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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Financial Aid

Affordability is a large consideration when selecting a college. However, a high-quality education and opportunities for personal growth such as Willamette offers are equally important considerations. As the primary beneficiary of the investment in a college education, the student, and by extension the student's family, is expected to assume primary responsibility for financing educational expenses. Of course, many families cannot afford the entire cost of college. Financial aid, therefore, is designed to assist in bridging the gap between what the student can afford and what it will cost to attend Willamette. Although most financial aid is administered on the basis of financial need, there are also several merit-based programs available for which need is not a consideration.

Determining Financial Need

Willamette University uses data collected from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for each financial aid applicant and to determine eligibility for both government and University aid funds. The EFC is compared to the total annual costs at Willamette University, which include tuition, fees, room, board, and estimated amounts for books, personal, and travel expenses. For those students with an EFC less than Willamette's costs, financial need exists. If the EFC exceeds the student's annual educational expenses, the student is ineligible for need-based assistance.

The need analysis formula considers parental income and assets as well as such factors as size of the family, age of the parent(s), and the number of children attending college. Also considered are necessary family expenditures such as taxes and standard cost of living. The formula does not consider discretionary expenses, e.g., consumer indebtedness, in its calculation of parental contribution. In addition to the parent contribution, students are expected to contribute toward their college expenses from current income, savings, and any other personal resources such as trust funds.

Application Procedures

  • Apply for admission. No student will be awarded financial aid prior to being admitted to the University. Entering students who have submitted all admission and financial aid materials by February 1 will be given maximum consideration for financial aid.
  • File the FAFSA. Applicants for need-based aid must file the FAFSA. The FAFSA should be submitted to the Federal Student Aid processors as soon after the first of January as possible, but no later than February 1, for entering students, and no later than March 1 for returning students. Applicants who file their FAFSAs after these dates will be awarded financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis. Students applying for admission under the Early Action program must also file the College Scholarship Service PROFILE if they want to receive an early estimate of their need-based aid. The CSS PROFILE must be filed by December 1.

Need-Based Financial Aid Awards

The majority of University grants and scholarships are awarded to students with demonstrated need. Although need is an eligibility factor, these scholarships and grants are also awarded in recognition of academic achievement and leadership, based on the information students provide in their Applications for Admission. The FAFSA is the only application required to be considered for these awards.

Financial aid awards for entering students who have submitted all application and financial aid materials by published deadlines will be sent within one week of the letters of admission. Early Action awards, therefore, will be mailed no later than mid-January and awards for Regular Decision applicants will be mailed by April 15. Renewal awards for returning students will be mailed beginning June 1.

Financial aid is generally awarded as a package. That is, the student will receive both cash (grants and scholarships) and self-help (campus employment and student loans). Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid. Campus employment consists of a part-time job for which students are paid monthly based on the hours worked. Student loans, of course, must be repaid.

To accept a financial aid award, a student must return a signed copy of the notice of award by the date indicated on the notice. Entering students must also submit the $200 Advance Deposit. An award is not considered accepted unless the student has also confirmed his/her attendance with the nonrefundable Advance Deposit. Early Action and Regular Decision admission candidates are expected to return both items by the National Candidate Reply Date of May 1 or within two weeks of receiving their admission and financial aid notifications, if either of these arrives after April 15.

Merit-Based Scholarships

There are a number of scholarship programs at Willamette for which financial need is not a consideration. Most of these are the result of generous gifts from alumni and friends of the University who have endowed scholarship funds to recognize students whose academic and extracurricular records suggest they will make the greatest contributions to the Willamette University community. In addition to the academic scholarships, Willamette University recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding talent in music, forensics, and theatre by providing merit awards in these performance areas.

Merit selections are made on a competitive basis. All applicants who complete their Applications for Admission by the published deadlines are given automatic consideration for these scholarships. No separate scholarship application is required for most Willamette academic scholarships. University Talent/Scholarship Awards in Forensics, Music and Theatre do require an audition or separate application. In order to recognize as many outstanding students as possible, applicants will be selected for only one Willamette academic scholarship. Students may receive both an academic award and a talent scholarship.


