Introducing Granite Edvance, Formerly the NHHEAF Network

November 1, 2023

Nonprofit’s new name highlights commitment to higher education, career access in the Granite State

A Concord nonprofit with a 60-year history of helping New Hampshire students access higher education is beginning a new chapter with a new name.

Granite Edvance, formerly known as the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) Network, will continue supporting New Hampshire students and their families with free career and higher-education counseling and resources as well as funding assistance through loans, grants and scholarships.

The name change, effective Nov. 1, 2023, reflects a commitment to connecting with the community and a desire to offer a broader range of services and products. Already, the organization has begun increasing its impact. This year, it gave a total of $300,000 in scholarships to 96 New Hampshire college students – its largest award yet; in 2024, Granite Edvance plans to award $500,000 in scholarships. Last year, the organization began offering reduced interest rates to New Hampshire students on their private student loan.

“We’ve served as a trusted partner for thousands of New Hampshire students and their families as they navigate their education and career goals,” said Granite Edvance President and CEO Christiana Thornton. “As we begin this new era, we’re setting ambitious goals for ourselves. We want to expand our reach, supporting students of all backgrounds and ages, while also addressing the workforce needs and higher education challenges in our state.”

The enhanced focus on serving New Hampshire residents comes at a critical time. By 2025, an estimated 65% of jobs in New Hampshire will require a postsecondary education. The state is also facing a workforce gap of 197,000 over the next decade. Meanwhile, New Hampshire’s young people are leaving the state to attend college in higher numbers than in any other state. They also shoulder one of the highest average student debts in the country, currently estimated to be $34,085.

“We know that a college education is one of the most valuable investments a person can make, but we also know how challenging it can be to fund that education,” said Thornton. “We’re committed to helping students overcome the financial obstacles that stand in the way of completing their degree.”

Granite Edvance recognizes that there are many different pathways to success. Its outreach team works to help students discover and achieve their education and career goals – whatever those goals may be. The team assists young people and adults in assessing their aptitudes and interests, exploring careers, researching job training programs, applying to two-year and four-year college, completing financial aid applications, and more.

“We know that helping people access higher education and career training will ultimately lead to more vibrant communities, and will benefit the state as a whole,” said Granite Edvance Chief Strategy & Lending Officer John Flanders. “By directly supporting individuals, families, and educators – and working in partnership with community-based organizations – we will make a difference in New Hampshire.”

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