How To Apply

To apply for financial aid, you need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) annually.

PSU PRIORITY FAFSA FILING DEADLINE: MARCH 1

Step 1 - Apply for a Federal Student Aid ID
Visit the Federal Student Aid site to apply for a Federal Student Aid ID for both the student and a custodial parent (if dependent, undergraduate student). Your custodial parent is defined as the parent you lived with most (if parents are divorced) during the past twelve (12) months.
Step 2 - Complete the FAFSA
Beginning OCTOBER 1 and prior to MARCH 1 (PSU’s priority filing deadline), complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at FAFSA.gov.

The FAFSA is the only application required by PSU and must be completed annually. Once the data is submitted, the Department of Education will forward your FAFSA information electronically to all schools you authorize to receive your data. PSU draws in FAFSA data weekly. The FAFSA ensures fair and equitable determination of family resources for each applicant by using Federal Methodology in computing an expected family contribution (EFC). The Department of Education Central Processing System (CPS) provides the needs analysis calculation to PSU where trained personnel review and verify the information to determine student aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Team assumes that a student and family will contribute toward the cost of education according to their means.

Only students admitted to a degree-seeking program (i.e. Bachelor’s degree) will receive a financial aid award. Aid received from federal resources can only be used to pay for classes which meet a student’s degree requirements.

Step 3 - March 1 is our Priority Deadline
PSU’s Priority filing deadline for the FAFSA is March 1 for the following school year. All applicants should adhere to the March 1 deadline or they may be considered LATE and will only receive financial aid pending availability of funds. Normally only Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Direct Loans, and State Scholarships/Grants (if applicable) are available for late applicants.

Note: The March 1 deadline refers to the initial filing of the FAFSA only. Subsequent paperwork may be submitted or changes made to the FAFSA after March 1 without penalty of being considered late.

Step 4 - You May be Selected for Verification
The federal government or PSU may select your FAFSA application for Verification. Verification is a process to confirm that the information provided on the FAFSA is accurate. 

Each year, the federal government randomly selects students submitting the FAFSA for Verification, based upon a criteria established by the Department of Education. PSU reserves the right to select students for Verification, as well, if discrepant information is identified.   Verification ensures that the information students and parents report is accurate. Verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified.

If selected for Verification, you will receive an email from the PSU Financial Aid Team indicating the need for additional documentation. Please do not send any unsolicited documentation as this may require additional clarification from PSU and slow the awarding process when identifying eligible aid programs.

This Verification must be completed four (4) weeks prior to the end of the term for which aid is requested. (April 2020 for the 2019-2020 Academic Year.) Only after the Verification process has been completed will PSU be able to complete your financial aid award. Be sure you immediately return any requested forms to avoid delays.

Note:
1) Please allow adequate time for staff to review your documents. We may need to ask for additional documentation if further clarification is needed.

2) The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for the 2019-2020 FAFSA. If at all possible, please use this tool to facilitate your FAFSA filing.

FORMS

Below is a list of commonly used PSU financial aid forms that may be requested after PSU receives your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please read the instructions on each form carefully and submit the form with required documentation ONLY IF REQUESTED by the PSU Financial Aid Team.  Forms may be emailed, faxed or mailed.

2019-2020 Forms

Asset Form
Dependent Verification Worksheet 
Family Expense and Resource Worksheet
Independent Verification Worksheet 
Monthly Expense Form
Permission Form
Sibling Enrollment Verification
Signature Page (FAFSA)
Summer Request Form
Undergraduate Credits
Untaxed Income Worksheet
Outside Scholarship Form

Step 5 - Notifications
PSU’s award notification process starts in January for NEW incoming accepted students and mid-spring for returning students. Once all requirements requested by the Financial Aid Team have been satisfied, your application will be considered complete.

The Financial Aid Team is committed to utilizing a paperless process for notifying all returning students of their financial aid eligibility. Through the use of the online myPlymouth portal, students have 24/7 access to all their financial aid information. Returning students will want to check their myPlymouth account and campus email accounts regularly for any notifications.

The following video can get you started on using myPlymouth…

For assistance with your username, password, or setting up your myPlymouth account, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 603-535-2929 or helpdesk@plymouth.edu.

  1. Log on to myPlymouth
  2. Click on the ‘Services’ tab at the top of the page
  3. Locate the ‘myFinances’ channel
  4. Click on the second selection in the channel, which is ‘My Financial Aid’ (located directly beneath ‘View My Bill’)
  5. Choose the correct aid year from the drop down box in the upper right hand corner and click ‘go’
  6. You will find the following information:
    • Current Messages
    • Financial Aid Award
    • Requirements that need action
    • Cost of Attendance

    Note, be sure to scroll through the page to see all information

Step 6 - Terms of Your Award
All financial aid awards will be considered accepted unless the student uses our information request form to notify the PSU Financial Aid Team in writing of his or her wish to decline the entire award or a portion of the award.