In order to receive need-based financial assistance (including institutional grants) each academic year, a student must submit the FAFSA by March 1 each year. Students who file their renewal FAFSAs late risk being placed on a wait list for financial aid and possibly losing some or all of their University grant or scholarship funds.

For students entering Willamette as freshmen, need-based Willamette University grants are available for 9 semesters, and merit-based scholarships are available for 8 semesters, as long as the student maintains full-time student status (minimum 3 credits each semester) and makes satisfactory academic progress as determined by the Academic Status Committee of the University. All academic merit-based scholarships have specific renewal criteria that are outlined in the initial written confirmation of the award sent to the student.

The amount of a student's merit-based scholarship award will be renewed annually as long as the appropriate GPA requirement is met. Need-based aid eligibility is re-evaluated annually, based on FAFSA data and other documentation as required by the Office of Financial Aid. The amount of Willamette University need-based grant aid may vary with changes in student and family income and assets. Assuming there are no significant changes in the family's financial situation, and assuming that the student meets the published application deadlines, the amount of need-based grant aid that a student receives should remain consistent each year. Renewal of all financial aid is also subject to standard requirements regarding minimum GPA and minimum number of credits completed annually to maintain eligibility. There are a limited number of endowed and restricted scholarships available to juniors and seniors based upon faculty recommendation and/or student application.

For students transferring to Willamette from another institution, the Office of Financial Aid will notify the student of the number of semesters of aid eligibility available once the Office of the Registrar has evaluated the credits which will transfer to Willamette.

Students placed on academic probation by the Academic Status Committee are ineligible for financial aid. Appeals to this policy will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid.

Federal and state awards are contingent upon the availability of governmental funding. Willamette University does not guarantee replacement of reduced governmental aid.

Sources of Financial Aid

From Federal Funds

Eligibility for the following sources of financial aid is determined by a standardized analysis of the information submitted on the FAFSA.

Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is awarded to students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFCs).

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

This grant is awarded to students with exceptional financial need that is, students with the lowest EFCs who also receive Federal Pell Grants.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Students with financial need generally work an average of 10 hours per week and earn approximately $2,000 annually. Hourly wages vary and depend on the type of work the student is hired to do and the skills required for the job.

Perkins Loan

Students with financial need are automatically considered for this loan during the financial aid review process. Priority is given to students with exceptional need. The current interest rate is five percent. Interest and repayment are deferred until nine months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.

Stafford Loan

Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The federal government pays all interest on the loan until the student enters repayment. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. The student is charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Repayment for the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Interest is variable.

From State Funds

The Oregon Student Assistance Commission administers state-funded and private awards for Oregon residents who will attend an Oregon college. Unless a student specifically requests otherwise, information for an Oregon resident contained in the FAFSA will automatically be sent to the Oregon Student Assistance Commission to be used in determining a student's eligibility for the following programs:

Oregon State Opportunity Grants

Awards are based strictly on family size, income, and the number of family members attending college.

Private Awards

The Oregon Student Assistance Commission also administers a number of awards funded by private donors. Though many of these awards have some restrictive eligibility requirements, most recognize primarily outstanding academic achievement. In addition to the FAFSA, students are required to submit a separate application to the Oregon Student Assistance Commission by March 1. Applications are available from high school counseling offices or by calling the Commission at 1-800-452-8807. Information may also be obtained by visiting their Web site at

From Willamette University Funds

The following represent the primary merit-based awards and scholarships available from Willamette University for entering freshmen. No separate application is required unless stated otherwise.

G. Herbert Smith Presidential Scholarships

Students with a minimum 3.8 g.p.a. in solid subjects and 1350 combined SAT or 30 ACT Composite scores will be considered. Past recipients have all demonstrated particularly strong records of leadership in their schools and communities. Awards are available for four years as long as the recipient maintains full-time student status and a 3.0 cumulative g.p.a. at Willamette.

Elmer and Grace Goudy Scholarships

Students with a minimum 3.7 g.p.a. in solid subjects and 1300 Combined SAT or 29 ACT Composite scores will be considered. Awards are available for four years as long as the recipient maintains full-time student status and a 3.0 cumulative g.p.a. at Willamette.

