Fund Your Future with Financial Aid
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) encourages students to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid programs. Every student could benefit from financial assistance so you should fill out this free application to determine eligibility for financial aid programs. This can be a lot to digest, so let’s break it down together.
- Applying for Financial Aid
- Reviewing & Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer
- Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid
- Financial Aid Tools & Resources
- Statement of Ethical Principles & Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals
- Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions
An appeal is a formal request to have a financial aid administrator review your aid eligibility and possibly use Professional Judgment to adjust the figures. Professional Judgment refers to the authority of a school's financial aid administrator to make those adjustments.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
COA is the total amount it should cost you to go to school, including tuition and fees, room and board, allowances for books and supplies, transportation and personal and incidental expenses.
A loan is in default when you fail to pay several regular installments on time or otherwise fail to meet the terms and conditions of the loan.
Deferment occurs when you’re allowed to postpone repaying the loan. The most common type of deferment happens when you’re in school, meaning you don’t have to think about paying it back until you leave.
Dependency status refers to whether you’re a dependent or independent. This will determine whose information you include on the FAFSA. If you're a dependent student, you’ll report your and your parents' information.
Entrance Loan Counseling (ELC)
If you’re receiving educational loans, you’re required to complete entrance loan counseling before you receive your first payment. It only takes about 30 minutes and helps to ensure you understand the terms and conditions of your loans, along with your rights and responsibilities.
Exit Loan Counseling
If you graduate, are no longer enrolled in school, or drop below part-time enrollment, you’re required to complete exit loan counseling. Like entrance counseling, it only takes 30 minutes and helps you to understand your loan obligations and repayment options.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The EFC is the minimum amount of money that your family is expected to be able to contribute to your education, decided by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. The EFC is calculated by results that are reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is the form used to apply for financial aid. This could look like grants, loans, work study or scholarships. As the name suggests, it’s free to file. You’ll need to re-file each year that you’re in school to stay up to date with changing financial situations.
This is the need analysis formula used to determine the EFC. The Federal Methodology takes family size, the number of family members in college, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets into account.
This is the organization that processes the information submitted on the FAFSA and uses it to determine eligibility for federal student aid.
Verification is a review process in which the financial aid office determines the accuracy of the information provided on your financial aid application.
Financial Aid Package
This is the complete collection of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study employment from all sources (federal, state, institutional and private) offered to assist you with attending a college or university.
Financial need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution, and it’s used in determining your eligibility for need-based financial aid.
The grace period is the 6-month window after you graduate before you need to start repaying your loans. This is a great time to get organized and choose a repayment plan.
A grant is a type of financial aid based on financial need that you don’t have to pay back.
The Perkins Loan is a federally-subsidized (no interest while in school), fixed low interest (5%) loan that is offered to full-time undergraduate day students.
PLUS Loan Program
The PLUS loan is a non-need, credit-based loan similar to a private student loan with the benefit of having a fixed interest rate and federal guarantee (backed by government funds). Unlike a grant, a loan provides money for school now that you do need to pay back later.
A promissory note is a legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are given by the lender.
Scholarships are a form of financial aid that, like grants, don’t need to be repaid.
Male students who are US citizens and have reached the age of 18 and were born after Dec. 31, 1959, must be registered with Selective Service to be eligible for federal financial aid. If the student did not register and is past the age of doing so (18-25), and the school determines that the failure to register was knowing and willful, the student is ineligible for all federal student financial aid programs. The school's decision as to whether the failure to register was willful is not subject to appeal. For more information, call Selective Service at 1.847.688.6888.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
Your SAR summarizes the data from your FAFSA and indicates your official Expected Family Contribution.
Student Aid FSA ID
The Federal Student Aid ID is used to e-sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Student Academic Progress(SAP)
You must maintain satisfactory Student Academic Progress to continue receiving federal aid. This means you need to successfully complete your coursework to be eligible. GPA and pace are evaluated to make that determination. If you become SAP ineligible, you may be able to submit an appeal for certain circumstances, subject to approval.
With a subsidized loan like a subsidized direct loan, the government pays the interest on the loan while you’re in school and during the grace period.
