State keeps Oregon Promise; applications accepted

Oregon Promise provides students with free community college

Future students at Portland Community College could benefit from the Oregon Promise program, Oct. 21, 2015 (KOIN)
Future students at Portland Community College could benefit from the Oregon Promise program, Oct. 21, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — College is a dream for many, but one many can’t afford.

“It’s outrageous, honestly books are so expensive it’s insane.”

“Some of us are working two jobs to pay for our school.”

“I know a lot of people that don’t think they can even go because they can’t afford it and a lot of their parents won’t help them.”

That is what students at Portland Community College told KOIN 6 News Wednesday. Those sentiments could change for many high school grads starting next fall.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 81, the Oregon Promise bill, over the summer, which provides grants for students to get free tuition at all state community colleges.

There are certain requirements students must meet. They must be a recent graduate with a diploma or GED, be an Oregon resident and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

They must also seek out their own student aid.

“What they will do is apply for their Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant and then if they have any remaining tuition cost beyond that the Oregon Promise will kick in,” said Bob Brew, Executive Director for Oregon High Education Coordinating Commission. “We would love it if schools, teachers made this a class project and made their entire class fill out these applications because really there’s no risk or harm.”

Students must pay a $50 co-pay each term. The grant is capped at $10 million a year, which will help 7,000 students.

The state of Oregon will begin accepting applications on November 1 to be used in fall of 2016.

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