Willamette University Scholarships for National Merit, National Hispanic and National Achievement Scholars

Selection of semifinalists in these programs is made by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation based on PSAT results from the Junior year in high school. Finalist status is determined by a committee of educators, selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which reviews additional application credentials submitted by the semifinalists. Awards are available for four years as long as the recipient maintains full-time student status and a 3.0 cumulative g.p.a. at Willamette. (National Merit) or a 2.0 cumulative g.p.a. (National Hispanic and National Achievement).

Mark O. Hatfield Scholarship for Public Service

One full-tuition scholarship for an entering first-year student with an exceptional record of serivce and leadership. A separate application and interview required. Renewable.

Hallie Ford Trustee Scholarship

Named for a lifetime trustee and generous benefactor, Trustee Scholarships are awarded to those entering applicants judged to have the most significant potential for outstanding scholarship as students at Willamette and beyond. Grades and test scores are considered, but other evidence of intellectual curiosity are also important.

Regional Scholarships

Various scholarship donors have contributed funds to recognize outstanding students from their particular regions and communities. Among these are the Hallie Ford Scholarships for students from Douglas County schools (including transfers from Umpqua Community College) this scholarship also includes an opportunity for summer employment in Douglas County; the Ancil Payne Scholarship for students from The Dalles (Oregon) High School; the Mel Goode Scholarship for students from South and West Albany (Oregon) High Schools; the Hazel Newhouse Scholarship for students from Gresham (Oregon) High School; the Robert F. Smith Scholarship for students from Harney County (Oregon); the Winterscheid Scholarship for students from the Greater Puget Sound area in Washington; and the Olympic Scholarship for graduates of Clallum or Jefferson County (Washington) high schools.

Music Talent Scholarship

Any student who intends to participate in a performing ensemble at Willamette, regardless of intended major, may audition for a music award. These scholarships are renewable, based on continued ensemble participation.

Forensics Talent Scholarship

Students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in debate and forensics activities in high school are eligible for consideration. Students must plan to continue their participation in Willamette's forensics program. Awards are renewable. To apply, students must submit a letter of application listing all forensics experiences, years of participation and all awards, prizes and recognitions achieved. In addition, students must submit a written recommendation from their forensics coach.

Theatre Talent Scholarship

Students must have demonstrated outstanding achievement in theatre activities during high school and must plan significant participation in Willamette's Theatre program. Awards are renewable. To apply, students must submit a letter of application describing their interest in Willamette's Theatre program and indicate which specialty (acting, directing, or design/technical) is of primary interest. The Department of Theatre also conducts on-campus auditions for these awards.

Scholarships, Prizes and Awards

Through the generosity of various groups and friends, Willamette offers a number of scholarships, prizes, and awards for achievement in the different fields of college endeavor. These awards recognize scholarship as well as leadership and character and many provide funding for Willamette's need-based grant programs.

Below is a complete list of prizes, awards and scholarships available to Willamette University students in the College of Liberal Arts. Those for which entering students will be considered are marked with an asterisk (*).