A loan for which the government does not pay the interest. See Direct Loan information.
For financial aid purposes such as determining dependency status, a veteran is a former member of the US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Space Force or Coast Guard) who served on active duty and was discharged other than dishonorably (i.e., received an honorable or medical discharge). You’re a veteran even if you serve just one day on active duty - not active duty for training - before receiving your DD-214 and formal discharge papers. (Note that for a veteran to be eligible for VA educational benefits, you must have served for more than 180 consecutive days on active duty before receiving an honorable discharge.)
Applying for Financial Aid
FAFSA = FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID
The FAFSA asks for basic information to determine your eligibility for all the financial aid programs sponsored by the federal government.
Financial aid could look like grants, work-study, loans or scholarships. Billions of dollars in aid is provided to help students pay for college each year.¹
The application only takes an hour to complete – it’s worth it to see just how much you might be eligible for.
To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must:
- Enroll as a degree-seeking student
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Not be in default on a federal educational loan
- Not owe a refund on a federal educational grant or loan
- Register with Selective Service (if you are a male born on or after January 1, 1960, over 18 years of age and not currently in the armed forces)
- Possess a high school diploma or equivalent
1. Plan Early
- Develop your road map to pay for college
- Talk to a financial services counselor
2. Fill Out the FAFSA Form
- Include the school code for each school you’re applying to.
- Available to fill out Oct. 1 - SNHU’s school code is 002580
3. Review Your Offer Package
- Compare the aid each school is offering
- Cost of attendance – total aid offered = net price
4. Get Your Money
- Aid will automatically be applied to the amount you owe your school
- Don’t forget to reapply each year you’re in school
5. Pay Back Your Loans
- Find an affordable repayment plan
- You have 6 months after graduation before repayment
Determine if you need to include a parent's information if you are applying for financial aid
For financial aid purposes, the federal government must determine if you are required to include your parent's information when you apply for financial aid. The Department of Education will determine your dependency based upon responses entered on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are considered a dependent student, you will be required to enter your parent(s) information on the FAFSA. If you are considered an independent student, you will be required to enter your information on your FAFSA and information for your spouse, if applicable.
Your Federal Student Aid ID
If you are filing the online FAFSA, you can sign the form electronically by using your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Students and parents who have not previously applied for a FSA ID are able to apply for one within the FAFSA application.
If you filed a FAFSA in a previous year and have forgotten your FSA ID, you can request a duplicate on the website.
Completing the FAFSA Online
To complete your FAFSA online, visit the FAFSA website. SNHU's school code is 002580.
After completing your FAFSA, print the FAFSA Confirmation Page for your records. If you have already completed a FAFSA for another school, click on "Make a Correction to a Processed FAFSA" and add SNHU's school code - 002580.
You will need your previous year tax information to fill out the current years FAFSA. With the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, the Department of Education makes it easier than ever to submit this information.
Understanding The Student Aid Report (SAR)
Your Student Aid Report summarizes the information you submitted when you filed the FAFSA and indicates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If you've filed the FAFSA electronically, you'll receive an e-mail with a secure link for online access to your Student Aid Report. After receiving your Student Aid Report check it for errors. The Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) listed on your Student Aid Report will determine the amount of financial aid you may be eligible to receive.
Submitting additional documents, if needed, to complete your FAFSA
During the Financial Aid Process, there are many times when additional information may be required to complete an application for Federal Student Aid. When SNHU receives your FAFSA information, we will review it and contact you for any additional information that we may need to review. Please respond promptly to any request from SNHU for additional documentation.
The U.S. Department of Education selects approximately 1/3 of all financial aid applicants for verification. SNHU is required by the Department of Education to request certain documents that ensure the accuracy of selected students FAFSA.
If your account is missing information or was selected for verification, SNHU will send an e-mail to you outlining missing information/requirements that may be preventing financial aid from being offered or disbursed. Please respond in a timely manner to allow for the offering and release of any financial aid that you may be eligible to receive. Financial aid offers will not be created until this process is complete.
Reviewing & Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer
When we receive your FAFSA from the Department of Education, we evaluate your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid programs.
