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March 2016

Financial Aid Changes for 2017-2018

In September, President Obama announced two major changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process. First, the President announced a change to the date when students and families can begin to submit a FAFSA. Beginning with the 2017-2018 financial aid application cycle, the FAFSA will be available on October 1st of the year prior to the upcoming award year. Thus, 2017-2018 FAFSA filing will begin on October 1, 2016. By having the FAFSA available earlier the financial aid process will generally coincide with the college admissions application and decision cycle, hopefully allowing schools and states to provide financial aid information sooner to students and families.

Second, the President announced a change to which tax year's information will be collected on the FAFSA. Currently, when completing a FAFSA, applicants provide income information from the prior tax year (e.g., 2015 income information for the upcoming 2016‑2017 FAFSA). Beginning with the 2017‑2018, FAFSA income information from one tax year earlier ‑ the so‑called "prior‑prior year" will be collected. This means that the 2017‑2018 FAFSA will collect tax year 2015 income information and not 2016 information. As a result of this change most students will be able to complete their FAFSAs using information from an already completed tax return. This in turn, will provide most of them with the ability to electronically transfer their income tax return information from the IRS into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

College Admissions and Financial Aid Offices are now working to identify how these changes may impact the process for college‑bound students. We encourage you to sign up for our free training with representatives from the University of New Hampshire, Rivier University, Saint Anselm College and NHTI-Concord's Community College Friday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon as they share how their institutions are working to implement these changes and discuss how these processes may affect you and your students.

In addition, we came across this article ‑ "New FAFSA Timeline Could Result in Major Changes in Admissions" ‑ which discusses this important topic.


Where Did You Go, Class of 2014?

Have you ever wondered where the Class of 2014 enrolled in college? Here are the top 15 schools, according to the New Hampshire Department of Education:


Saying Good-bye to an Old Friend

In February, the Center for College Planning (CCP) retired our scholarship database, NH93.com. Recognizing most high schools now have comprehensive websites or processes in place to support your students as they search for scholarships, we will continue to post local and regional scholarship opportunities on Facebook and Twitter. If your office or school does not follow us on social media, please do so today!


Pell Grant Increase for 2016-2017

The US Department of Education recently announced the maximum Pell Grant award for 2016-2017 is $5,815 - an increase of $40 from the $5,775 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2015-2016 Award Year. The 2016-2017 Award Year maximum Pell Grant eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is $5,234. For a list of all federal student aid programs, please click here.


Scholarship Corner
Two scholarships from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) are now available! The NHCF is New Hampshire's largest source of scholarship dollars. Applications for the Statewide Student Aid Program - for students enrolling in a four-year degree program - are due April 15th and applications for the Career Aid for Technical Students - for students enrolling in a two-year degree program - are due June 15th. Students may apply here.

In addition, the Medallion Fund is for students of any age who are pursuing short-term vocational or technical studies in fields such as automotive technology, plumbing, heating, construction, advanced manufacturing, computer repair, licensed nursing assistant, etc. Awards are made on an ongoing basis.