The Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) established the Oregon Nurseries Foundation (ONF) to manage scholarship funds raised and/or contributed by OAN members. The money is used to award scholarships to deserving students who are preparing for a career in ornamental horticulture and related fields.
The ONF is a separate nonprofit foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is governed by a five-member board of trustees comprised of OAN members.
Making a plan
My wife, Jennifer Satalino, serves as director of The College Place Oregon. She has been a financial aid expert the entire time I have known her. By this point, I can recite her talking points and her advice to parents back to you from memory.
The keys are: 1. Understand the true value of an education; 2. Realize the cost for a bachelor’s degree is on another planet from when I went to school; and 3. Know the importance of planning ahead for future educational endeavors. That’s true whether you have children, or you’re an adult who just wishes to invest in a family or
A resource for college access
I am deeply proud of the work that the ONF has done over the years. The foundation has supported numerous people who finished their education and went on to be industry leaders. Some became OAN board members. Those in recent memory include Jim Simnitt (Simnitt Nursery); Kyle Fessler (Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas Inc.) and Mark Bigej (Al’s Garden & Home).
Some of our recipients went on to serve on the ONF Board of Trustees, including Peter Gregg of Iseli Nursery and Alexa Patti of Little Prince of Oregon Nursery.
ONF awards scholarships to students preparing for a career in ornamental horticulture and related fields. In all, 20 different awards — ranging from $5,700 to $1,500 — are sponsored by individuals and OAN chapters each academic year. Over the past 20 years, ONF has awarded a total of $260,900 in scholarships to 203 students. (Some may have received scholarships more than once.)
Some of our scholarships are funded by nursery families, by OAN chapters, or as memorial scholarships in honor of people connected with the nursery industry. These are the cornerstone of our scholarship program. The investment of scholarship dollars includes Nursery Employee Awards, given to students who are employed by an OAN member. Just since 2003, there have been 20 such recipients!
What is the EFC?
If you have high school or college students in your family, in your workforce, or are part of an employee’s family, it’s important they apply for scholarships and other types of financial aid.
According to ECMC’s The College Place Oregon, the expected family contribution (EFC) is a number that determines students’ eligibility for certain types of federal student aid. This number is calculated with the federal methodology formula, which uses the information that students provide on the Free Application for Federal Student
Financial aid administrators subtract the EFC from students’ cost of attendance to determine their need for federal student financial assistance offered by the U.S. Department of Education.
Student aid changes for ag families
My wife tells me the value of any family-held or family-controlled businesses or farms are currently excluded from FAFSA and ORSAA calculations. However, both exclusions are going away for the 2024–-25 school year as part of the many significant changes Congress made in 2020.
On the revised FAFSA, the net worth of any family-held, or controlled business or farm will need to be reported as an asset. Depending on the value, this could significantly reduce the ability of certain families to qualify for need-based aid.
Net worth will be calculated by subtracting business or farm debt from the current fair market value of the business or farm (including the value of land, buildings, inventory, equipment, machinery, and livestock). To be considered a business or farm debt, the debt must be secured by the business or farm. If business or farm debt uses something else as collateral, such as home equity, it will not offset the value of the business or farm.
Navigating the application process
This fall, The College Place Oregon, along with colleagues from the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, will offer two free webinars for families who want to know more about the financial aid process. Families will be able to ask questions, even anonymously, and have them answered by professionals in the financial aid field.
- An English language event will be held Tuesday, September 27. Register at https://bit.ly/PFCOR2022.
- A Spanish-language event, will be held Thursday, September 29. Register at https://bit.ly/PFCS2022.
FAFSA and ORSAA applications open October 1, so this information will be especially timely for families with a high school senior or those already in college.
Help grow our future
I have seen firsthand two scholarships that became endowed during my tenure at OAN. These scholarships affirm the deep connection people have with our nursery industry, and demonstrate a firm commitment to the education of our future leaders. That is inspiring to see.
If you feel so moved, please help spread the word about our scholarships in your community and in your networks.
Donate through the ONF website, www.oan.org/page/onfdonate. Support your local chapter. Your generosity may make a decisive difference for an aspiring industry member.