Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.12
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Portland State University
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Charles Lopez
Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion-Presidents Office
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Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

The Student Support Services / Educational Opportunity Program is a federally funded TRIO program of the U.S. Department of Education. The mission of TRIO programs is to expand educational opportunity to persons often underrepresented in higher education. The SSS/EOP is available to first generation, low income, and/or disabled students who have a need for academic support. The program provides academic counseling, tutoring and enrichment classes to help students maintain achievement standards and graduate. Professional counselors and peer advisors assess student needs, help students plan schedules, and offer guidance and referrals. PSU has been awarded a $1.85 million grant to continue programs for 2010-2015.
(Source: http://www.pdx.edu/dmss/TRIO-SSS)
Pre-college TRIO programs include Education Talent Search and Upward Bound.
Upward Bound, a college preparation program for high school students, has been hosted at Portland State University since 1976. Upward Bound, funded by the U.S. Department of Education at $437,808, is a year-round program designed to improve students' academic and study skills in high school, to develop their career and educational plans, and to help them enter and succeed in higher education. Upward Bound serves 81 low income, first generation high school students from the following schools or campuses: Franklin High School, Grant High School, Jefferson Campus, Madison High School, and Benson High School. To date, 95% of our students stay in our program through high school graduation and since 2000, 75% of these students have either graduated from college or are still in college.
Educational Talent Search is an educational access and information program sponsored by Portland State University, and funded through the U.S. Department of Education at $313,994. ETS serves 685 students in the Portland and Hillsboro School Districts. A large percentage (over 67%) of our student population is comprised of under-represented ethnic minority students. Since 1993, 92% of our annual high school graduates enroll in college immediately after high school.


A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:

PSU has many different opportunities for low-income students to minimize the cost of attendance. Together, financial aid and scholarships make it so that 77% of PSU students receive some sort of financial assistance. PSU also does a lot to raise awareness around our various policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance. We have multiple publications that address financial aid and scholarships. We also offer programs to share information about financial aid and scholarships with prospective students, especially during our Bridges programs-- open houses for students of color, first generation college students, and low-income students.
Diversity Scholarship Programs: Fifty-six students comprised the fall 2009 freshmen cohort, supported through a first-term college success skills class and case-managed advising, had a 100% retention rate for Fall Term 2010. Of the 175 students supported through the Diversity Scholarship Programs, 47 graduated during AY 2009-2010. The Diversity Scholars provided over 4,000 hours of community service on campus and in the Metro area.
Jim Sells Childcare Assistance Program: This program, funded by the Student Incidental Fee, provides subsidies to cover up to 50% of the out-of-pocket cost of childcare for financially eligible students. In the 2013-2014 academic year, over 200 families received assistance from this program. Total amount awarded was over $590,000.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to equip the institution's faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

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A brief description of the institution’s programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

Upward Bound
Upward Bound, a college preparation program for high school students, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It is a year-round program designed to improve students' academic and study skills in high school, to develop their career and educational plans, and to help them enter and succeed in higher education. All students receive:
-Academic guidance and counseling on a year-round basis
-Daily tutoring in high school courses
-Semester-long courses for high school credit
-A 6-week summer academic program
-Assistance with career and college planning and financial aid
-Opportunities for summer work-study positions (up to $900 for the summer)
-Opportunities to visit colleges and explore careers
-Technology skill-building: web design, photo editing, movie editing, Internet research skills
(Source: http://www.pdx.edu/dmss/pre-college-programs)

McNair Scholars
The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at Portland State University (PSU) works with motivated and talented undergraduates who want to pursue PhDs. It introduces juniors and seniors who are first-generation and low-income, and/or members of under-represented groups to academic research and to effective strategies for getting into and graduating from PhD programs.
(Source: http://www.pdx.edu/mcnair-program/)

