which could decrease this total.

Your Grants & Scholarships

Grants listed are often need-based funds (based on your income and household size) calculated by your financial aid application (FAFSA or ORSAA). You do not have to repay these funds. If we are requesting additional financial aid materials from you, you must submit them; submission of updated materials may change your eligibility.

Scholarships listed are often based on academic merit (current GPA or class standing), whether you submitted additional PSU scholarship applications, and/or whether you have reported external scholarships to You do not have to repay these funds.

Total Estimated Tuition & Books After Grants & Scholarships

Your Annual Estimated Tuition & Books minus Your Grants and Scholarships. This is the estimated cost of attending classes only. It does not include life outside of class: transportation, personal expenses, housing or meals. The section below, “Your Annual Estimated Cost of Attendance,” includes these costs.

Plan For These Other Expenses

Transportation & Personal Expenses

Transportation could include getting home for breaks, public transit, or parking on campus. Personal expenses could include things like toiletries, clothes, laundry or entertainment.

Housing & Meals

Your costs will vary based on whether you live on or off campus or at home. If you live on campus, costs can vary by room type and meal plan. Your award letter includes an estimate based on the housing preferences you indicated on your financial aid application. Review the first year and transfer housing brochures for more information regarding housing costs.

Your Annual Estimated Cost of Attendance

Your Cost of Attendance includes all above cost categories: Tuition, Books, Transportation & Personal, and Housing & Meals. This estimate on your award letter does not factor in above Grants & Scholarships. It also does not factor in other ways to pay, such as employment, loans, savings, or outside scholarships; some of those options are detailed in the section below.

Other Ways to Help You Pay

Federal Work Study listed on your award letter is a type of federal student aid offered to qualified students based on financial need and availability of funds at PSU. Federal Work Study funds are not guaranteed; you earn them if you are hired for a student job on campus that is designated as a Federal Work Study job. If you do not qualify for Federal Work Study, you can still earn income with a regular wage student job on campus! Either way, check out on-campus job opportunities at

Federal Student Loans are funds that you repay once you are out of school. Loans are a way to address a shortfall between the funds that you have and the funds that you will need to pay for college. There is always a cost to borrowing money, but federal student loans often include benefits such as flexible repayment plans or better interest rates that aren't available with other types of loans. Before taking out a student loan, we encourage you to connect with one of our Financial Wellness Center coaches. They can help you create your own college budget and then decide how best to cover your college costs.

Check out our tips for planning for your college costs and budgeting for your first year at PSU. Additional tools for effective financial planning are available through your iGrad Financial Education portal.

Contact Us

The best ways to get in touch with us about your award are to send us an email at or schedule a phone or in-person appointment.