Students and teacher

The Office of Student Financial Aid assists graduate students who are unable to meet the cost of financing their education. The office administers a multitude of graduate aid programs.

Eligibility/Application Information

1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or FAFSA. Enter our Federal School Code: 003407 You can also request a paper copy by calling 1-800-433-3243

When completing the FAFSA, if you and your parents (if required) are prompted to do so, we encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your IRS Tax Return data directly into your FAFSA. This will make the application process easier and more accurate.

In order to successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval option, you must have:

  • a federal tax return filed with the IRS
  • a valid Social Security number
  • a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID – replaces Federal PIN
  • unchanged marital status since December 31 of the prior year

For students without an FSA ID, you​ will be prompted to apply for one during the FAFSA application process.

The FSA ID will also help you (student or parent) electronically sign the FAFSA.

After the FAFSA is submitted electronically, a confirmation email will be sent by the federal processor confirming that the FAFSA was successfully submitted. A second email will be sent to the student shortly afterwards confirming the FAFSA has been processed. At that point, a Student Aid Report (SAR) can be viewed by logging back into the website. Be sure Rhode Island College is listed on the SAR (school code 003407), otherwise we will not be able to receive your information from the federal processor. If a SAR is not received within five to ten days, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Note: Rhode Island College reserves the right to require verification of income data submitted by any and all applicants for financial assistance. Awards for those who are asked for such verification will be made conditional upon receipt of the requested information/documentation. Forms of documentation or verification that may be requested include, but are not limited to, copies of IRS tax transcripts and copies of authorization letters for untaxed income. Any discrepancy in reported figures may result in adjustment or cancellation of the financial aid award and may be reported to the federal government for further review and possible legal action.

For graduate students interested in merit-based scholarships or federal work-study funds, priority is given to students who apply early and before May 1st. To ensure you are considered for the maximum amount of institutional aid available, you should submit your FAFSA as soon after October 1st as possible.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are limited to accepted degree candidates who are enrolled full time. The duties of a graduate assistant usually involve such activities as classroom instruction, preparation for and supervision of laboratory sections, direction of discussion or recitation sections, grading papers, and research. The student may be required to devote a maximum of 20 hours a week to such work, not more than 10 hours of which may be in classroom contact hours. The normal course load for a graduate assistant is nine hours per semester.

Graduate assistants receive a stipend of $1750 (half-time enrollment) to $3,500 (full-time) for the academic year, and proportional tuition waiver for the semester during their assistantship. Appointments to assistantships are for one year. Renewals must be recommended to the Dean of Graduate Studies by the department chair. Students must apply for assistantships by March 1 through the appropriate graduate program. The awarding of assistantships for the ensuing year will be announced in May.

Interested candidates can visit the Graduate Studies website for a list of current opportunities.

Graduate Student Traineeships

Graduate student traineeships are limited to accepted M.S.W. degree candidates who are enrolled full time and who are not in the first year of the advanced standing program. Graduate trainees in the School of Social Work receive tuition remission for the academic year and are required to work 10 hours per week on assignments within the School of Social Work.

Interested students enrolled in the M.S.W. program should contact the School of Social Work to inquire about application requirements and deadlines.

Graduate Student Scholarships

​Graduate Tuition Scholarship

A limited number of Graduate Tuition scholarships are awarded each year based on merit. These awards range from $375 to $1,500, based on enrollment.

Other Graduate Scholarships

Scholarship assistance is available to graduate students through the Elizabeth S. Carr Trust Fund, for students in the elementary/early childhood education programs, and through the Rhode Island College Alumni Association. The Harrower Family Award is available through the Department of English and the graduate dean. Specific information on these and other scholarships is available from the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Office of Student Financial Aid, and for alumni scholarships, the Office of Alumni Affairs.

The School of Social Work also offers the following scholarships to second-year students enrolled full time in the M.S.W. program: the Juanita Handy Scholarship, awarded to a minority and/or woman student, and the Mary G. Davey Scholarship, awarded to a student who is dedicated to child welfare. Specific information and requirements can be obtained from the dean of the School of Social Work.

Master of Social Work Federal Work Study Field Placement

In addition to offering Rhode Island College Graduate Student Scholarships, the School of Social Work in collaboration with the Office of Student Financial Aid offers Master of Social Work Graduate federal Work Study awards to full-time M.S.W. students engaged in field placement. These larger-than-average Federal Work Study awards enable recipients to obtain paid field placements in non-profit, public-service agencies and organizations. To be eligible for these scholarships, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at A limited number of new and returning awards are selected by the School of Social Work based on academic credentials and financial need.

Student Employment Opportunities

The Career Development Center provides information to students who are seeking part-time employment during the academic year or summer employment. Employment opportunities may occur on and off campus, and many of them are career oriented. One source of employment is the Federal Work-Study Program, which is based on financial need. However, students who do not apply for financial aid and/or who are not eligible for financial aid may also be employed in designated career-oriented and other jobs both on and off campus. Interested students should register for employment with the Office of Student Employment located in the Career Development Center.

Student Loan Programs

Federal Direct Loans

Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 per year from the Unsubsidized Direct Loan.  In all cases, the total amount of student aid from all programs is limited to a student's total educational costs as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid.​

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students who have remaining educational expenses after borrowing their maximum annual eligibility under the Direct unsubsidized programs may borrow from the PLUS program to meet the remaining portion of their cost of attendance. As noted above, the total amount of student aid from all programs is limited to a student's total educational costs as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

View more information about graduate aid, including Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, interest rates and federally mandated loan fees.

​Federal Work-Study Program

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.

Financial Aid for Summer Sessions​

In addition to the process outlined above, students who wish to apply for financial assistance for summer sessions must submit a Rhode Island College Application for Financial Aid-Summer Sessions. These forms are available from the Office of Student Financial Aid on or about February 1 each year. A form may also be obtained online (see Forms on Main Page). Summer Session aid is contingent upon the availability of funds and normally consists of Direct Loans and Federal Work-Study. Preference is given to applicants who file summer applications prior to April 1. ​​​​​