PSU has many programs geared toward low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students to educate them on the benefits of higher education, and introduce them to Portland State University. The Admissions Office works with high school students, family members, community based organizations, and community leaders on a regular basis to familiarize them with higher education and the steps to enrollment at PSU. Beyond our regular admissions outreach and recruitment, we also have special programs geared toward students of color, first generation students, and low income students, specifically our Bridges programs. This day long visit program is designed to educate students about PSU and help the student learn if PSU would be a good fit for their post-secondary goals. The following is a listing of the activities, events and strategies implemented to increase diversity at PSU. Thirty-nine percent of this year’s entering Freshmen class was diverse and 27% of the entering transfer student population was diverse. These increases represent a 4.6% and 1.6% increase, from fall 2012, respectively.
● Planned and executed “Bridges”, PSU’s visit program for students of color (700 + attended)
● Held 12 on-site admissions events at PPS & DDHS
● Participated in 32 events targeting students of color and their family members in PDX Metro Area from Jan – May
● Planned and executed 2 diversity luncheons for admitted students and family members for students of color
● Planned and executed admitted student reception and new student orientation session in Hawaii many Pl in this territory)
● Partnered with Hillsboro HS to bring 400 high school students to PSU for years beginning in 2010
● Planned and executed over 40 group visits for high school who wanted to bring students to PSU’s campus
● Visited diverse high schools at least three times during fall recruitment cycle
● PSU participated in Cinco de Mayo festival
● Hosted “Paying for PSU & pizza party family members during Roosevelt HS and Grant HS basketball game to discuss paying for college
● Partnered with MECHA for Educate’ conference. PSU was the exclusive University at conference allowing us to talk about PSU admissions/scholarships. This exclusivity was MECHA’s plan.
● Student ambassadors presented with Admissions Reps at HS visits at targeted HS
● Executed variable marketing campaign to students of color in OR to seniors who took the SAT/ACT in their senior year
● Improved communication plan for students of color to introduce them to campus programs and services
● Through improved outreach and communication, Increased by 50% the number of family members participating in the annual bilingual family orientation program (N=37 family members)

Portland State has a number of scholarships for low-income students. Beyond our general scholarships that are available for all eligible students, we have some specifically geared toward high need and first generation college students. We currently have seven scholarships for student with high financial need with awards from $1,500 to $3,000. In addition we have ten scholarships for first generation college students that award $2000 to $5000.
Portland State offers a wide variety of scholarships to meet the needs of our diverse student body. Some scholarships are based on:
-Financial need
-Diverse and unique backgrounds
-First generation status
(Source: http://www.pdx.edu/finaid/scholarship)
McNair Scholars
The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at Portland State University (PSU) works with motivated and talented undergraduates who want to pursue PhDs. It introduces juniors and seniors who are first-generation and low-income, and/or members of under-represented groups to academic research and to effective strategies for getting into and graduating from PhD programs.

Through admissions, we have a number of opportunities for parents to learn more about the process of admission and the student's first year at PSU. Most notable among them, PSU hosts a fall and spring visit program (including the Bridges programs) and our regular Orientation programs. There is one family program at orientation for bilingual family members (Spanish) where all content is in Spanish. All of these programs have workshops, panels, and receptions specifically geared toward parents of prospective and incoming students.
● Admissions has a family newsletter for parents.
● All admitted student’s family members receive a “Paying for PSU” brochure and a letter from the President discussing the value of a PSU education.
Upward Bound involves parents:
a. Inform parents about Upward Bound events.
b. Communicate with parents about student participation in Upward Bound activities, especially the tutorial program.
c. Invite parents to participate in and assist with events and activities.
d. Encourage parents to continue their education by taking classes.
e. Ask parents for suggestions for improving Upward Bound curriculum and activities.
(Source: handbook for Upward Bound http://www.pdx.edu/ubets/node/30)


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Portland State has a number of scholarships for low-income students. Beyond our general scholarships that are available for all eligible students, we have some specifically geared toward high need and first generation college students. We currently have seven scholarships for student with high financial need with awards from $1,500 to $3,000. In addition we have ten scholarships for first generation college students that award $2000 to $5000.

