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. Approximately 94 percent of full-time freshmen applied for financial aid in the fall 2018 semester, and 79 percent of those students were awarded need-based financial assistance. The average need-based financial aid package was $10,132. This includes scholarships, grants, loans, and federal work-study employment.
General Eligibility Standards
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 Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.
For financial aid purposes, student status is normally verified after the end of the Add period (first two weeks of a semester). 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.
How to Apply For 2020-2021
1. 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:
The FSA ID will also help you (student or parent) electronically sign the FAFSA.
- Unchanged marital status since December 31 of the prior year
Application Deadlines for 2020-2021
The deadlines below represent cut-off dates after which applicants will not be considered for institutional aid.
Priority for funds administered by Rhode Island College is given to students who apply early, as funds are limited. 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:
Incoming Freshmen (Fall 2020 Semester)
- Application for admission on file with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by March 15th
- 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.)
Readmitted and New Transfer Students (Fall Semester)
- Application for admission on file with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by June 1st
- FAFSA on file at the federal processing center by April 15th
Incoming Freshmen, New Transfers, and Re-admitted Students (Spring 2020 Semester)*
- FAFSA on file at the federal processing center by November 15, 2020* Note: Awards for students entering in the spring semester are contingent on available funding. The college does not hold funds aside for students entering in the spring.
Applicants should fill out all forms completely and accurately in order to avoid delays in processing and possible loss of financial aid.
Early submission of the FAFSA is strongly advised. 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 five to ten days, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
Financial aid awards are not automatically renewable unless you have been notified otherwise. 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.
Reapplying for the Following Year
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 by completing a new FAFSA by the posted priority filing deadline.