RIT offers a full range of financial aid programs to assist graduate students with their educational expenses. The information provided in this section is an overview of the sources of assistance available. Please consult the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships’ website for more detailed information.
Scholarships and assistantships are available in most graduate departments. In addition, some departments offer externally funded tuition remission and stipends from corporate or government sponsors. Please contact the appropriate graduate program director or the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services for additional information.
Financial aid awards are offered only once a student is accepted. Awards are generally given to full-time students, but exceptions are made for qualified part-time students.
International students (F-1 or J-1 visa holders) may generally work on campus for up to 20 hours per week. Special authorization from International Student Services and/or the INS is needed for all other employment, including co-ops and internships. Please consult International Student Services at (585) 475-6943 or www.rit.edu/iss for employment or visa questions.
All federal student aid programs require submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be completed online at www.fafsa.gov.
Academic Progress Requirements
Federal regulations require financial aid recipients to maintain minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for continued receipt of federally sponsored aid. All students receiving federal assistance must remain admitted in a degree program. Regulations require a maximum time frame for degree completion, a quantitative measurement (complete two thirds or 66.67% of credit hours attempted) and a qualitative measurement (2.0 minimum cumulative grade point average). Credit hours attempted include withdrawals, repeated courses, incompletes, grade exclusions, non-matriculated courses, and credit by exam. The annual review of academic progress at the end of spring term each year considers all terms of enrollment, including terms in which no federal aid was received. Students whose academic progress is not in compliance with federal regulations will be notified of the deficiency. Students who do not meet minimum SAP standards may continue to receive federal aid during a probationary period, not to exceed one academic year and not to exceed 150 percent timeframe for degree completion, as the result of an academic appeal initiated with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, and in coordination with the academic department. Please refer to the Graduate Bulletin section titled Registration and Degree Requirements for additional information about making satisfactory academic progress.
In addition, loan eligibility for students with full-time-equivalent status is limited to a maximum of three terms.
Financial Aid Refund Policy
Return of federal funds
In accordance with federal regulations, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships recalculates federal aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are suspended, or take a leave of absence prior to completing more than 60 percent of a term. “Withdrawal date” is defined as the actual date the student initiated the withdrawal process, the student’s last date of recorded attendance or the midpoint of the term for a student who leaves without notifying the university. Recalculation is based on the percent of earned aid using the following formula: number of days completed up to the withdrawal date/total days in the term. Aid returned to federal programs is then equal to 100 percent minus the percentage earned multiplied by the amount of federal aid disbursed.
Funds are returned to the federal government in the following sequence: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, other federal aid.
If the student is otherwise eligible, the first disbursement of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan proceeds is allowed up to 180 days after the student has ceased to be enrolled. Subsequent disbursements are not allowed.
Regulations vary. Any adjustments are done in accordance with the specific requirements of the sponsoring state.
Privately funded grants and scholarships
In the absence of specific instructions from the sponsor, 100 percent of the semester award will be credited to the student’s account.
RIT grants and scholarships
Institutional funding such as RIT grants and scholarships are prorated based on the tuition refund schedule for withdrawal during a semester. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or visit their website at www.rit.edu/financialaid.
Financial Aid Programs
|Grants/Scholarships||Eligibility||Amount||How to Apply|
|Graduate Assistantships||Graduate student matriculated into an RIT graduate degree program.||Amounts vary||Complete Graduate Admissions Application and check appropriate box to be considered for graduate assistantships.|
|Graduate Merit Scholarships||Graduate student matriculated into an RIT graduate degree program.||Amounts vary||Complete Graduate Admissions Application and check appropriate box to be considered for graduate scholarship.|
|Vietnam Veterans Tuition Award Program||Eligible Veterans who are New York state residents.||$6,195 per year for full-time study; available for undergraduate or graduate study.||File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and TAP Application. Also file the Vietnam Veterans Tuition Award Supplement at www.hesc.com.|
|Veterans Benefits||Eligible veterans and children of deceased veterans, or service-connected disabled veterans.||Amounts vary.||Contact: Office of Veterans Affairs at (888) 442-4551, or visit their website at www.va.gov.|
|Bureau of Indian Affairs Graduate Fellowship Grants||Enrolled full-time and recognized by Secretary of the Interior as a member of an Indian tribe and demonstrating financial need and academic achievement.||Amounts vary||Contact American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) at (800) 628-1920, or on the Web at www.aigc.com.|
|Loans||Eligibility||Amount||How to Apply|
|Federal Direct Loans||Matriculated students who are enrolled at least half-time and who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.||Maximum amount: $20,500. The maximum amount cannot exceed the cost of education minus all other financial aid awarded.||File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident)|
|Federal Perkins Loan||Students who meet requirements established by federal government, and demonstrate significant financial need.||Up to $8,000 per year; $40,000 limit for undergraduate and graduate study.||File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident)|
|Private Alternative Loans||Enrolled student who is credit-approved by lender.||Up to the cost of education minus all other financial aid awarded.||Consult the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website at www.rit.edu/financialaid or contact the private lender directly.|
|Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate Students||Matriculated students who are enrolled at least half-time and who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.||The maximum amount cannot exceed the cost of education minus all financial aid awarded.||File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete a Federal Direct PLUS Loan application.|
|Employment||Eligibility||Amount||How to Apply|
|Federal Work Study Program||Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents with financial need: most jobs provided are on campus, and some community service positions are available.||Varies, depending on hours and wage rate (RIT wage rates start at $8.75 per hour).||File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Contact the RIT Student Employment Office at www.rit.edu/emcs/seo.|
|RIT Employment Program||No financial need requirement; may be on campus or off campus.||Varies, depending on hours and wage rate (RIT wage rates start at $8.75 per hour).||Contact the RIT Student Employment Office at www.rit.edu/emcs/seo.|
This chart covers the most commonly awarded financial aid programs available to full-time graduate students at RIT. Information is correct as of July 2016. Most graduate programs require satisfactory progress toward degree completion to maintain eligibility. Filing the FAFSA by April 1 will ensure priority consideration for all programs. Applications filed after this date will receive consideration as long as funds remain available. Scholarships provided by RIT will be prorated for NTID-sponsored students to reflect lower NTID tuition rates.