Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Students who need assistance with tuition and other costs related to their education may find help through one of several financial aid programs. Federal, state, and most institutional aid programs require the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Types of aid include work study (part-time employment while enrolled), and loans (borrowed money that must be repaid with interest).

For full descriptions, disclosures, deadlines, and information regarding financial aid, please visit https://www.granite.edu/tuition-aid or contact the Office of Financial Aid at 603-513-1392.

Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

To be eligible for federal financial aid, students must meet these general requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; and
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent, or have been home- schooled in a setting approved by state law; and
  • Not have or have resolved any drug conviction that occurred while receiving federal student aid; and
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan; and
  • Be accepted in an eligible degree or post-baccalaureate certificate program; and
  • Be attending at least half time during any term. Half time is defined as 4 credits for post-baccalaureate programs and 3 credits for graduate programs; and
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress at each scheduled review; and
  • Not be receiving federal or state financial aid from another institution for the same period of enrollment.

Advanced Book Funds

Federal aid (Direct Stafford, Direct PLUS) recipients may be eligible to receive funds before the start of the term to cover the average cost for books and supplies ($150 per registered class) if, after direct charges have been paid, there is a remaining credit balance on the student account.

To be eligible, a student must be registered for classes and have aid ready to be disbursed at the time the Advanced Funds process runs 10-days prior to the term start. Generally, checks are mailed the Tuesday prior to the start of the term. Direct deposits are made the Wednesday prior to the start of the term.

Students who have a previous account balance are not eligible for Advanced Funds. Students are responsible for repayment of funds if they dropped from any or all coursework. Students may opt out of this process by submitting the Opt Out of Advanced Funds form.

Federal Aid

Federal Direct Loan Program

Direct Loans are low-interest loans  for  students  and/or  parents  to help pay for the cost of an education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education and offers the following types of loans:

Subsidized Stafford: For students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time. Available to eligible students enrolled in an undergraduate or eligible post-baccalaureate program.

Unsubsidized Stafford: Loans that are not based on financial need. Interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school. Available to eligible students enrolled in an undergraduate, eligible post-baccalaureate or graduate program.

Parent Plus: Loans that are not based on financial need which help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school. To be eligible the borrower cannot have an adverse credit history and the student must have a valid FAFSA on file. Available to eligible parents of dependent students enrolled in undergraduate and eligible post- baccalaureate program.

Grad Plus: Loans that are not based on financial need which help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school. To be eligible, the borrower cannot have an adverse credit history. Available to eligible students enrolled in a graduate program.

Federal Work Study Program

Federal work study encourages part-time employment related to a student’s course of study and/or career interests while pursuing  a post-secondary education. Students must demonstrate financial need from the FAFSA to be eligible for this program. Awards are based on availability from an annual allocation are not guaranteed to every eligible student.

Federal Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Convictions

The Higher Education Act states that a federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for federal financial aid. Without a valid FAFSA for federal financial aid, students are also ineligible for state aid and most institutional aid programs. In accordance with an HEOA provision, a student whose eligibility has been suspended due to a drug conviction is allowed to resume eligibility if the student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a qualified drug rehabilitation program.

Institutional Aid

National Guard Tuition Waiver

This program is available to students serving in the New Hampshire Air and Army National Guard. NH National Guard Waivers are for tuition costs only on a space available basis, which means that a seat is available in a course without excluding paying students.

Other Source of Aid

Aid may be available from local sources, including local banks with education assistance trusts, community and civic groups, Veterans Administration, NH Job Training Council, Vocational Rehabilitation, and employer tuition reimbursement.

New Hampshire Charitable Fund

New Hampshire residents pursuing undergraduate or graduate study at approved institutions of post-secondary education are eligible to apply for grants and scholarships from this foundation. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org.

Veterans Benefits

Veterans are encouraged to take advantage of the benefits provided by the GI Bill®. All of the College’s degree programs are approved for veteran’s benefits.

If you are a beneficiary of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment or the GI Bill® and provided a valid VA Form 28-1905, you may attend the course(s) without penalty while the VA processes payment to Granite State College.

