February 2019

Financial Aid Award Letters

Financial aid award letters, also known as financial aid packages or award notifications, are starting to arrive for high school seniors who have been accepted to college. These awards will detail all of the components of financial aid you have been offered for your freshman year of college. In each of the next three editions of the Varsity Letter we will highlight one type of financial aid you may find on your award letter. This month, we will consider Federal Work Study.

What does it mean if you are awarded Federal Work Study (FWS) as part of your financial aid award?

Federal Work Study provides part‑time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. It is important to remember seeing FWS on your award letter is simply the offer to earn this money working in your selected work study job throughout the year. The amount you are awarded is not deducted from your tuition bill, but is the amount you are eligible to earn during the academic year. To learn more about Federal Work Study click here.

Do you have more questions about the components of your financial aid award(s)?

Our College Counselors are presenting our “Paying for College 101” workshop at many New Hampshire high schools through mid‑April. In this presentation, our CCP counselors will decipher the various components of your award, share financing options and explain your next steps. Check the Events Calendar on our homepage to see when we will be presenting at your high school. Don’t see your high school on the calendar? Feel free to come to a presentation at a nearby high school!

Would you like the opportunity to sit down and discuss your award letters and financing options?

Our CCP College Counselors are available for individual appointments to help you and your family compare your financial aid award letters and to offer assistance with potential funding options. Call us today at 888.747.2382, x119 to schedule your FREE 60‑minute appointment.

2019 Destination College

Registration is now open for the 20th annual Destination CollegeSM, our statewide college planning event for N.H. high school juniors and their parents/guardians. Join us at Plymouth State University on Saturday, March 30, 2019 and select from nearly 20 college planning workshops and attend a college fair with more than 60 participating colleges and universities! Students even have the chance to win a $500 college scholarship! Need more convincing to register? Watch our short video here! This event is free to attend, but online registration is required for both the attending student and parent(s)/guardian(s).

Registration will close in mid‑March, so be sure to register today!

Campus Tours

Seniors, have you applied to schools that you have not yet visited?

Juniors, are you ready to start visiting campuses but want to wait for warmer weather?

The best way to find out if a college is a good “fit” is to visit in person. Getting to each of the campuses you are interested in exploring takes time and planning. In the meantime, why not check out these campus tours from the comfort of your own home?

CampusTours offers virtual tours and maps for over 1,700 campuses. You can search for your favorite colleges by school name or narrow your choices down by location. Each virtual tour found through this website can be viewed on any mobile device.

Do you have more questions about campus tours or the college application process? Click here for more information from the Center for College Planning (CCP) or call us at 888.747.2382, x119.


NEACAC Essay Contest

The New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC) announces it's Annual Essay Contest for high school juniors and seniors. High school juniors and seniors from NEACAC‑member high schools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are invited to submit a 500‑word essay on the following topic:

Describe a counselor, teacher, or coach who has had the greatest influence on your decision to attend college. How has this individual impacted your future? What will you do in college or beyond that will make a difference in your community?

Six winners ‑ one from each of the six New England states ‑will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, receive recognition at an awards ceremony during the Association's Annual Meeting and Conference, and have their names published in the NEACAC Newsletter.

Applications are due Friday, April 5th.


Is My GPA Really My GPA Used in the Admissions Process?

When a college admissions office receives your application, they often recalculate your grade point average, or GPA, before making an admissions decision. Your grade point average is calculated by your high school using the parameters set by your school's administration.

Perhaps your school weights AP and honors courses, adding an additional point value for courses taken at these levels when calculating the GPA. Your high schools might include coursework outside of the five core courses (math, science, social studies, English, and foreign language) in the calculation of the GPA, while others do not. And while your school might consider a grade of 93 or higher to be an “A,” other high schools might award an “A” to students earning a grade of 90 or above.

Therefore, many colleges will recalculate the GPA to “even the playing field” between applicants. That being said, regardless of GPA, colleges will evaluate your entire transcript ‑ including all four years of high school ‑ considering how many years of each core subject you have taken, grades you received, and evidence of challenging yourself in areas appropriate for you.

For more information about the role your GPA plays in the college admission process and how GPAs are recalculated, check out “What Students Should Know About the GPA Scale” published in U.S. News & World Report.


“I Am College Bound” Promo of the Month

New Hampshire high school students are encouraged to enter the “I Am College Bound” Promo of the Month Contest. If you correctly answer our college admissions or financial aid quiz question, you will be entered to win one (1) of two (2) $25 Amazon gift card! Enter each month for your chance to win!

The “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.