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Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Common Questions

Our staff members are interested in helping you finance your college education at RIT. Here are some questions we frequently receive from students and their families:

  1. I don't think I'll qualify for aid. Should I bother applying?

  2. Is it too late to apply for financial aid?

  3. What is the federal school code for RIT and NTID?

  4. If my parents are divorced or separated, which parent should complete the FAFSA?

  5. My financial situation has changed. What do I do?

  6. What does the EFC number mean on my Student Aid Report (SAR)?

  7. My Student Aid Report (SAR) indicates that I have been selected for verification. What does this mean?

  8. Will I be eligible for the same amount of aid at every college?

  9. What is the difference between a grant and a loan?

  10. How do I apply for a student loan?

  11. I have loans on my financial aid award. When do I have to repay them?

  12. How does the Federal Work-Study Program work?

  13. I have just been notified that I will receive a scholarship from my high school. How will this scholarship affect my financial aid?

  14. I have just been notified that I have been accepted into the ROTC program, what type of assistance can I expect from RIT?

  15. How do I pay the difference between my estimated cost of attendance and my financial aid?

  16. Do I have to reapply for financial aid next year?

  17. Are there scholarships available to children of RIT Alumni?

  18. Once enrolled at RIT are there any opportunities for additional grant funding?

  19. Will my financial aid award remain the same each year?

 

1. I don’t think I’ll qualify for financial aid. Should I bother applying?

Yes. At the very least, you will be able to borrow a low-interest Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan. In order to receive a Federal Direct Student Loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://www.fafsa.gov/.

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2. Is it too late to apply for financial aid?

Probably not. The FAFSA takes approximately 2-4 weeks to process. Financial aid can be calculated and awarded to students once we receive the FAFSA data. It is recommended that you keep a copy of the FAFSA for your records before sending it. We are not able to retroactively process financial aid after a student’s last term of enrollment.

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3. What is the Federal School Code for RIT and NTID?

The Federal School Code for RIT is 002806. NTID is a college of RIT and uses the same 002806 school code.

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4. If my parents are divorced or separated, which parent should complete the FAFSA?

You should answer the questions using information about the parent that you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided the most financial support for you (e.g. money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes, medical expenses). Child support payments from your other parent will be taken into consideration, and information about the income and assets of any stepparent must also be provided. We realize that these situations can be sensitive and complicated. Please feel free to discuss your individual circumstances with one of our counselors. All information will remain confidential.

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5. My financial situation has changed. What do I do?

You should submit a letter to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships describing the change. We will review the new information and recalculate your financial aid eligibility. You should also provide documentation of the change (e.g. termination letter, copies of medical bills) as well as specific dollar amounts (e.g. amount paid out in medical/dental expenses, projected amount of decrease in annual income). A change in a family's financial situation can be reviewed at any time during the academic year. Please note that we must receive this information in writing in order to properly document a change in your financial aid situation.

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6. What does the EFC number mean on my Student Aid Report (SAR)?

The data reported on your FAFSA is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) value. This value is used to determine your federal aid eligibility. RIT uses this value as a guideline for determining your RIT aid eligibility. The federal EFC value is not necessarily your out-of-pocket cost to RIT.

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7. My Student Aid Report (SAR) indicates that I have been selected for verification. What does this mean?

Approximately 30% of all aid applicants are selected to complete a process called Verification. Applicants are selected by the Federal Processing Center when a FAFSA is processed or when changes are made on the Student Aid Report (SAR). Financial aid offices are required to collect and review tax documents of selected applicants. Once our office has reviewed your application, you will be notified of the required documents for verification. This process is to insure that the financial aid awarded is based on accurate information.

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8. Will I be eligible for the same amount of aid at every college?

Your need for financial aid is determined by subtracting what your family can reasonably pay from the costs of attending each college you are considering. The amount you can pay remains constant in each case, but since each college has different costs, your need may vary from one college to another. The most expensive colleges will tend to offer you the most aid in order to assist in meeting higher costs.

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9. What is the difference between a grant and a loan?

Grants and scholarships are considered "gift aid". Gift aid is "free" money that does not have to be repaid. Loans are considered "self-help" programs. Loans have to be repaid by the borrower.

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10. How do I apply for a student loan?

RIT is a direct lending school, which means that all federal loans, including the Federal PLUS Loan, will be processed by RIT. To begin the loan application process you should file the FAFSA. After the FAFSA is processed, you may see a Federal Direct Loan listed on your financial aid award letter from RIT. In addition to accepting the award and submitting additional required documents you must sign a Master Promissory Note and first-time loan borrowers must complete an Entrance Counseling tutorial/quiz. Both can be completed at www.studentloans.gov. You may also complete both the Master Promissory Note and the Entrance Counseling tutorial in person at our office.

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11. I have loans on my financial aid award. When do I have to repay them?

Generally, there are two types of federal loans—a Federal Direct Loan and a Federal Perkins Loan. After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have six months before you begin repayment on the Federal Direct Loan, and nine months before you begin repayment on the Federal Perkins Loan. This is called a "grace period". During the grace period on both a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan you do not have to pay any principal, but interest will be charged. You can either pay the interest or it will be capitalized—that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.