The Department of Education doesn't award or deny funds; rather, it uses 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 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.
SFS evaluates your EFC and offers 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'll always be considered for grants first and loans last. This process is called "packaging".
And remember, you'll be responsible for paying back any student loans you take, even if you don't complete your degree. That's why it's important to borrow responsibly — keeping in mind that you don't need take out loans for the full amount you're approved for. Talk to your SFS team to learn more.
View and understand your financial aid offers
Student Financial Services encourages you to review your financial offer and accept the assistance needed for your individual financial plan. The types of aid may include grants, 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 offered.
To customize loan amount(s) which will reduce your overall student debt when entering repayment, please follow the procedure outlined in your offer letter notification.
Review the Financial Aid Offer 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 offer may be available due to extenuating and rare circumstances such as unusual medical expenses or a significant loss of income. You'll 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.
Customize your offered Student Loans
After reviewing your financial aid offer and estimating your bill, you may customize the offered student loans by submitting a signed statement to Student Financial Services or completing an online form indicating the amount you wish to decline or reduce. Alternatively, you may submit an offer from your school email stating to cancel all student loans, if you wish.
Requests to customize 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.
- Sign into studentaid.gov using your Federal Student Aid ID and password
- Complete Entrance Counseling (this link is on your homepage once you login).
- Complete the Master Promissory Note (this link is also on your homepage).
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.
Priority for programs with limited funding (SNHU Need Based Grant) is given to students who have high financial need and who meet the March 15 priority filing date. If you file your application by March 15 we rank you with all other on-time filers according to your family contribution (lowest to highest) and offer funds accordingly. If you file your application after March 15 we offer from funds that remain after priority applicants have received their offers.
Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid
In order to remain eligible for funds, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) by meeting qualitative and quantitative standards. You can review the full SAP policy in the Academic Catalog.
Cumulative GPA is the qualitative measure of SAP, meaning that it looks at the quality of the grades that each student earns in their courses.
- Students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Students enrolled in graduate degree programs must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
A student must have successfully completed at least 67% (standard rounding rules apply) of all the credits attempted at Southern New Hampshire University during the entire period of enrollment.
- Total credits earned divided by total credits attempted equals the percentage.
Note: Successful completion is defined as the assignment of a passing grade to the courses attempted and equates to the number of credits earned. Failure, withdrawal, incomplete or other designations to the courses attempted are not considered successful completion.
Credit Hour Completion/Pace:
As a credit hour school, each academic program is defined by a set number of credits required for completion. In order to complete the program within the maximum timeframe, the student must complete the program within 150% of the published credits.
- Associate degree candidates may attempt a maximum of 90 credits.
- Bachelor's degree candidates may attempt a maximum of 180 credits.
- Graduate degree candidates may attempt a maximum of eight years of study in a specific graduate program.
- With the exception of remedial, non-degree courses and pass/fail courses, all grades earned at SNHU will count toward cumulative grade point average (GPA).
- The number of credit hours a student may attempt cannot exceed the maximum number of credit hours allowed in his/her program of study, less the number of applicable transfer credits accepted from other institutions.
- All credits attempted will count toward the maximum qualitative timeframe except for remedial and non-degree courses.
- SNHU will perform continual reviews of the student’s progress toward successful program completion. For example, if a SAP review shows that a student is at 110% of maximum timeframe and cannot complete his/her program within 180 credits, all federal financial aid must stop.
Coursework Included in the SAP Calculation
Final grades that fall below the minimums (D for undergraduates, C for graduates) are not counted as credits completed but will be included as credit attempted.
Grade changes will be monitored and SAP will be rechecked using any new information to comply with the SAP new/conflicting information requirement.
Repeat coursework will count as attempted for the purposes of determining SAP, and GPA calculations will follow the method used by SNHU when calculating academic GPA. Specifically, in reference to students repeating the same course to improve a grade, prior attempts will not be calculated into the total GPA. Instead, only the most recent grade will be used. Multiple course attempts do, however, count toward the number of credits attempted, which is used to calculate a student’s completion rate and pace (maximum timeframe).
Withdrawn grades are considered to be credits attempted but not earned.
