Financial Aid FAQs
Financial Aid FAQs
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Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application the Department of Education uses to determine if you are eligible to receive federal student aid.
The Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, Work-Study, and the Direct Loan programs; Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS are the federal aid programs you are automatically considered for by filing the FAFSA each year.
The FAFSA is available online at studentaid.gov. The FAFSA is a free application; you will not be asked to pay a fee to apply.
The RIT FAFSA school code is 002806.
If you are considered a dependent student for FAFSA® purposes, you will need to provide information about your legal parent(s) on the application. A legal parent is your biological or adoptive parent or your legal parent as determined by the state (for example, if the parent is listed on your birth certificate). If you have a stepparent currently married to your legal parent, you generally also must provide information about him or her.
- You are working on a degree beyond a bachelor's, such as a master's or doctorate
- You have a child or children, or other legal dependents, who receive more than half their financial support from you
- You are married (or separated but not divorced)
- You are at least 24 years old
- You are a veteran of the United States Armed Forces
- You are currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces for other than training purposes
- If at any time since you turned 13, both your parents were deceased, you were in foster care, or were a ward of the court
- You are an emancipated child as determined by a court judge
- You are homeless or at risk of homelessness as determined by the director of a HUD-approved homeless shelter, transitional program, or high school liaison
- If you do not meet any of those criteria, you are required to report parental information on your FAFSA, meaning you are classified as a dependent student.
Grandparents and other relatives may not substitute their information for the parent's information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) unless they have legally adopted the student. Generally, only biological and adoptive parents are responsible for completing the FAFSA.
Yes. Because eligibility for federal student aid does not carry over from one award year to the next, you will need to complete the FAFSA for each award year for which you are or plan to be a student. The FAFSA is available every October 1st for the upcoming academic year. New students planning to use federal student aid should complete a FAFSA while applying for admission. Continuing students will need to submit a FAFSA each year they plan to receive federal student aid.
In order to check the accuracy of the information reported on the FAFSA, the US Department of Education selects aid applicants to undergo the verification process. Applicants can be selected for Verification when they initially submit a FAFSA, or when corrections are submitted. Students who are selected for Verification will have a message printed on their SAR. Verification Documents can be printed online.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and New York State Scholarships
To be eligible for TAP, you must be a New York State resident and attend an eligible school or college located in New York State. You must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and list a New York State school or college on the form.
You must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and list a New York State college or school. After you confirm the FAFSA submission, you may file the electronic TAP Application online by clicking on the New York State resident link and completing the TAP on the Web application. After successful completion of the TAP application, you will receive an email message alerting you to check the status of your application. Processing may take up to 10 business days. You will not receive an email message until your electronic application is processed.
If you are eligible to receive federal student aid (also known as Title IV aid), you must complete both the FAFSA and the NYS TAP application. If you are not eligible to receive federal student aid (also known as Title IV aid), you must simply complete the NYS TAP application under the provisions of the NYS DREAM Act.
If you are a New York State (NYS) resident and did not complete the NYS TAP application after filing your FAFSA, you will receive an email from the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) – usually within three to four days of completing the FAFSA – with instructions on how to complete the TAP on the Web application, provided you selected at least one NYS college on the FAFSA.
Your school will give you an estimate of your TAP award. The information you provide is verified, and the TAP award subject to change if there are any discrepancies in income, cost of attendance, family members in school, etc. Use the TAP Estimator to determine an estimate of your award. You will receive an award certificate telling you about your TAP award. Your school will see your information on a roster listing students who have received an award certificate for attendance at that school. The school must verify your eligibility and certify your award. If your school needs confirmation of how much your TAP award will be before the roster is sent, you may provide the school with a copy of your award certificate, or you may print your account information from the HESC Web site. Once the school certifies you are eligible and meeting all of the school requirements, the TAP funds will be sent to the school, usually within two weeks.
After your TAP application has been processed, you may make school code changes online through Student Access. If you would like assistance in making this change, you can schedule a one-on-one appointment with a HESC Customer Communications representative or your school can also assist you.
Changes or corrections are made online in your HESC account through Student Access.
My school estimated my TAP award, and my TAP award certificate shows I will be getting less. Why did it change?
The school gives you an estimate of your TAP award, and the estimate is subject to change based upon verification of all of the data. TAP verifies the New York taxable income with the New York State Tax Department, and if there are any differences in what is originally reported, your actual TAP award may change. In addition, your TAP award may be calculated based upon many different factors, such as the family members in college and parents' income, so it is important to make certain that all of the data you have provided is complete and correct, and to be sure to submit all requested documentation.
Your TAP amount is estimated until NY State passes their budget and notifies RIT of your final award. Our estimates are based upon the information submitted on the FAFSA, which may vary from the information required on the TAP application.
