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OCOM’s Office of Financial Aid is committed to assisting you with financing your education.

Several types of financial aid are available at OCOM, including loans, work-study and scholarships. Learn more about these programs in the Types of Aid section. For students not receiving financial aid, a monthly payment option may be available; contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details (503-253-3443).

This page will help guide you through the financial aid process and answer most questions that you may have regarding how to apply, when to apply, and when funds may be available for you. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid is here to help you with any additional questions you may have.

Find the information you're looking for:

Master's (MAcOM) program: Applying for Financial Aid, Types of Aid, Steps to Receive Aid, Loan Repayment. Download: Financial Aid overview (MAcOM)

Doctoral (DAOM) program: Applying for Financial Aid, Types of Aid, Steps to Receive Aid, Loan Repayment. Download: Financial Aid overview (DAOM)

Additional Information: Code of Conduct, Policies, Resources, Loan Calculators

Scholarships

Contact the Office of Financial Aid

OCOM School Code: B 07625

 Master's Program (MAcOM)

 Applying for Financial Aid

To receive financial aid, you must apply each year. In addition to the federal and OCOM applications, you may also be required to submit separate forms for scholarship and loans. Remember that you must submit all completed applications and, if requested, all supplemental information before you will receive your financial aid funds.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
You initiate a financial aid review each year by submitting the federal application called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is submitted to the federal government early each calendar year, usually after you have filed your federal income tax forms.

The FAFSA is a free application submitted to the federal government to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid programs, including federal student loans. The FAFSA will collect information about you, your family, and your financial situation to determine the amount of financial aid that can be awarded to you.

In general, you will want to file the FAFSA each year after you have filed your federal income tax return (if you are going to file one). The FAFSA can be completed electronically (fastest) or via paper. To complete the FAFSA, you will need your Social Security Number, driver’s license, income tax returns, bank statements, and any other information you may have regarding income and investments.

Use the links on this page to access the FAFSA website for more details on how to apply, documents you will need, and follow-up steps.


Caution: Another, similar web address takes you to the website of a business that charges a significant fee for completing the free application. Using the links on OCOM's Financial Aid webpage will ensure you are using the website for the free FAFSA application.


Watch your mail for notices from the federal government or OCOM regarding your financial aid applications. You will be contacted if any additional information is needed to supplement your financial aid applications. Be sure to respond promptly to any information requests to avoid delays in processing your applications.

Award Letters — In April, OCOM's Office of Financial Aid reviews all of the aid applications and begin to award financial aid for the next academic year. An award letter will be sent to you in late April detailing the amount and types of aid that are available to you. You must sign and return a copy of the aid award, noting any amounts that you wish to decline or reduce.

Loan Requests — Students who accept federal student loans must also complete a loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) if they are receiving loans for the first time through OCOM. The Office of Financial Aid will notify you if an MPN is needed.

During the summer months, the Office of Financial Aid will process loan requests for the next academic year. If OCOM scholarships are offered, the applications will be reviewed and scholarships will be awarded during the summer as well.

Loan Proceeds — At the beginning of each quarter (or later, depending on when funds are received from your lender), your loan proceeds will be processed. After verifying that you are still enrolled and eligible for the loan, the funds will first be used to pay for any outstanding tuition, fees, and, if applicable, pre-ordered textbooks for the quarter. Once these amounts are fully paid, any credit balance will be available to you. You will receive any excess funds through a check from the Business Office.

 Types of Financial Aid: Loans, Work-study and Scholarships

Loans — Most financial aid offered through OCOM is provided in the form of loans. However, limited funds are also available through our work-study program or through scholarships.

Borrowing is a necessity for many students, and the Office of Financial Aid encourages and supports you in borrowing wisely.

  • Borrow only the amount you absolutely need.
  • If uncertain about future expenses, borrow only what you need now. You can apply for additional eligible funds if and when they are needed.
  • Keep track each year of how much you have borrowed and what your monthly loan payments will be to avoid surprises when you graduate.
  • Remember, loans must be repaid.

Most students can meet their needs using loans through one of the federal programs described below. If you have questions about private loans, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, including how private loans may impact your other financial aid.

