EUGENE, Ore. - Students are returning to the University of Oregon this week, but the financial aid office buzzes with activity all year long.
"We hear from a lot of people saying they just need that extra bit of help," said Michelle Holdway, the scholarship coordinator.
Students arriving this year at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon will pay higher tuition than ever.
The state schools are now charging from $32,000 to $36,000 for four years.
Middle-income familes often get stuck with few scholarship options.
"It's very difficult to find, to pick out the ones that actually apply to you," said incoming freshman Inessa Wursher.
"My wife is looking for work to help pay for some of this stuff," said dad James Wursher.
Starting next year, a generous gift will impact the lives of at least 250 incoming students.
UO graduate Mary Corrigan Solari donated $5 million to offer renewable $5,000 scholarships to help middle-income families.
To be eligible, applicants must attend all 4 years of high school in Oregon and have a high school GPA of 3.6.
Recipients must maintain a GPA of 3.0 at the UO and take at least 12 credits per term.