Summer Institute Scholarship

Don’t forget that the scholarship application deadline for the Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute (SDBSI) is two weeks from today, April 1, 2016. There are two scholarship types available: general and ethnic diversity. SDBSI will be held June 19-24 at Portland State University.

Kathi Overpeck, a Financial Services Coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College, attended the 2015 SDBSI at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Kathi “found the SDBSI faculty to be professioPSU SDBSInal, knowledgeable, and yet, very real and easy to relate to.” Wondering who the faculty will be this year? Check out the recently updated SDBSI mini site for more information, including the agenda!

You may wonder why the event starts on a Sunday. Kathi wondered the same. “I found out by Sunday night! As we waded right into the overview of financial aid, I realized that this was not a “fluff” conference but rather each session would get us down to the nuts and bolts of financial aid. At the end of each day I was sure that there was not one more bit of information that I could possibly cram in my head however, every session build upon the last and there I was, taking in more!”

Are you ready to gain the same valuable information that Kathi did last year? If so, apply for a scholarship here today.


WASFAA Summer Institute: OMSI

While you are in Portland for the 2013 Summer Institute, you can check out the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry just across the river. OMSI has five unique halls, eight hands-on science labs, the USS Blueback submarine, a planetarium and an OMNIMAX theater. It’s not only a great place to take family while you are in sessions, but also a fun place for adults to visit.

This spring, the popular exhibit is Desert Air: Photographs by George Steinmetz where you take a visual adventure through the last great wilderness on Earth. Opening just in time for WASFAA’s Summer Institute attendees is Mummies of the World where you can come face-to-face with the largest collection of real mummies ever assembled.

There are a few adult-only events at OMSI as well. On Wednesday June 26th you can attend OMSI After Dark: The Great Outdoors. You can experience a combination of science, adventure, activity and camp traditions and learn about opportunities for outdoor fun in the Pacific Northwest. If you want to get a head start on the evening, there is a happy hour beforehand in the new eatery at OMSI. (Must be 21 and over for both events)

For more information about OMSI, visit their website.

WASFAA Summer Institute: Meet MAX

If you are planning to attend the Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute in Portland, Oregon this June, you should get to know MAX. MAX Light Rail is the easiest and cheapest way to get around downtown Portland. There are 84 stations and 52 miles of track all in one beautiful city. There are four lines that run through downtown: Blue, Green, Red and Yellow. If you’re taking the MAX from the airport to Portland State University, you should be familiar with the Red and Green lines. For a map of service, visit this link.

MAX trains run every 15 minutes most of the day and service is every day. You must have a validated ticket to ride, which you can purchase at all of the stations (including the airport). Your ticket is good for 2 hours on MAX, buses and the Portland Streetcar. Keep your ticket until you have completed your trip. A 2-hour MAX ticket costs $2.50, a ticket valid for one day is just $5, and if you want to purchase one MAX ticket that will be good for the entire week (if you plan on exploring the city lots in the evenings), it’s only $26.

To make sure you get on the right train, pay attention to the signs at the station. They will tell you where to wait and when the next train is due. Signs on the front of each train identify the line and the destination.

Stay tuned to this WASFAA Water Cooler for information on where you can go using the MAX Light Rail.

WASFAA Summer Institute: Airline Tickets

If you haven’t booked your airline tickets for the Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute, it’s time to start researching your options. The closest airport is the Portland International Airport (PDX), which is 10 miles from Portland State University. A typical charge for a taxi from the airport to the resort is about $35-$40 and will last approximately 30 minutes.

An alternative, and cheaper, option is to take public transportation. The MAX Red Line light rail service runs from the airport to downtown Portland every 15 minutes. The trip costs $2.50 and lasts 40 minutes. There are signs in the airport leading you to the platform and automated ticket machines near the exit doors. Take the Red Line from the airport to Pioneer Square, then switch to the Green Line which will take you to PSU.

Many schools are experiencing budget cuts. For those of you in this situation, here are some budget-friendly travel tips:

  1. Wednesday is the cheapest day to fly. If you are planning to spend extra time in Portland, consider flying in and out on Wednesday. We’ll be posting some of the fun things that you can do nearby on this blog, so stay tuned for interesting ways you can fill your extra time. If you can’t spend extra time in Portland, Saturdays and Tuesdays are the next cheapest days to fly. How convenient that the basic track starts on Sunday and ends on Friday!
  2. The cheapest time to buy an airline ticket is Tuesday afternoon, specifically 1pm Pacific Time. Don’t put off buying your ticket until the weekend, since prices are higher Friday through Monday.
  3. If you are purchasing tickets for more than one employee, search for tickets individually. There may only be one cheap ticket left, and if you are searching for 2 or more tickets, the last cheaper option won’t appear in the results.
  4. Before you buy, check prices on any of the popular comparison websites as well as the airline website. Some low cost airlines won’t allow prices to be quoted on the comparison sites.
  5. Be flexible! Check the flexibility box when searching for tickets. Leaving a little earlier or a little later can save you money.

WASFAA Summer Institue: Portland State University

The Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute will be held at Portland State University in Oregon. PSU has a 49-acre campus in downtown Portland and they are known for programs in Urban Planning, Social Work and Environmental Studies. They offer 60 undergraduate and 40 graduate degree programs and have an enrollment of 30,000 students.

Summer Institute students will have an opportunity to stay in the dorms on campus. The dining hall and meeting space we will be using is a short walk away. The campus is easy to navigate and is beautiful, with lots of green spaces.

For more information on Portland State University, please visit