Financial Aid FAQs

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Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Despite delays from the U.S. Department of Education in distributing FAFSA data to colleges, RIT is providing a way for you to receive a financial aid estimate in time to make your college decisions. RIT's Financial Aid Application is formulated using the same logic and considerations as the corrected FAFSA, ensuring our financial aid estimate should remain consistent as long as your financial information provided on the FAFSA is the same. 

Learn more about RIT's Financial Aid Application, including applicable FAQs.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application the Department of Education uses to determine if students are eligible to receive federal student aid.

The Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, Work-Study and the Direct Loan programs (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) are the federal aid programs students are automatically considered for by filing the FAFSA each year.  The Federal Parent PLUS Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan also require a separate application in addition to filing the FAFSA.

The FAFSA is available online on the Federal Student Aid website. The FAFSA is a free application. There is no fee required to apply.

The RIT FAFSA school code is 002806.

If considered a dependent student for FAFSA® purposes, students must provide information about their designated contributor(s) on the application.

  • Both parents if they are married
  • Both parents if they are unmarried and living together
  • If parents are divorced or separated, the parent that provides the greater portion of financial support to the student (even if the student doesn’t reside with that parent).
  • If the parent who provides the greater portion of the student’s financial support is remarried, must provide information about the parent and the spouse.

 

Grandparents and other relatives are not contributors, and their information would not substitute for the parents' information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) unless they have legally adopted the student.

  • Student is working on a degree beyond a bachelor's, such as a master's or doctorate
  • Student has a child or children, or other legal dependents, and provides more than half their financial support
  • Student is married (or separated but not divorced)
  • Student is at least 24 years old
  • Student is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces
  • Student is currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces for other than training purposes
  • If at any time since turning 13, both student’s parents were deceased, the student was in foster care, or was a ward of the court
  • Student is an emancipated child as determined by a court judge
  • Student is homeless or at risk of homelessness as determined by the director of a HUD-approved homeless shelter, transitional program, or high school liaison

If students do not meet any of these criteria, they are required to report contributor parental information on their FAFSA, meaning they are classified as a dependent student.

Although Merit scholarships will automatically be renewed each year, to be considered for need-based financial aid including institutional/federal grants as well as federal loans, etc., undergraduate students must complete the FAFSA each year.

New students planning to use federal student aid should complete a FAFSA while applying for admission.

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, students must be New York State residents and attend eligible schools or colleges located in New York State.

More information about TAP

Students must 1) file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), 2) list a New York State (NYS) college or school on the form, and then 3) also complete the electronic NYS TAP Application by clicking on the NYS resident link within the FAFSA. 

After the successful completion and processing of the NYS TAP application, students will receive an email message from HESC-The Higher Education Services Corporation- alerting them to check the status of their application and TAP award.  It should be noted processing may take up to 10 business days.

If students are eligible to receive federal student aid (also known as Title IV aid), they must complete both the FAFSA and the NYS TAP application.

If students are not eligible to receive federal student aid (also known as Title IV aid), they must simply complete the NYS TAP application under the provisions of the NYS DREAM Act.

Students who are New York State (NYS) residents who selected at least one NYS college on the FAFSA but did not complete the NYS TAP application while filing their FAFSA will receive an email from HESC-The Higher Education Services Corporation – usually within three to four days of completing the FAFSA – with instructions on how to complete the online TAP application.

Schools will give students an initial estimate of their TAP award. TAP awards are subject to change however if there are any discrepancies in reported income, cost of attendance, family members in school, etc. when HESC completes its review of the information students ultimately provided on the NYS TAP application.  After student information is verified as valid, students will receive an award certificate directly from HESC informing them of their confirmed TAP award.

HESC will then provide schools with timed rosters consisting of the names of those students who have received an award certificate. Schools must then verify their students' eligibility and certify their students' TAP awards.  After this certification is completed, the TAP funds will be sent to the schools, usually within two weeks. 

 

After student TAP applications have been processed, students may make school code changes online through Student Access. If students would like assistance in making this change, they can schedule a one-on-one appointment with a HESC Customer Communications representative or your school can also assist you.

Students can make changes or corrections in their HESC account via Student Access.

