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. SNHU is required by federal law to resolve any conflicts of information that become evident as part of the application review process. 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 Student Financial Services 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.
Students are obligated to know their rights and responsibilities associated with being a financial aid applicant and recipient as well as a student loan borrower and a federal work study employee.
You have the right to know:
You have the responsibility to:
There are two types of calculations used to determine a student's financial aid award. The following definitions are required to understand these calculations:
Financial Need Calculation: COA minus EFC equals Financial Need.
Financial need is the student's eligibility for the following need based programs: Federal Pell grants, FSEOG, state grants, SNHU need-based grants, federal work study, and Direct Subsidized Loans.
Non-Need based Aid Calculation: COA minus Financial Aid Awarded equals Eligibility for Non-Need-based Aid.
Non-need-based aid is financial aid that is not based on your EFC. The student's COA and how much assistance that is currently awarded is what matters in this calculation. Non-need-based programs include: Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, SNHU merit scholarships, and other SNHU scholarship programs.
Financial aid funds are awarded for an academic year or remaining period of study and distributed equally between the terms or payment periods that define that academic year or remaining period of study.
Direct Loan proration is required when a student is enrolled in a remaining period of student that is shorter than a full academic year.
Direct Loans are awarded to maximum eligibility or a per term amount based on academic program. If awarded per term, then students are notified on their award letter about additional eligibility and can contact Student Financial Services at 877.455.7648. Southern New Hampshire University promotes responsible borrowing to minimize student loan debt upon graduation.
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 Student Financial Services.
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.
Overawards can occur when SNHU receives additional information not accounted for when the student was awarded originally. SNHU is required to resolve any overaward on a student's account. Common examples of changes that cause overawards include, but are not limited to:
Overawards can result in a balance due to the University which is the responsibility of the student.
SNHU complies with the Principles of Excellence Executive Order 13607 and participates in the Department of Defense Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (DoD MOU) to provide the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to all military identified students awarded federal student aid.
The Shopping Sheet is a standardized form that is designed to simplify the information about costs and financial aid to make informed decisions about where to attend school. This is in addition to the SNHU award letter and is mailed to all military identified students who file a FAFSA and are awarded Title IV aid. Please review a sample of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to further understand the information provided.
In some instances, SNHU is required by federal and state regulations to review financial aid applications through the process of verification. Student Financial Services reserves the right to request verification of any data submitted by applicants or the parents of applicants (if applicable).
Verification requires that the university review additional documents to verify the information reported on the FAFSA for the student, parent(s), and spouse. Information that must be verified includes income information, high school completion, the number of family members in the household and the number of children in the household who are enrolled at least half-time in college. Document requirements include:
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 SNHU's discretion, all fraudulent information shall be forwarded to the Office of Inspector General for further investigation.
An applicant who is selected for verification for the 2018-2019 award year must complete the process no later than 120 days after the last day of the student's enrollment or September 21, 2019, whichever is earlier.
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:
Failure to submit all of the required items within the allotted seven business 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, withdrawal from course(s), administrative dismissal and/or permanent expulsion from the university. Additionally, and at the discretion of Student Financial Services, any information that is found to be fraudulent will be forwarded to the US Department of Education, Office of Inspector General for further investigation.
Expectations after Successful Completion of Secondary Confirmation
Following a successful review for Secondary Confirmation prior to enrollment, a previously selected student shall be expected to maintain strict adherence to the Course Participation Requirement of SNHU's College of Online and Continuing Education Policies and Procedures in his/her first term of enrollment. 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 payment (cash, check, credit card, employer credited tuition, etc.) to do so.
First-time Direct Loan borrowers must complete the following requirements before a loan disbursement will be applied to his/her student account:
Award amounts are based on cumulative credits earned toward a specific degree program. Annual borrowing limits for dependent undergraduates are $5,500 for freshman (zero to 29 credits), $6,500 for sophomores (30-59 credits), and $7,500 for juniors and seniors (60 or more credits). Independent undergraduate students can borrow an additional Unsubsidized Direct loan of $4,000 in their freshman and sophomore years and up to $5,000 in both their junior and senior years. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 each year.
Southern New Hampshire University promotes responsible borrowing and encourages students to borrow what then need to assist with the cost as opposed to the amount that they are eligible for. Repayment for Federal Direct Loans begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, stop attending, or your enrollment status is less than half-time. The standard repayment term is ten years and the interest rate may vary depending on the type of Direct Loan and the disbursement date.
To learn more about loan requirements, annual borrowing limits, lifetime borrowing limits, and the National Student Loan Data System, please go to Direct Loan Information.
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 Loans to a period not to exceed 150% of the length of the borrower's educational program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150% 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 Direct Loan Lifetime Limit - All students are subject to aggregate lifetime borrowing limits. Please review the Lifetime Borrowing Limits chart.
