Financial Aid and Scholarships
College Money Saving Strategies
Community Colleges – Community colleges offer high quality hands-on educational opportunities. The community colleges work closely with industry within the state to prepare students for waiting jobs. The cost of a technical college education is the lowest of any state institution. They also have articlation agreements with NH's state schools which means you can easily transfer into a four year state university to earn your bachelor’s degree. For more information about the community system of New Hampshire, visit www.ccsnh.edu.
Out of State University Systems – University systems in other states, particularly in the south and west, offer quality education at reasonable prices. The acceptance rate for out-of-state applicants can be low, similar to a small private college, so be sure to consider this factor. Also, check the tuition rate for out-of-state students.
New England Regional Program – The New England states have established an agreement through the New England Board of Higher Education. This program allows students to attend an out-of-state university system at near in-state costs if their home state does not offer their major. A list of majors that qualify is available through your guidance counselor or at the New England Board of Higher Education web site, www.nebhe.org/tuitionbreak.
Lower Tuition Outside of New England – Students concerned about costs may want to consider looking at colleges outside of New England. Many of the most expensive colleges in the country are found in New England. Colleges equally as competitive as New England’s $ 30,000 – plus schools may cost as much as $ 5,000 less per year in other regions of the country.
Merit Aid – Students with a strong academic record and very good test scores may attract scholarship offers from colleges where they are more qualified than the average applicant. Be careful: it is most important that the student feels comfortable in the college they attend.
The Military Option – Military service offers both training and educational benefits to apply towards college. Students may also want to consider an ROTC program in college. In addition to available scholarships, ROTC pays students a monthly stipend for weekend training and service after college.
Apprenticeships – Apprenticeships provide structured, on the job training under the supervision of a qualified member of a profession. Federal regulations prohibit anyone under 16 to be considered as an apprentice. Apprenticeship programs have different requirements. For example, some require a high school diploma, some require specialized course work and some have few requirements except motiviation. If you are considering an apprenticeship, check with your school counselor.
AmeriCorps– AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage volunteers to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive an education award after successfully completing a term of service. The amount of the award depends on the program in which you participate. For more information visit, www.americorps.org.
www.fafsa.gov - Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step towards getting federal aid for college. The FAFSA becomes available on January 1 each year.
www.pin.ed.gov - Your "PIN" serves as your electronic signature for FAFSA. Students and parents can apply here for a PIN.
Best of the Web: Savings, Financial Aid, & Scholarships
http://profileonline.collegeboard.org - File the CSS Profile financial aid form which is required by certain private postsecondary schools and scholarship programs
www.studentloans.gov - Learn about Federal Direct Loan programs available to both students and parents, and complete the master promissory note and entrance counseling at this website
www.irs.gov/individuals/students - Information about federal tax benefits for higher education
Scholarships & Grants
www.collegeboard.org - The CollegeBoard offers a scholarship search and tools in the Financial Aid Easy Planner
www.nhcf.org - NH Charitable Foundation annually awards over $5 million in private scholarship funds to NH students
http://www.careerinfonet.org/scholarshipsearch- US Department of Labor site for searching more than 7,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other financial aid opportunities
www.fastweb.com - Free national scholarship database which contains information about 1.3 million scholarships worth over $3 billion
www.savingforcollege.com - Provides consumers with comprehensive and objective information about Section 529 plans, Coverdell education savings plans, and other college investing strategies
www.nhheaf.org/calcs.asp - Compare financial aid awards, college costs, and loan payments with NHHEAF's calculators
www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov - Provide basic information and the Department of Education will estimate your eligbility for federal student aid
www.finaid.org/calculators - FinAid.org offers a host of calculators related to student loan repayment and early college savings
www.bankrate.com/calculators/credit-score-fico-calculator.aspx - When applying for a private student loan, often your FICO score determines your rate and terms. Bankrate, Inc's calculator allows you to estimate your FICO score