As previously shared, schools give students an estimate of their TAP award.  The estimate is subject to change based upon the verification of the data students provided in their NYS TAP application.  HESC-The Higher Education Services Corporation- completes this verification. It is important that students make certain that all of the data they provide is complete and correct and they submit all requested documentation.

Student TAP awards are initially estimated based upon the information students provided on the FAFSA.   This information may vary from the information they provide on the NYS TAP application.  Student TAP awards aren't confirmed therefore until HESC-The Higher Education Services Corporation- completes its review of the information students provided on the NYS TAP application and, also, until after NY State passes its yearly budget.  

Loans

Federal student loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education to help eligible students cover the cost of their education at an accredited higher educational institution. 

Students are automatically considered for federal student loan funding (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) after completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. RIT will use the information from their FAFSA and year level to determine the exact federal loan aid students are eligible to receive.

The federal 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.

Students can decline any federal student loans they are offered. They can also decrease the amount they wish to receive at the time they accept their loan funding on eServices. If they make an error, students may contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for assistance.

Whether the federal student loans have disbursed to a student’s eServices account or not, students can cancel or reduce their loans by submitting the “Federal Loan Change Form” available in their eServices account (located under “Financial Aid & Scholarships” and “Useful Links”). If students make an error, they may contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for assistance. Be advised that cancelling or reducing loans may result in a balance due.

Federal student loans are disbursed to student accounts after the add/drop period each term and after RIT has confirmed a student’s enrollment status qualifies for federal loan funding. In addition, students also must have completed all necessary requirements such as, but not limited to:

  • Accepting their federal loan(s)
  • Providing authorization for Title IV funds (Federal Direct Student Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans)
  • Completing federal requirements such as signing the Master Promissory Note MPN and finishing loan Entrance Counseling online.

Yes, Federal PLUS Loans and Alternative Educational Loans are other loan options to consider in addition to Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. We recommend students contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to confirm the appropriate amount to apply for based on their needs and cost of attendance.

International students who are not US Citizens or eligible non-citizens are not eligible to file the FAFSA and are therefore not eligible for federal direct student loans or federal PLUS loan funding. However, international students are eligible to apply for Alternative Educational Loans

Grants and Scholarships

The Pell Grant is determined from the income, assets, family size, etc. reported on the FAFSA.

RIT scholarships offered in high school are not stackable. Students who qualify for an additional merit-based scholarship after applying to and being accepted by RIT will keep the scholarship with the highest value. 

As long as there is not a major change in family circumstances, RIT grant funding should remain relatively the same.

Aid Offer and Next Steps

RIT's Financial Aid Application is formulated using the same logic and considerations as the corrected FAFSA, ensuring our financial aid estimate should remain consistent as long as your financial information provided on the FAFSA is the same. 

Learn more about RIT's Financial Aid Application, including applicable FAQs.

Students should review the offer and the materials enclosed with their notification. After students pay their enrollment deposit they will receive information about how to log in to RIT eServices to accept/decline/reduce loans and/or work-study/campus employment they may have been offered.

Access to eServices allows students to read detailed explanations of each type of aid offered, check for outstanding requirements or other actions they may need to do. Students can also calculate their anticipated cost of attendance and grant access to a parent or other third party so that they can also view the student’s financial aid offer.  

New students can appeal their offer online.

Returning students should review the “Changed Family Circumstance Form” found on our Forms page that correlates with the aid year on their FAFSA. If any one of those situations pertains to them, students should complete the form and provide the relevant documentation to our office for review after receiving their initial offer letter. RIT will then determine if we are able to adjust their 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 potentially revise student financial aid.

Not usually. RIT has a very generous policy for the treatment of outside aid that allows student outside scholarships to reduce loans or work programs first before other RIT need-based grants or scholarships.

Recently admitted students who have received their financial aid offer should fill out our online form to notify us of outside scholarships/aid.

All other students should use eServices to notify us of their outside scholarships/aid.

Financial aid may be adjusted if students live at home and are not charged for housing and meals by RIT. Students may contact our office at ritaid@rit.edu to have their offer recalculated because of a change in their housing status.