  • Joseph H. Albert
  • Marion Bacon Allen
  • Ruth Buche Allen (History)
  • Charles D. Allis (Economics)
  • Althoff Writing Prize
  • Alumni Association
  • Alumni Honors*
  • Philip C. Armstrong (Biology)
  • Vera M. Armstrong
  • Myrtle L. Atkinson Foundation
  • Edward F. Averill
  • Elizabeth Baker and Lavina Wheeler
  • Kenneth A. Batchelder Memorial (Computer Science; Sigma Chi)
  • Anna M. Barrett
  • Bishop Bruce R. Baxter
  • Bay Area Alumni
  • Ruth Bedford (Music)
  • Howard C. and Mae C. Belton
  • Lester J. and Ida May Bennett (Ministry or Sociology)
  • Blackman/Barber (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Walter Blake
  • Lelia S. Bortzmeyer (Methodist Ministry)
  • Andrew G. Bottin
  • Charles and Barbara Bowles
  • Julius J. and Joanna Brauer
  • Oliver C. Brown (Economics)
  • Violet Burlingham Mu Phi Epsilon (Music)
  • Helen Purvine Burnett (Politics)
  • Ellen J. Chamberlain and Julia L. Schultz (Music)
  • Claude E. Chandler MD and Martin W. Grefnes (Pre-Medicine)
  • Ben B. Cheney Foundation
  • Chevron Merit Award*
  • Chiles Foundation
  • John I. and Ruth I. Church (Math, Economics)
  • Class of 1932
  • Class of 1933
  • Class of 1940
  • Class of 1948
  • Class of 1949
  • Class of 1952
  • Class of 1953
  • Class of 1954
  • Class of 1960
  • Class of 1966
  • Gilbert J. Clausman (Music)
  • Jack R. Clumeck
  • Beuford S. Cole
  • Mary L. Collins
  • Truman W. Collins (National Merit Finalists)
  • William D. and Phina Collins (Ministry or Religion Education)
  • Edwin and June Cone (Senior)
  • Covert Family (Music)
  • A. Gale Currey
  • Denison Family
  • Mary L. Denton (Piano)
  • Max and Susan de Sully
  • Mary A. and Martin J. Dietz
  • Paul M. Duell (Chemistry)
  • Margaret Klund Earnheart
  • Adele Egan
  • Erickson Family
  • Mary E. Eyre (Salem)*
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Al Ferrin (Pre-Medicine)
  • First Security Bank
  • Robert M. Fitzpatrick (Pre-Medicine and Pre-Engineering)
  • Hallie Ford Trustee (Academic, Art)*
  • Forensic Talent*
  • Mabel H. Fraer
  • Richard K. Frederick (Music)
  • H. Leslie and Betty Lewis Frewing (International Students)
  • Louis J. Gates
  • Margaret L. Gates (MAT)
  • M. Clare Geddes
  • Melvin and Ruth Geist (Music)
  • Richard M. Gillis (Economics)
  • Florence Lee Godfrey (Music)
  • Mel Goode (Albany)*
  • Elmer and Grace Goudy*
  • George H. Grabenhorst Memorial
  • Donald K. and Evelyn Grant
  • Garrison J. Gray
  • John D. Gray (Economics)
  • Robert D. and Lois E. Gregg (History)
  • R. Samuel Hall (Mathematics)
  • Mark O. Hatfield (Politics)
  • Mark O. Hatfield Scholarship for Public Service
  • Harold Hauk
  • Timothy C. Hawkins
  • Haynes/McHale
  • Hearst Foundation
  • Louise Findley Heinl (Music)
  • Willis and Margaret Hisey
  • Lloyd and Grace Tyler Hockett
  • Bernice Jackson Hoffman (Foreign Study)
  • Shannon P. Hogue (Journalism)
  • Alice S. Hopkins
  • Joyce Horn and Elda Branson (Music)
  • Hoyt Family (Law)
  • Esther Wright Huffman (Art)
  • Dr. Norman A. Huffman (Religion)
  • Elizabeth H. Jaqua
  • Leonard D. Jaqua
  • Magic Johnson
  • Jesse M. and Alice Rose Jones
  • Malcolm and Helen Jones
  • Jory-Hafferkamp (Mathematics)
  • Noel F. Kaestner (Psychology)
  • Cleve Keas
  • Spec Keene
  • Richard E. Kerr (Pre-Medicine)
  • Peter and Bonnie Kremer
  • Dr. Sceva Bright and Lillian Goodall Laughlin (Sociology)
  • M. Evelyn Lawrence
  • William and Minnie Lawrence
  • Marguerite Lawson
  • David O. and Julia B. Lear
  • Margaret and Dwight Lear
  • Charles H. Leavitt
  • Kristine Landon Liepins (Computer Science)
