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
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.
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.
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 2018 for the 2017-2018 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.
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 on the FAFSA is currently unavailable. Because of this, the Department of Education is currently allowing us to review signed copies of tax returns rather than requiring tax return transcripts. You may submit either the tax transcript OR a signed copy of the tax return.
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.
Dependent Verification Worksheet (as of April 2017)
Family Expense and Resource Worksheet
Independent Student Appeal
Independent Verification Worksheet (as of April 2017)
Independent Status Worksheet
Monthly Expense Form
Non Tax Filer Form – Parent
Non Tax Filer Form – Student
Permit – Confidentiality Release Statement
Sibling Enrollment Verification
Signature Page (FAFSA)
Untaxed Income Worksheet
Outside Scholarship Form
PSU is committed to a paperless process as our contribution to “Go Green.” Returning students will want to check their myPlymouth account and campus email accounts for notifications. Our applications are reviewed and financial aid awarded (packaged) on a weekly basis.
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:
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. 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 are renewable up to four years as long as the student maintains the cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) 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).
Federal Pell, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (SEOG), state grants, and PSU 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Before Federal Pell Grants are able to disburse, PSU may need to receive an updated FAFSA transaction with all changes recorded and accepted.
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.
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 220.127.116.11.1
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 18.104.22.168. 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)
Once the PSU team receives your completed Extenuating Circumstances Form, we will notify you of needed 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.
Prior to any consideration, students must be accepted or enrolled at PSU and have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All requested documentation must be submitted to PSU’s Financial Aid Team by March 1 of the academic year requesting special review.
Please contact PSU’s Financial Aid Team if you need clarification.
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.
- Adult and Nontraditional Students
- Undocumented Non-citizens
- Ward of the Court, Foster Students, Homeless Students, Single Parents and Other Unique Situations