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
56 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, New York 14623-5604

585-475-2186
ritaid@rit.edu

Yes, students will be assigned a specific Financial Aid Counselor based on their college or program. View the counselor list

Our preferred way to submit all documents is through our Secure Uploader.

Affording RIT and Payment Options

There are several financing options available. 

  • RIT offers a semester-based installment payment plan for a small fee each fall semester and each spring semester (set up through eServices). The installment payment plan is not offered in the summer term. Visit Student Financial Services under Billing Dates and Payments. 
  • The Federal PLUS Loan is a supplemental loan option for eligible graduate students and the parents of undergraduate students. 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. 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. Repayment on the loans usually begins 6 months after the student is no longer enrolled.  Students are advised, however, to verify each lender's terms for repayment.  Students may use any lender they choose for an alternative loan. Students and families are encouraged to consider alternative loans after first pursuing all federal loan options. 

 

When students are accepted for admission they are also evaluated for RIT merit scholarships. However, we do encourage students to seek outside scholarships and/or aid. Our website provides links to many free, reputable scholarship search engines. Students are required to let the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships know if they have obtained additional scholarships or outside aid not listed on their current offer letter so we may count them as a resource. Students can communicate additional aid items by completing an Outside Assistance Scholarship Report, downloadable from our forms page.

The RIT Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) coordinates Employer Sponsored Tuition Plan (ESTP) Billing with many organizations. Questions should be directed to SFS: (585) 475-6186 / asksfs@rit.edu

Student Accounts can be paid by eCheck/ACH, check, credit card, or international fund wire transfer.  Access Payment Options on the RIT Student Financial Services (SFS) website for full details.

Billing statements are generated on or about the first of the month.  They are 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.  

Refunds may be requested at the end of the add/drop period of the semester through eServices, after all anticipated aid has paid to the student account.

RIT delivers student refunds with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMXT, Inc.   Students are asked to select a refund delivery preference.  Here are the steps:

  1. Login to eServices
  2. Click the "Financial Services" tab
  3. Under "Refund Request", choose "Select BankMobile Disbursements Preference"
  4. Select how you would like your money delivered

Please visit the BankMobile website for more information about disbursements.

Student Financial Services (Billing) is the office to contact.

The email address is asksfs@rit.edu and the phone number is (585)475-6186. 

The mailing address is:
Student Financial Services
Rochester Institute of Technology
25 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5603

Repayment

Payment on federal student loans is deferred as long as students are enrolled in six or more credits or are enrolled in Co-op.  Although payments are deferred, interest will still accrue on any Unsubsidized and/or PLUS Loans that have been borrowed.  When interest accrues it is being “added” to the principal amount of each loan. Students can always choose to pay the interest while they are in school.

Interest also accrues on alternative educational loans and many also have deferred payment options while students are in school.  Students should always check with their lender(s) for full details.

All federal student loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS) will go into repayment six months after students graduate, are no longer enrolled in at least 6 credits or a Co-op, take a leave of absence or withdraw from the university. During this period, borrowers will receive repayment information from their loan servicer.

The Department of Education (DOE) offers multiple options for repayment.  Students may visit the DOE website for more information on loan repayment plans.

Information on loan forgiveness, debt relief, and loan cancellation can be found on the Loan Repayment page.

RIT Account and Email Set-up

Students will receive an account activation email from RIT when their enrollment deposit has been received and posted to our system. They should allow 1-2 business days for deposit payment processing. The account activation email will go to the email address students provided RIT on their admissions application. If after two business days students have not received the account activation email but have paid their deposit, they should contact the RIT Service Center for assistance. (Please note, this is different than the RIT Admissions account students used during the application process.)  Students will use their new RIT Account login to complete other enrollment processes, including housing contracts, student health forms, and critical information to complete the New Student Checklist.

Students will receive an account activation email shortly after they have submitted their admissions deposit confirming their enrollment. If they have not received the account activation email, students should contact the ITS Service Desk for assistance by emailing servicedesk@rit.edu 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 students are able to access their accounts in these applications. In addition to the student’s username and password, MFA requires students to provide an additional verification step to prove it is really them accessing their account. All RIT students need to enroll in MFA. For steps on how to enroll or to learn more about how MFA works, visit Information and Technology Services.