July 12, 2023

For Immediate Release

Kristen Lestock
[email protected]

Community College System of New Hampshire Announces New Promise Program to Provide Need-Based Gap Funding to Eligible NH Students
Combined with federal grants, new program promises to cover tuition and required comprehensive fees for the next year for eligible students

Manchester, N.H. (July 12, 2023) – The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) will be offering a significant, new need-based funding program for the 2023-24 academic year. CCSNH’s Promise Program will help New Hampshire students who qualify based on financial need by bridging the gap between grants, scholarships, and the cost of tuition and required comprehensive fees, at all seven of New Hampshire’s community colleges. The program was announced by system leadership on July 12 at Manchester Community College, with students, guests and college personnel in attendance.   

Funding for the Promise Program was included in the biennial budget passed by the New Hampshire Legislature and signed into law by Governor Sununu. The Promise Program is need-based financial assistance for New Hampshire students enrolled in courses that are part of an academic degree or certificate program. Potential recipients of the Promise Program need to complete the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), be Pell-eligible, and enroll in at least six credits per semester. CCSNH will apply any scholarships and grants first and the gap that remains may be covered through the Promise Program.

“Some people say that New Hampshire faces a challenging future, owing to slow growth and an aging population, but that also means that New Hampshire’s future is filled with opportunities for people who are prepared to pursue them,” said Mark Rubinstein, CCSNH Chancellor. “With the state’s new investment in our work, and really more, with the state’s investment in the promise and the potential of the residents of the Granite State, we can now help more students who want to learn and contribute to New Hampshire’s future, by strengthening the workforce that supports a thriving economy, that supports innovation, and that meets the needs of the people of this state. That is the purpose behind the Promise Program.”

This new program comes just two weeks after CCSNH announced a tuition freeze for the 2023-2024 school year as part of its continued commitment to provide a high-quality education that is affordable for New Hampshire students and families. Ninety-three percent of students at CCSNH are in-state residents, and the vast majority remain in New Hampshire after graduating, joining the local workforce, or continuing their education through one of the transfer pathways between NH’s community colleges and bachelor’s degree-granting institutions.  

CCSNH is dedicated to the educational, professional, and personal success of its students; a skilled workforce for the state’s businesses; and a strong New Hampshire economy.

For more information on the Promise Program, visit ChooseCommunity.Com/Promise.

New Hampshire’s seven community colleges, located across the state to serve every NH community and region, enroll more than 20,000 students annually including 8,000 high school students who take courses for dual high school and college credit at a reduced cost. Thanks to state support, CCSNH is also able to broaden the number of courses that high schoolers can take at no cost, getting a head start on college requirements and saving from the eventual costs of a college degree. CCSNH also offers short-term, customized career training that prepares individuals for in-demand jobs and helps New Hampshire employees meet their hiring needs.  CCSNH works to align its programming with the needs of the state, helping thousands of students enter careers or begin their education before transferring to a four-year college or university. CCSNH has long been the largest transfer partner of the state’s university system and has relationships with numerous other transfer destinations for students.

CCSNH Promise Program FAQs

Who is eligible?

The Promise Program is need-based financial assistance for New Hampshire students enrolled in courses that are part of an academic degree or certificate program at one of seven community colleges. If you are eligible for a Pell grant of any amount, you may qualify. 

You will know if you are Pell-eligible once you have submitted the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form completed by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. [open link in new window]

Full and part-time students are eligible. To receive Promise Program funds, you must enroll for at least 6 credits per semester.

 How do I apply for funding?

You must complete the FAFSA and all federal requirements, if any. If you need help with the FAFSA process, contact your college’s Financial Aid Office. There is no separate application for Promise Program funds.

 How much funding can I receive?

If you receive any amount of Pell funding, the Promise Program can cover the gap between your grants and the full amount of tuition and required comprehensive fees. If you receive other grants in addition to Pell such as Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Unique Scholarship, or the Governor’s Scholarship, we will apply those first; and then any gap that remains may be covered through the Promise Program.  

 I was only planning to attend part-time.  Can I change my plans to add more courses and pay for them with Promise Program funding?

Yes. If you are eligible for Promise Program funds, you may add courses; the program will cover full-time enrollment for eligible students. 

 I already applied and registered for classes for the Fall 2023 semester. Am I still eligible for the Promise Program? 

Yes. If you have completed the FAFSA and all federal requirements, you will be notified by the Financial Aid Office.

 What about specialized program fees?

Some programs do have specific fees that cover specialized materials, tools, and equipment (for example, welding, auto, nursing, dental and some others). Those additional fees are not presently covered by the Promise Program, but you can review your financial aid offer for other potential sources of aid.      

 Can I connect with someone to learn more about the Promise Program? 

Yes. Please select contact information for the college you are attending or wish to attend (eligibility is the same at all NH community colleges).

Great Bay Community College                                 [email protected] 

Lakes Region Community College                           [email protected]

Manchester Community College                             [email protected]

Nashua Community College                                      [email protected]

NHTI – Concord’s Community College                  [email protected]

River Valley Community College                             [email protected]

White Mountains Community College                 [email protected]

Where is the funding coming from?

The Promise Program was included in the biennial budget passed by the New Hampshire Legislature and signed into law by Governor Sununu. This is the first time a program like this has been funded at New Hampshire’s community colleges. This is currently a one-time investment by the State, and the program will only be continued in future years if additional funds are appropriated.

 How do I apply for admission?

Information on programs and how to apply can be found here.

 Is there anything else I should know?

At New Hampshire’s community colleges, we want to help you set educational goals and achieve them.  Whether it’s this Promise Program or other sources of aid we identify, talk to us and let us find a way to help. Every year, thousands of students achieve their goals at New Hampshire’s community colleges. You can, too.