Note: Courses that are dropped prior to the course start date or during the add/drop period in week one of the term will not count towards attempted credits.
Incomplete grades will be counted as attempted credits but not earned. Incomplete grades that are later updated with an actual grade are not considered grade changes, so SAP will not be re-run. Incomplete was the valid grade at the time of the SAP run and the changed grade was earned at a later point. The updated grade will be picked up with the student’s next SAP evaluation. However, if the student would like to request a re-evaluation, the student can send in a written request asking for a new SAP evaluation.
Transfer credits from other schools
For the purposes of SAP calculation, program-applicable transfer credits are considered to be credits attempted and completed toward the completion of the student’s program (pace or maximum timeframe) but are not counted towards the student’s GPA.
Frequency of Reviews
- Annual review not to exceed 52 calendar weeks for undergraduate students
- Annual review at the end of the 4th term for online graduate students
- Graduate students enrolled in the Master of Education in Online Instruction (K12) will be reviewed at the end of each term
- For Title IV eligible certificate and degree programs that are less than or equal to one year in length, students will be reviewed after each payment period (term)
- Prior to a continuing SNHU student receiving financial aid funds for the first time at our university or upon readmission after a period of absence
Students are reviewed annually, usually at the end of each academic year. However, this may not always be the case as some students are able to start in certain programs at different times during the year.
- For undergraduate campus programs where the student started the program in the fall term, students are reviewed at the end of the spring term
- For undergraduate campus programs where the student started the program in the spring term, students are reviewed at the end of the fall term
- For campus students who switch from an online program, there may be schedules that do not align with the end of the spring term, when the SAP run would have occurred. In this case, the student would have SAP run after whatever campus term was closest to the annual run, without going over the one-year mark.
- Graduate programs are typically reviewed at the end of the summer term; except for:
- Mountainview Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA, campus) is reviewed at the end of the SIX02 term.
- Students who start or transfer to a graduate program during the middle of an academic year will be evaluated after whichever term is close to the annual run, without going over the one-year mark
Financial Aid Warning
Financial Aid Warning is a status assigned to students whose standard frequency of review is every payment period. The status is assigned after the first evaluation where the student fails the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. This status is assigned for one additional payment period. While on Financial Aid Warning, students remain eligible for Title IV Financial Aid. Students not meeting SAP standards by the end of the next payment period evaluation are immediately suspended from receiving future federal financial aid. Financial Aid Warning status will only be assigned to the following populations of students:
- Master of Education in Online Instruction (K12) students
- Title IV eligible certificate and degree programs that are less than or equal to one year in length
Financial Aid Suspension
According to federal regulations, students who are scheduled for an annual SAP review and fail to meet either the qualitative or quantitative requirement of their program will lose federal financial aid eligibility. Students who fall into this category are SAP suspended. Students who are SAP suspended are allowed to appeal their suspension.
Financial Aid SAP Appeal
Students who have been placed on financial aid suspension will be allowed to appeal their suspension. To be considered, SAP appeals must include the following elements:
- Reason(s) why the student failed to maintain SAP.
- What has/will change that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation period?
- An academic plan agreed to by the student, developed by and in place with their academic advisor. The plan must ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.
Financial Aid SAP Probation
Students who have been initially placed on financial aid suspension, and who have an approved appeal, are placed on SAP probation. The student’s eligibility for aid is considered to be reinstated.
Financial Aid Appeal Approval
Students with an approved appeal who are placed on SAP probation will have their status reviewed after each payment period or applicable term following their successful appeal. Students who are not meeting the plan requirements will be returned to suspension and all aid from that date forward will be canceled immediately, regardless of current enrollment.
- On campus students who are suspended as part of this process may appeal this decision.
- Online students who are suspended from receiving financial aid as part of this process may appeal this decision after 2 terms (graduate) or 1 payment period (undergraduate).
Students meeting SAP requirements after successful completion of an academic plan will not be reviewed again until the next regularly scheduled annual SAP review.
Direct Assessment Competency Based Education Standards for SAP
Direct Assessment Competency Based Education programs will evaluate SAP for students receiving Title IV aid on a payment period basis after each term.
