Financial Readiness & Success


OSU has developed the Financial Readiness & Success program to support your academic goals and financial well-being.


What's changing

How to remain eligible to register

Campus resources


Learn more about this initiative

Come to the Fall Webinars in October!

Tuesday, October 10, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Friday, October 13, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Where: Zoom - Attend from anywhere! Zoom links will be emailed and posted here two weeks prior to the webinars.

What: The webinars will overview the initiative and provide more details about payment options and the resources to support students.

 There will also be a live Q&A in each session, so we encourage you to come and bring your questions. 
View the July 2023 Webinar presentation slides

What’s Changing

Expanded Payment Plans
  • Students will receive information earlier about the cost of each term. This information will seek to reduce confusion, add transparency about how much students will owe and support more effective budget strategies and planning for students. 

  • Expanded approaches to payment plans to grant students more time to pay their bills and receive assistance to get to a $0 balance owed to the university before the next term begins. 

  • New payment plans will become available in August 2023 for fall term.  

New Account Threshold 
  • The new account balance threshold allowed for students to register will decrease from $2,200 to $500 and be limited to current term charges. NOTE: If you are on an OSU payment plan and current on your payments, you won't be subject to a financial registration hold.   

  • OSU has staff to talk to those who might need assistance navigating this change. Additionally, resource guidance is available. Details are found below.  

  • This change will go into effect in November for Winter 2024 registration.  

  • The goal of this threshold and support program is to seek to prevent students from building up too much debt.  

  • In June 2023, the Center for Advancement of Financial Education (CAFE) is expanding staff and services. Students can meet one-on-one to discuss the costs of attending college, budgeting, and accessing resources on campus and beyond. 

  • The Office of Student Accounts will have additional support staff to help students navigate their payment options when they call, email, or come to the office with questions. 

  • Beginning in Fall 2023, students will have access to an online financial literacy education program. Support for new students will be integrated into pre-arrival new student communications, orientation programs and START.   

How To Remain Eligible to Register

In addition to maintaining Satisfactory Academic Standing and continual enrollment (undergraduate, post baccalaureate and non-degree students absent for no more than four terms, not including summer) students must have a balance of $500 or below at time of registration or be enrolled in a payment plan. The benefit of an OSU payment plan is your balance will be paid in full before the upcoming term begins.

How To Maintain an Account Balance at or Below $500

Step 1: Review your charges and your incoming payments which may include financial aid, scholarships, or other resources

  • If your balance will not be paid in full or at or below $500 by the due date proceed to step 2

Step 2: Please view your payment plan options at If you need assistance, please call Student Account Services at 541-737-3775

  • If you are not financially able to set up a payment plan that will ensure your balance is paid off completely by the upcoming term,  or resolve your unpaid balance, please connect with the other resources listed in step 3

Step 3: Review the services and resources outlined on this page to explore other options

If you are still not able to acquire the necessary funds to pay the balance or meet the requirements for an approved OSU payment plan by the due date, you will not be eligible to register for the next term. 

Get Ahead of It
  • Book an appointment with CAFE to discuss your costs and available resources. 
  • Submit a FAFSA/ORSAA application to see what you are eligible to receive. You don't have to accept the offer, but it helps to know your options.
  • Connect with a Financial Aid advisor to learn about your aid options 
  • Review the Academic Calendar and review important dates and connect with resources early.
  • Check out the Basic Needs Center on the Corvallis campus or contact the OSU-Cascades student wellness coordinator, and talk with student Peer Navigators about strategies for living on a budget. You can also learn about campus and community resources that many students use to thrive at OSU.   
  • Review the campus resources below for your individual needs

Connect With Campus Resources

   Support Resources

   Support Beyond the Numbers

  • Oregon State Health and Well-Being
    • Provides Information on mental health, physical health, student equity, and more.
    • Review the individual resource links for availability for your campus. 
  • Basic Needs Center
    • Provides one-on-one support for food, housing, laundry, textbook lending, and more.
    • Serves all OSU students
  • ASCC Food Pantry
    • Provides free food pantry bags and safer living kits
    • Serves Cascades campus students
  • Anytime Anywhere: MySSP 
    • Provides 24/7 phone access with a licensed mental health counselor.
    • Serves Corvallis campus and Oregon Ecampus students who opted into the Health Fee
  • OSU-Cascades Counseling Clinic
    • Serves Cascades campus students
  • OSU-Cascades Health and Wellness Resources
    • View the wide range of wellness resources ranging from emotional health, financial health, physical health, and more.
    • Serves Cascades campus students

Frequently Asked Questions

While we have always had an account balance threshold for registration, we want to ensure students do not continue to carry unmanageable balances and then find themselves unable to register for future terms. This can result in the student leaving Oregon State before they earn a degree or credential.

As long as your account balance from the current term is at or below the $500 limit by the time registration begins OR you are on an OSU payment plan. However, there are deadlines for registration so you will need to address the balance before it is too late to register. Check the Academic Calendar for important registration deadlines. 

The $500 balance threshold is for all charges at all OSU campuses combined.

Your current term balance must be at or below $500 at time of registration or you are enrolled in an OSU payment plan, You can view payment plan options at

If you are on an OSU payment plan, your balance will be paid in full before the upcoming term begins and registration will not be restricted. 

All OSU charges are included in the cost of attendance, contribute to the account balance, and affect a student's ability to continue to register for courses. 

Your current term account balance can be at $500 or below. For students on OSU payment plans, the current term charges must be paid in full by the time the upcoming term begins and do not have to meet a specific balance requirement at time of registration. 

If you are on an OSU payment plan, your balance will be paid in full before the upcoming term begins and registration will not be restricted.