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Unsubsidized loans for the current academic year offer a fixed interest rate of 5.31 percent. You will receive a six-month grace period after you graduate (or otherwise drop below half-time enrollment) before you must begin repayment.
  • Federal PLUS Loans for Graduate Students (“Grad PLUS”): Grad PLUS loans are unsubsidized. Grad PLUS loans for the current academic year offer a fixed interest rate of 6.31 percent. You can defer (postpone) payments on your Grad PLUS loans as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. You will also receive a six-month deferment after you graduate (or otherwise drop below half-time enrollment).

Federal rules dictate the amount you are allowed to receive under the federal student loan programs. In addition, if you receive any federal aid, federal rules state that your total aid, including private loans, cannot exceed your total OCOM cost of attendance. Remember that most students’ loan needs can be met through one or both of the federal loan programs.

View types of loans available to master's students.

Work-study Awards are available to some eligible students. Under the Work-study program, you will be paid bi-monthly for hours worked in a work-study position. Your Work-study funds may be applied to your tuition costs, if these are not covered through some other means, or you may use them for other educational costs such as books and living expenses.

A Work-study award is the maximum amount that you are permitted to earn during the year. You are not guaranteed to receive this amount. It is your responsibility to secure a position with hours that fit into your class schedule, and to work the hours necessary to receive your full Work-study award.

If you would like to be considered for a Work-study award, you may indicate your interest in Work-study when you complete the OCOM Financial Aid Application.

 Steps to Receive Financial Aid

Your financial aid award letter will let you know the maximum amount of federal student loans for which you are eligible. It is then up to you to decide whether you want to accept the maximum amount, accept a lesser amount, or decline one or more of the loans. After you determine any loan amounts that you wish to accept, note the changes (if any) on the award letter before you sign and return it to OCOM's Office of Financial Aid.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a loan agreement between you and the Federal Government. By signing the MPN, you are agreeing to repay your loans under the terms of that MPN. The first time that you take out a loan at OCOM under any of the federal loan programs, you will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN will then be used as your promissory note for all future loans through that loan program while you are enrolled at OCOM. A new MPN will only be required for future years if you borrow through a different loan program. To complete you MPN online, visit: www.studentloans.gov

Federal loan programs vary from one program to the next, and come with a number of student rights as well as many responsibilities. To ensure you understand your loan obligations, federal rules require you to participate in two counseling sessions regarding loans.

Entrance Counseling is required before you receive your first Direct Unsubsidized or Grad PLUS loan at OCOM. In your Entrance Counseling session, you will learn about the types of loans that are available, the terms and conditions for the loans, and your responsibilities related to the loans. This information is provided to ensure you fully understand your loan obligation before you are committed to receiving the loan funds. Complete your Entrance Counseling.

 Loan Repayment

Exit Counseling is required before you graduate or otherwise leave OCOM. In your Exit Counseling session, you will prepare for repaying your student loans and consider debt management strategies. This information is provided to ensure you understand your repayment options and prepares you for the payments that will be required on your loans. Complete your Exit Counseling.

Student loans must be repaid — In most cases, you will not be required to make payments for as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. You may also be asked about your preferences for paying interest on your unsubsidized federal loans while you are in school.

Interest capitalization — Interest can add up quickly on student loans. All of the interest that accrues on your unsubsidized loans while you are in school can generally be capitalized (added to your principal loan balance) and interest will then be charged on that new, higher loan balance. Any payments that you are able to make to pay that interest before it is capitalized, whether you can pay all of it or just a portion, will reduce your overall loan costs.

Repayment plans — Federal student loans offer several different structures of repayment plans.

When you are evaluating repayment plans, consider:

  • The monthly payment amount,
  • How long it will take to repay the loan, and
  • The total amount of interest that you will pay.

Low payment amounts are very tempting, but remember that they can cost you a lot in the long run. In general, select the plan with the highest payment amount that you can reasonably afford in order to minimize your loan costs while keeping the payment manageable. Remember that you can always make additional payments when you have extra cash.

View repayment plan options available to both master's and doctoral students.

OCOM School Code: B 07625


 Doctoral Studies (DAOM)

 Applying for Financial Aid

To receive financial aid, you must apply each year. In addition to the federal application, you may also be required to submit separate forms for scholarship and loans. Remember that you must submit all completed applications and, if requested, all supplemental information before you will receive your financial aid funds.

Financial Aid Applications — You initiate a financial aid review each year by submitting the federal application called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is submitted to the federal government early each calendar year, usually after you have filed your federal income tax forms.

