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Keene State College joins Granite Guarantee program

Union Leader Correspondent

January 17. 2018 6:18PM
Keene State College says its Granite Guarantee will make higher education more affordable and accessible for New Hampshire residents. (Meghan Pierce)

KEENE — Keene State College announced Tuesday plans to offer Granite Guarantee with its “Our Pledge to You” program aimed at making higher education more affordable and accessible for New Hampshire residents.

“We certainly want to encourage more New Hampshire residents to take advantage of a Keene State education,” said Kemal Atkins, Keene State vice-president of student affairs and enrollment on Tuesday. “We want to help them see and make college more accessible and affordable.”

The Granite Guarantee at Keene State is to begin with first-year students in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Through Keene State’s financial aid program it will pay the full tuition for New Hampshire students who are Pell Grant eligible and are first-year students, for all four years of their Keene State education.

Essentially, the college would use existing resources to make up the difference in tuition for these students after grants and scholarship, Atkins said.

It’s not costing us any additional dollars for the college,” he said. “We’re just reallocating existing resources. We’ve also had some recent success in fundraising efforts that will help support this effort.”

Students would be required to remain enrolled full time and make satisfactory academic progress.

Keene State is building on the Granite Guarantee that was launched by the University of New Hampshire last year.

“Keene State has decided to join the rest of the New Hampshire University System’s institutions at making college more affordable for New Hampshire residents,” he said.

Not all students would receive full tuition, Atkins said. But Keene State plans to work with all students.

“It will range,” he said. “The gap in the tuition is for the financial aid that they receive from other sources and from the financial aid that they receive from Keene State,” he said.

Atkins said 35 percent of the overall student population at Keene State is from New Hampshire. By joining the Granite Guarantee Keene State is showing its commitment to New Hampshire residents as a public institution, he said.

Atkins said Keene State is also streamlining and better marketing its scholarship programs for current students as well as out-of-state students.

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