For more information, please contact:

Department of Veterans Affairs
888-GIBILL-1
www.gibill.va.gov

VA Vocational Rehabilitation
Manchester, NH 800-827-1000

Granite State College Veterans Point of Contacts
Granite State College Military Outreach and Support Specialist:
603-513-1365
Concord: 603-513-1398

Granite State College School Certifying Official
603-513-1330
gsc.veterans@granite.edu

Note: GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

Every state operates a vocational rehabilitation program to assist people with a variety of disabilities to return to productive activity. In certain cases, a vocational rehabilitation agency will assist disabled students to meet their college expenses. Students should contact their local agency for more information.

Online Scholarship Search Engines

Online scholarship search engines may be utilized to assist students in finding scholarships that reduce their educational costs. Trusted examples include: Fastweb, College Board Scholarship Search, and Peterson’s Scholarship Search.

Monthly Payment Options

The College offers a monthly payment plan option at a nominal cost. This interest-free plan allows payments in monthly installments for a single term or multiple terms within the  same  academic year. The plan is administered for the College by Tuition Management System (TMS), now known as Nelnet Campus Commerce. For further information, contact TMS at 1-800-722-4867 or visit https://granite.afford.com/.

Private (Alternative) Loans

Private loans, also known as alternative loans, are non-federal student loans that may be needed by students to fund and/or supplement the cost of their education. All private loans are credit- based and have interest rates that may be fixed or variable (meaning there is no limit to the amount the rate can increase). Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any financial aid and are required to complete a self-certification form. Private Loans should be used as a last resort to fund one’s education.

The Office of Financial Aid strongly encourages the use of all federal, state and institutional aid programs identified through the filing of the FAFSA before applying for any private loan option.

Tuition Reimbursement

Employer reimbursement can help offset the cost of graduate education. Many of Granite State College’s graduate students receive full or partial reimbursement from their employers. Check with your Human Resources Department about this option.

Rights and Responsibilities

Federal, state, and institutional student financial aid is a privilege, which creates both rights and responsibilities:

  • Know and understand the authorized educational expenses involved in the cost of attendance and that aid awards are only used for these expenses while enrolled.
  • Be informed about the financial aid application process/ procedures and respond promptly to all documentation and information requests.
  • Understand how financial need is determined, how outside resources may affect eligibility, and report all resources received.
  • Understand the award and the guidelines of the aid programs involved.
  • Know and understand the refund policies pertaining to dropping and the return of federal aid as a result of withdrawing from coursework; as well as student responsibility for repayment of any returned funds.
  • Understand the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress to receive federal financial aid and the responsibility to maintain SAP standards.
  • Understand that financial aid records are confidential and maintained in accordance to the Federal Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Maintain copies of all forms and agreements signed.
  • Recognize that the student and his/her family are primarily responsible for educational costs.
  • Notify the Office of Financial Aid of any changes in anticipated enrollment, any drug conviction or incarceration, since it may affect eligibility.
  • Satisfactorily perform and complete work assignments accepted through the federal work study program.

Financial Aid Application Process

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.studentaid.gov. Receive an estimated financial aid award within 2 weeks. Awards will be issued beginning early May.
  2. Complete the admissions application. Once processed, this will give access to move forward with financial aid: https://www.granite.edu/become-a-student/apply-now/.
  3. Check granite.edu/current-students/ and click the WebROCK button often for any additional requirements. Requirements will vary from student to student and may include submitting additional documentation. Students may also be subject to additional verification procedures, and the award may change as a result of the verification process, so check for updates and respond to any changes. All additional documents must be submitted before any financial aid can be finalized.
  4. Complete Federal Student Loan Requirements, if applicable. For all new Federal Student Loan Borrowers, complete the following steps at www.studentaid.gov in order to begin classes:
    1. Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling: Learn the rights and responsibilities associated with borrowing Federal Direct Loan funds.
    2. Master Promissory Note (MPN) with Direct Lending: a legal document which explains the terms and conditions of the loan, as well as repayment responsibilities.
  5. Financial aid notification. Our goal is to award financial aid to meet the tuition, fees, and book expenses for up to 6 credits for Graduate students and 8 credits for Post-Baccalaureate students per term for those who are eligible. We assume acceptance of all loans and grants as offered, unless informed in writing otherwise. Awards will be adjusted down for actual enrollment at the time of disbursement unless we are notified otherwise via the Award Revision Request. Please complete an Award Revision Request form to: decline all or a portion of loans, request aid for more than 6 or 8 credits, or attend fewer terms or credits that are reflected on the award. Please allow sufficient time for us to process these change requests. Typically, changes are completed in 3-5 business days. During peak times, the 3 weeks prior to each term start, processing times may be longer.

