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Financial Aid

Keene State College Financial Aid Office (FAO) is responsible for the administration of student financial assistance and for helping students develop plans for paying for their education.

The student budget used to calculate financial aid eligibility includes tuition, room and board, fees, books and supplies, and an allowance for personal and travel expenses.

The Financial Aid Office (FAO) at KSC uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine a family’s unmet need. By completing the FAFSA, the expected family contribution (EFC) is determined; if that number is less than the cost of attendance (COA), then the student has demonstrated financial need. The FAO then determines the student’s eligibility for federal, state and institutional funds to help make up the difference between the COA and the EFC.

When calculating the family contribution, the College considers such factors as total parent and student income (including untaxed and taxable income), assets, including trusts, number of dependents in the household, and number of dependent children attending undergraduate college. Siblings attending graduate school or parents attending college are not considered in determining the family contribution.

Applying for Financial Assistance

Starting after October 1, complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2020-2021 year online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The school code for Keene State College is 002590.

Upon acceptance to the College, and receipt of a completed FAFSA, the student will receive a financial aid award letter.

International Students

Limited KSC scholarship aid is awarded to international applicants. Awards are based on merit, as determined by College guidelines.

Renewal Applications

All students must reapply for financial aid every year. The FAFSA is available October 1 each year, and continuing students may apply for financial aid, regardless of their previous year’s financial aid application status. The deadline for submitting the FAFSA is March 1.

The Financial Aid Award

Students with financial aid eligibility will receive a financial aid award that generally consists of a combination of scholarships/grants, loans, and work-study. These three types of assistance may be funded by institutional, federal, and state sources.

Grants and Scholarships

Federal Pell Grants are based on financial need established by the FAFSA and range from $650.00 to $6345.00 annually based on full-time enrollment.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) are awarded to students with high demonstrated need. Recipients of the Federal Pell grant are given priority for FSEOG awards. The annual amount is $600.

Keene Tuition Grant are awarded based on financial need, and is re-determined every year using the results of the FAFSA, which must be received by March 1. Students must be enrolled at least half-time.

Keene State College Merit Scholarships are determined at the time of acceptance, and are renewable for up to 8 semesters as long as the student meets the renewal (President-3.0, Deans-3.0, Enrichment-2.5, and KSC Promise-2.0.) criteria. Students must be enrolled full-time (12 credits or more).

Keene State College Talent Scholarships provides students with exceptional performing and artistic talents with renewable scholarships. Recipients are selected by faculty committees for theatre and dance, music, art and graphic design, and film. Selections are based on auditions, and art student portfolios.

Granite Guarantee at Keene State College is our promise to cover the cost of tuition for all eligible students. An eligible student must be eligible for a Federal Pell grant, and be a New Hampshire resident. An eligible student can be a first-time college student or a transfer student. Students must be enrolled full time, and meet the March 1 financial aid deadline.

Endowed and Annual Scholarships: The College reviews these funds annually to determine what funds will be offered each academic year. Returning students are eligible to apply for a number of select scholarships via an online application available in early February for the following academic year. Visit our home page in February for more information. The scholarship application is typically due early April. Eligible recipients will be notified with communications from both the Advancement Office and the Financial Aid Office over the summer.

Private Scholarships: KSC encourages students to apply for outside scholarships. Outside funding reduces the amount of student loan or the student work commitment. Students receiving a scholarship should inform the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. Information about outside scholarships can be obtained from high school counselors and local libraries, or by using scholarship search engines found at sites such as www.finaid.org or www.fastweb.com.

KSC students are required to report to the Financial Aid Office all anticipated outside resources; including any scholarships, grants, fellowships, tuition benefits, veteran benefits, or any other type of financial resources. In certain instances, these outside resources or awards may reduce eligibility for other financial aid or loans.

Generally, total financial aid will not exceed the cost of attendance (tuition and any fees, room, board, and books) which would result in an over-award. When a KSC student becomes eligible for additional outside financial support above the cost of attendance resulting in an over-award, that revenue may be used to reduce any self-help portions of the award.

