Financial aid is assistance offered to a student to help cover the cost of a college education that the student and family can't reasonably provide. Not all students will be eligible for the same amounts of aid, since their family and financial situations are complex and unique. Back to Top
How will I know how much financial aid I can receive?
After you have completed the financial aid process, we will send you an award package detailing the types and amounts of financial aid you can receive. Back to Top
What is the "financial aid process" at CU?
We try to keep the "process" as simple as possible by requiring two steps. First, complete your admission file, including application, official transcripts from any schools attended, SAT/ACT test scores (if you are a high school senior), a letter of recommendation, and the application fee (if this was not waived by applying on the web, or before December 1st). Second, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as soon after January 1st as possible, including Concordia University as a recipient.
The FAFSA determines the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - the amount the government assumes you and your family can reasonably contribute to educational cost for one year. The EFC is calculated on a number of factors including total income and certain kinds of assets, family size, and number of family members in college. Concordia uses this EFC to help determine certain kinds of federal, state and institutional aid that you can receive.
The best way to file a FAFSA is on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to read all of the instructions and have all of your documents gathered when you file it. Be sure to complete the signature requirements because we will not receive the processed results of an unsigned FAFSA.
Paper FAFSA’s are also available at high school counseling offices, any college Financial Aid office, or we would be happy to send you one.
What if I already filed the FAFSA and did not put CU as a recipient?
If you filed on-line, you can re-enter the www.fafsa.ed.gov, select Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA, and add our school code, 003191. Or you can call or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and report to us the DRN number on the first page of your printed or electronic Student Aid Report (SAR). We can use that number to request the FAFSA results electronically.
What kinds of aid are included in a CU financial aid package?
Aid packages typically include three main types of financial aid: gift aid, that you do not need to earn by working nor need to repay (including both scholarships and grants); loans, and work eligibility.
Grants are need-based gift aid. Generally speaking, the greater the need (as determined by the EFC), the greater the grant. Grant sources include the federal government (Pell and SEOG) grants, the State of Oregon, as well as institutional and endowment sources.
My SAR says I am not eligible for a Pell Grant. Does this mean I won't get any gift aid?
Absolutely not! Most Concordia students who are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant still qualify for Concordia grants and scholarships, as well as loans and work-study. By all means, let us tell you what you will receive.
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What kind of scholarships are available at CU that I can apply for?
Merit scholarships are the largest scholarship program at Concordia. You do not need to apply separately for merit scholarships; you will be advised of merit scholarship eligibility at the time of your admission to CU. Likewise, the Professional Church Work Scholarship, Sylwester Church Work Family Scholarship, Lutheran Pastor Family Scholarship and Lutheran High School Graduate Scholarship require no separate application. The Leadership Scholarship does require separate application. For more information on the Leadership Scholarship and other awards, please visit either the freshman scholarships or transfer scholarships pages for more details.
What happens to my financial aid package if I receive outside scholarships through my school, church, or other organizations?
CU will never take away from scholarships or grants we've offered you based on outside scholarships you've received. However, federal regulations may require us to reduce a student's funding, always by reducing loan eligibility first. We definitely encourage and applaud you for your diligence and achievement in applying for and receiving these types of scholarships. Good sources for these scholarships include schools, community affiliations, and churches, as well as scholarship search services in school career centers or through the internet. Check out the "Other Scholarships" page for more details on how to finance your education.
What are average amounts given for talent scholarships, i.e. athletic, choir, or theatre?
Talent scholarships vary widely and are determined by the coach or activity director based on your individual gifts, as well as your match to the particular sport's or activity's needs. Contact the Office of Admission to speak with someone about getting in touch with the appropriate coach or activity director.
There are plenty of jobs available on CU's campus for students willing to work. Work study jobs pay $8.40 an hour, the current minimum wage for Oregon, and include such varied tasks, such as working outdoors with Physical Plant Services (PPS), answering phones in various offices during lunch hours, helping serve food in the dining hall, and many others. Work study wages are paid to you in the form of a monthly check and may be used to pay toward your account with the university, or may simply be used for your personal expense money.
If my financial aid package lists a certain amount for loans, am I required to take it?
Certainly not. Loan eligibility is listed as a means to help you afford a quality college education. Loan eligibility means that you may choose to borrow any amount up to the limit of your eligibility, or you may choose not to borrow at all. We will not process a loan for you unless you specifically request it. In fact, we encourage students to borrow conservatively, only what they need and not necessarily what they can get. As you review the terms of the student loan programs, you'll note that these loans carry low-interest, payment-deferred features that make them more attractive than most private loans. Many students do take out student loans as an investment in their college education, which they expect to appreciate in value (and earning power) throughout their lifetime. Many parents take out the PLUS loan also, to help finance the amount the government has determined as "Expected Family Contribution" and allow their children to attend the college of their choice.
My parents said they can't or won't help me pay for college. Am I still required to put their financial information on the FAFSA?
In most cases, yes. The government has developed some very specific criteria for determining dependency status for financial aid purposes. Unless you meet one of the criteria listed below, you are considered a dependent student in the eyes of the government and must provide parental information, whether they plan on helping pay for your college expenses or not. You are considered "independent" (do not need to provide parental information) only if you:
are 24 years old by December 31st of the academic year you will attend college, or
are an orphan, or
are, or were until age 18, a ward of the court, or
are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or
have legal dependents of your own, or
will be a graduate or professional student in the academic year you will attend, or
In very rare instances, you may be considered "independent" if you can document specific unusual circumstances for our Financial Aid Office.
What if I have a trust fund or similar account set aside for paying for college. Should I still file the FAFSA?
It's a good idea to file the FAFSA regardless of personal financial holdings, because many times students are surprised to find more eligibility than they expected. However, if you choose not to file a FAFSA because you feel that you do not need any additional assistance, you still will be eligible to receive any scholarship you earned.