Financial Aid Application (image courtesy: Buzzle Media)

Changes to SNHU’s tuition are being put into effect beginning in the fall 2021 semester. As stated in an email from President Paul LeBlanc in December, it informs students of new cost plans, as well as an introduction to a new program being offered. Meanwhile the cut in costs have brought up many questions regarding eligibility for scholarships. 

This new structure was originally planned to be carried out in the Fall of 2023. Due to the pandemic, it has been pushed up to the Fall 2021 semester. In previous years, the starting tuition came at a rate of $31,000 per year. With this new plan, it will be reduced to $15,000, over a 50% price reduction. 

Previously, merit scholarships were one of the many ways to help reduce tuition costs. They were awarded to students that have maintained a high grade point average (GPA). Additionally, they were given to students that fit various circumstances, such as having enrolled siblings or alumni in the family. 

“Prior to the transformation…first-year students [were awarded] merit scholarships…upon applying to the institution. [First-Year Admissions] would review your transcript, we would read through your application; it was predominately [based on]…your cumulative high school GPA. We would recalculate to a 4.0 standard, and that would drive the amount of merit scholarship you would receive,” says Tim Whittum, Assistant Vice President of First-Year Admissions. 

However, merit scholarships will be withdrawn come the 2021 fall semester. Instead, SNHU is switching to need-based scholarships. 

Students who relied on receiving merit scholarships are concerned that they are going to end up paying more than they did in previous years. 

“No student is paying more out of pocket than they were before,” says SNHU President Paul LeBlanc.

Athletic scholarships will remain. Additionally, the Named and Endowed Scholarships will continue to be offered. Students can also apply to other non-institutional scholarships.

The Experience More Program is also being put into effect for incoming freshmen and sophomores and will cost $10,000. This new program is going to be more structured and create more online, experiential and project-based learning, making a more fluid connection between SNHU’s online and campus experiences. The program will also include opportunities for internships and workplace experiences. It will allow students the opportunity to choose courses where they can learn at their own pace. 

Some majors that will be included in the program are Communications and Construction Management. They will follow the general format of the Inkwell Studio, SNHU’s in house game development studio. It functions as a way for students to receive credits while also getting hands-on experience in the field of game design, as they work as a team to finish student projects. These other programs will be modeled after the success of Inkwell.

Upperclassmen will be ineligible for the program, and instead will continue the class structure they began with. 

Students with questions and concerns about financial aid can contact Student Financial Services at sfscampus@snhu.edu or 603-645-9640.

Taylor Posik
Taylor is a sophomore majoring in Creative Writing. She joined the Penmen Press during the spring semester of her freshman year as a staff writer. Other than writing, Taylor also enjoys reading and playing the piano.