Watch your mail for notices from the federal government or OCOM regarding your financial aid applications. You will be contacted if any additional information is needed to supplement your financial aid applications. Be sure to respond promptly to any information requests to avoid delays in processing your applications.

Award Letters — In April, OCOM's Office of Financial Aid reviews all of the aid applications and begins to award financial aid for the next academic year. An award letter will be sent to you in late April detailing the amount and types of aid that are available to you. You must sign and return a copy of the aid award, noting any amounts that you wish to decline or reduce.

Loan Requests — Students who accept federal student loans must also complete a loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) if they are receiving loans for the first time through OCOM. The Office of Financial Aid will notify you if an MPN is needed.

During the summer months, the Office of Financial Aid will process loan requests for the next academic year. If OCOM scholarships are offered, the applications will be reviewed and scholarships will be awarded during the summer as well.

Loan Proceeds — At the beginning of each payment period, your loan proceeds will be processed. After verifying that you are still enrolled and eligible for the loan, the funds will first be used to pay for any outstanding tuition, fees, and, if applicable, pre-ordered textbooks for the quarter. Once these amounts are fully paid, any credit balance will be available to you. You will receive any excess funds through a check from the Business Office.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — The FAFSA is a free application submitted to the federal government to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid programs, including federal student loans. The FAFSA will collect information about you, your family, and your financial situation to determine the amount of financial aid that can be awarded to you.

In general, you will want to file the FAFSA each year after you have filed your federal income tax return (if you are going to file one). The FAFSA can be completed electronically (fastest) or via paper. To complete the FAFSA, you will need your Social Security Number, driver’s license, income tax returns, bank statements, and any other information you may have regarding income and investments.

Use the links on this page to access the FAFSA website for more details on how to apply, documents you will need, and follow-up steps.


Caution: Another, similar web address takes you to the website of a business that charges a significant fee for completing the free application. Using the links on OCOM's Financial Aid webpage will ensure you are using the website for the free FAFSA application.


 Types of Financial Aid: Loans and Scholarships

Most financial aid offered through OCOM is provided in the form of loans. However, limited funds are also available through our scholarships.

While we recognize that borrowing is a necessity for many students, we encourage you to borrow cautiously and wisely.

  • Borrow only the amount you absolutely need.
  • If uncertain about future expenses, borrow only what you need now. You can apply for additional eligible funds if and when they are needed.
  • Keep track each year of how much you have borrowed and what your monthly loan payments will be to avoid surprises when you graduate.

Remember that loans must be repaid.

Most students can meet their needs using loans through one of the federal programs described below. If you have questions about private loans, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, including how private loans may impact your other financial aid.

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Unsubsidized loans for the current academic year offer a fixed interest rate of 5.84 percent. You will receive a six-month grace period after you graduate (or otherwise drop below half-time enrollment) before you must begin repayment.
  • Federal PLUS Loans for Graduate Students (“Grad PLUS”): Grad PLUS loans are unsubsidized. Grad PLUS loans for the current academic year offer a fixed interest rate of 6.84 percent. You can defer (postpone) payments on your Grad PLUS loans as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. You will also receive a six-month deferment after you graduate (or otherwise drop below half-time enrollment).

Federal rules dictate the amount you are allowed to receive under the federal student loan programs. In addition, if you receive any federal aid, federal rules state that your total aid, including private loans, cannot exceed your total OCOM budget. Remember that most students’ loan needs can be met through one or both of the federal loan programs.

View types of loans available to doctoral students.

 Steps to Receive Financial Aid

Your financial aid award letter will let you know the maximum amount of federal student loans for which you are eligible. It is then up to you to decide whether you want to accept the maximum amount, accept a lesser amount, or decline one or more of the loans. After you determine any loan amounts that you wish to accept, note the changes (if any) on the award letter before you sign and return it to OCOM's Office of Financial Aid.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a loan agreement between you and the Federal Government. By signing the MPN, you are agreeing to repay your loans under the terms of that MPN. The first time that you take out a loan at OCOM under any of the federal loan programs, you will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN will then be used as your promissory note for all future loans through that loan program while you are enrolled at OCOM. A new MPN will only be required for future years if you borrow through a different loan program. To complete you MPN online, visit: www.studentloans.gov

Federal loan programs vary from one program to the next, and come with a number of student rights as well as many responsibilities. To ensure you understand your loan obligations, federal rules require you to participate in two counseling sessions regarding loans.

