What is FAFSA, and why do I need it?

The FAFSA is the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid and can be accessed at www.fafsa.ed.gov. This is where it all begins. The online form submitted to the U.S. Department of Education determines the type of federal aid programs (scholarships, grants, loans or work study) for which you qualify.

What is the process for completing the FAFSA?

• You and your parent will need to go online to complete the FREE application. You will need the most recent tax returns for you and your parent(s) (if they claimed you), and you must also apply for and receive a personal identification number prior to completing the FAFSA. The PIN is obtained at www.pin.ed.gov.

• After receiving the information from the U.S. Department of Education, the institution you plan to attend will notify you of the type and amount of federal aid for which you qualify. This may vary by institution.

• When you know about federal aid, you are ready to begin working with OPI.

What is a scholarship?

A scholarship is aid that is provided to a student that DOES NOT have to be repaid;scholarships are usually provided by an individual, organization or business and are like a gift.

What is a grant?

Grants are aid provided to a student that DO NOT have to be repaid, but that are typically provided by a government program; grants are most often determined by need and seen as an entitlement based on individual circumstances.

What is a loan?

A student loan is aid provided to a student that DOES have to be repaid; loans are available through government programs as well as private organizations such as OPI; repayment of the loan does not typically begin until the student graduates from college.


What are the typical types of student loans?

A Subsidized Stafford Loan is a low-interest rate loan made to a student in which interest is paid by the federal government as long as the student is in school; payments are not required while the student is in school and credit history is not a factor in qualification.

An Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a low-interest rate loan made to a student in which interest begins accruing as soon as the money is borrowed. Even though payments are not required until the student graduates or leaves school, interest is still accruing; credit history is not a factor in qualification.

A PLUS Loan is a loan made to the parent(s) of a student in which interest begins accruing as soon as the money is borrowed and payments begin before the student graduates; PLUS loan interest rates are higher and qualification is based on the credit of the parent(s).

An OPI Loan is a low-interest loan made to a student which must be cosigned by another individual (likely a parent) and does not accrue interest or require payment as long as the student is in school full time. Credit history for the student and the cosigner, among other factors, are considered. The first step in receiving an OPI loan is to complete the loan application.

What is a cosigner?

A cosigner is someone who signs the note in addition to the borrower and agrees to pay the borrower’s debt should the borrower not be able.

Why do I need a cosigner?

The cosigner is the only guarantor OPI has on the funds. Because OPI is dependant upon the repayment of borrowed money in order to help other students, we must take steps to ensure we will have money to loan in the future.

Who should I ask to cosign my loan?

It is best if one or both of your parents can cosign. OPI does not allow a spouse to be the primary cosigner on a loan. The person who cosigns should be fully aware that they are responsible for payment of the loan should the borrower be unable to pay.

What do I need to do between semesters to continue receiving loan funds from OPI?

At the beginning of each semester in which you are receiving funds from OPI, you must provide OPI with a copy of your grades from the previous semester, and a copy of your enrollment for the upcoming semester.Additionally, you should complete the loan re-application each semester and a budget statement estimating your income and expenses for the upcoming semester only.

How do I get OPI scholarships?

Complete the OPI General Scholarship Application to be considered for all our scholarships. The priority deadline is April 1 of each year.

What do I do if my contact information changes?

Simply click on the “Update Information” tab at the top of the page and complete the form. Or you may call the OPI offices at (806) 655-2528 or email info@opportunityplan.com with updated information..


What other resources are available to me?

Additional resources and links are located on the right side of the page. If you do not find the answer to your question, feel free to email us at info@opportunityplan.com or call our office at (806) 655-2528 .