Portsmouth School Department, 1 Junkins Avenue, Suite 402., Portsmouth, NH 03801 Tel: (603) 431- 5080, Fax: (603) 431-6753
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Futures

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 helps selected students to fulfill their dreams of a college education. The late Joe Sawtelle, a generous and insightful local businessman, created Futures. One summer Joe employed a bright, hardworking student who he strongly encouraged to 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 her son would never go college. This incident spurred Joe, his friends, and local businesses to create a scholarship fund so that lack of money would not prevent qualified students from going to college.


Eligibility for Futuresdepends on several qualities. The student should demonstrate a desire to learn and 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. Each year, 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 ten to twelve 8th grade students are selected each year.


Family income is also a factor in Futures' eligibility.  In 2015 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.  Please keep in mind that there is some flexibility


The coordinator is another level of support for your child. She meets with students regularly to talk about how to prepare for college. Groups talk about grades, careers, responsibility, vocabulary lists, college selection and much more. 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. 


All Futures students are required to apply for Federal Financial Aid and appropriate local and statewide scholarships. 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 the students has raised (federal aid, grants, scholarships, work study), 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. It is expected that the family and student will also save for college expenses.


If you would like more information about Futures, please contact Phyllis Eldridge, Futures Coordinator, at Portsmouth High School, 436-7100 x 2924. Or you can email her at peldridge@portsmouth.k12.nh.us.