About Us

Futures’ mission is to provide mentoring, encouragement and financial assistance to selected students
who show the ability, desire and motivation to attend college, but lack the necessary resources.

Futures is a unique program that helps students prepare for college and, often, provides financial assistance toward that education.

How Did Futures Begin?

In the early 1990s, the late Joe Sawtelle, a generous and insightful local businessman, created Futures. This was spurred by an interaction with one of his youth employees.  One summer, he employed a bright young man and Joe let him know a number of times that he should go to college.  Toward the end of the summer the boy’s mother came to see Joe and told him to stop putting ideas in her son’s head. They had no money and could not afford to pay for a college education. This incident inspired Joe, his friends, and local businesses to create a scholarship fund and program so that lack of money would not prevent qualified students from going to college and mentoring support for college could be provided.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for Futures depends on several factors. The student should demonstrate a desire to learn and have an interest in higher education. Grades, ability, attitude, determination and family support are all considered. Most Futures students are the first in their family to go to college.  Financial need is a significant factor.  In January, a letter explaining the program is sent to all 8th grade homes. Families can determine if their child meets the eligibility standards and can complete a preliminary application. Middle school teachers also recommend students for the program. It is competitive. Only five to eight 8th grade students are selected each year.

Is Family Income a Factor?
Family income is a  factor in determining eligibility.  2016 income guidelines are as follows:  For a family of two, annual income should be no more than $31,460; for a family of three the limit is $39,580; and, for a family of four the limit is $47,700.  For larger families add $8120 per person.

How Will Futures Help?
The Futures coordinator provides support and mentoring for your child. She meets with students regularly to increase self-knowledge related to college and career preparation, educate students about the college search process, and how to prepare academically for college. When your child is a junior and senior preparing to go to college, Futures will guide him or her through all the steps: considering careers and majors, PSATs, SATs, selecting colleges, completing applications, and filling out financial aid forms.  Depending upon financial factors, scholarships, and financial aid, Futures will then assist with unmet need.  This is unique per student and has the potential to change each year of college.

What Is Required If My Child Is Accepted?

There are mandatory monthly group meetings as well as regular individual meetings.  Students are also required to volunteer 20 hours per school year.  All Futures students are required to apply for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and appropriate local and statewide scholarships.

How Much Will Futures Pay?

This varies per student.  Futures pays the unmet need up to the cost of a University of New Hampshire education. That means that Futures will pay the difference between all the money that a student has raised (federal aid, grants, scholarships), and the cost of their education (tuition, fees, room and board.) Students may go to school anywhere, but will have to find funds for schools that are more expensive than UNH as well as the estimated family contribution the college determines. It is expected that the family and student will also save for college expenses, including the acceptance deposit.  Futures will help with the unmet need; it does not pay the full cost of your child to attend college.

If you would like more information about Futuresplease contact Amy Brnger, Futures Coordinator, at Portsmouth High School, 436-7100 x 2924. Or you can email her at abrnger@sau52.org.