Financial Aid Award Terms and Conditions


All financial aid award offers are based on enrollment pattern, and are dependent upon a determination of eligibility based on grade level, whether or not priority application deadlines have been met (if applicable), and other program specific criteria at the time of the award offer. Awards are contingent upon continued funding from federal, state, and institutional sources. Action by federal or state governments, including but not limited to: insufficient funds or discontinuation of funds may result in rescinding or reduction of award amounts.

A financial aid award is based on information that the student and the student’s family (if applicable) submitted in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as any other supporting documentation. It is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit application materials to the appropriate agencies within the required or recommended timeframes. It is also the student’s responsibility to notify the One Stop Office of any circumstantial changes to the information reported in the FAFSA and supporting documentation.

False or incomplete information submitted by a student or on behalf of a student may result in the cancellation of an award and may require repayment of all or part of the funds disbursed to the student.  In the event a student has received aid he/she is not entitled to, it will be the responsibility of the student to repay those funds. A student may not receive federal or state aid at multiple institutions during the same enrollment period.

Students should carefully review and ensure that they comprehend all financial aid related materials sent from SNHU and/or other agencies that will be awarding financial aid. Students are advised to keep copies of these items for their own records.

During a student’s application for aid or at any subsequent time thereafter, he/she will have the right to receive a thorough explanation of the financial aid award process, including the conditions of any student loan that may be awarded. Conditions may include but are not limited to: interest rate(s) for student loans, deferment options, repayment periods and programs, etc. The student will also be responsible for complying with the provisions of any promissory note or other agreement which he/she may sign, including repayment of any student loans. Students accepting an employment offer as part of the Federal Work Study (FWS) program will be entitled to disclosure of the terms and conditions (including pay rate) for any position that is offered.

Use of Aid

Funds listed on financial aid award letters may only be used for educationally related expenses incurred at SNHU for the respective academic year. Financial aid awarded and disbursed to a specific term can only be used to pay for charges for that term.

SNHU applies all financial aid awards directly to charges on a student’s student account (charges may include but are not limited to: tuition, fees, housing, etc.). Following deduction of these charges, any remaining financial aid funds will be released to the student in the form of a refund. If subsequent charges occur on the student’s account after a refund is processed in a given term, the student will be responsible for these new charges.

Enrollment Requirements for Aid

Students are initially awarded financial aid based on the following default levels of enrollment:

UC – Day Undergraduate Students Full-time (12 credits per semester)
COCE - Online Undergraduate & Graduate Students Half-time* (3 credits per term)
College for America - Undergraduate Students Full-time (24 competencies per term)

If a student is enrolled less than full-time, his/her aid will be adjusted accordingly (including possible cancellation). Non-credit classes are not eligible for financial aid. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the One Stop of any change to his/her enrollment status. Furthermore, in order to ensure availability of all student aid funds that have been awarded, a student will be required to complete the registration process each term by the end of the add/drop period.

*COCE students are awarded financial aid assuming half-time enrollment. If a COCE student completes an Award Change Request form to document more than half-time enrollment, the financial aid award can be revised based on the actual plan of enrollment for the term.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain eligible for federal financial aid programs, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completion of a degree. Federal regulations require the One Stop to monitor the progress of each student toward their degree completion. Students who fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and/or fail to maintain the standards for pace of completion of their program, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal and/or institutional aid. SNHU’s current SAP standards are available on our website and/or upon request from the One Stop. Please visit for more information.

Return of Title IV Funds

In the event that a student withdraws before completion of an academic term for which financial aid has been received, U.S. Department of Education regulations govern the procedural guidelines that SNHU must follow for refund and repayment of the aid. These regulations require the One Stop office to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of an academic term or payment period.

In this instance, a portion or all of the awarded funding will be returned to the respective aid program from which the student was funded. The amount of aid to be returned will be determined according to procedures specified by the U.S. Department of Education. Funds received from the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program are excluded from this provision, as the student is entitled to keep all wages earned up to the date of withdrawal from the university.

Duration & Renewal of Aid

Financial aid is awarded one academic year at a time. Students intending to use financial aid in future terms will need to file a FAFSA that corresponds with the appropriate award year. FAFSA’s become available for the new aid year on January 1st.

Reporting Additional Financial Awards

In the event that a student receives additional funds not listed on his/her financial aid award letter (including but not limited to: employer reimbursement or assistance, tuition waivers, private scholarships, fellowships, veterans' benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, etc.), he/she is required to report these awards to the One Stop office.