Verification

Federal regulations require verification to be completed for some applicants and they may be selected by the U.S. Department of Education or by the College. The purpose of verification is to maintain the integrity of student aid programs by verifying the information provided by students and parents on financial aid applications.

Requirements for verification must be completed before aid is finalized or disbursed. A student should complete verification as soon as possible after notification but must complete the process prior to the last day they are enrolled at least half-time.

Application Processing Timeline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Student aid is packaged when the student has been accepted into an eligible post-baccalaureate or graduate program. Financial aid application processing may take up to fourteen days once the FAFSA results are received. Apply as early as possible to avoid delays. A student should complete verification as soon as possible after notification but must complete the process prior to the last day they are enrolled at least half-time. Students must reapply for financial aid each academic year.

Financial Need

Federal, state, and most institutional aid programs are awarded based on financial need except for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Direct PLUS Loans which are categorized as non-need based aid. Financial Need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution added with external Educational Resources.

Cost of Attendance (COA), also known as the student’s budget, is an estimate of educational and related expenses incurred during a period of enrollment.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and resources available to assist with the cost of your education which is calculated through the FAFSA.

Any anticipated Educational Resource, paid directly to you or to the College on your behalf, is your legal responsibility to report, and may affect your financial aid eligibility. Examples include, but are not limited to, Vocational Rehabilitation, Veterans Administration, and employer tuition reimbursement.

Special Circumstances

The College does recognize that a student and/or family’s true circumstances may not be accurately portrayed at the time they  file their FAFSA. Special circumstances may include, but not limited to loss of job, divorce, and medical expenses above the average allowance. A special circumstance application may require completion of the verification process, supporting documentation, and providing further information upon request.

Code of Conduct

The staff of the Office of Financial Aid and designated agents of the College are expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct and to follow this code of conduct outlined by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

1. No action will be taken by financial aid staff that is for their personal benefit or could be perceived to be a conflict of interest.

  • Employees within the financial aid office will not award aid to themselves or their immediate family members. Staff will reserve this task to an institutionally designated person, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  • If a preferred lender list is provided, it will be compiled without prejudice and for the sole benefit of the students attending the institution. The information included about lenders and loan terms will be transparent, complete, and accurate. The complete process through which preferred lenders are selected will be fully and publicly disclosed. Borrowers will not be auto-assigned to any particular lender.
  • A borrower's choice of a lender will not be denied, impeded, or unnecessarily delayed by the institution, even if that lender is not included on the institution's preferred lender list.
  • No amount of cash, gift, or benefit in excess of a de minimis amount shall be accepted by a financial aid staff member from any financial aid applicant (or his/her family), or from any entity doing business with or seeking to do business with the institution (including service on advisory committees or boards beyond reimbursement for reasonable expenses directly associated with such service).

2. Information provided by the financial aid office is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.

3. Institutional financial aid offers and/or other institutionally provided materials shall include the following:

  • A breakdown of individual components of the institution's Cost of Attendance, designating all potential billable charges.
  • Clear identification of each aid being offered, indicating type of aid, i.e. gift aid (grant, scholarship), work, or loan.
  • Standard terminology and definitions, using NASFAA's glossary of terms.
  • Renewal requirements for each aid being offered.

4. All required consumer information is displayed in a prominent location on the institutional web site(s) and in any printed materials, easily identified and found, and labeled as "Consumer Information."

5. Financial aid professionals will disclose to their institution any involvement, interest in, or potential conflict of interest with any entity with which the institution has a business relationship.

Important Dates 

The Academic calendar includes important dates such as financial aid deadlines, disbursement of funds and credit balance issue dates. It applies to standard term courses.

The calendar can be found at: https://www.granite.edu/become-a-student/calendars/academic-calendar/.

