The first thing you see when you go to Keene State College’s official website is a photograph with the caption, “Granite Guarantee at KSC–Making College More Affordable Four Years of Tuition Fully Covered for Qualified In-State Students.”
By clicking on the “get complete details” section of this photo, you are directed to a page titled, “Our Four-Year Pledge to NH Students.” This pledge is referring to the Granite Grant, which is defined on the KSC’s website as “a financial aid program that makes college possible for qualified first-year New Hampshire students by covering the cost of tuition for four years.”
In order to qualify for the Granite Guarantee, you must be a New Hampshire resident, be entering your first year of college in Fall 2018 as full time student (enrolled in 12 credits), maintain a 2.0 grade point average and be eligible for the federal Pell Grant.
The Pell Grant is “a federal grant program designed to assist students in the continuation of their training and education after high school; it provides eligible students with a “foundation of financial aid to help defray the costs of college attendance,” according to the KSC Federal Grants and State Aid Programs description. If students who enroll in the fall meet this criteria, they will automatically receive the grant.
According to collegecalc.org, New Hampshire is the seventh most expensive state or district to attend college in. The Granite Guarantee seems like a good idea in theory since the cost of attending college in this state is so high, but it will not be beneficial to all students.
Unfortunately if you are already enrolled at KSC, the Granite Guarantee will not affect you because it is only for incoming students. Even if you meet all the criteria needed in order to qualify for the grant, your current financial status will remain as is.
This comes as upsetting news to current students who are New Hampshire residents who hit all the marks the Granite Guarantee requires. KSC is paying 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”, according to their website. Free tuition sounds amazing to those who live in New Hampshire and could otherwise not pay for a college education. The promise of an education for virtually no cost sounds too good to be true, and for current KSC students, it is.
Although this is frustrating news to current students, it will be beneficial to those who will come in the future. No matter when the Granite Guarantee is implemented, someone is bound to get upset. Just think, if this grant was offered the year before you enrolled at KSC how would you feel?
Students who were there before you would not be affected by it just how future students would not be affected by it today. That is the current situation for those entering the college in the fall. Just because it does not affect you directly does not mean it does not affect someone else.
As amazing as the Granite Guarantee is for future KSC Owls, it is important to remember all of the students who are here today. The campus has plenty of students who currently qualify for this grant and would receive it if they were enrolling in the fall.
KSC needs to think not only about how to benefit their future students, but how to help their current students who are graduating with thousands of dollars in debt because they did not have this opportunity.