To comply with Federal requirements, student academic progress will be measured based on a completion rate minimum of 67% of attempted competencies. SAP is calculated cumulatively every term.
The maximum timeframe for Title IV eligibility is based on 150% of the number of competencies (or credit hour equivalencies) required to complete the program. For example, an Associate of Arts degree requires mastery of 60 competencies. An associate degree student may attempt no more than 90 competencies while receiving Title IV aid.
Competencies Included in the Calculation
- Attempted competencies are competencies that a student has participated in during the trimester regardless of the outcome.
- Successfully completed competencies are defined through the assignment of a Mastery (MA) grade.
- Unsuccessfully completed competencies are defined through the assignment of a Non-Mastery (NM) grade.
- Repeated competencies are counted in the calculation each term the competency is attempted.
- Transfer credits are considered to be credits attempted and completed toward the completion of the student's program and counted toward the maximum time frame.
- Competencies with a grade of ‘W’ are counted in the calculation as attempted.
- Dropped competencies are not counted in the calculation as attempted.
- Grade changes will be monitored and SAP will be recalculated using any new information
A student who does not meet the minimum of mastering 67% of attempted competencies cumulatively is either placed on Warning or Suspension for Title IV aid. The student will be notified of his or her status via their SNHU email address. This notification will come with instructions to contact his or her Advisor.
Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are placed on SAP Warning. Students with the SAP Warning status will retain Title IV aid eligibility for one subsequent trimester. A student on a SAP Warning must meet SAP requirements during the following trimester or the student will be placed on SAP Suspension.
A student who does not meet SAP after being placed on Warning is placed on SAP Suspension. A student on Suspension is not eligible for Federal Title IV aid, but may continue working in their program. All future, pending Federal Title IV aid will be cancelled. A student on SAP Suspension has a right to appeal this decision.
Students who lose their aid may appeal, provided there are mitigating circumstances that inhibited their academic progress. Students can appeal on the basis of illness, death of a relative or other extenuating circumstance. The student must also explain why they failed to meet the SAP requirement and what has changed to allow them to be successful in the future terms. If mitigating circumstances do not exist, and an appeal is not warranted, students may continue to enroll in competencies at their own expense until such time as they are meeting the minimum completion standard.
Financial Aid SAP Appeal
Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Suspension will be allowed to appeal this decision.
To be considered, the appeal must include the following:
- Reason(s) why the student failed to maintain SAP.
- What has/will change that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation period.
- An academic plan agreed to by the student, developed by, and in place with their academic advisor. The plan must ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.
Financial Aid SAP Probation
Students who have been initially placed on SAP Suspension and whose appeal is then approved, are placed on SAP probation. The student’s eligibility for aid is reinstated.
Financial Aid Appeal Approval and Academic Plan
Students with an approved appeal who are placed on SAP Probation and an Academic Plan will have their status reviewed after each term following their successful appeal. Students who are not meeting the requirements of their Academic Plan will be returned to Suspension and all aid from that date forward will be canceled immediately, regardless of current enrollment. Students who are suspended from receiving financial aid as part of this process may appeal this decision after one (1) term.
Financial Aid Tools & Resources
There are lots of tools you can use to learn more about the financial aid process, the FAFSA form, scholarship information, and other resources available to you.
Net Price Calculator
Use our Net Price Calculator to see how affordable a degree at SNHU really is.
General Financial Aid Information
General Financial Aid Information
The Department of Education administers Student Financial Assistance Programs - the largest source of student aid in America, providing over $40 billion a year in grants, loans, and work-study assistance. Here you'll find help for every stage of the financial aid process, whether you're in school or out of school.
The Go-to Guide for College Financial Aid is a reputable and respected resource in the industry, FinAid publishes this comprehensive guide to financial aid.
Other Financial Resources
Educational Resources in New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) Network Organizations is the largest source within New Hampshire of knowledge for everything college; providing the ongoing planning support and the financial resources to help students attain a college education.
"College Scholarships" is useful tool information about private external scholarship sources for funding your education. Although we have determined that this Web site may benefit you, it is not controlled by or associated with Southern New Hampshire University in any way. Please be a wise consumer in making decisions about financial aid. Generally students should never pay anyone any money to search for Financial Aid. There are several highly qualified free sources of financial aid help and free scholarship search services available to all.