Constitution Day

September 17 is designated as Constitution Day for all schools eligible for Title IV funding. Granite State College annually celebrates Constitution Day to promote an understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution.

Financial Aid Eligibility for Repeated Coursework

Students are eligible to use federal financial aid to pay to retake a previously passed course for which they earned credit only one time in an attempt to better their grade. Students are eligible to use federal financial aid to retake a failed course repeatedly (please note that eligibility based on Satisfactory Academic Progress standards still apply). However, if a student earns credit for a course and then retakes the course but fails in the second attempt, the student will not be able to receive aid to retake that course again.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid

All Granite State College students are required to achieve minimum SAP standards to receive financial aid. Graduate and Post Baccalaureate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, a 67% completion rate, and be able to complete their program within 150% of the published length.

Qualitative Measure (GPA)

The qualitative measure requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Quantitative Measure (Pace)

The quantitative measure requires a completion rate of at least 67% for all attempted credits. Credit hours attempted include completed credits, incompletes, withdrawals, repeated for failed classes, as well as transfer credits. Also included are all credits attempted at Granite State at the same academic level (i.e. Graduate or Post- Baccalaureate).

Maximum Timeframe (in credits)

The timeframe for degree completion is limited by federal regulations to 150% of the published credit length of the program. For example, a graduate program may have a published length of 30 credits. The maximum timeframe for completion of that program is 45 credits.

The maximum number of credits attempted includes transfer credits and all credits attempted while enrolled at Granite State College at the same academic level. If due to withdrawals, failed courses, change in program, etc, it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete his/her program within the maximum number of attempted credits for the program, then he/she will no longer be eligible for financial aid for any future terms.

Coursework Definitions

Definitions of coursework and how they affect various categories when reviewing financial aid SAP.

Credits Attempted but not Completed

The following count as credits attempted, but not considered as credits successfully completed. “F” and “AF” grades are counted in the GPA calculation.

Grade Description
F failing grade
AF administrative failure
IC incomplete
W withdrawal

Dropped Coursework

Courses that are dropped during the official add/drop period are not included in the evaluation of SAP.

Audit Coursework

Audited coursework receives no credit and is not counted in the evaluation of SAP.

Repeated Coursework

Courses that are repeated will count as hours attempted and completed if the student receives a passing grade; however, only the last grade earned is calculated in the GPA.

Pass/Fail Coursework

Pass/Fail coursework is not calculated in the cumulative GPA, but will be counted as credits attempted. If the coursework is passed, the credits will also be counted as completed.

Transfer Coursework

Transfer credits that are applicable to the student’s degree program are counted as credits attempted and completed.

Consortium Coursework

Coursework at another institution under a consortium agreement, while a Granite State College student is enrolled in an eligible program, will be counted in the GPA and as credits attempted (and completed if a grade other than the equivalent of “F” or “AF” is issued).

Subsequent Program

Students who earn a graduate degree at Granite State College will have their maximum timeframe clock reset one time when they come back for a subsequent graduate degree.

Students who complete coursework for a teaching credential at Granite State will have their maximum timeframe clock reset when they come back for an additional certification, up to two times.

SAP Review Timeframe

Granite State College will review SAP eligibility on an annual basis at the end of each Spring payment period for all programs that are more than 24 credits. Programs that are 24 credits or less will be reviewed after each payment period.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who are reviewed after each payment period, who do not meet the minimum SAP standards will be placed on financial aid warning beginning with their next term of enrollment. Students on Financial Aid warning are eligible for aid.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students enrolled in programs that are 24 credits or less, who do not meet the minimum SAP standard after the warning period, will be placed on Financial Aid suspension.

Students enrolled in programs of more than 24 credits, who do not meet the minimum SAP standards during the annual review will be placed on Financial Aid suspension beginning with the summer term. Financial aid suspended students are not eligible for financial aid which will result in the loss of all federal, state and institutional aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work study.

SAP Appeal

Granite State College will allow an appeal process for students in suspended status for receipt of aid. A student whose eligibility is suspended may request an appeal if he/she feels that extenuating circumstances existed that affected the student’s ability to achieve the minimum SAP qualitative (GPA) and/or quantitative standards (completion rate). A student cannot appeal a financial aid suspension if he/she has reached or will reach the maximum timeframe before program completion.