Portland State offers a wide variety of scholarships to meet the needs of our diverse student body. Some scholarships are based on:
-Financial need
-Diverse and unique backgrounds
-First generation status
(Source: http://www.pdx.edu/finaid/scholarship)

McNair Scholars
The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at Portland State University (PSU) works with motivated and talented undergraduates who want to pursue PhDs. It introduces juniors and seniors who are first-generation and low-income, and/or members of under-represented groups to academic research and to effective strategies for getting into and graduating from PhD programs.
(Source: http://sites.google.com/site/psumcnairscholars/home/)


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

Through admissions, we have a number of opportunities for parents to learn more about the process of admission and the student's first year at PSU. Most notable among them, we have our fall and spring visit programs (including the Bridges programs) and our regular Orientation programs. All of these programs have workshops, panels, and receptions specifically geared toward parents of prospective and incoming students.

Upward Bound involves parents:
a. Inform parents about Upward Bound events.
b. Communicate with parents about student participation in Upward Bound activities, especially the tutorial program.
c. Invite parents to participate in and assist with events and activities.
d. Encourage parents to continue their education by taking classes.
e. Ask parents for suggestions for improving Upward Bound curriculum and activities.
(Source: handbook for Upward Bound http://www.pdx.edu/ubets/node/30)


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The Bridges programs would be the most obvious example of targeted outreach. Bridges is Portland State University's annual open house for high school students, who are low income, first generation, or from ethnically diverse backgrounds, who are exploring college opportunities. Admitted Student Programs are held in spring for first year students. At these events, a diversity luncheon is hosted where students are introduced to other newly admitted students of color and current PSU students and staff who work in areas that hold programs and have services important to underrepresented, first generation and low income.

PSU also makes a concerted effort to participate in community events where low-income students will be present, such as college fairs and college nights. We also visit high schools around the country. Our counselors are equipped to answer the questions of low income students and their families when they meet them during recruitment.

Upward Bound:
Upward Bound serves 81 low income, first generation high school students from the following schools or campuses: Franklin High School, Grant High School, Jefferson Campus, Madison High School, Marshall Campus, and Benson High School.
(Source: http://www.pdx.edu/ubets/)

Gaining Awareness and Networking for Academic Success (GANAS):
Implemented a year-long support/mentor program designed to help new Latina/o students transition to PSU from high school. The program has recruited and enrolled 20 new students from various schools in Oregon. The program also has 4 continuing Latino students who will help mentor the 20 new freshmen.

Bilingual Family Orientation:
Alongside New student Orientation I co-planned the first Bilingual Spanish Orientation for Latino Families on July 17, 2010. Approximately 20 family members participated.


A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

Advising Programs have recently been improved so that all students receive mandatory advising during their first year. http://www.pdx.edu/advising/
PSU's admission policies and programs try to balance the priorities of access and excellence. We strive to recruit and admit students who will be successful in the PSU environment. Initial evaluations of students take into account their GPA, completion of 15 core subject areas with a C- or better, and standardized test scores. While grades tend to be the best indicators of success, we also acknowledge that there are other factors in students lives. Because of these other factors, when students do not meet our general admission requirements, we offer opportunities to explain why and prove they would be successful candidates for admission through a more holistic admission process. Rolling admissions is another example of our commitment to access.

The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs. Besides aid from the U.S. Department of Education (discussed below), you also might get
● aid for serving in the military or for being the spouse or child of a veteran,
● tax benefits for education,
● an Education Award for community service with AmeriCorps,
● Educational and Training Vouchers for current and former foster care youth, and/or
● scholarships and loan repayment through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and National Health Service Corps.
The U.S. Department of Education awards about $150 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to more than 14 million students. Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees,room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. Thousands of schools across the country participate in the federal student aid programs; ask the schools you’re interested in whether they do!
Federal student aid includes:
● Grants—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)
● Loans— borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest
● Work-Study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school


A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:
A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:

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The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above is available:

Source: CeCe Ridder Dr, Diversity and Multicultural Student Services - Student Affairs

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.