In order to assist students who are unable to meet the cost of financing a college education, the Office of Student Financial Aid administers an extensive program of scholarships, grants, loans, and part-time employment opportunities. Demonstrated financial need is the primary factor used in the awarding of financial aid, although some scholarships are given each year in recognition of superior academic achievement or special talent.
Applicants should be aware that virtually all financial assistance awarded by the College is limited to:
- Students who have been accepted into a program that will lead to a degree.
- Students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens.
- Students who are enrolled at the College at least half-time (6-8 credits for undergraduates; 4.5 or more credits for graduate students) (limited Federal Pell Grants are available to some students studying less than half-time).
- Students who are maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
For financial aid purposes, student status is normally verified at the end of the Add period (first two weeks of a semester). Hence, those who are officially classified as non-matriculated students, visiting students, or special students should anticipate that their awards would be canceled. Students whose status at the end of the Add period is less than full time should expect that the amount of their award(s) might be reduced proportionately and/or canceled.
Students enrolled in a program designed to lead to a second baccalaureate degree or in the Rhode Island Teacher Certification Program (RITE) are considered ineligible for virtually all grant/gift assistance provided by or through Rhode Island College. Second baccalaureate degree and RITE students may be considered for financial assistance in the form of loan and/or work opportunities.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or FAFSA on the Web at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/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:
- Federal tax return filed with the IRS
- Valid Social Security number
- Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID – replaces Federal PIN
- For parents or students without an FSA ID, you will be prompted to apply for one during the FAFSA application process: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
- The FSA ID will also help you (student or parent) electronically sign the FAFSA.
- Unchanged marital status since December 31st of the prior year
Priority for funds administered by Rhode Island College is given to students who complete the financial aid process in accordance with the following deadlines:
All Returning Students (Previously enrolled at Rhode Island College)
- FAFSA on file at the federal processing center by March 1 (Please note: Due to COVID-19 the priority deadline has been extended for 2021-2022.)
Applicants should fill out all forms completely and accurately in order to avoid delays in processing and possible loss of financial aid. Adherence to deadlines is strongly advised. Late applicants are only considered for funds that may be available after early applicants are awarded.
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 fafsa.ed.gov 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 four to six weeks, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
Financial aid awards are not automatically renewable unless specified otherwise in your award letter. Almost all student aid at the College must be reapplied for every year.
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, transcripts of federal income tax returns 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.
All awards made by or through the College are conditional and are based upon information available to College officials at the time the award is made. All awards are, therefore, subject to change and/or cancellation, should the College become aware of facts, conditions, and/or circumstances that differ from those upon which the award(s) was (were) based. Similarly, all awards are contingent upon the receipt by the College of sufficient funding from state, federal, or other funding sources and/or donors to cover award offers.
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 March 15 (Please note: Due to COVID-19 the priority deadline has been extended for 2022-2023.)
A form may also be obtained online (click here for Forms page). Summer Session aid is contingent upon the availability of funds and normally consists of Pell Grants, Direct Loans and Federal Work-Study. Preference for Work-Study is given to applicants who file summer applications prior to April 1.
Note: Financial aid received during the summer sessions may reduce the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive during the following fall and/or spring semesters. It may also result in a delay in the processing of your academic year financial aid award. If you are planning on taking summer classes and are interested in applying for summer financial aid, you should contact our office to set up an appointment to meet with your counselor to discuss the awarding process.