Student Employment

The College participates in the Federal Work-Study Program, a need-based program that funds student earnings for on-campus jobs. Students work an average of 8-10 hours per week when school is in session. The College also funds a non-need based campus student employment program through our Student Hourly program. In addition to on campus employment opportunities, many local employers hire students on a part time basis. Students can view all job opportunities on JobWise available via the MyKSC portal and the Academic and Career Advising Center.

Student Loans

Borrowing money for college is an expected part of the process. We can offer several options for the student to consider. The student may use one, two, or all of the options presented here. All students who borrow through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program are required to complete entrance counseling and a master promissory note (MPN) to ensure students know and understand their rights and responsibilities as borrowers. The Financial Aid Office will guide the student through the process. Information on interest rates, payment options and fees associated with the loan programs all can be obtained online at www.studentaid.gov.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education. There are limits on the amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loans you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amount that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits). The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic is determined by the FAO. These limits vary depending on what year you are in school, enrollment status, and borrowing history.

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you’ll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you’ll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments will be due monthly.

Loan funds are disbursed directly to the student’s account at the beginning of each semester. Loan funds will not be disbursed until the student signs a master promissory note and completes entrance counseling, which can be completed online at www.studentaid.gov.

The master promissory note need only be signed once to cover additional federal student loans borrowed in future years. The average federal student loan debt upon graduation from KSC is $22,000.

Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)

The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers. A complete description of the Federal Parent PLUS Loan, including FAQ’s is available at www.studentaid.gov.

Direct PLUS Loan Overview:

  • The U.S. Department of Education is your lender.
  • You must not have an adverse credit history.
  • The maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.
  • The current interest rate and estimated payment amounts can be obtained at www.studentaid.gov.
  • PLUS loan funds are disbursed directly to the student account at the beginning of each semester

Keene State College Loan

The KSC Loan Program is a College-funded, long-term, low-interest loan for students. Eligibility is established through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more information about this loan, contact the FAO.

Private Loan Programs

These loans may be used to supplement or to bridge any funding gaps. Students will need a co-signer, and payment is typically deferred until after graduation. Before considering private loan options, you should apply for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, including federal student loans which have a fixed interest rate. Keene State College strongly encourages all students to apply for financial aid before considering a private educational loan. Students must be enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking program to participate in all private loan programs. More information can be found at www.elmselect.com

Other Sources of Assistance

To be sure students have explored every possible source of financial assistance, we suggest the following:

  • Your high school guidance counselors about local and national scholarship opportunities in your state of residence.
  • Apply to state grant or scholarship programs in your home state. Most of these may be applied for by using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • Inquire at local banks regarding special programs/scholarships providing educational assistance to students.
  • Check with local Veterans Administration, and/or Vocational Rehabilitation offices if you think you are eligible for these programs.

Financial Aid for Summer Study

Financial aid is available in limited amounts for KSC students enrolled during a summer session.

Requests for Additional Aid/Appeal Process

The Higher Education Act of 1992 allows financial aid administrators to make professional judgment decisions when there are special or unusual family or student circumstances that may call for adjustments in determining a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Circumstances requiring professional judgment must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

Reconsideration may increase or decrease a student’s EFC or cost of attendance.

Circumstances that may warrant review include, but are not limited, to the loss of employment or change in income, divorce, separation, or death of a parent, or unexpected medical expenses. The FAO will request documentation based on the circumstances presented. The documentation must be complete before review and approval will be considered.

Professional judgment situations are unique, and addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Circumstances other than those listed may be considered and will require additional documentation specific to that situation. The Financial Aid Office has the final authority on all professional judgment decisions.

Independent Status

When determining eligibility for institutional funds, the College reviews requests on a case by case basis. Federal regulations narrowly restrict the definition of “Independent Student” to meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 24 years old by December 31 of the award year
  • Be an orphan or ward of the court after age 13
  • Be the ward of a court-appointed legal guardian
  • Be an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of being homeless
  • Be married
  • Be a person with legal dependents other than a spouse
  • Be a veteran of U.S. military service or currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training

Financial Aid Policies

Accepting and Declining Awards

Acceptance of all awards is assumed. If the student wishes to decline all or a portion of the aid offered, the student must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing.

