May 2019

On the Road to College

You did it! You've sent in your deposit and it's official ‑ you'll be driving down the road to college soon! But before you start packing your bags, there are still a few things to be done. So, what happens next?

Check your online account and/or mail for information regarding your next steps. If you are planning to borrow through the Federal Direct Student Loan program, you must go online this summer and complete the required Federal Online Entrance Counseling and sign your Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Learn about and register for new student orientation. Orientation generally takes place in the summer months and is a great time to familiarize yourself with your new campus, participate in welcome events, and maybe even meet your future roommate! Students often register for classes and get their new student ID's during orientation, so be sure to speak with someone if you are unable to attend on your assigned date.

Watch for the bill for your first semester to arrive within the next couple of months. Unsure about your financing options? Our college counselors are available to help your family understand the college financing process. Come meet with us at our Concord campus by scheduling a FREE 60-minute appointment today or when your bill arrives! To schedule an appointment, call us at 888.747.2382, ext. 119.


Let's Talk About Merit Scholarships

Over the last few months, we have talked about different components of financial aid. In February's Varsity Letter we discussed federal work study, in March we talked about federal student loans and in April we covered grants. To wrap up this series, let's talk about merit scholarships. If you received merit money as part of your financial aid award, there are a couple of questions you will want to ask your financial aid office.

  • Is this scholarship money guaranteed each year?
  • What are the requirements for the scholarship? Is it contingent on maintaining a certain GPA and/or number of credits?

Making sure you understand all of the pieces of your financial aid award now will help you plan financially for future years!


What Exactly Does “Test‑Optional” Mean?

Earlier this month, you may have heard about the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College going “test optional”. Many colleges use SAT and ACT scores to help estimate how well a student is likely to perform in college. These two New Hampshire colleges, and about 1,000 other schools nationwide, are no longer requiring the SAT or ACT as part of the admissions process. There is substantial research indicating that the best way to predict first‑year college success is not with a set of scores on a standardized test, but with a student's grades in rigorous, college preparatory courses throughout high school. Therefore, for students who feel that an SAT or ACT score does not fully reflect their academic preparedness or potential, the option of whether to share these scores with the admissions office relieves some of the stress related to the admissions process.

Visit to find the full list of colleges and universities that are “test optional” and do not require standardized test scores for admission.


Deadline is Approaching!

Two scholarships are now available from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF), New Hampshire's largest source of scholarship dollars.

Applications for the Career Aid for Technical Students for those students enrolling in two‑year degree or other short term training programs are due Friday, June 14th by 5 p.m. Awards range from $100 to $3500, depending upon a student's demonstrated financial need.

The Medallion Fund ‑ for students pursuing short‑term vocational or technical studies in fields such as automotive technology, plumbing, heating, construction, advanced manufacturing, computer repair, licensed nursing assistant, etc. ‑ features a rolling deadline. Decisions are made, and applicants are notified, every four to six weeks. Award amounts will vary.

As a reminder, if you are awarded a local scholarship at your high school's awards night this spring, you must report the scholarship and the amount of the scholarship to your college’s financial aid office.


Summer College Visits

High school juniors, have you started to visit college campuses yet? For some students, the summer provides the perfect opportunity to get started! Visiting colleges in the summer has its advantages (and a few disadvantages) to consider:

  • Your visit may be less rushed. During the school year, students may feel the pressure of rushing back to school to avoid missing too much school work for college visits. In the summer, you may have the luxury of spending more time on a campus and really getting a feel for the environment.
  • You have more information to share. Having just completed your junior year of high school, you will have final grades and possibly even standardized test scores to share with an admissions counselor who may be able to give you an idea of potential scholarship and admissions opportunities.
  • Vacations. If your family is planning a vacation this summer, you could take some time and check out college campuses in the area. At the very least it will give you some ideas about campus size, location and distance from home!
  • Tours may be more personalized. In the summer months, fewer families tend to be touring college campuses. The fall tour groups can be very large, making it difficult to ask your tour guide all of the questions you may have.
  • Campus professionals may be more available. The admissions staff is finally back on campus after a long recruiting season and professors may have more flexibility in their summer schedules, so they may be more available to meet with you and answer your questions.
  • There are not as many students on campus. Since the student populations are dramatically reduced in the summer months, you may not get the full impression of the bustling environment you would experience during the academic year. It is still worth visiting and getting that first experience. You can always go back for a second visit in the fall or once you have been accepted to be sure it is everything you have imagined it to be!

For more information about campus tours and a list of sample questions to ask on your visit, click here.


Register for a College Summer Boot Camp Today!

Our Summer Boot Camp workshops help rising high school seniors embark upon the college admissions process in a relaxed, small group setting with the support of our college counselors. Make the most of your summer and get a jumpstart on your college applications by signing up today for our Admissions Workshop or our College Essay Workshop or both! All workshops are held at our Concord campus. Please call 888.747.2382, ext. 119 to register. The cost is $25.00 per workshop.

Looking for something a little closer to home? Ask your school counseling office if they are hosting a boot camp or college prep workshop at your high school this summer!

And there is more help available! Our college counselors are always available for individual appointments at our Concord campus to help you and your family start to develop a list of colleges you may want to visit over the summer. Our counselors can outline the college admissions process for you as well. Call 888.747.2382, ext. 119 for a FREE appointment.


“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 cards! 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.