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Types of Financial Aid

There are many types of financial aid available to help make college more affordable for you. Below are some general descriptions of types of financial aid and links to more information, including eligibility criteria.  

To be considered for federal and state aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are an undocumented student, you will need to complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) to be considered for state aid only. Not sure which application to complete? Use the FAFSA/ORSAA Filter Tool to see which one is right for you.   

See basic eligibility requirements for all federal aid at 


A grant is money that is given to a student by the government or an organization; grants do not have to be paid back. You will need to file the FAFSA or ORSAA to be considered for any grants. Some grants may require an additional application as well.  

Federal Grants (FAFSA required) 

Oregon Grants (FAFSA or ORSAA required) 

Other Grants and Resources 


A scholarship is a lot like a grant because it is money that is given to a student and does not have to be paid back. To be considered for a scholarship, you must apply for it and also complete a FAFSA or ORSAA. Most scholarships are awarded based on grades, skills, accomplishments, or need.

Student Employment 

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a need-based federal aid program that allows MHCC to pay students to work while they are in school. If your FAFSA shows that you are interested in work-study and have need, you will be offered a FWS award at MHCC. Eligibility will vary by student. To earn your FWS award you will need to get a job and start working. You can only earn up to what your FWS award is for the year. 

If you are not eligible for federal work-study funds, you may still be able to work while you are in school and be paid as a Student Aide (SA) employee. 

A full list of available jobs and more information about student employment is available with the Student Employment Office (SEO). 

As a student employee, you will be paid directly for the hours you work.  The availability of jobs may vary so employment is not a guarantee.  


A loan is money that a student or parent borrows from a lender or bank to help pay for college; loans must be paid back. You will automatically be considered for federal loans when you complete your FAFSA. Parent PLUS loans require the parent to also apply. To apply for private loans, you will need to contact banks or other lenders. Below are links to information about the types of loans that may be available to you. Click to learn more about eligibility requirements, potential amounts, and how to apply for each. 

Federal Direct Student Loans 

  • Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans: In addition to completing the FAFSA, students who wish to borrow one or both of these must also complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling at 
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loan: If you are a dependent student, your parent can apply for this loan to help you. They must also complete an MPN and Loan Entrance Counseling to borrow. 
  • NSLDS Disclosure: The college will submit student and parent federal loan information to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This information will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system. You can find a detailed history of your federal loan history at

Private or Alternative Loans:  

These are non-federal loans provided by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school. MHCC does not offer private loans or make lender or loan program recommendations. Private loans are not guaranteed or governed by the U.S. Department of Education.  

MHCC students borrow from a variety of private lenders. Federal student loans typically offer better terms than private loans. We encourage you to use all other financial aid, such as grants, scholarships, and federal student loans, before applying for a private loan.  

  • Eligibility: Private lenders use credit history and other factors to determine your eligibility to borrow. You may need to have a cosigner on the loan. The Financial Aid Office can only certify private loans up to the cost of attendance minus other types of aid. This means that a private loan may be certified for less than what the lender approves. 
  • How to Apply: Apply for one private loan for the full academic year. Most lenders require you to apply on their website. Be sure to list MHCC as your college of choice. 
  • Certification: The Office of Financial Aid will receive notice from the lender of an approved loan. We retain the right to refuse certification based on professional judgment. The loan will appear on your award offer with any other aid you are awarded. 

Other Resources 

There are a lot of other aid resources available to college students today. We encourage you to apply for any and all aid that you might be eligible for. Below is a list of other resources you can explore.  

Take the next step with Mt. Hood Community College

Have questions about paying for college?

Learn more about Financial Aid

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