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    What to understand about financial aid at UNH

    By Michael Kelsey


    Many students have to annually apply for financial aid for all four years of college. This simply has to do with the expensive cost of a college education, and is the reason UNH offers many options for financial aid.

    UNH receives a total of approximately $93.6 million in federal contributions, $1.4 million for Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and $2.2 million for work-study, which is awarded based on institutional guidelines. In addition, students also receive approximately $13 million in Pell Grant funds and $77 million in Direct Loans. When it comes to awards, that money comes from what’s collected from previous borrowers.

    Now that all the money to aid students is in place, the next step is to determine who gets this money. According to the financial aid director of UNH, Suzy Allen, about 70 percent of UNH’s  students apply for aid.

    The percentage of students whose needs are fully met through financial aid currently stands at 12 percent. According to the 2014-2015 academic year data, 88 percent of students have a leftover balance of about $16,392, which is about $24,482 off the out-of-state tuition listed at $40,874 and $11,212 off of the price tag of $27,604 for in-state students.

    When students and families see thousands of dollars deducted from a student bill, their heartache may be lessened, but until the student pays the remaining bill, he or she will not be able to attend UNH. So what can be done?

    Loans are an option. Eighty percent of students apply for loans, and they usually take out an average of $33,000. Interesting fact: UNH’s default rate is only about 2 percent, which indicates that students are successfully repaying their loans after graduating.

    Scholarships are another option. According to the figures for the 2013-14 academic year, approximately 1,700 students apply for them, receiving a total of $6.5 million in scholarship money from outside sources. One can apply for scholarships free of charge.

    With financial aid, the government and schools work closely together to make college more affordable to those pursuing career aspirations.

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