  • Robert H. Lillig
  • Theodore W. Loder Sr.
  • Bill Long
  • Howie Long
  • Dr. Ivan Lovell (History)
  • Chester F. Luther (Mathematics)
  • Helen Yeomans Luther (Foreign Languages)
  • Charles E. McCulloch
  • James Newton McCurdy (Ministry
  • Henry F. McLauchlan (Pre-Nursing)
  • Meier and Frank
  • Donald G. Metcalf
  • Paul F. and Frances Lemery Miller (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Cecil R. Monk Memorial (Biology)
  • Ferne and Brooks Moore
  • Mary Putnam Mort
  • Charles and Valona Moser
  • Dan Mosee (East Portland)
  • Mulligan Fund
  • Music Talent*
  • Royal Nakano
  • National Achievement Finalists*
  • National Hispanic Recognition Finalists*
  • National Merit Finalists*
  • George Neuner
  • Hazel R. Newhouse (Gresham)*
  • Dr. George Allen Odgers
  • J. Orin and May C. Oliphant
  • Olympic*
  • Operation Mid-Point
  • Robert H. Pace
  • Padilla
  • Mary Parkinson (Ministry)
  • Ancil H. Payne (The Dalles)
  • Morton E. and Jessie G. Peck (Biology)
  • Harry F. and Z. Irene Pemberton (Religious Studies)
  • Dorothy Ann Perkins (Music)
  • Richard P. Petrie (Economics)
  • PGE
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Pi Kappa Lambda (Music)
  • James H. Polhemus
  • Elizabeth Powell
  • Russel and Alice Pratt
  • Presser Foundation (Music)
  • Robert L. Purbrick (Physics
  • Ralph E. Purvine (Pre-Medicine)
  • Charles R. Randall
  • Charlotte and D. Russell Rarey
  • Betty S. Reardon
  • Katie Redmond Memorial (Alpha Chi Omega)
  • Reynolds Trust Fund of The United Methodist Church
  • Ernest C. and Myrta M. Richards
  • R. Cloyd Riffe (Music)
  • Bernice M. Rise (English)
  • Nellie L. Roberts
  • Leta O. Roehl (German)
  • Mary Stuart Rogers
  • Cora G. and Frederick L. Rose Memorial (Music)
  • Dona Adams Rothwell
  • Howard and Mary Runkel (Rhetoric)
  • Salem Breakfast Club
  • James Scariot
  • Sara Bingay Schultz (Delta Gamma)
  • Wilson Henry Scott
  • Senators (Politics)
  • Sesquicentennial
  • Theodore E. D. Shay (Economics)
  • Leland A. Shinn
  • Sigma Tau Memorial
  • Edmund Arthur and Helen Cavitt Smith (Politics)
  • G. Herbert Smith Presidential* (Academic, Leadership)
  • Marie C. Smith
  • William B. Smullin
  • Sorority Scholarship
  • Robert Smith
  • Sparks Family
  • Theresa Sprain* (Kalispell, Montana)
  • Martha Springer (Biology)
  • Edward O. Jr. and Dorothy Alexander Stadter
  • Helen E. Stanclift
  • M. Emma Stannus (Music)
  • Charles L. Starr
  • Dr. Laban A. Steeves
  • Sarah Hunt Steeves
  • Betty Louise Stevens
  • Ed Stillings Memorial
  • Glenn and Dorothy Summers
  • Irene Gerlinger Swindells (Music)
  • Muriel Steeves Tate
  • Theatre Talent*
  • Ernst and Selma Thoman
  • Michal Ann Thomas
  • Vernon V. and Augusta M. Thompson (Biology)
  • Thompson/Payne (MAT)
  • Tokyo International University
  • Clorinda Risley Topping (Music)
  • Virginia Treat (Music and Math)
  • Max D. and Rose E. Tucker
  • Rex A. Turner
  • United Methodist Church
  • UPS Scholarship
  • Bill and Alma Rhorer Vinson
  • Florian Von Eschen (Chemistry)
  • Glen C. Wade (Music)
  • Nancy K. Detering Waechter (Biochemistry)
  • Helena W. Wallace (Music)
  • Nancy Black Wallace (Music)
  • Taul Watanabe* (Japanese descent)
  • Taul Watanabe (Science)
  • Watanabe-Skopil
  • William B. Webber
  • E. Jerry Whipple
  • Whipple Family
  • Bruce E. White
  • Colonel Percy Willis
  • Wilson (Law)
  • Winterscheid* Puget Sound
  • WU Half Century
  • Dr. Robert and Pauline Wulf
  • Richard and Elizabeth Yocom (International Studies)
  • William Wallace Youngson (Religious Studies)