Should the additional funds result in a change to a student’s financial aid status, he/she will receive notification of the change of status as well as the reasons for the change.  It should be noted that whenever a student receives additional assistance, his/her aid awards may be adjusted or reduced, even if their financial aid has already been disbursed.

Lifetime Limits

Federal Pell Grant - Students who are eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant will have a lifetime limit of 12 full-time semesters or six full years of eligibility. This policy is retroactive to whenever a student first received a Federal Pell grant and includes payments received at colleges or universities that the student had attended prior to SNHU.

Federal 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit - Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, a new provision was added to the Direct Loan statutory requirements (see HEA section 455(q)). This provision limits a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans to a period not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower’s educational program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150 percent limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans. Only first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 are subject to the new provision. Generally, a first-time borrower is one who did not have an outstanding balance of principal or interest on a Direct Loan or on a FFEL Program Loan on July 1, 2013.

Federal Stafford Loan Lifetime Limit – All student types are subject to aggregate lifetime borrowing limits. Please see the chart below:

Academic Career Maximum Subsidized Additional Unsubsidized Combined Sub & Unsub
Dependent Undergraduate $23,000 $8,000 $31,000
Independent Undergraduate $23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Graduate (Includes UG) $65,500* $73,000 $138,500

*As of the 2013-2014 award year, graduate students are no longer allowed to borrow Subsidized Stafford Loans.


In some instances, SNHU is required by federal and state regulations to review financial aid applications through the process of verification. One Stop reserves the right to request verification of any data submitted by applicants or the parents of applicants (if applicable). Failure to submit requested documents in a timely manner may result in a delay or cancellation of a financial aid award. If during the process, data is found to be incorrect; the data may be corrected and the award revised. If a student is found to have knowingly submitted falsified or intentionally misleading information, SNHU shall reserve the right to (1) refuse to award financial aid, (2) to cancel all aid that has previously been awarded, and/or (3) to dismiss the offending student from the University. Additionally, at the discretion of the Director of Financial Aid, all fraudulent information shall be forwarded to the Office of Inspector General for further investigation.

Secondary Confirmation
In addition to the practice of verification, Southern New Hampshire University reserves the right to select any student’s file for Secondary Confirmation.  As part of this process, SNHU may request identifying information including but not limited to:
1) A valid, government-issued photo ID
2) A copy of a utility bill depicting your physical address
3) A notarized statement of identity.

Failure to submit all of the required items within the allotted seven day timeline, or submission of information which cannot be authenticated will result in a failed review.  Failed reviews shall be evaluated on a case by case basis, but will result in loss of financial aid eligibility, Unofficial Withdrawal from courses, Administrative Dismissal and/or permanent expulsion from the university.  Additionally, and at the discretion of the Director of Financial Aid, any information that is found to be fraudulent sent will be forwarded to the US Department of Education, Office of Inspector General for further investigation.

Post-Secondary Confirmation Expectations

Post-Secondary Confirmation Expectations- Subsequently following a successful review for Secondary Confirmation, a previously selected student will shall be expected to maintain strict adherence to Course Participation Requirement of SNHU’s College of Online and Continuing Education Policies and Procedures.  Failure to comply with these stipulations will result in loss of financial aid eligibility, withdrawal from course(s), and removal from the university*.

*Students removed from the university in this manner shall have the option of returning, but will need to use non-federal financial aid based payment (cash, check, credit card, employer credited tuition etc.) to do so.

Credit Balances and Refunds

When the disbursed financial aid and/or payments made on a student account total more than the billed cost, the additional amount will be refunded to eligible students.

The university processes refunds to students based on a published refund processing schedule and in a manner that complies with Department of Education requirements for refunding financial aid (Title IV) funds. All refunds will be processed through a student’s SNHU One Card within 14 days of his/her funds posting and a credit balance developing on the student account summary (due to Title IV funds disbursement).

In the event that financial aid funds are disbursed in error, the student agrees to repay the full amount to SNHU. If a mistake was made, whether by the student, the One Stop, or another agency, federal regulations require that the mistake be corrected and funds be billed back as necessary.

Student Information and Confidentiality

The student shall be responsible for notifying the university of any change in status including but not limited to: marital, academic, enrollment, legal name, etc.  Additionally, the student will be expected to keep his/her local and permanent mailing address current with the Office of the Registrar.

Pursuant to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all records and data submitted with an application for financial aid, or documentation in support of a student’s verification or financial aid appeal will be treated as confidential information.  However, it should be noted that university staff members may be required to disclose information about certain issues that relate to the health and safety of SNHU community members.