An extenuating circumstance must exist and be supported by additional documentation in order to file an appeal to regain financial aid eligibility. An extenuating circumstance may include:

  • Injury
  • Illness
  • Divorce
  • Death of an immediate family member, or
  • Other extenuating circumstance.

Extenuating circumstances do not include a lack of dedication to his/her studies, not understanding the impact of withdrawals, etc.

All submitted documentation of extenuating circumstances is confidential and only used to verify and support a student’s appeal. All documentation will be filed in the student’s financial aid records.

Granite State College students may appeal a SAP suspension for reentry in the Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. All appeals will include an academic plan that must demonstrate that the minimum SAP standards will be achieved by the next scheduled review. Official deadlines will be published annually on the aid-year specific Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.

Appeal Review

All SAP appeals will be reviewed by the SAP Appeal Committee, which is made up of representatives from the Office of Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office. The Committee will determine a student’s eligibility or ineligibility for continued aid. Any incomplete appeals will not be reviewed.  As a result the student will not be eligible for aid. Students must have a current FAFSA on file, resolve any defaulted federal student loans, and pay any outstanding balance due to Granite State College before an appeal will be considered for review.

Appeal Approval

An appeal may only be approved if there is sufficient documentation of extenuating circumstance, an explicit statement of what has changed, and an academic plan that demonstrates the student will be able to achieve the requirements of SAP within the next four consecutive terms. Decisions for academic plans may involve, but are not limited to, a reduced course load, specific courses, a required GPA by term, etc. Academic plans cannot include more than 8 credits per term. The student and the advisor will be informed in writing of the decision, any additional requirements, and the consequences of failing to follow the academic plan.

Approved students will be required to achieve at least a “B” in each course while completing 100% of the credits in the academic plan. No incompletes, failures, or withdrawals will be accepted. Any higher expectations will be communicated to the student in writing. If the student does not meet or exceed this requirement their aid will again be suspended the following term.

If a student’s appeal is approved, but the student does not attend the subsequent payment period, the student’s aid will be once again suspended and must submit a revised academic plan for approval.

Financial Aid Probation

A student who is approved through the appeal process will be placed on financial aid probation for their first term back.

Students who achieve the minimum SAP standards after the probation term will have their eligibility reinstated  and will not be required to continue to follow the established academic plan, however following the plan is recommended. The student will be reviewed again for SAP at the next scheduled review.

If the student is unable to achieve the minimum SAP standards after probation, the student will be placed on his/her approved academic plan and continue to receive aid if the student achieves the minimum grade required in each course while completing 100% of the credits attempted during probation. Otherwise, the student’s aid will be suspended.

Academic Plan

A student who successfully completes probation and did not achieve the minimum SAP standards will follow the academic plan created by his/her advisor and approved by the Committee. Progress will be reviewed on a term by term basis in accordance with the academic plan. Students who fail to meet the requirements of the academic plan will have their aid suspended.

Number of Appeals

Students that are reviewed annually  are  allowed  to  appeal  at  two different times during their academic career at Granite State College, however, students cannot appeal in successive aid years. Post-baccalaureate students who are reviewed term by term may only appeal once.

Students who fail to meet the requirements of an approved appeal will have their aid suspended again. The student must, on their own, work to achieve the standard to regain eligibility. If the student then, after regaining eligibility, is suspended again, that student may appeal once more.

Appeal Denial

If an appeal is denied, the student may not submit another appeal. The student must, on their own, work to achieve the standard to regain eligibility. If the student then, after regaining eligibility, is suspended again, that student may appeal once more.

Re-establishing Eligibility Without an Appeal

Once suspended students meet SAP requirements, they may regain aid eligibility during the next scheduled review.

If they wish to regain aid eligibility sooner they may submit the Request for Reinstatement of Suspended Aid form. This form is used to alert the Office of Financial Aid that the student now meets SAP requirements and wishes to have their eligibility reinstated. The student will be placed on Probation for the subsequent payment period and must continue to meet SAP standards at the end of that payment period. If they do not meet the standards, they will once again be suspended.