February 2017

Financial Aid Award Packages

Seniors ‑ You may have started receiving financial aid award letters from the colleges you have been accepted to. If you haven't, don't panic, they will be arriving soon! Some colleges share these via a portal on their website and provide students with a username and password to access. Others send a paper copy to the mailing address on file. Either way, it's important to know how a college will send you this information in order to maximize the amount of time you have to analyze all your financial aid award letters and then decide which college you will attend.

So what exactly is a financial aid award letter? It is the college's offer of financial aid which may include federal programs such as the Pell Grant and Federal Direct Stafford Loans, as well as institutional money such as grants and scholarships. As your family reviews these offers, be sure to determine the out‑of‑pocket cost at each college and not just how much free money the school is offering. Free money is great, but at the end of the day, families must consider the overall cost in addition to the college's academic rigor, program, etc.

Since every college's award letters may look different we suggest utilizing a form or spreadsheet to help your family decipher and compare them. You can also schedule a meeting with one of our college counselors in a FREE 60‑minute appointment by calling 888.7.GRADUATE, ext. 119.

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HS Juniors ‑ Join Us at the State's Largest College Planning Convention!
Registration Now Open!

Juniors ‑ Over 1,000 N.H. high school juniors and their parents/guardians will be at Plymouth State University Saturday, March 18 for our 18th Annual Destination CollegeSM event. The program includes nearly 20 college planning workshops, a college fair with over 70 colleges and universities participating, and the chance to win a $500 college scholarship! This event is FREE to attend, but online registration is required. Encourage your fellow juniors to register for this exciting event as well!


DC Speech Contest ‑ Scholarship Alert

Are you graduating from high school in 2017? If so, we encourage you to submit a 3‑5 minute speech for our DC Speech Contest. By submitting a 3‑5 minute speech about your path to college and navigating the college admissions process, you, too, can win a $1,000 scholarship and have the opportunity to share the stage with VIPS like New Hampshire's governor, the Plymouth State University president, and even the CEO of NHHEAF! Applications due Friday, February 10, 2017.


Prep for the SAT, #NH Juniors!

Did you know 91% of NH high school juniors took the CollegeBoard's SAT in the spring of 2016? This was part of the NH Department of Education's plan to replace the 11th grade Smarter Balanced statewide assessment with the SAT. This allowed students to take this national college admissions examination for free during the school day, rather than at the cost of $45‑$57 on a Saturday morning.

This year's SAT in‑school test date for juniors is April 5th. It is expected 95% of NH high school juniors will take the test on this day.

Did you know you can study for the SAT? Students can prepare by utilizing FREE SAT test prep services offered through Khan Academy. Khan Academy offers sample test questions for each of the subject test sections as well as full practice exams. Khan can also customize a student's learning by assessing a student's strengths and focusing practice on areas the student has shown they need improvement. Khan also helps teach students “how” to get the right answer should they get a question wrong, so the student is not only learning the structure of the test, but the content needed to get the best score they possibly can.

For more information about the SAT, click here.


It Is Tax Season ‑ A Tax Tip for HS Juniors!

Did you work in 2016? Did you receive a W‑2 and now you are wondering what to do with it? Depending on how much money you earned you may ‑ or may not ‑ be required to file federal income taxes. If you do file a federal income tax form, you will want to have a copy of your 2016 taxes handy in October when you are ready to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA will be required by any college administering federal financial aid. Even if you do not file an income tax form, the FAFSA will ask for information found on your W‑2 so hang on to it! Many parents and students take advantage of free software to electronically file taxes. If you do, just remember to print out a copy and save it in a folder to be used during financial aid season in the fall!


NH Charitable Foundation is the largest provider of private scholarship aid in the state. Applications for two of the Foundation's most popular programs are now available.

The Statewide Student Aid Program is for NH residents enrolling in 4 year degree program. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2017. In 2016, 552 Statewide Student Aid Program scholarships were awarded (for a total of over 2.6 million dollars!) and the average award was $4,727!

The Foundation also administers scholarship programs for students enrolling in 2-year colleges or career schools ‑ for traditional age students and adults. The Career Aid to Technical Students Program is for NH residents enrolling in 2‑year degree program. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2017. In 2016, 47 scholarships were awarded and the average award was over $3,000!


Stay Connected!

For the latest college admissions and financial aid information, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, and check out the NHHEAF Channel on YouTube! And catch up on reading our recent Varsity Letter issues here.


I Am College Bound Promo of the Month

HS Students: Participate each month in our I Am College Bound promotion! Just read a college planning or financial aid article, answer a question about the article correctly, and you will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card in a random drawing from correct entries.

I Am College Bound's goal is to provide New Hampshire students with the inspiration, information and planning support to pursue higher education goals - share the link with your friends!

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