How you receive your aid will depend on the type of aid—grants, student loans, work-study, or parent loans.

Student Loans (Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

Two (2) Steps Are Required:  For Federal Direct Loan borrowers, students are required to complete:

  1. ENTRANCE COUNSELING SESSION
  2. Master Promissory Note (MPN)

For more information about Federal Direct Loans and loan limits, please see our Federal Direct Loan webpage.

Requests to decline or reinstate student loans must be submitted in writing from the student. Email requests are acceptable if sent using the students campus email address, personal address listed on the FAFSA, or active personal addresses that have been provided to PSU (added to your student account).

Parent Loans (Federal PLUS)

If your parents wish to use this funding option, they must complete a PLUS Loan Application at studentloans.gov; it is NOT automatic.

  1. A FAFSA form must be submitted.
  2. The PLUS loan application will be submitted for a credit review and approval of the loan will be based upon Department of Education PLUS loan criteria.

NOTE: If you intend to either reduce or decline your Federal Work Study so that you may apply for a higher Federal Direct PLUS loan amount, please submit your request at least a day prior to applying for the loan.

Requests to decline, reinstate or increases Federal Parent PLUS loans must submitted in writing from the parent. Email requests are acceptable if sent using the parent email address on the FAFSA or using the PSU Financial Aid Team Email Form.

Merit Awards

Merit awards are renewable up to four years as long as the student maintains the cumulative grade point average (GPA) specified for the award. The renewal criteria is stated on your financial aid account.

Students are eligible for their merit award in future years based upon the following enrollment requirements:  100% for 12 credits or more, 75% if enrolled in 9-11 credits, 50% of the award if enrolled in 6-8 credits, and 25% of the award if enrolled in 3-5 credits.  Overall merit award not to exceed 4 years at the original award amount.  For example, if the original award was $3,000 per academic year, the total award the student is eligible for would be $12,000 (4 years x $3,000 per year).  Awards are divided evenly between the fall and spring semesters.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study allows you to participate actively in meeting the cost of your education while gaining valuable work experience. You receive your work study money directly; it is not applied to your bill. Work study earnings are paid every two weeks and are adjusted for federal taxes.  It is the student’s responsibility to find a job on campus. See the Student Employment website for more information.

Requests to decline, reinstate or increase Federal Work Study awards must be submitted in writing from the student. Email requests are acceptable if sent using the students campus email address, personal address listed on the FAFSA, or active personal addresses that have been provided to PSU (added to your student account).

Gift Aid

Federal Pell, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (SEOG), state grants, and University Grants make up need-based gift aid.  Federal and state grants are based on current year funding from state and federal governments and are subject to change.  If any awards change due to funding availability, PSU will notify you after we receive official notification from the appropriate agency(ies).

State Grants will be finalized once we receive an award roster from the appropriate state agency. However, if you receive an award notification from your state agency, please send us a copy of the award notification.  Initial state grant awards are usually estimated based upon information received from your state agency or based upon last years award policy.  If changes in state grant awards are necessary, it may result in an adjustment to your University Grant award (plus or minus).

Federal PELL Grant Recalculation Policy

  1.  Federal PELL Grant award amounts will be based upon your enrollment status 30 days into the semester.  At that time, if the number of credits you are enrolled in is different from the enrollment your original award was based upon, your Federal PELL Grant will be adjusted.   No further adjustments to your Federal PELL Grant will be made after that point.
  2. Federal PELL Grants initially awarded 31 or more days into the semester will be based upon the enrollment at the time the award is determined.  No further adjustments to your Federal PELL Grant will be made after that point.
  3. Before Federal Pell Grants are able to disburse, PSU may need to receive an updated FAFSA transaction with all changes recorded and accepted.

Status Changes

Changes to residency (ie non-resident to New Hampshire resident) or to part-time or full-time status may result in adjustments to the student’s financial aid award. Financial aid awards are based upon a student’s cost of attendance, and if that decreases, the financial aid award may also decrease.  This includes, but is not limited to, adjustments to merit awards.

Step 7 - Scholarships
Students are required to notify the Financial Aid Team and PSU Student Account Services of all non-PSU scholarships received.