There are full descriptions of the loans in the Understanding Your Undergraduate Financial Aid Offer booklet. In the Direct Loan program, the student is the borrower. Here is a brief overview:
-Federal Subsidized Direct Loan: A federal loan where the government pays the interest while the student is in school. Repayment begins 6 months after the student leaves school or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
-Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan: A federal loan where the interest begins accruing while the student is in school. Students will have the option to pay the interest while in school or to defer both interest and principal payments until 6 months after they drop below half-time enrollment (capitalize the interest). The interest rate and fee are the same as the subsidized version of the program.
What is the current Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan interest rate for undergraduate students? What is the interest rate for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate for graduate students?
The Direct Loan interest rates are determined on an annual basis and go into effect on July 1 each year. Learn more about interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website.
You can adjust the amount you wish to receive at the time you accept your loan funding on eServices. If you make an error, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for assistance.
From the self-service portal, you will be able to:
- Check the status of your Financial Aid applications
- View your Financial Aid Offer Letter
- Accept the Financial Aid offered
- Adjust the Financial Aid offer amount you wish to accept
- Get a detailed explanation of each type of award offered
- Check for missing or incomplete documents
- Notify Financial Aid of enrollment changes
- Calculate your Cost of Attendance
- Report scholarship awards from outside agencies
Federal Direct Loans are disbursed to your student account after the completion of the add/drop period and we have confirmed your enrollment status qualifies for federal loan funding (typically within 5-7 business days), assuming you have completed all necessary requirements such as, but not limited to:
- Accept your federal loan(s)
- Provide your authorization for Title IV funds (Federal Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans)
- Complete federal requirements such as the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling online. You can find step by step tutorial for each process online for MPN and Entrance Counseling.
Can I use loans to cover additional expenses such as living expenses, books, supplies? And what about travel and housing for immersions?
Yes, we recommend that you contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to confirm the appropriate amount to apply for based on your needs.
Grants and Scholarships
The Pell Grant is determined from the income, assets, family size, number in college, etc. that you reported on your FAFSA.
I was awarded a Computing Medal Scholarship in high school, but all I see is the RIT Merit-Based Scholarship. Why?
The two awards are not stackable. You are only eligible to receive the higher of the two.
As long as there is not a major change in your family circumstances, your grant should remain relatively the same.
Award Receipt and Next Steps
Review the offer(s) and the materials enclosed with your notification. After you pay your enrollment deposit, you will receive information about how to log on to RIT eServices to accept/decline/reduce loans or work-study, if offered to you.
Your access to eServices allows you to read detailed explanations of each type of aid offered, check for outstanding requirements or other actions you may need to do. You can also calculate your anticipated cost of attendance and grant access to a parent or other third party so that they can also view your financial aid offer.
See the How to Afford RIT/Payment Options section below.
New students – You can appeal your offer online.
Returning students - You should review the Changed Family Circumstance Form. If anyone of those situations pertains to you, you should complete the form and provide the relevant documentation to our office for review after receiving your initial offer letter. RIT will then determine if we are able to adjust your financial aid. A change in a family's financial situation is reviewed at any time during the academic year. Note that we must receive this information in writing along with supporting documentation to revise your financial aid potentially.
Do outside scholarships or other awards I may receive not listed on my award notification affect my RIT financial aid?
Not usually. RIT has a very generous policy on the treatment of outside awards that allows your outside scholarships to reduce loans or work programs before other RIT need-based grants or scholarships.
If you are a prospective student, please fill out our online form to notify us of outside awards/scholarships.
If you are a current student, you may submit outside awards online via your eServices account.
Your offer(s) may be adjusted if you live at home and are not charged for housing and meals by RIT. Please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your offer recalculated because of your change in housing status.
Review your fall class schedule to determine your availability outside of class/lab time for a part-time job. Positions for the fall semester will be posted closer to the start of the semester and are posted through the Student Employment Office (SEO) website. RIT does not assign or guarantee a part-time job, but the SEO will help facilitate the job search process. Students are paid bi-weekly through a payroll check, and your earnings can be used for personal expenses throughout the year.
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
56 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, New York 14623-5604
Our preferred way to submit all documents is through our Secure Uploader.
Yes, you will be assigned a specific Financial Aid Counselor based on your college or program. See the list here.
All documents can be uploaded through our Secure Uploader.
- Please make sure all documents are complete before uploading
- Taxes & Verification Documents have a wet signature
- The students full name & University ID is listed if possible
Affording RIT and Payment Options
Even after my financial aid is applied to my bill, I will still owe RIT. How do I pay for the remaining balance?
There are several financing options available.
- RIT offers a semester-based payment plan for a $42 fee per term (set up through eServices). Visit Student Financial Services under Billing Dates and Payment Information.
- The Federal PLUS Loan is a loan that a parent borrows on the student's behalf. Additional information about the PLUS loan can be found online at studentaid.gov.
- Alternative Educational (or non-Federal) Loans are private loans in the student's name typically with a creditworthy co-signer. We encourage students and families to use alternative loans as a last option after first pursuing all federal loan options. Be aware that the student MUST be at least 18 years old at the time of application to be considered. Alternative loans may have variable interest rates, and interest begins accruing once the loan is disbursed. Actual repayment on the loans usually begins 6 months after the student is no longer enrolled. Students may use any lender they choose for an alternative loan.