Yes, the Financial Aid office is open in-person throughout the year, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., including summers. They have advisors in the office to answer questions and walk students through their aid. Students can schedule in-person or zoom appointments outside of that time, come in-person from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., or contact the office by email [email protected] or phone.

Every student's situation is unique so we recommend contacting Student Accounts to discuss options at [email protected] or call them at 541-737-3775.

The holds are placed on Saturday before priority registration opens. A week before that, students are sent an email alert that they might be subject to a hold. It includes how much they need to pay and the due date to make the payment to avoid a registration hold.

If financial aid goes on after the hold is place or there are multiple forms of payment, it may need to be removed manually. Please contact Student Accounts if you need support at [email protected] or call us at 541-737-3775

If you are paying online, once the registration hold amount has been satisfied, the hold will be removed shortly after. Partial payments will not update the hold amount, but once the full hold amount is met, the system will remove the hold.

If payment is made by mail or wire transfer, the hold will not be removed until the payment has been applied to the account.

The Center for Advancing Financial Education (CAFE) focuses on financial literacy. All staff and peer mentors will have significant training in financial literacy and in assisting with non-financial aid questions, such as referrals to the Basic Needs Center, signing up for SNAP, etc. Students have the option of choosing a CAFE staff member or peer mentor when setting up a one-on-one appointment.

Yes, the account threshold for registration holds applies to all students attending OSU. 

Financial regulations requires that all federal financial aid overpayments are refunded and we also follow that as a general practice for all overpayments.

Yes, OSU payment plans are available during the summer but due to the many parts of term, they will require a different structure of those OSU payment plans.

Currently, if you have completed everything you need to be eligible for your financial aid, it will show up as authorized aid and will be calculated into your payment plan now and going forward. The Office of Financial Aid, as of the 23-24 year, will disburse 10 days before the fall term begins and then continue to disburse aid throughout the term as students register for classes and complete loan paperwork.

Equity is kept in the forefront of the analysis of our work on this change. The Controllers Office, Financial Aid Office, and CAFE will continue to pull data and review what the trends are and we are committed to mitigating disproportionate impacts on vulnerable student populations. 

Work with your student to discuss the charges, budgeting, and encourage them to seek out resources. The Center for Advancing Financial Education (CAFE) is also available for families and there is helpful information for parents regarding their student's bills as well as guidance on FERPA.

Have more questions about your student account?

Review the Student Finance FAQs to learn about billing statements, financial aid refunds, emergency loans, holds, and more!

Want to learn more about the initiative? 

Review the Goals of the initiative, What informed this change, Executive Committee & Workgroup members, and campus presentation.

Financial Readiness & Success Staff Resources

OSU Goals For Supporting Financial Readiness & Success

►Support students anywhere within OSU to successfully complete a degree or credential at Oregon State while connecting them to resources to help manage costs.

►Provide clear, transparent information to students about the costs of college, payment deadlines and strategies to approach budgeting. 

►Offer expanded support and educational resources surrounding financial literacy and well-being.


Manageable Balance Threshold

By having the balance threshold of ≤$500 students avoid an unmanageable bill and have a greater chance of being able to remain enrolled and leave the university with a degree or credential.


Expanded Payment Plan Options

Increased the number and type of payment options available to students to have the opportunity for monthly installment payments. There will also be earlier visibility of Tuition and Fees to support proactive budgeting.


Financial Well-being and Support

Provides students with access to financial literacy education as part of their transition through orientation programs as well as their time here at Oregon State.

What Informed This Change

   Lowering the threshold will prompt students and OSU support offices to identify financial needs on campus earlier

  OSU has a duty to promote having a financial plan - to understand the cost of college, apply for and accept available financial aid, and assess the ability to pay. Resulting in students being able to make informed decisions while pursuing higher education.

  Approximately 10% of students are placed on a registration hold each term. For some that's a reminder to make a payment, for others it's a prompt to seek out additional support. We want to connect with those students earlier.

  No matter the balance limit, a student without a financial plan that cannot pay their bill each term won't be able to progress, they won't be able to graduate, and if they don't graduate, their earning potential stays lower and any debt they incurred will be even more difficult to pay off. 

  OSU recognizes the unique financial situations of our students and the complexity of paying for college and that is why funding has been dedicated to support the one-on-one support provided by the Center for Advancing Financial Education (CAFE) as well as financial literacy and assessment in our START and orientation programs. 

  Our $2200 balance threshold is one of the higher outliers in higher education and we observed students progress from term to term without completely understanding or resolving their costs of enrollment which has consequences that can be detrimental to their academic goals and personal finance position.

Executive Committee & Workgroup

Executive Team


Jennifer Ajeto

Office of the Registrar

Noah Buckley


Nick Fleury

Graduate School

Karen Hanson

Graduate School

Katrina Highland

Office of the Registrar

Nicole Hindes

Basic Needs Center

Steve Hoelscher

Student Affairs

Autumn Landis

Office of the Registrar

Rebecca Mathern

Office of the Registrar

Prem Mathew

College of Business

Amy McLaughlin


Melissa Morgan

Office of Student Orientation

Marleigh Perez


Lissa Perrone

Business Services

Keith Raab

Financial Aid

Jane Reynolds

Cascades Campus

Darleen Root

Office of the Registrar

Heidi Sann

Finance and Administration

Chris Young


Financial Readiness & Success Campus Presentation


View May 2023 Campus Presentation PDF

Presentation Includes

  • Financial Readiness Overview
  • Timeline, Budget, Communications
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Payment Plans
  • Reduced Account Threshold
  • Mitigation Strategies