Tax Credits for Education
Note: In accordance with IRS regulations, Southern New Hampshire University does not provide personal tax advice. To determine your eligibility for a higher education tax credit, a student loan interest deduction or a deduction for qualified education expenses, please contact a personal tax advisor or the IRS.
Statement of Ethical Principles & Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals
As required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, SNHU has established a Title IV Loan Code of Conduct that all employees and agents must comply.
- SNHU will not enter into a revenue-sharing arrangement, which is defined as an arrangement between a school and a lender under which the Lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit sharing to the school, an officer or employee of the school, or an agent and in exchange, the school recommends the lender or the lender's loan products to the students and parents of the students attending the school.
- All SNHU employees and agents who have responsibilities with respect to student loans are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. A gift is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount.
- All SNHU employees or agents who have responsibilities with respect to education loans shall not accept any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation from any lender or affiliate for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to the lender or on behalf of the lender with regard to education loans.
- SNHU does not request or accept any assistance from any lender with call center or Student Financial Services staffing. However, professional development training for financial aid administrators, educational counseling/financial literacy/debt management materials for borrowers that disclose the identification of the lender that assisted in preparing and providing the materials, or staffing services on a short-term, non-recurring basis during State or federally declared natural disasters, federally declared national disasters, and other localized disaster and emergencies identified by ED are not prohibited.
- Any SNHU employee, in the Office of Student Financial Services or with responsibilities regarding education loans or financial aid, who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors. However, the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on the advisory board, commission, or group.
NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles & Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals
The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational goals through financial support and resources. National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator (NASFAA) members are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism. The following guidelines were last updated by NASFAA's Board of Directors in Nov. 2017
Statement of Ethical Principles
We, financial aid professionals, declare our commitment to the following Statement of Ethical Principles.
Financial aid administrators shall:
Advocate for students
- Remain aware of issues affecting students and continually advocate for their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
- Support federal, state and institutional efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
Manifest the highest level of integrity
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Deal with others honestly and fairly, abiding by our commitments and always acting in a manner that merits the trust and confidence others have placed in us.
- Protect the privacy of individual student financial records.
- Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
Support student access and success
- Commit to removing financial barriers for those who want to pursue postsecondary learning and support each student admitted to our institution.
- Without charge, assist students in applying for financial aid funds.
- Provide services and apply principles that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- Understand the need for financial education and commit to educate students and families on how to responsibly manage expenses and debt.
Comply with federal and state laws
- Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
- Actively participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education programs to ensure ample understanding of statutes, regulations, and best practices governing the financial aid programs.
- Encourage colleagues to participate in the financial aid professional associations available to them at the state, regional, or national level and offer assistance to other aid professionals as needed.
Strive for transparency and clarity
- Provide our students and parents with the information they need to make good decisions about attending and paying for college.
- Educate students and families through quality information that is consumer-tested when possible. This includes (but is not limited to) transparency and full disclosure on offer notices.
- Ensure equity by applying all need-analysis formulas consistently across the institution's full population of student financial aid applicants.
- Inform institutions, students, and parents of any changes in financial aid programs that could affect their student aid eligibility.
Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants
- Ensure that student and parent private information provided to the financial aid office by financial aid applicants is protected in accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations, including FERPA and the Higher Education Act, Section 483(a)(3)(E) (20 U.S.C. 1090).
- Protect the information on the FAFSA from inappropriate use by ensuring that this information is only used for the application, offered, and administration of aid awarded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, state aid, or aid offered by eligible institutions.
Code of Conduct
The following Code of Conduct was last updated by a vote from NASFAA’s Board of Directors in November 2020, and published in January 2021. Institutional members of NASFAA will ensure that:
- 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 publically 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 minimum 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).
- Information provided by the financial aid office is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
- Institutional offer notifications 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 offer, indicating type of aid, i.e. gift aid (grant, scholarship), work, or loan.
- Standard terminology and definitions.
- Renewal requirements for each offer.
- 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."
