A variety of financial aid options

Student Financial Services is committed to helping undergraduate students understand the aid process and how best to finance their education. We encourage students to contact us if they have any additional questions or concerns regarding financial aid.

In this section you'll find information, forms and deadlines for applying for financial aid. Make note of the relevant deadlines, since any financial aid forms submitted after the posted deadlines will be considered in light of available resources.

Incoming students who wish to apply for financial aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for federal financial aid and the CSS Profile Application to be considered for financial aid from RISD. You must file these forms each year by the posted deadlines. International students, visiting students, mobility students and students in other special categories are not eligible for financial aid.

RISD scholarships are awarded based on a combination of need and academic merit. Recipients of RISD scholarships must apply for financial aid each year.

Early Decision deadlines

Feb 15

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

School code: 003409

The FAFSA is used to award all federal financial aid, including grants, work-study jobs and loans. Applicants wishing to apply for federal student aid exclusively should only complete a FAFSA application.

Please note you cannot complete this application prior to January 1. If you have not filed your taxes, you should complete the FAFSA using estimated information and correct the data once you have filed. (Please note, however, that awards are estimates until complete information is received.) Students who do not apply for financial aid by the deadline but still wish to be considered for federal student loans may still complete the FAFSA application.

Feb 15

CSS Profile Application

School code: 3726

The CSS Profile is used to award need-based financial aid from RISD, along with estimated financial aid awards to Early Decision applicants.

First-year deadlines

Feb 15

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

School code: 003409

The FAFSA is used to award all federal financial aid, including grants, work-study jobs and loans. Applicants wishing to apply for federal student aid exclusively should only complete a FAFSA application.

Please note you cannot complete this application prior to January 1. If you have not filed your taxes, you should complete the FAFSA using estimated information and correct the data once you have filed. (Please note, however, that awards are estimates until complete information is received.) Students who do not apply for financial aid by the deadline but still wish to be considered for federal student loans may still complete the FAFSA application.

Feb 15

CSS Profile Application

School code: 3726

The CSS Profile is used to award need-based financial aid from RISD, along with estimated financial aid awards to Early Decision applicants.

Transfer deadlines

Mar 15

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

School code: 003409

The FAFSA is used to award all federal financial aid, including grants, work-study jobs and loans. Applicants wishing to apply for federal student aid exclusively should only complete a FAFSA application.

Please note you cannot complete this application prior to January 1. If you have not filed your taxes, you should complete the FAFSA using estimated information and correct the data once you have filed. (Please note, however, that awards are estimates until complete information is received.) Students who do not apply for financial aid by the deadline but still wish to be considered for federal student loans may still complete the FAFSA application.

Mar 15

CSS Profile Application

School code: 3726

The CSS Profile is used to award need-based financial aid from RISD, along with estimated financial aid awards to Early Decision applicants.

Deadlines for current students

May 1

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

School code: 003409

The FAFSA is used to award all federal financial aid, including grants, work-study jobs and loans. Applicants wishing to apply for federal student aid exclusively should only complete a FAFSA application.

Please note you cannot complete this application prior to January 1. If you have not filed your taxes, you should complete the FAFSA using estimated information and correct the data once you have filed. (Please note, however, that awards are estimates until complete information is received.) Students who do not apply for financial aid by the deadline but still wish to be considered for federal student loans may still complete the FAFSA application.

Scholarships

  1. RISD scholarships

    RISD scholarships are awarded based on a combination of financial need and academic merit. Recipients of RISD scholarships must apply for financial aid each year.

  2. Special scholarships

    RISD offers several scholarships each year to first-year students who exhibit outstanding academic and artistic achievement but do not necessarily demonstrate need. Two awards of at least $10,000 are made to students participating in the National YoungArts Foundation competition and two awards of at least $10,000 are made to participants in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. To be eligible for these scholarships, applicants must enter the YoungArts or Scholastic competitions.

    RISD-controlled financial aid is not available to special, visiting, international or exchange students.

  3. Yellow Ribbon Program

    RISD is pleased to participate in the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional financial assistance to veterans who qualify for 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits. RISD provides scholarship assistance in the amount of $10,000, which is matched by the federal government for a total of $20,000. Participation is limited to 10 veterans, with VA regulations stipulating that assistance be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    To be considered for this program you must provide a copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon to RISD. Qualified students seeking assistance for the upcoming academic year can begin submitting certificates on April 1; application materials submitted prior to April 1 are not accepted.

    Please note: Scholarship assistance cannot exceed tuition and fees from all sources. If an applicant receives scholarship assistance from RISD, $10,000 of this scholarship amount will be designated as the Yellow Ribbon match. If the total of scholarship assistance from RISD, the Yellow Ribbon Program and Chapter 33 benefits exceeds tuition and fees, the scholarship assistance offered by RISD will be reduced commensurately.

    For more information on the Yellow Ribbon Program, please review the terms spelled out on the US Department of Veteran Affairs site.

  4. Segal Americorps Match

    RISD provides a matching Americorps award of up to $5,550 to two students each year. Students must provide a copy of their letter of eligibility for the Segal Americorps Education Award no later than April 1 of each year. This award is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Federal + state grants

  1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used to determine a student’s eligibility for:

    • Federal Pell Grants
    • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
    • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
    • Most state grants

    Please list RISD’s federal code 003409 on the FAFSA form so that your information is sent to RISD’s Financial Aid office.

    Federal grants and most state grants are considered entitlement grants that are based on financial need rather than merit.

Loans

  1. Direct Subsidized Loan

    Interest does not accrue while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Repayment begins 6 months after student graduates or ceases attending school at least half-time. Graduate students are not eligible for this loan. For additional information, including rates, please go to this page on the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site.

  2. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

    A creditworthy parent of a dependent undergraduate student can apply for a Federal PLUS loan. Federal PLUS loans are not based on demonstrated need and may be used to replace all or part of the calculated family contribution for students who have completed a FAFSA. RISD will not certify a PLUS loan until a student has been accepted and paid a commitment deposit to attend RISD. Please visit the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site for rates and additional information.

  3. Perkins Loan

    Interest does not accrue while student is enrolled at least half-time. Fixed interest rate of 5% for the life of the loan. Repayment begins 9 months after student graduates or ceases attending school at least half-time. This program has very limited funding.

  4. Direct Unsubsidized Loan

    Interest does accrue while student is enrolled in school. Repayment begins 6 months after student graduates or ceases attending school at least half-time. For additional information, including rates, please go to this page on the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site.

    To apply for Federal Direct Loans please follow the instructions below:

    ALL borrowers need to complete a Master Promissory Note with the Direct Loan Program. First-time borrowers at RISD will need to complete a loan entrance counseling session, even those who have borrowed at a previous institution.

    Borrowers should go to www.studentloans.gov to complete both steps.

  5. Private loans

    Private student loans are consumer loans that should only be considered after first exhausting your federal loan eligibility. Typically, federal loans provide students with more beneficial terms and conditions. Some of these federal loan benefits may include a lower annual percentage rate, fewer and lower fees, and more favorable repayment options. A number of private educational loans are available to students who need extra funding to assist in managing the expected family contribution. You must apply for private educational loans directly with the lender/agency. Borrowers must be creditworthy to participate in these programs. