Financial Aid Programs
- Sources of Financial Aid
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- Federal Direct Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Direct Loans
- Federal Work-Study Program
- RI Stay-the-Course Scholarship
- CollegeBoundfund Academic Promise Scholarship
- Other State Financial Aid Programs
- RIC Scholars Program
- Rhode Island College Grants
- Rhode Island College Transfer Scholar Awards
- Merit-based Scholarships
- Additional Scholarships from the College
- Tuition Waivers
- Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense
- Private Agencies and Organizations
- Short-Term Loans
Detailed information on the sources listed is available from the Office of Student Financial Aid, or in certain cases, from the department or office noted with the entry. Note that almost all forms of student financial aid, including federal student loans, require at least half-time enrollment as a matriculated student in a degree-granting program to qualify. Half-time enrollment is defined as six credits for undergraduates and 4.5 credits for graduate students. Some programs below require full-time enrollment. This list is subject to change.
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These are federal entitlement grants ranging from $581 to $5,775 annually. Eligibility is determined by the United States Department of Education, using a national formula. Actual awards vary according to the cost of attendance, the student's enrollment status (full, three-quarters, half, or less-than-half time), and a family's expected contribution.
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These federal grants are awarded directly by the Office of Student Financial Aid on the basis of financial need as determined from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Awards may range from $100 to $4,000 per year depending on funding and student need. Priority for funding is given to students who are eligible to receive Federal Pell Grants.
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Federal Direct PLUS Loans allow parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow up to the full cost of college less other student aid. There is no need requirement for the PLUS loan, but parents must pass a credit review in order to qualify for the loan. Repayment may be deferred for up to six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time. However, interest does accrue on the loan and is capitalized into the loan principal before repayment begins. As of October 1, 2016 the interest rate on these loans is fixed at 6.31 percent. Federal Direct PLUS Loans have an origination fee of 4.276 percent.
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This loan program is administered directly by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Student eligibility is based on financial need as determined from the FAFSA. Annual loan amounts may total up to $5,500 for undergraduates and $8,000 for graduates. The cumulative undergraduate borrowing limit is $27,500 at the undergraduate level and $60,000 at the graduate level. Actual award amounts depend on federal funding levels, and priority is given to those applicants with the greatest need. Repayment at 5 percent interest begins nine months after the borrower drops below half-time enrollment (six credits per semester). Students may be allowed up to 10 years to repay; however, a minimum monthly payment of $40 is required.
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Eligibility for subsidized Federal Direct Loans is based upon financial need as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid, using information from the FAFSA. Subsidized loans are interest free during the student's period of enrollment. Students have a six-month grace period after leaving school or dropping below half-time status before repayment begins, but interest will accrue during this period. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, which do not require financial need, have an interest charge during both the in-school and grace periods.
Effective October 1, 2016, both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students have a fixed interest rate of 3.76 percent with a 1.069 percent origination fee. Subsidized loans are limited to undergraduate students. The unsubsidized loan interest rate for graduate students as of October 1, 2016 is 5.31 percent with a 1.069 percent origination fee.
Annual Loan limits are as follows:
- $5,500 for freshmen, but only $3,500 can be subsidized
- $6,500 for sophomores, but only $4,500 can be subsidized
- $7,500 for upper-class undergraduates, but only $5,500 can be subsidized
- $20,500 for graduate students
Financially independent undergraduate students may apply for an additional unsubsidized loan of up to $4,000 in the freshman and sophomore years and $5,000 in the junior and senior years.
Aggregate Loan Limits:
- $31,000 for undergraduate dependent students, but no more than $23,000 can be subsidized
- $57,500 for undergraduate independent students, but no more than $23,000 can be subsidized
- 138,500 for graduate students
This is a part-time employment program based upon financial need. A work-study award is paid biweekly at an hourly rate, based on hours worked. Eligibility is determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid, using information from the FAFSA. The Career Development Center assists work-study students with job placement on or off campus. While work-study students receive priority for job placement, the College cannot guarantee placement in a position.
The Stay-the-Course Scholarship at Rhode Island College is funded by an allocation from the Rhode Island State Higher Education Opportunity Grant program. The scholarship is awarded by the Office of Student Financial Aid to Rhode Island residents after completion of the freshman year at RIC. The scholarship is designed to increase our graduation rate by enabling these students to continue full-time study in their final three years at the college by reducing the need to work long hours off-campus. To qualify, a student must enter RIC at or during the freshman year, enroll full-time, be eligible for the federal Pell Grant and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. The scholarship will cover up to the difference between the standard cost of full tuition, registration fees, an allowance for books and the funds provided by the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and merit-based scholarships. However, no scholarship will exceed need or 60% of a student's annual cost of attendance. Recipients must remain Pell-eligible, continue full-time enrollment and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 for renewal in subsequent years. Renewal scholarships are subject to continued State funding, and students filing the FAFSA by our February 1 deadline will receive priority.
Administered by the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority, these need-based scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors planning to enroll full-time. The scholarships are restricted to Rhode Island residents, and selection is based on a combination of need and academic achievement as determined by test scores on either the SAT-I or ACT. Eligible students receive up to $2500 per year over four years for an aggregate total of $10,000. This program is limited to renewal applicants only.
Guidelines for applying for state scholarship/grant programs vary, so students should inquire at the appropriate agency in their state of legal residence regarding application procedures.
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other state scholarship agencies are available upon request from the Office of Student Financial Aid.
This program provides scholarships of $2,500 to entering freshmen with exceptional financial need and academic promise. These awards require full-time enrollment and may be renewed for up to four years of study based on need and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. Eligibility is determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid using information from your academic record and your FAFSA.
These need-based grants are available to both new and continuing undergraduate students enrolled at least half time. Grants may range from $100 to over $14,000 depending upon need and cost of attendance. New freshmen and transfer students are required to file both the FAFSA and the Rhode Island College Financial Aid Application.
These awards range from $2,500 to $5,000 and are based on academic achievement as well as financial need. To be considered, an entering transfer student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 as determined by the college Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the time of acceptance. Eligibility is determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid, using information from both the FAFSA and the Rhode Island College Financial Aid Application. Awards may be renewed for up to three years of study based on need and maintenance of a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
Rhode Island College recognizes superior academic achievement through the awarding of scholarships. There are several merit-based scholarship programs available to students at the College. These programs fall into four general categories:
- Presidential Scholarships
- Honors Scholarships
- Special Talent Awards
- Alumni Scholarships
These merit-based scholarships of at least $2,000 per year are awarded to entering freshmen for up to four years of study. The scholarships are awarded based on the Admissions application, but awards are considered as part of the financial aid package for recipients who have also applied for financial aid. The minimum academic requirements needed to be considered for a Presidential Scholarship as an entering freshman are a high school class rank in the top 30% and combined SAT-I scores of at least 1100 (critical reading and mathematics) or an ACT composite score of at least 24.
Transfer students are also considered for these scholarships for up to three years of study. The minimum transfer requirement is a grade point average of at least 3.5 with a minimum of 24 earned credits.
Entering freshmen who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement are invited to join the College Honors Program. Honors students are considered for scholarships from the Presidential Scholarship Program, Faculty Honors Scholarship Program and the Rhode Island College Foundation. These scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to students with the highest academic profiles. Awards typically range between $500 and $1,500 per year. Honors scholarships are renewable for up to four years, as long as a student maintains a B average and full-time status. If you are interested in the College Honors Program, remember to indicate this interest on your admissions application form.
Special Talent Awards
Special Talent Awards were established to recognize and encourage students who have exceptional talent or skill in the visual and performing arts, areas of intercollegiate competition (other than athletics), or similar fields. Currently, the College offers Special Talent Awards in the following areas: art, communications, dance, film studies, music, and theatre. While the requirements for these awards vary by department, award competition is open to entering freshmen and transfer students. Awards range from $100 to $2,500. Applicants should contact the academic department or club advisor in their area of interest.
The Rhode Island College Alumni Association offers a number of scholarships, both merit- and need-based, to new and advanced students. In addition, the association offers several scholarships each year to children and grandchildren of College alumni. An alumni scholarship application is available directly from the Alumni Office.
Individuals, organizations, and endowments provide funds to the College through the Rhode Island College Foundation. The eligibility criteria for these awards vary according to the wishes of each donor. In some cases, financial need is a requirement and award recipients are selected from the pool of financial aid applicants at the College. In other cases, awards are made directly by the academic departments of the College. A listing of these programs is provided in the College Catalog.
The college offers in-state tuition waivers for certain unemployed individuals, senior citizens and disabled veterans. Waiver programs are administered by the Bursar’s Office. Details on eligibility, course restrictions and application procedures may be found at this link: http://www.ric.edu/bursar/tuition_waivers.php
If you served on Active Duty, you might be eligible for education benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for educational and housing expenses to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
If you are currently serving in the military, you may be eligible for funding offered through the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance program. Check your eligibility status and the amount for which you qualify with your Service prior to enrolling.
If you are the spouse or child of a service member who is serving on active duty Title 10 orders in the paygrades of E1-E5, O1-O2, or W1-W2, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Defense for education, training, and/or the occupational license and credentials necessary for a portable career.
If you are the spouse or child of a service member, you may be eligible for transfer of the service member’s Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to you.
Additional sources of financial aid include employers, unions, and community organizations. Information on private scholarship programs may be obtained from high school guidance counselors and through reference publications in many local libraries. Scholarship search database programs are also available for free use on the Internet. A good web site to start with is the FinAid Page at www.finaid.org.
The College encourages students to take the initiative in applying for outside financial assistance. Whenever possible, outside assistance will be first used to reduce the loan and/or student employment components of the College financial aid package if adjustment is necessary.
- Students with financial aid that exceeds direct charges (i.e. tuition, fees, room and board) may be eligible to receive a line of credit towards purchases in the Rhode Island College Bookstore.
- Applications must be submitted on-line using the student self-service section of their MyRIC account.