When your admission application was reviewed, you were evaluated for all RIT merit awards. However, we encourage students to seek outside scholarships. Our website provides links to many free, reputable scholarship search engines. You are required to let the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships know if you have obtained additional scholarships or other awards not listed on your current offer letter so we may count it as a resource. You can communicate these awards by completing an Outside Assistance Scholarship Report, downloadable from our forms page.
The Office of Student Financial Services coordinates with many organizations for our Third-Party Billing programs and deferments. A sponsored student is one whose education is funded (either in full or part) directly by a third party, called a sponsor.
In a third-party billing arrangement, the sponsor will provide a written confirmation detailing what charges they will cover, along with the contact information for who is to be invoiced. It is the obligation of the student to pay any charges not covered by the sponsor by the original due date.
Rochester Institute of Technology's Employer-Sponsored Tuition Plan (ESTP) provides qualified students the option of deferring tuition payment until after the end of the semester, and grades have been issued.
The program is available to participating companies and their employees attending both on-campus and online. RIT extends a full-semester deferment to students from participating companies. Click here for a current list of RIT ESTP companies and their code numbers, which will be needed to complete the Application for Payment Deferment.
Student Accounts can be paid by:
- eCheck (no fee)
- Wire transfer – international payments only. RIT partners with Flywire for international payments
RIT does not accept credit card payments for payment on student's accounts. However, credit cards can be used to pay online through Nelnet Business Solutions. Students can access the Nelnet system directly from eServices to pay via Visa, Discover, or MasterCard. If you use a credit card to pay your bill, you will be charged a 2.8% service fee by the vendor.
*There is a $20.00 fee for any check returned to RIT by our depositing bank.
All billings are generated on or about the first of the month, due the 15th of the month. Email notifications are sent to students and authorized payers when bills are available. Students can access statements and add authorized payers through eServices at any time. You will receive access to eServices once you have paid your enrollment deposit.
Refunds may be requested at the end of the add/drop period of the semester through eServices, once all anticipated aid has been paid to the student account.
RIT delivers your refund with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMXT, Inc. All students are asked to select a refund delivery preference. Follow these steps to set up your refund preference:
- Login to eServices
- Click the Financial Services tab
- Under Refund Request, choose Select your BankMobile Disbursements Preference
- Select how you would like your money delivered
Please visit the BankMobile website for more information about disbursements.
You can email Student Financial Services at email@example.com
The mailing address is:
Student Financial Services
Rochester Institute of Technology
25 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
You can defer payment on your federal student loans if you are enrolled at least half-time. You should be aware that although you can defer payments while you are in school, interest will still accrue on your loan(s).
Your Unsubsidized Loan will go into repayment six months after you graduate, fall below half-time status, take a leave of absence or withdraw from the program. Most alternative loans also have deferred payment options while you are in school; however, you will need to check with your lender.
After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer.
The Department of Education (DOE) offers multiple options for repayment. You may visit the DOE website for more information on loan repayment plans.
Yes, visit the studentloans.gov loan simulator for repayment calculators.
International students who are not US Citizens or eligible non-citizens are not eligible to apply for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan. However, international students are eligible to apply for alternative educational loans.
Alternative educational loans are private loans (non-federal) offered through banks. You may borrow through any lender of your choice as RIT does not maintain a preferred lender list. It is highly recommended to take time to research all alternative loan options and determine which one will best meet your needs. However, we realize that finding a lender may seem overwhelming, so in addition to using general internet search engines, RIT provides a list of some of the lenders that we have used in prior aid years, based on the highest dollar volume and number of loans certified by RIT. For more information about points to consider as you investigate loan options, review Alternative Educational Loans.
Information on loan forgiveness, debt relief, and loan cancellation can be found on the Loan Repayment page.
RIT Account and Email Set-up
Your RIT Computer Account and RIT Email address will be set up once you confirm your enrollment. Full-time online students will be required to pay their deposit during enrollment confirmation. You will receive an account activation email from RIT; the account activation email will go to the email address supplied on your admissions application. More information about your RIT Computer Account can be found online.
RIT has partnered with Google to provide RIT Gmail accounts to all students. To access your RIT Gmail account, visit the home for Google Apps at RIT, google.rit.edu. All email communication from RIT will be sent to your RIT student email address. Additionally, you can set email preferences by visiting the RIT Computer Accounts page.
You will receive an account activation email shortly after you submitted your admissions deposit to confirm your enrollment. If you have not received the account activation email, please contact the ITS Service Desk for further help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 585-475-4357. RIT provides Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as an extra layer of security for systems that store sensitive data. MFA is a way of ensuring that only you are able to access your accounts in these applications. In addition to your username and password, MFA requires you to provide an additional verification step to prove it is really you accessing your account. All RIT students need to enroll in MFA. Steps on how to enroll or to learn more about how MFA works, visit Information & Technology Services.