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Fall 2019


At September’s National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) annual conference, significant changes were announced in the college admissions process. As the Center for College Planning (CCP) reviews these changes and the impact on college‑bound New Hampshire students, we will keep you updated. Tentative plans include hosting a school counselor workshop with admissions representatives soon to discuss these changes.

From the September 30, 2019 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Previously, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, known as NACAC, barred colleges from offering incentives, such as special housing or better financial‑aid packages, exclusively to applicants who apply under binding early‑decision programs. The organization’s “Code of Ethics and Professional Practices” also said colleges must stop recruiting a student once he or she has submitted a deposit to another institution. And the code said colleges can’t solicit transfer applications from a previous applicant or prospect unless that student inquires about transferring. Now all three provisions are gone.” Read the entire article here.


Sharing “College Knowledge” Through NEW Program Offerings

Are your school’s department chairs looking for new topics for in‑service days? Are there advisory staff wanting to provide additional assistance to students in the college application process? Might your school have English teachers looking for tips on teaching about the college essay? We can help! This year the Center for College Planning (CCP) has expanded our curriculum to include opportunities for school administrations and counseling offices to spread ‘college knowledge’ to a school’s entire staff.

Our possible offerings include:

The College Admission Essay 101 – An overview of what makes a college admission essay different from your traditional essay, what colleges are looking for and strategies for teaching this in the classroom.

FAFSA Myths & Realities – Students are leaving millions of federal dollars on the table and often fear and misinformation can lead to a student not filing the FAFSA. By educating all the staff students come in to contact with and confide in, we are hoping to lessen fears and dispel myths about applying for financial aid to ultimately allow more students to have the opportunity to pursue higher education.

If there is a possible topic you don’t see listed here, ask us if we can help! To schedule a workshop for your school’s in‑service day or staff meeting, please call us at 888.747.2382, ext. 119. And remember to sign up for any of our upcoming professional development workshops for yourself and your school counseling colleagues here.


The 2020-2021 FAFSA Season is Here! Help Your Senior Class Win Cash!

Recently, we mailed your school counseling office posters encouraging your seniors to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for the 2020‑2021 academic year, beginning October 1st. To order additional posters, please click here.

New Hampshire high schools are invited to participate in our revamped FAFSA Filing Frenzy Contest for the 2019‑2020 academic year. This contest is designed to increase the number of New Hampshire’s high school seniors completing the FAFSA while offering resources to help students and families complete this first step in the financial aid process. If 65% of your school’s senior class completes a FAFSA, your school will be entered into a drawing to win a cash prize to be used towards a school‑sanctioned senior class activity!

We will periodically share details on the progress of FAFSA filing for all New Hampshire high school seniors over the next six or seven months, and encourage you to engage your senior class to participate! For more details, please contact us at 888.747.2382, ext. 119.


In this popular e‑newsletter feature, we take a look at what might be a complex college admissions or financial aid question or situation that we've recently encountered that has made us take a moment and think about the correct response. If you would like further clarification on the response, please call us at 888.747.2382, ext. 119.

Situation: You are working with one of your high school seniors who currently lives with his/her biological mother and father. Mom and Dad are not married and file their federal income tax forms separately.

When submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the student is asked his/her parents’ marital status. The student correctly selects “Never Married” and the FAFSA automatically asks for only one parent’s financial information. By choosing this response the student cannot add the other parent’s information. The student comes to you for guidance.

What is the correct response in this situation?

A: The student should click “Never Married” and then only include one parent’s information, and the student may select which parent’s information to include.

B. The student should click “Married” as the parents are considered “common law” married in New Hampshire, and then include all requested information on both parents.

C. The student should select “Unmarried and both legal parents living together” and include the requested information for both parents.

CORRECT ANSWER: C – The student should select “Unmarried and both legal parents living together”. This choice means that both of the legal parents (biological and/or adoptive) are not married to each other but live in the same household. The family will then add both parents’ financial information together, including Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to get the household’s total financial information.


Each year, the CCP counselors travel throughout the state of New Hampshire providing over 300 presentations in public, private, and charter high schools. We love when families ask us questions, and in this e‑newsletter feature we share one of those questions with you. For further clarification, please call us at 888.747.2382, ext. 119.

We are often asked this question during our financial aid presentations: “I heard that financial aid is given on a ‘first‑come, first‑served basis. Is this true?”

The simple answer is “No”. If a student is eligible for federal financial aid (i.e. Pell grant, Federal Direct student loans, and/or Federal Work‑Study) then as long as they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), he or she will receive all appropriate federal aid, regardless of when they submit the FAFSA.

However, there are 13 states in the United States (not including New Hampshire) where state grant or scholarship aid that is given on a first‑come, first‑serve basis ‑ so it makes sense that the messaging from post‑secondary institutions to students is ‘file early’ to ensure prospective students qualify for possible state direct‑to‑student aid.

With respect to coveted institutional aid, merit money is not ‘first‑come, first‑served’; most schools use a priority deadline system for need‑based aid. According to Kalman Chany, president of Campus Consultants Inc. and author of The Princeton Review’s Paying for College Without Going Broke, “Most schools now set a priority filing deadline, and if you file by that date you’re treated the same whether you filed months before or shortly before the deadline.”


All New Hampshire high school juniors and their parents and guardians are invited to join us for our 21st annual Destination College℠ college convention on Saturday, March 28, 2020. This year, our event moves to the beautiful campus of Manchester’s Saint Anselm College. Registration for this event will open shortly after January 1st, but we encourage you to add this date to your school’s calendar now. (You can also view the short video promoting our 2019 event here.)

A few things to note about this year’s event include:

  • There will be over 20 college admissions and financial aid workshops available as part of the registration process. For a sample of workshops from 2019, click here.
  • The college fair will run from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year, event registrants will be able to select a specific block of time to attend the fair. For a list of colleges who participated in the event’s 2019 College Fair, click here.
  • The annual Destination College Speech Contest for high school seniors will open after January 1st. There is a $1,000 scholarship prize (and while we typically only award one prize, in 2019, we actually awarded two!)!

More students in the high school graduating class of 2019 took the SAT than ever before, surpassing the record number of SAT takers in the class of 2018. This class was the first group of students to have access to the full SAT Suite of Assessments, which was introduced when they were in ninth grade. Read a recap of the results here.