Please be advised that outside scholarships may or may not affect your current financial aid award. PSU’s policy for treatment of outside scholarships is that they will first be used to meet “unmet” need, then any adjustments will be made in the following order:

1. adjustment to Federal Work-Study eligibility,
2. adjustment to Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Subsidized Loans,
3. adjustment to any need-based institutional grants

Notice to NCAA Division III Athletes: NCAA 15.2.3.5.1

It is not permissible for a student-athlete to receive financial aid, directly or indirectly, from a source outside the institution (e.g., a foreign government, a sports association, a high school booster club) for expenses related to attendance at a member institution, if the award of such financial aid is based in any degree upon the recipient’s athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance, except as permitted in Bylaw 15.2.3.5. Receipt of financial aid from such a source renders the student-athlete ineligible for all intercollegiate athletics participation. (Revised: 8/22/06, 4/30/09)

Step 8 - Special Circumstances
If families have special financial circumstances which they were unable to report on the FAFSA, they may request that PSU review these circumstances.

Once the Financial Aid office completes your original financial aid award AND receives notification of the changes in family finances that might effect your FAFSA, we will notify you of any needed additional documentation. All appeals require that PSU first verify all information that was reported on the original FAFSA. After all documentation is received, a review will be completed to see if additional eligibility can be identified. Caution: Previously awarded aid may be lost if inaccurate information was reported on the original FAFSA. This may occur when families have reported “estimated” income which would have been used to identify eligibility for aid and, subsequently, actual income (as reported to the IRS) changes eligibility and/or when families fail to report untaxed income (i.e. retirement funds not taxed for a current year). Changes for which we will review include situations such as: loss of job, change in employment, loss of a parent, loss or change in resources such as social security benefits or child support, or changes in number of children in college.

Please contact PSU’s Financial Aid Team if you need clarification.

Step 9 - Student Rights and Responsibilities
As a student you have the right to:

  • know what financial assistance is available to you, including all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
  • know the deadlines for submitting applications for applicable financial aid programs and the process required.
  • know how your financial need is determined, including how cost of attendance budgets are developed.
  • know what resources are considered in the calculation of your financial need, and how much of your need as determined by Plymouth State University has been met.
  • an explanation of the types of aid contained in your financial aid award as well as how to retain eligibility for those funds (if applicable).
  • request a review of your current financial situation if you meet certain criteria based on changes since filing the current aid year FAFSA application.
  • know what portion of your aid package is grant or gift aid, and what portion must be repaid. In addition, you have the right to know interest rates, total amount to be repaid, procedures for repayment, when repayment begins, and how long you have to repay the loan.
  • know the criteria for continued financial aid eligibility, including guidelines for the determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by the Department of Education.
  • know the method and frequency of financial aid disbursements.

Your Responsibility

  • be aware of your ability to pay any institutional charges based on your available financial aid and personal resources.
  • review and understand the terms and conditions of your financial aid award.
  • complete all requirements accurately, in a timely manner, and by the appropriate deadlines.
  • advise us if you intend to enroll less than full time for any given term so that your aid can be properly adjusted and disbursed.
  • advise us if you plan to change your enrollment status (i.e. from full-time to part-time, or vice-versa).  Generally, only students enrolled at least six hours or more are eligible for financial aid.  Please note that students who enroll for three hours (or more) may be eligible for Federal Pell Grants, limited to high need students only.
  • advise  Student Account Services of all non-PSU scholarships received.  These are awards which were not part of your original PSU financial aid package but have since been awarded to you.  Please click here for forms and instructions on how to report these scholarships.
  • fill out the FAFSA application completely and accurately. If selected for verification you will provide all requested documents in a timely manner, and ensure that all submitted materials are complete and accurate. Falsification of information on application forms for federal financial assistance is considered a criminal offense, and you may be subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • read and understand all forms that you are asked to submit or sign, realizing that you are legally responsible for all agreements that you sign.
  • advise us if you plan to graduate mid-year. Aid awards are based on each term a student normally would enroll during the academic year.
  • be advised that outside scholarships may, or may not, affect your current financial aid award. PSU’s policy for treatment of outside scholarships is that they will first be used to meet “unmet” need, then any adjustments will be made in the following order:
    a. adjustment to Federal College Work-Study eligibility,b. adjustment to Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Subsidized Loans, and finally,c. adjustment to any need-based institutional grants
  • know and comply with all policies and procedures of Plymouth State University.

As a condition for receiving federal financial aid funds, you must notify us in writing of any of the situations or conditions listed above. Changes in your aid may be required due to these conditions. Failure to report these conditions may result in cancellation of aid.

For information on who is eligible for federal aid, visit the Federal Student Aid site. If you are an adult learner, undocumented resident, or otherwise in a unique situation, please access the following ‘tip sheets’ for more information on filing the FAFSA and the aid for which you might qualify.