Entrance Counseling is required before you receive your first Direct Unsubsidized or Grad PLUS loan at OCOM. In your Entrance Counseling session, you will learn about the types of loans that are available, the terms and conditions for the loans, and your responsibilities related to the loans. This information is provided to ensure you fully understand your loan obligation before you are committed to receiving the loan funds. 
Complete your Entrance Counseling.

 Loan Repayment

Exit Counseling is required before you graduate or otherwise leave OCOM. In your Exit Counseling session, you will prepare for repaying your student loans and consider debt management strategies. This information is provided to ensure you understand your repayment options and prepares you for the payments that will be required on your loans. Complete your Exit Counseling.

Student loans must be repaid — In most cases, you will not be required to make payments for as long as you are enrolled at least half-time. You may also be asked about your preferences for paying interest on your unsubsidized federal loans while you are in school.

Interest capitalization — Interest can add up quickly on student loans. All of the interest that accrues on your unsubsidized loans while you are in school can generally be capitalized (added to your principal loan balance, and interest will then be charged on that new, higher loan balance. Any payments that you are able to make to pay that interest before it is capitalized, whether you can pay all of it or just a portion, will reduce your overall loan costs.

Repayment plans — Federal student loans offer several different structures of repayment plans. When you are evaluating repayment plans, consider:

  • The monthly payment amount,
  • How long it will take to repay the loan, and
  • The total amount of interest that you will pay.

Low payment amounts are very tempting, but remember that they can cost you a lot in the long run. In general, select the plan with the highest payment amount that you can reasonably afford in order to minimize your loan costs while keeping the payment manageable. Remember that you can always make additional payments when you have extra cash.

View repayment plan options available to both master's and doctoral students.

Quick tips for successfully managing your loans:

  • Notify your lender of all address, phone, and e-mail changes.
  • Open all mail (postal or e-mail) from your lender.
  • Make all payments on time.
  • Make additional payments when you can, whether it's a little each month or a lump-sum payment. Even an extra $10 or $20 each month will cut your total interest costs.
  • If you have difficulty making your loan payments, contact your loan servicer immediately.

Remember, nobody wants you to default on your loans. OCOM's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is here to help if you find yourself struggling to manage your loans.

 Additional Information

 Code of Conduct

Policy Statement Regarding Relationships with Student Loan Lenders — August 14, 2007

Whereas OCOM is highly dependent upon federal student loan programs to provide funding for our students, and whereas our highest priority is to provide the highest level of services and education in TCM to our students, we the management of Oregon College of Oriental Medicine set forth the following policy regarding our relationships with student lenders:

It is OCOM’s policy to allow students to choose their student loan lender, even if the student’s chosen lender is not on a “preferred lender list” or even if the lending process cannot be accomplished conveniently for OCOM’s financial aid personnel.

Any preferred lender list will be advisory only in nature. Students always have the right to choose their lender.

If OCOM establishes criteria for a “preferred lender list,” those criteria will be based exclusively on benefit to the student borrowers, including loan rates, fees, customer service and convenience, to name a few. The chief benefit criteria may not be based on any lender-offered rebate or benefit to the student that could possibly be realized only during the repayment period if it is not certain to be enjoyed by the student.

OCOM and/or its employees may not receive any inducement whatsoever in exchange for placing a specific lender on its “preferred lender list” or for recommending a specific lender over others to the student borrower.

If OCOM maintains a “preferred lender list,” the Director of Financial Aid will publish a list of criteria for inclusion on the list available to all students and staff at least once per year or as often as the list changes.

Student lender personnel must represent themselves as agents of their lending organization at all times when on OCOM campus or at OCOM functions. They may not represent themselves as representatives of OCOM at any time.

If student lender representatives provide help to OCOM’s Financial Aid office for more than incidental services or consulting relating to loan processing systems training, the representative must be paid for the services at fair market rates.

OCOM will establish an internal Oversight Committee to review relationships with lenders and to ensure compliance with Department of Education rules and regulations, consisting of the Director of Financial Aid, the Dean of Academics and/or the Vice President of Academics and the college’s Chief Financial Officer. The Committee will report to the President annually and will act on auditors’ recommendations from the annual A-133 audit.

