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Understanding & Activating Your Financial Aid

When we receive your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the Department of Education, we evaluate your eligibility not only for federal, state, and institutional aid programs.

The Department of Education does not award or deny funds; rather, they use a formula to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC) based on your self-reported family resources, family size and number of family members in college. This process ensures that all students are treated consistently and fairly. Student Financial Services verifies your eligibility and creates an award offer based on factors such as federal and state regulations and institutional policy.

You should know that your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of student aid you will receive. It's simply a number determined by the Department of Education that we are required to use to calculate the amount you are eligible to receive in student aid.

Student Financial Services (SFS) evaluates your EFC and awards all types of grants, scholarships and loans that you may qualify for through a financial need calculation first and then a non-need based aid calculation. You will always be considered for grants first and loans last. This process is called "packaging".

View and understand your financial aid awards

Student Financial Services encourages you to review your financial award and accept the assistance needed for your individual financial plan. The types of aid may include grants, scholarships, federal work study, and/or federal direct loans.

If federal loans are involved, then SNHU encourages you to be a responsible borrower and identify what you may need to assist with your cost of education and do not just accept the amount that you are awarded. To reduce or cancel loan amount(s) which will reduce your overall student debt when entering repayment, please follow the procedure outlined in your award letter notification.

If you plan to accept your federal loans as a part of your financial aid package, there are additional steps you must take to secure that funding. To further understand entrance counseling and the Master Promissory Note requirements, please use the Activating your Direct Loans Quick Guide as you complete these steps.

Review the Financial Aid Award Terms and Conditions to ensure you fully understand your rights and responsibilities as a recipient of financial aid at SNHU.

Changes in your Financial Situation

An additional review of your financial aid award may be available due to extenuating and rare circumstances such as unusual medical expenses or a significant loss of income. You will need to complete additional information that includes clear documentation that supports your individual circumstance. Contact Student Financial Services if you feel you have a circumstance that warrants a review.

Decline or Reduce your offered Student Loans

After reviewing your financial aid award and estimating your bill, you may reduce or decline the offered student loans by submitting a signed statement to Student Financial Services indicating the amount you wish to decline or reduce. Alternatively, you can print the Award Letter from mySNHU and cross off the undesired amount. Sign the letter and submit it to Student Financial Services.

Requests to decline or reduce your loans can be sent to:

Student Financial Services

Southern New Hampshire University

2500 North River Road

Manchester, NH 03106

or Fax to 603.645.9667

Complete Federal Direct Student Loan Requirements

If you were offered federal loans as a part of your financial aid package, there are additional steps you must take to secure that funding.

  1. Sign into http://www.studentloans.gov using your Federal Student Aid ID and password
  2. Complete Entrance Counseling (this link is on your homepage once you login).
  3. Complete the Master Promissory Note (this link is also on your homepage).

Use the Activating your Direct Loans Quick Guide as you complete these steps.

Changes in your Financial Situation

An additional review of your financial aid award may be available due to extenuating and rare circumstances such as unusual medical expenses or a significant loss of income. Review the Financial Aid appeal form to see if your circumstance is warranted.

Disbursement of Federal Student Aid Funds

If you are admitted and registered for the appropriate number of credits and have completed all steps to accept the financial aid offered to you, within the first two weeks Federal Student Aid funds (grants and loans) are sent directly to SNHU and are applied to your tuition charges. If the financial aid applied to your account exceeds your tuition charges, you will receive a refund.

Other Steps

Priority for programs with limited funding (SNHU Need Based Grant) is given to students who have high financial need and who meet the March 15th priority filing date. If you file your application by March 15th we rank you with all other on-time filers according to your family contribution (lowest to highest) and award funds accordingly. If you file your application after March 15th we award from funds that remain after priority applicants are awarded.