Disbursing Funds

Financial Aid funds cannot be disbursed to a student’s tuition account until the Financial Aid Office receives all required financial aid documents. Students should check with the Financial Aid Office for information on missing documents. Funds are disbursed on a per-semester basis and will be disbursed at the beginning of each semester provided a student’s file is complete. For both new and returning applicants, a student cannot enter classes or move into a residence hall until the appropriate semester fees have been paid in full or provisions for payment plans and/or loans have been approved.

Renewal of Aid

Financial aid awards are based on the information contained in each year’s application materials. Since your family’s resources are subject to change during your career at KSC, we reserve the privilege of reviewing and revising awards each year you apply for aid based on your demonstrated need and the availability of funding on federal, state, and institutional levels. Awards are made for a one-year period only.

Default

You may not receive Title IV Federal Aid or Keene State College financial aid if you have a defaulted federal student loan. In addition, if you owe a refund of federal grant aid received from any institution, you won’t receive additional federal money until you’ve repaid the money you owe.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In accordance with requirements of the Higher Education Act (34 CFR-668.34), Keene State College has established certain standards for evaluating the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of Title IV Financial Aid recipients. The College reviews its Satisfactory Academic Progress policies and procedures when changes at the federal or institutional level require us to do so to ensure compliance with federal regulations. This policy also extends to state and institutional aid programs (grant, loan, and work study).

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the measurement of a student’s academic progress towards the completion of their degree. The measurement evaluates three components to determine eligibility for financial aid. The review of a student’s SAP status is based on his or her entire academic record, even if he/she did not receive financial aid for previous semesters of enrollment. In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must satisfy all three components.

Undergraduate students must meet the following SAP criteria:

  1. Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  2. Minimum completion rate of 67%
  3. Maximum time frame of 150% of defined academic length for bachelor’s degree programs

Graduate students must meet the following SAP criteria:

  1. Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  2. Minimum completion rate of 67%
  3. Maximum time frame of 150% of defined academic length for master’s degree programs

The completion rate is calculated by dividing total attempted credits by total earned credits. A student’s completion rate must stay above 67% to be considered satisfactory for this component.

Attempted credits include successfully completed courses (i.e., grades of A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, D, P), non-passing grades (i.e., grade of F, IX), incomplete (i.e., grade of I, IP, XF), withdrawn courses (i.e., grade of W), transfer credits and repeated courses. Audited coursework are not included in attempted credits or GPA. Earned credits include successfully completed courses (i.e., grades of A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, D, P) and transfer credits. Audited coursework not included.

The maximum time frame is calculated by multiplying the published program length by 150 percent. Example: Published program length of 120 credits X 150% = 180 credits maximum time frame allowed to complete degree requirements. Implication: A student has attempted (not necessarily earned) 180 credits and has now exhausted his/her eligibility for financial aid.

Evaluations and Notifications

The Financial Aid Office evaluates SAP annually at the end of each spring term for undergraduates and graduates, or upon re-enrollment into the college. SAP is also reviewed at the end of each probationary period as applicable. Students must be making SAP to continue to receive financial aid in a subsequent payment period, including summer term. Financial aid applicants not meeting SAP standards will be deemed ineligible to receive financial aid and will be sent notification to the student’s college email account.

Financial Aid Termination

Students that do not meet the college SAP standards are not eligible to receive financial aid. SAP status applies to financial aid eligibility and does not impact registration or academic standing.

Appeal Process

Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements for continuance of financial aid have the right to appeal when special circumstances exist. Conditions when a student may appeal include:

  • If you or an immediate family member experiences a serious injury, illness or mental health condition, please attach a statement from your physician or mental health professional, reflecting date(s) of occurrence/treatment.
  • If you experienced the death of immediate family member, please attach a copy of the death certificate, paper obituary/link to online obituary, or statement from physician.
  • If you experienced other circumstances beyond your control, please attach documentation that supports the situation.

If you chose to appeal, you will need to:

  1. Complete an SAP Appeal Form: or write a letter detailing the circumstances. Student statement must include why the student failed to meet SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to meet SAP at the end of the next evaluation period.
  2. Meet with Academic Advising Office and develop an academic plan: Both student and Academic Advising Office representative must sign SAP Academic Plan Form.
  3. Submit completed forms and supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office for review. Appeals will not be reviewed until ALL required forms have been completed and submitted.