Students are initially awarded financial aid based on the following average enrollments:
If a student is enrolled less than average estimates above, then 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 Student Financial Services 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.
If an online 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.
As mandated by the U.S. Department of Education, only courses that are required for completion of a student's program may be included when determining a student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes. In addition, federal student aid regulations permit only one retake of a previously-passed course when determining a student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes.
¾ Time Enrollment
Less-than-Half Time Enrollment
Financial aid is paid (disbursed) through an academic year or remaining period of study during each payment period or academic term based on academic program. At the time of disbursement, eligibility checks confirm attendance, program, enrollment, and the completion of loan requirements. Financial aid is disbursed:
Disbursement of financial aid funds is based on the type of financial aid being paid:
Direct Loan recipients will receive a disbursement notification to their SNHU email within 7 days of funds being applied to their student account. Students should review their account for the types of loans disbursed (subsidized, unsubsidized PLUS), dollar amount, and date of disbursement. Students have the right to request cancellation of all or part of the Direct Loan amounts disbursed within 30 days of the notification.
Funds listed on financial aid award letters may only be used for educationally related expenses for the respective academic year.
SNHU applies all financial aid awards directly to institutional charges on a student's student account (charges may include but are not limited to: tuition, fees, housing, book voucher, 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.
Students may electronically provide authorization to apply federal financial aid to non-institutional charges by completing the 'Federal Aid Authorization' under Financial Information tab on their mySNHU portal.
Parents may complete an Authorization to Apply Federal Financial Aid to Non-Institutional Charges form to allow Parent PLUS loan funds to be applied to non-institutional charges that may include but are not limited to: residence hall damage fees, parking fees, health insurance, library fees, etc.
Students and parents have the right to cancel or modify the authorization at any time. A cancellation or revision is not retroactive as it will take effect on the date that SNHU receives the update.
Funds for Title IV Recipients to Obtain Books and Supplies
Southern New Hampshire University provides Title IV eligible students a method to purchase books and supplies prior to the beginning of the term if (1) SNHU could disburse the Title IV funds to the eligible student; and (2) the student would have a Title IV credit balance if funds were disbursed.
Depending on program and location, students have the option to use their Penmen Cash account or an online book voucher program.
Students may opt out of either program by not using the process provided. Opting-out will not result in an expedited refund. To understand the process and learn more, please to go the University Store.
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 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 according to a student's refund preference with BankMobile within 14 days of his/her funds posting and a credit balance developing on the student account summary (due to Title IV funds disbursement). To view our BankMobile contract disclosure, please go here.
It is important to understand how your BankMobile account works. This guide provides an overview of fees associated with account usage, overdraft, card replacement, as well as key terms associated with your account.
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 Student Financial Services, or another agency, federal regulations require that the mistake be corrected and funds be billed back as necessary.
SNHU may use a current credit balance created by Title IV funds to satisfy a past due balance for allowable unpaid charges within the current year. The current year is defined as the following:
SNHU can apply up to $200 from a current Title IV credit balance to pay prior year charges. Prior year is defined as:
In the event that a student withdraws before completion of a payment period for which financial aid has been received, the U.S. Department of Education regulations govern the procedural guidelines that SNHU must follow to return the payment of aid. These regulations require the Student Financial Services office to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing more than 60% of an academic term or payment period. Please visit the Return of Title IV Funds information page to learn more about the effect of withdrawals on financial aid.
To remain eligible for federal financial aid programs, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completion of a degree. Federal regulations require Student Financial Services to monitor the progress of each student toward their degree completion. Students who fail to achieve defined 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 for all programs are available on our website and/or upon request from Student Financial Services. Please visit the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid for more information.
If a student, receiving Title IV funding, has been convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs while enrolled, the student becomes ineligible to receive Title IV funds. If the offense occurred outside of an enrollment period, the student is still eligible to receive funding.
When completing the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Free Application, students self-certify and respond to questions regarding drug convictions. Should a conviction occur after a student has submitted the FAFSA, the student must immediately notify Student Financial Services. A conviction denotes a conviction that is on a student's record. A conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student's record is not relevant for these purposes. In addition, it is not a determination or adjudication arising out of a juvenile proceeding.
An illegal drug is a controlled substance as defined by section 102(6) of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) (Title 21 of the United States Code section 802), and does not include alcohol or tobacco.
Pursuant to federal law, a conviction for the sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs. Furthermore, those students convicted of both selling and possessing illegal drugs will be subject to ineligibility for the longer period as prescribed under the circumstances.
A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again for federal financial aid programs.
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 October 1st.
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. Read and understand more at FERPA Student Right to Privacy. 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.