In the News

2019

August 22nd
Salud America!

The Juntos program, a six-week Spanish-language workshop offered through Oregon State University, prepares Latino high-school students for higher education and includes ongoing advisement for students and families. This article addresses the Juntos approach to college-readiness, and the state of Latinx education.

August 7th
The Dalles Chronicle

Last week, 30 middle school kids participated in a weeklong camp in Hood River offered by OSU Extension Open Campus program. The focus of the camp was “Human Centered Design.” In small groups, campers practiced the five stages of HCD (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test) to develop a product. On the final day, they used videotaped infomercials that they created to “pitch” their product to parents and guests at the final showcase.

August 5th
KDRV 12

Academia Latina is a week-long program at Southern Oregon University in which students engage in activities that will help them grow as students and leaders.

July 24th
The Dalles Chronicle
Camp at TDMS for students sixth grade to those entering 9th
June 4th
The Blue Mountain Eagle

Aviation Day at the Grant County Regional Airport in John Day introduced over 62 fifth- and sixth-grade students to the facets of flight, including exploring the field as a possible future occupation.

April 8th
The Ford Family Foundation
February 12th
Hood River News

It’s that time of year! Students are submitting college applications and considering their options. It’s an exciting and hopeful time, but there is a dark cloud of uncertainty looming on the near horizon. Students and their families are wondering, “Can we afford it?”

 

B2 Extension column Ann Harris.jpg

My name is Ann Harris and I am the coordinator of Oregon State University Open Campus. My job includes helping students and their families find a path to higher education that is right for them and that they can afford. To clarify … I am not part of OSU admissions and recruiting. I work with all students, no matter where they plan to attend college. My program is part of OSU Extension, which is funded by Hood River County funds. My office is here in Hood River and I am here to serve you!

 

If you, or a student you know, is considering their college options and concerned about the cost, let’s focus on these key strategies:

 

1. Submit the FAFSA. That is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students must submit the FAFSA in order to be considered for federal and state grants, loans and work-study. The amount you qualify for depends on family income.

A Social Security number or DACA is required to submit the FAFSA (studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa).

 

2. Submit college applications now. Feb. 1 is the deadline for many colleges to be considered for admission and for college-based scholarships. Other college’s deadlines are coming up soon.

 

3. Submit the Oregon Promise application. For students starting at an Oregon community college, the Oregon Promise grant helps to cover tuition costs for recent high school graduates and GED test graduates. Note: Oregon Promise is available to students regardless of immigration status. Apply at oregonstudentaid.gov/oregon-promise.aspx.

 

4. Apply for scholarships. Many scholarships are available for students. Some are based on academics, some on financial need, others are based on activities, sports or specific affiliations of the student (example, a parents’ employer). Some scholarships are available to students who are under-represented in college like students of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQ-plus students, rural students and others. There are several main sources of scholarships:

 

University-Based. Most colleges and universities offer substantial scholarships. Students are often be considered for them “automatically” when they apply for admission by the deadline. There may also be other scholarships available that require a separate application. Search the college website under “financial aid and scholarships” to find this information. If you don’t see it, call that department directly and ask.

 

Local. In Hood River, high school seniors will soon receive an application packet from their high school counselors to be considered for thousands of dollars of local scholarships. Don’t miss this opportunity!

 

State. These come from many sources across the state. Students need to submit the OSAC application (Oregon Student Access and Completion). With one application, students can be considered for many scholarships (oregonstudentaid.gov/scholarships.aspx).

 

National. Many companies, foundations, professional associations and private individuals offer scholarships to thousands of students across the country every year. There are many online sources to find these scholarships. Some reputable sources include: FastWeb, FinAid, Petersons, College Board or this scholarship information site administered by FAFSA (studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/finding-scholarships).

 

CAUTION: There are scholarship scams out there — Only use free search websites. For more information, go to studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/scams.

 

I hope these strategies will be helpful to you! Remember, act now … Deadlines are right around the corner. Soon, students will receive college acceptance letters that include a financial aid package of funds awarded. This means the “Bottom Line” cost. If sticker shock leaves you wondering what to do next, there is help available!

 

I am happy to meet with you and your student. Contact me, Ann Harris, at OSU Extension, 541-386-3343 ext. 38228. You can also get help and information from the Hood River Valley High School Aspire office at 541-387-5034.

2018

May 25th
The Dalles Chronicle

College visits can inspire high school students, too

The Dalles Chronicle  |  By: Ann Harris

Hey parents! Did you know that visiting a college is not just for high school juniors and seniors?

Visiting colleges and universities early in the high school years — or even in middle school — can provide a clear and tangible understanding of college life as well as offer a source of educational and career inspiration.

This week, eight students from The Dalles High School Juntos Club took a two-day trip to visit both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

Juntos is a club focused on empowering students to achieve their college dreams. Club members began planning the trip early in the school year and fundraised to pay it. The first day included attending a special University of Oregon Connections event, led by staff members and multicultural student ambassadors. The students enjoyed lunch at the university and a tour of the beautiful campus, participated in a student panel, and spent time learning about academic and extracurricular programs. The second day included a customized tour at Oregon State University. Students chose where they wanted to visit based on their career interests. They also had the opportunity to meet with current students, particularly students of color, who shared stories of their college experience.

Here’s some comments from the Juntos students: Elena Hernandez said, “I liked that the student ambassadors were really focused on what we wanted to know and answered all of our questions.” Student ambassadors are current university students specially trained to give tours and welcome prospective students. Jazmin Aviles said, “it was good to learn about scholarship opportunities like Pathway Oregon that pays for full tuition at U of O…now we can set our goals to meet those GPA requirements.” Teresa Esiquio Rendon said, “I learned about study abroad opportunities like Oxford. It’s a direct exchange program where you pay the same tuition as at your university.”

Perhaps the most important element of their visit this week is that students had the chance to imagine themselves as a student at U of O or OSU. Who knows where they will end up attending, but these students can now see themselves as college students. If they can see it, they can be it! My work as Open Campus Coordinator for OSU Extension is all about helping more students’ access college.

If you have questions about planning a college visit or other regarding post-secondary education, I am happy to assist you. Ann Harris can be reached at 541-296-5494.

Copyright, 2018, The Dalles Chronicle. All Rights Reserved.