January 2018

The Next Step in Financial Aid: Verification

As part of the financial aid process, colleges need to verify that the information provided to them on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is accurate. If you have not already done so as part of filing the FAFSA, students and parents may be asked to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to connect directly to the IRS from the student's FAFSA and transfer their tax information into the form if they had not previously done so. Using this tool ensures accuracy for a Financial Aid Office. If the student or parents are unable to utilize the DRT, the college may request copies of both the parent(s) and student's Tax Transcript, which can be found on the IRS website.

Verification may involve more than tax forms. Colleges may request other documentation or completion of various worksheets. If students have accepted to more than one college, know that they may be asked to submit verification forms to each one. Make sure to read all correspondence from the college ‑ remembering this may come to you in the form of email, snail mail, or even through the school's online portal ‑ and promptly send the requested paperwork. Contact the Financial Aid Office with any specific questions about their school's process.


When Will My Financial Aid Offers Start to Arrive?

Congratulations, Seniors! College acceptance letters are starting to arrive and the excitement is beginning, but now you might be wondering when you can expect to receive your financial aid award. Rest assured, Financial Aid offices are hard at work putting together the best possible award they can to help you pay for your education. However, know that there will be some lag time between receiving your letter of acceptance and your financial aid award. The amount of time varies from a few days to a few months, depending on a school's process. Keep in mind that a lot of schools are moving away from physical mail, or snail mail, and moving to electronic notifications through online portals. Throughout this process, we emphasize that you, the student, be constantly checking your email and logging into your portal for updates.

Remember, in order to receive financial aid, you must have completed all of the necessary forms, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile®. Check with your schools for their individual requirements for which forms are required ‑ and when. If you have not yet started the financial aid process by filing your 2018‑2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it is not too late! Our college counselors can assist you and your parent(s). Call us at 888.7.GRADUATE, x119 to schedule your FREE 60 minute appointment.


…and When Those Financial Aid Award Offers Arrive

These awards detail all of the components of financial aid you have been offered for your freshman year of college. Understanding all of these components may be overwhelming and you may have questions about your award. What are your next steps? Should you accept your offer of financial aid before you receive your award letters from the colleges you may have been accepted to? Are there additional student and parent loans available to help pay for college?

Check out this article, “Understanding the Award Letter” for the answers to these questions and more. In addition, our college counselors are available to help you decipher your award letters and to talk about possible funding options. Call us at 888.7.GRADUATE, x119 to schedule your free 60 minute appointment.

We will be at many New Hampshire high schools over the next few months with our “Paying for College 101” workshop, where we will help families learn how to decipher financial aid offers. Check our Event Calendar here to see when we are at your high school with this helpful, interactive workshop!


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

Juniors ‑ Over 1,200 N.H. high school juniors and their parents/guardians will be at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Saturday, April 7 for our 19th Annual Destination CollegeSM event. The program includes nearly 20 college planning workshops, a college fair with over 60 colleges and universities participating, and the chance to win a $500 college scholarship! This event is FREE to attend, but online registration is required for both the attending student and parent(s). Make sure to let your fellow juniors know to register for this exciting event as well!


The State's Leading Scholarship Source

Did you know that the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) is the largest provider of publicly available scholarships in New Hampshire, awarding more than $5 million to 1,500 students each year? In fact, approximately one in five students applying receives a scholarship from the foundation each year! You can apply online at nhcf.org beginning February 1, 2018, so put that date in your calendar because it's right around the corner!


Planning to Enroll in a Four‑Year Program?

Students who are planning to enroll in a four‑year degree program are eligible to apply for NHCF's Statewide Student Aid Scholarship Program. Scholarships awarded based on financial need, academic merit and other non-academic factors such as community service, school activities and work experience. These scholarships are competitive. Typically, one award is made for every five applications received. Each year, approximately $3 million is disbursed with each award ranging from $250 to $7,500. The average award is $4,600.

Considering a Certificate Program or Two‑Year Degree? There Are Scholarships Available for You!

Also available through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is the Career Aid for Technical Students (CATs) Scholarship. Academic excellence is not a factor in selecting candidates for these awards; however, students are expected to demonstrate reasonable achievement and a commitment to their chosen field of study. Awards will range from $100 to $3,500 depending on financial need.

This application is also available February 1, 2018. For more information about how to apply for NHCF scholarships, click here.

And remember, another great source for local scholarship information is your high school's guidance office! Be sure to check with them as well!


DC Speech Contest

Are you graduating from high school in 2018? Do you have some advice for the class of 2019 as they begin their college search? If so, we encourage you to submit a 3‑5 minute speech for our DC Speech Contest. By submitting a speech about your path to college and navigating the college admissions process, you can win a $1,000 scholarship and have the opportunity not only to share your words of wisdom with high school juniors and their families, but to also share the stage with VIP's like New Hampshire's governor, and even the CEO of NHHEAF at the 19th Annual Destination College event, to be held Saturday, April 7 at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)!


“I Am College Bound” Promo of the Month

Enter the “I Am College Bound” promo contest to be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card if you answer our quiz question about college admissions or financial aid correctly!

The “I Am College Bound” campaign provides New Hampshire high school students with the inspiration, information and planning support to pursue higher education goals. The Center for College Planning (CCP) team especially encourages low‑income students, their parents and their mentors to recognize that New Hampshire campuses and the U.S. Department of Education offer strong financial aid programs which enable eligible individuals to access financial assistance in paying for education beyond high school.


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.
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