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Feb 22, 2017 1:49 PM

What you need to know if you're a NH resident and want to attend UNH for free

DURHAM — First-year students at the University of New Hampshire may be able to attend tuition free starting next fall.

UNH is launching a new program guaranteeing full-time, first-year New Hampshire students who receive federal Pell grants free tuition for the year.

UNH estimates that its Granite Guarantee program will help 285 students at the Durham and Manchester campuses in Fall 2017.

For those who are interested in receiving a grant, there is some information you need to know.

Pell grants are given to students based on financial need. Other factors include the cost of the college, whether or not a student will be full or part time and the amount of time the student will attend school.

Financial need is determined by the difference between the cost of attending a school and how much that student's expected family contribution is, according to the Federal Student Aid website.

The maximum amount that any student could receive for the 2016–17 award year, which runs from July 1, 2016, to June 30, is $5,815.

Students whose parents were members of the armed forces and died in certain countries after 9/11 also may be eligible depending on the circumstances of the death.

Students need to complete the FASFA in order to determine their eligibility.

Tuition and fees at UNH for the 2016-17 school year is $17,624. The cost in Manchester is $14,070.

UNH President Mark Huddleston said the success of the Celebrate 150 fundraising campaign made the program possible.

"UNH’s Granite Guarantee allows us to remove more of the financial barriers to higher education that many New Hampshire families face," said Huddleston. "This new program demonstrates our commitment to ensuring a UNH education is affordable and accessible to New Hampshire’s best and brightest.”

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