UG BLOG featured image 1340 x 900 px (3)

Financial Aid: What to know about the FAFSA this year

On March 14, Merrimack’s Director of Financial Aid, Annette MacMullin, held a Financial Aid Workshop for admitted students and families.

Topics included: 

Next steps:

We will begin processing FAFSAs as soon as we receive them from the Department of Education and aim to begin releasing financial aid offers in April. 

Don’t wait to get your questions answered! Now is a great time to visit campustalk to your admission counselor and determine if there is anything holding you up (besides financial aid!) to make your decision.

Become familiar with types of aidpayment plans and more. Once you receive your financial aid, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

You asked – we answered! 

Here are the most commonly asked questions during the workshop:

What is a Student Aid Index?

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that we use to determine how much federal student aid you would receive if you attended Merrimack. This number results from the information that you provide on your FAFSA form. This number is not a dollar amount of aid eligibility or what your family is expected to provide. A negative SAI indicates the student has a higher financial need. The College will determine your financial need by subtracting your SAI from the cost of attendance.

What is a Merrimack Grant?

A grant is a type of financial aid that does not need to be paid back. It is awarded based on financial need and students typically have to file the FAFSA to be considered for need-based grants.

What is a merit scholarship?

A merit scholarship is a type of financial aid that does not need to be paid back. Unlike need-based grants, these are awarded based on things like academic achievements, personal accomplishments, athletic or musical talents and more! Merit-based scholarships are based on a holistic review of a student’s admission record. Notification of scholarship awards are included with acceptance materials.

Are merit scholarship renewable annually?

Yes! Merit scholarships are renewable for four years of undergraduate coursework, as long as you maintain satisfactory academic progress. In the rare event that you do not maintain good academic standing, the scholarship may switch to a grant which means you will NOT lose funding. Please keep in mind that changes in housing may impact your total institutional aid, and funding may be prorated, including merit awards.

Is need-based aid reviewed each year? Will it change annually?

Yes, filing the FAFSA is required each year you are in school so it’s possible need-based aid could change.

What's included in a comprehensive fee?

Comprehensive fees help the College to provide students with a variety of services which enhance their academic and student life experiences. Fees help cover services such as:

  • McQuade library (including online access)
  • Fully equipped fitness center and inside track
  • Campuswide Wi-Fi
  • Career Services, which includes career fairs and panels, job-search workshops, on-campus interviews and extensive one-on-one counseling
  • Free printing up to 1,000 pages each academic year
  • Discounted or free tickets for athletics and performances
  • Participation in intramurals/recreation, club sports, social and educational programs, clubs/organizations and Greek life
  • Hamel Health Center, which provides medical, psychological and health-education services.
Is the deposit applied to the bill?

Yes! Your deposit holds your spot in the class and gets applied to your first semester bill.

Do you have interest-free payment plans? What is the timeline for enrolling?

Yes! We offer interest-free payment plans spread out over 4, 5 or 6 months. The deadline to enroll is June 15 (for 6 month), July 15 (for 5 month) or August 15 (for 4 months). The fee to enroll in these plans is $55 per semester.

When is the deposit due?

For most students, the deposit is due May 1. Of course, we will keep an eye on financial aid timeline and information and share updates as we go. And for applications submitted throughout the summer;  the deposit is typically due within a few weeks of decision release.

How does health insurance work if my student is already covered?

Students will receive email notification over the summer that instructs them on the steps to either enroll in or opt out of the health insurance plan. If opting out, a waiver is required along with proof of comprehensive health insurance coverage through an outside provider. If you do not actively waive coverage, you will be automatically enrolled.

What happens to my aid if I switch from resident to commuter?

Changing your housing status will change your cost of attendance, which may impact your financial aid. Your financial aid counselor can help map out your various scenarios. Find your financial aid counselor in your applicant portal, under the financial aid tab.


Web Event Calendar Image Sizing 450 x 300

NEACAC College Fair

Sunday, May 5, 2024 
from 6:00 pm 
to 8:00 pm

The Office of Admission is excited to announce that Merrimack College will be hosting a NEACAC College Fair on campus this spring! Join us in Lawler Rink within the Merrimack Athletics Complex on May 5th from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Fairs are free and open to the public!

Related Posts

Students at a campus career fair.

What even is the FAFSA?!

By: Undergraduate Admission
Two students watching TV studio monitor

Day in the Life of a Senior Communication and Media Major

By: Undergraduate Admission

Crafting Your College List: A Strategic Guide for College Applications

By: Undergraduate Admission