OCOM’s employees may not receive gifts, including travel, from lenders, guaranty agencies or servicers or their representatives except those of a nominal value. Lender-paid travel that is for training and would not be characterized as excessive or as a holiday according to the facts and circumstances may be permitted if allowed by the Department of Education. In those cases, reasons for accepting lender-paid travel must be documented and the trip approved by the oversight committee. 

Charter for the Financial Aid Internal Oversight Committee of Oregon College of Oriental Medicine — September 26, 2007

The Financial Aid Internal Oversight Committee (“Committee”) was formed to address:

The increased need for internal oversight due to increased regulatory scrutiny of financial aid lender-college relationships,

The importance of federal financial aid programs to our students,

The desire to provide transparency in our lender selection process, and

The desire to be responsive to student concerns regarding student lenders’ customer service and loan practices, and

The need to provide a means of gathering student feedback and resolving issues between students and their lenders where appropriate.

Who Will Constitute the Oversight Committee — The Committee will be made up of the persons filling the roles of Chief Financial Officer, Director of Financial Aid, Dean of Academics and/or Vice President of Academics. In addition to these OCOM staff, the committee will invite one student from each program of study to participate in the work and decisions of the committee as recommended by the Student Council or the Dean of the program.

When the Committee Will Meet — The Oversight Committee may meet as many times as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of the Charter, but not less than once in any academic year. The Committee may hold ad hoc meetings at its discretion to resolve student-lender issues of immediate importance, to respond to student concerns or to exercise its oversight authority when a lender relationship activity is called into question.

Committee Responsibilities — The Committee is responsible for implementing OCOM’s Student Loan Lender Relationship Policy and for meeting at least once per year to:

Consider or reconsider OCOM’s list of preferred lenders and the criteria by which they are chosen, and publish the criteria for selection to all students prior to the beginning of the academic year,

Solicit student feedback on issues relating to student loans and lenders,

Aid in communication of student concerns to lenders,

Review OCOM’s relationships with student lenders to ensure that employees are observing all applicable lending rules and regulations,

Provide proactive oversight of lender relationships and guidance in maintaining compliance with federal and state laws and regulations,

Consider and implement any auditor recommendations in regard to the financial aid function of the college and student lending relationships,

Report to the President each year as to the state of student satisfaction and concerns with lenders, the current preferred lender criteria and whether OCOM is in compliance with all federal and state student lending laws and regulations.

Privacy and Confidentiality — The Committee will keep minutes of all meetings, but part or all of such minutes of any meeting may be kept confidential insofar as they may involve FERPA or other privacy laws. Minutes deemed not to pose any risk of breach of confidentiality responsibilities may be made public.

When the Committee deals with any sensitive issue involving a particular individual and an area covered by FERPA or any other privacy law, only those members with direct involvement in the resolution of the issue may participate or be in attendance. All other Committee members must be excluded from those discussions which might constitute a breach of FERPA or other privacy and confidentiality laws. In no case should a Committee member discuss Committee issues relating to individuals with persons not on the Committee and participating in the extant discussion.

Adopted by the OCOM Executive Council, September 26, 2007

 Financial Aid Policies

Policies for master's and doctoral students

 Resources

The following links offer you a wealth of resources regarding the application process, student loans, debt management and related financial aid resources.

Financial Aid Applications

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) 

Overview of Federal Aid 

Managing Student Loans

NSLDS Finding Your Loans

Education-related Tax Information

IRS Publication 970 

Debt Management

Credit Reports 

Compare Costs

College Affordability and Transparency Center 

 Loan Calculators

Your student loan lender’s website will usually offer the best loan repayment calculators corresponding to their repayment plans. These websites offer generic calculators on repayment, calculating interest and general loan management:

FinAid.org 

BankRate.com (loans) 

BankRate.com (credit cards) 

 Scholarships

Find out about available scholarship opportunities that help to offset the cost of your education. Questions regarding eligibility, application deadlines and other scholarship opportunities should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Financial Aid Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator, at 503-253-3443 x109.

 Contact the Office of Financial Aid

Determining how to pay for school can be confusing, but don’t let it interfere with your commitment to getting a quality education. Let us help to answer any of your financial aid questions.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Financial Aid
Office of Financial Aid - Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
503-253-3443 x108

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Financial Aid Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator
Office of Financial Aid - Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
503-253-3443 x109