January 2020
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All About Financial Aid Award Offers

Congratulations, Seniors! College acceptance letters are arriving and the excitement to embark on your college journey has begun. But what about financial aid and when will you hear about award packages? It is normal for there to be lag time between acceptance from admissions and award packages from financial aid - this does not mean that you will not receive aid, it just takes a bit longer to receive a package from the financial aid office. Keep in mind that the amount of time varies depending on each school's process, but expect anywhere between a few days to a few months. To receive financial aid, you must have completed all necessary forms, such as Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and in some cases the CSS Profile. Check with your colleges for their individual form requirements and when each form is due.

Generally speaking, financial aid award letters detail the assistance offered by the school for your first year of college. Award letters from financial aid offices may include any or all of the following: federal grants, college grants, scholarships, student and parent loans, or work study. It is also important to remember that packages will differ, depending on the resources of each campus. Deciphering and understanding your award letter may be overwhelming and confusing and it is natural to have questions. For support, check out this article, Understanding the Award Letter, and/or schedule a free 60 minute appointment with us to discuss funding options upon receiving the award letter. Call us at 888.747.2382 x119 to get started!

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The Next Step in Financial Aid: Verification

As part of the financial aid process, colleges might ask you to verify that information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is accurate. When a college contacts you to verify financial information, it is not meant to intimidate or scare you. The financial aid office simply wants to ensure they are providing their students with the best possible aid package by guaranteeing accuracy.

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when initially filing the FAFSA, you may be asked to do so during verification. This tool allows families to connect directly to the IRS from the FAFSA and thus transfer all tax information, while providing accurate figures to the school's financial aid office. If you are unable to access the DRT, the college may request copies of both you and your parent's Tax Transcript, which can be found on the IRS website.

It is also possible that verification will require more than just tax forms, as other documentation or worksheets may be requested. Remember that if you are accepted to more than one college or university, you may be asked to submit verification to more than one institution. The best way to stay current with verification and general correspondence from each college is by frequently checking your email, postal mail, and the school's online portal. Colleges and universities prefer to communicate directly with you rather than your parent, so make sure to check your email, portal, and mailbox regularly! The Financial Aid Office is a great resource for questions regarding verification and the overall process, so be sure to contact them with any questions or concerns.

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The School Day SAT: What Juniors Need to Know

Juniors - as spring approaches, it is time for you to begin thinking about your future goals and outline the steps needed to accomplish them. The state of New Hampshire has made one step a bit easier by making the SAT, the state's standardized test. What does this mean for you? All New Hampshire high school juniors will take the SAT in the comfort of their own school for FREE! An added benefit of the School Day SAT is the opportunity to send colleges an SAT score for free. If you were unable to take the PSATs offered earlier in your high school career, you could also use this free SAT as a practice test for a future testing date.

To prepare for this year's SAT on March 25th, visit Khan Academy to help with your test prep. If you took the PSATs, you received a score report with great information about your test scores, how to improve them, and a code for a personalized study guide! This resource is a great way for you to get free test prep at your convenience. For more information about PSAT's, SAT's, Score Reports, etc. please visit the College Board website.

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Get a Jumpstart on Earning College Credit Now!

Although it is only January, it is smart to begin thinking about course selections for the 2020 - 2021 school year. This can be a challenging process filled with questions about graduation requirements, college admissions, course levels (Honors, AP, College Prep), and how it all fits into your post-high school plans. As you begin to map out your next semester of high school, consider exploring courses that fulfill high school requirements AND help you earn college credit. These programs are affordable and some may already be offered at your high school!

Programs include:

  • The Running Start program is a partnership between New Hampshire community colleges and high schools that gives juniors and seniors the option to take college level courses at their high school, while earning both college and high school credit. Courses cost $150 (plus books if not provided), but there are some scholarships to help with the cost. For example, the state offers high school students the opportunity to take up to two dual credit courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for FREE. This is a scholarship provided by the state that waives the $150 course fee.
  • eStart is a partnership with New Hampshire Community Colleges and Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS), where students can take online courses for dual credit. These also cost $150 and are open to juniors and seniors.
  • Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has also partnered with VLACS to offer dual credit courses. For $100 plus the cost of books students can take SNHU courses online earning college credits starting sophomore year.

Programs like these are a great way to challenge yourself in high school, while building your post-secondary transcript. Remember to check with your school counselor to see what opportunities are available through your school.

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We Look Forward to Seeing You Soon!!

Seniors: Want to know more about financial aid letters and next steps? Check our events calendar for a "Paying for College 101" workshop near you!

Juniors: Wondering how and when to start the college application process? Check out our events calendar for an "Applying to College" presentation near you!

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High School Juniors - Join Us at the State's Largest
College Planning Convention!

Event Registration Now Open!

Juniors - Over 1,200 N.H. high school juniors and their parents/guardians will travel to Saint Anselm College on Saturday, March 28 for NHHEAF's 21st annual Destination College event. The program features nearly 20 college planning workshops, a college fair with over 60 colleges and universities, 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).

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NH High School Seniors – Win a $1,000 Scholarship!

Are you graduating from high school in 2020? Do you have some advice for the class of 2021 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 by sharing words of wisdom and encouragement with high school juniors and their families at 21st Annual Destination College event on Saturday, March 28th at Saint Anselm College! Entries due Friday, February 14th!


Seniors - Are you looking for more local scholarship opportunities? Check out our new scholarship database!


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.