- 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.
Financial Aid Frequently Asked QuestionsStill have questions about financial aid? Learn more about how it works, from submitting your application to accepting your loans.
How does the FAFSA work?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and, like the name says, it's an application that's free to fill out. To complete the FAFSA, you’ll enter some basic personal information, the schools you’re considering attending and your income information from two years ago (and your parents’ information, if required). The Department of Education will determine your financial need and share it with the schools you listed. From there, each school will create a financial aid offer for you.
When should I complete the FAFSA?
To make your term start go as smoothly as possible, you should fill out the FAFSA at least 60 days prior to your anticipated start date. This gives you a window of time to submit additional information that may be requested by the Department of Education if you’re selected for verification.
The department randomly selects about 1/3 of all financial aid applicants for verification ¬– it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong, it’s just part of the process.
If I put my information on my child’s FAFSA, will I be responsible for their student loans?
No, you won’t be responsible for paying back your child’s student loans. But it is necessary to include your financial information on the FAFSA, if required, to ensure your child is considered for all types of aid, including the Pell grant (if eligible).
I live on my own and I’m not supported by my parents. Why do I need to include their information on the FAFSA?
Generally, if you’re younger than 24, you’re considered a dependent student for financial aid purposes. The Department of Education determines your dependency status based on a series of questions on the FAFSA. They’ll use your parents’ information to help determine your financial need and ensure you receive all aid you are eligible for.
If you have extreme circumstances, reach out to Student Financial Services and we can discuss your options.
I filled out the FAFSA, so why am I being offered loans, and do I need to accept them?
When you submit the FAFSA, you’re applying for federal student loans in addition to grants (if eligible). But the good news is, you don’t have to accept any loans if you don’t want to. If you only want to use a portion of them, you can do that, too.
Our finance counselors can help you can customize your borrowing to what works best for your education and your future.
How does a student loan work?
When you accept a student loan, you’re agreeing to repay the original amount you borrow plus interest. The accrued interest will be “capitalized” at certain times, meaning it is added to your loan balance and you begin accruing interest on your existing interest. It’s important to keep track of how much you’re borrowing and understand how the amount of your loans will affect your future finances.
“Student loans may seem like no big deal on a per-term basis, but they add up quickly,” said Crystal Merrifield, a finance counselor with Southern New Hampshire University’s Student Financial Services. “Think about it this way: If you borrow $1,000 per term, with 6 terms in a year, that’s $6,000. Over four years, you now have $24,000 that needs to be repaid before interest is added. With interest, that’s about $250 a month on a 10-year repayment plan.”
What are the different types of federal student loans?
There are two main types of federal student loans:
Direct subsidized loans do not accrue interest while you’re in school at least half time or during the grace period.
Direct unsubsidized loans will accrue interest while you’re in school and during the grace period, which may increase your total loan cost in the long run.
How do I accept the loans I’ve been offered?
To accept the loans, you’ll need to complete the Master Promissory Note and entrance loan counseling at studentaid.gov. These will activate your loans and allow them to disburse.
Do I need to make payments on my loans while I’m in school?
You don’t need to make payments while in school, but you certainly can if you’re able to. Remember, unsubsidized loans will accrue interest while you’re enrolled, so making small payments while you’re still in school will benefit you when you enter repayment.
Is there an out-of-state tuition fee for online students?
All online courses are priced the same, regardless of where you live! Tuition for undergraduate programs is $330 per credit and tuition for graduate programs is $637 per credit. There also is no application fee.
Besides tuition, what else should I budget for?
Some learning materials may not be covered by financial aid, so it’s important to budget for those expenses, too. This could include things like lab kit fees, textbooks and software subscriptions.
What other ways I can fund my education without taking out loans?
Does your workplace provide tuition reimbursement? Talk to your HR department to see if you qualify.
Do you have a military affiliation? The VA can help you determine your education benefits, and SNHU offers an active-duty tuition discount!
You can also apply for scholarships, and those funds don’t need to be paid back. Additionally, SNHU partners with many companies across the country to offer our students a more affordable education. Contact Student Financial Services to see if you’re eligible for a corporate discount.