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Financial Aid

  • Federal Student Aid - This site allows individuals to learn how financial works and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.
  • FAFSA or ORSAA Information - To be eligible for most types of financial aid, Oregon students must complete the FAFSA or the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA).
  • FinAid - This site provides excellent links and resources about student financial aid.
  • WASFA - Washington residents who aren’t eligible to submit FAFSA may submit the Washington Application for Financial Aid (WASFA) instead.

Scholarships Search Sites

Avoiding Scholarship Scams 

The Counseling Department often receives questions from families regarding the legitimacy of some scholarship service programs. Here are some suggestions to avoid being taken in by a scholarship scam:
  • Scholarship Matching Services - Money back guarantees are a tip off that the offer might not be genuine because genuine scholarship services know they can't "guarantee" any such thing. Fraudulent services go through databases of public information to get the lists and charge students a fee for a list of scholarship leads. Typical claims include, "you can't get this information anywhere else," or "we do all the work for you." Visit Fastweb for access to free scholarship searches.
  • Free Seminars - Free seminars about financial aid by fraudulent groups are often disguised sales pitches for a bogus scholarship search or insurance offer. Although the seminars may be held at an official or educational facility, this does not guarantee that the company is legitimate. In many cases, the group may not be sanctioned by the institution.
  • Financial Aid Consulting Services - Shady consulting services can be more difficult to spot. While there are some legitimate programs, you should be very cautious. Financial aid consultants can be helpful for families who do not have time to fill out the required forms, are unfamiliar with financial terms, or have unusual financial circumstances. If you're considering a consulting service, find out how long they have been doing this type of work and what are their qualifications (are they a Certified Public Planner or a Certified Financial Planner?). You may also want to contact the financial aid offices of schools that you are considering to see if they have had any trouble with that particular consultant.
  • Eligible Scholarships - Fraudulent companies often use official sounding names that are slight variations of the names of legitimate government and private organizations, and Washington, D.C. addresses that turn out to be post office boxes. Be especially wary of companies that claim to be holding scholarships for you and ask you to provide your checking account numbers to confirm your eligibility. This information allows the company to access the account without your knowledge. In general, scholarships should not require a fee for students to apply for or receive them.
Be sure to check out the services that Central Catholic provides regarding college advising and financial aid information before paying additional money for assistance. You may also want to consult the Federal Trade Commission's web site and the FinAid for credible information on college financial aid.