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12. How does the Federal Work-Study Program work?

Students who complete the FAFSA may see Federal Work-Study listed on their financial aid letter. This is an option for students to assist them with their day-to-day expenses while on-campus. Students can secure a part-time job on-campus through the Student Employment Office (SEO). The SEO lists job openings on their website at www.rit.edu/seojobs. Students who participate in the Federal Work-Study Program are paid directly through a bi-weekly payroll check. Since the program is based on participants working and earning income, the funds are not directly applied towards the student's billing statements. Earnings vary depending on the number of hours worked and the rate of pay. Work-Study earnings are taxable and should be reported on income tax forms just like any other type of income. However, students enrolled for 6 or more credit hours are exempt from Social Security taxes.

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13. I have just been notified that I will receive a scholarship from my high school. How will this scholarship affect my financial aid?

Congratulations! We encourage students to apply for scholarships awarded by private organizations. This is an excellent source of funding and may reduce a student's need to borrow. In many cases, no alteration to a student's financial aid is necessary. If, however, your award includes a Federal Perkins Loan, the outside scholarship will reduce the Perkins Loan dollar-for-dollar. If we are required to amend the financial aid package as a result of receiving an "outside scholarship," we will make every effort to reduce the student's loan and/or Federal Work-Study before reducing RIT grants.

Please send us a copy of the notification of your scholarship so that we can defer (pre-credit) your billing statement by the amount of your anticipated scholarship. Any scholarship checks you receive should be sent to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. We will insure that the scholarship is credited towards your eServices account (please do not mail the checks with your payments directly to Student Financial Services). The total annual amount of your scholarship will be divided equally over the two semesters of attendance (e.g. if you receive $1,500 for the year, your eServices account will be credited with $750 for both semesters).

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14. I have just been notified that I have been accepted into the ROTC program, what type of assistance can I expect from RIT?

RIT has agreed to provide grants to students who win 3, 3.5, or 4-year ROTC scholarships prior to enrolling. The RIT grant value is normally calculated to equal the cost of a double room in the dormitories plus the cost of a standard meal plan. Because this grant is based on institutional housing costs, students residing with parents or with relatives are not eligible.

In many cases, identification as an ROTC scholar will not result in awarding additional RIT grants. All RIT awards offered prior to your identification as an ROTC scholar count towards the value of the RIT/ROTC grant. If you already have been offered RIT funds in an amount equal to room and board charges, there would be no additional award offered. Additionally, need-based RIT grants exceeding room and board charges might be adjusted downward. Students with RIT awards that total less than room and board charges will have their grants increased to equal those charges.

External funds such as Pell, TAP, and private scholarships are first applied to any tuition and fees not covered by ROTC. External funds not used for tuition and fees will be applied to room and board charges, and the RIT grant will be reduced accordingly. Total grant aid from all sources cannot exceed the total cost of tuition, fees, room, and board.

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15. How do I pay the difference between my estimated cost of attendance and my financial aid?

Families have several options to assist with their costs. Parents of dependent students can borrow from the Federal PLUS Program (a description of the program and a pre-application can also be found in the Introduction to Financial Aid booklet sent with your financial aid award letter). You also have the option of applying for a private loan (i.e. non-federal) as long as you have a credit-worthy co-signer.

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16. Do I have to reapply for financial aid next year?

Yes, you have to reapply for financial aid each year. The applications are usually available mid-late December. After a student's first year at RIT, we require that students reapply for financial aid by completing both an RIT Undergraduate Financial Aid Form and a FAFSA. Reminders to reapply will be sent to students who are currently enrolled and who are receiving financial aid.

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17. Are there scholarships available to children of RIT Alumni?

Yes, The Alumni Legacy Scholarship, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations in conjunction with the Alumni Network, is a one-time award given to both children of RIT alumni and to RIT alumni themselves.

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18. Once enrolled at RIT are there any opportunities for additional grant funding?

Yes, in early spring various RIT Scholarship Committees begin accepting applications for the Nathaniel Rochester Society and the RIT Leadership Institute.

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19. Will my financial aid award remain the same each year?

In most cases, the answer is yes, but not in every case. Every effort will be made to continue a similar level of institutional gift aid each year. Students receiving merit scholarships do not need to re-apply to renew those scholarships. Merit scholarships will automatically be renewed at the same level, as long as the renewal requirements are met. Students must reapply for need-based financial aid each year. Assuming you remain in good academic standing, file the application forms by the recommended deadline, and demonstrate a similar level of need, you can expect approximately the same level of institutional gift aid each year.

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What if my question is not on this list?
Please contact us by phone at 585-475-2186, by e-mail at ritaid@rit.edu or in person. We are located on the second floor of the Bausch and Lomb building. Counselors are available by appointment.

Please visit our website at www.rit.edu/financialaid for forms, links to counselors e-mail addresses and more frequently asked questions