Appeal documents submitted for a specific term will not be granted for that term if the student has stopped attending that term or the student withdraws from all courses or the college while waiting for an appeal decision during that term.

An appeal reviewed by the Appeals Committee does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.

All appeals are reviewed by representatives of the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified of the appeal decision within 3–4 weeks of submission. ALL appeal decisions are final.

Approved Appeals

Approved appeals will result in a period of financial aid probation. Written SAP approval notification will be sent to the student’s College email account.

Denied Appeals

Students whose appeals are denied are ineligible for financial aid. The student may enroll in coursework but will be responsible for payment in full of all incurred costs. Written denial notification will be sent to the student’s College email account. Students may wish to explore private/alternative education loans at https://www.keene.edu/admissions/aid/borrowing/alternative/; however, please note that some private loan lenders require SAP for participation in their loan program. Be sure you are selecting a lender that does not require SAP (SAP denied students are not eligible to receive a PLUS loan).

Financial Aid Probation

A student who fails to meet SAP but has successfully appealed will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester. During this probationary period, the student is considered eligible for financial aid. At the end of the probationary period, the Financial Aid Office will re-evaluate the student’s academic record to determine a current SAP status. Students who meet the requirements of their probation will remain eligible for financial aid. Students who do not follow their academic plan will lose eligibility and subsequent appeals may not be considered. Students who withdraw without extenuating circumstances while on an academic plan will not be allowed to appeal until they have met all SAP requirements.

Re-Establishing Financial Aid Eligibility

A student may regain financial aid eligibility by successfully meeting the College’s SAP policy requirements or successfully meeting the requirements of the established academic plan. Students must notify the office in writing of their intent to use financial aid again.

The merit-based scholarships will not be renewed if funding is lost due to being placed on academic probation or in cases of required withdrawal or suspension.

Return of Title IV Calculation

The Return of Title IV calculation is a proration of earned versus unearned financial aid during a period of enrollment. The earned financial aid percentage is calculated by dividing the days attended in the period by the total days in the period. This percentage is multiplied by the total amount of aid disbursed and aid that could have been disbursed to ascertain the earned financial aid. Subtracting earned aid from aid that was awarded and disbursed determines the amount of unearned aid that must be returned. The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by both the school and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to possess.

Any unearned loan funds the student (or parent, in the case of a PLUS loan) is required to return are repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. Unearned grant funds the student must return are classified as an overpayment. Students must repay half of the unearned amount of any grant overpayments.

If the student did not receive all of the funds that were earned, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement.

Funds. The R2T4 calculation may include federal funds which have already been disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student’s account. Those funds are limited to: Pell Grant, FSEOG, Direct Student Loans, and PLUS Loans.

Disbursed Aid. Generally, funds are considered disbursed when a student account is credited or funds are paid directly to the student or parent. Aid is considered “disbursed” if it disbursed before the date of determination. The exception to this rule is an inadvertent overpayment, which is treated as aid that could have been disbursed.

If a student has earned 100% of the aid that has been disbursed, no further steps are necessary. If the result of the Return of Title IV calculation determines that the student has received more aid than she earned, the unearned funds must be returned to the fund source. The responsibility of returning funds may fall on the school, the student or both. Federal regulations have set the order in which funds must be returned, up to the net amount disbursed during the payment period for each fund source. Funds the School Must Return. The school must return unearned funds for which it is responsible to the fund source within 45 days of the date of determination.

Funds the Student Must Return. The calculation determines an initial amount of unearned aid which the student must return. It then separates this amount into loans and grants. The unearned loan funds for which the student is responsible are repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.

Withdrawn students are identified by The Dean of Students Office, through an official withdrawal process or administrative withdrawals. Once the Financial Aid Office is notified, the refund is calculated and all withdrawn students then receive notification of the need to complete exit counseling.

Students considering withdrawing from Keene State College are advised to contact the Dean of Students Office.

Ombudsman

Higher Education amendments of 1998 have provided for the creation of a Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman appointed by the U.S. Department of Education to act on behalf of students in the resolution of Title IV federal financial aid program issues. Students with questions or issues regarding federal financial aid programs may contact the group online at https://studentaid.gov/feedback-ombudsman or by phone at 877-557-2575.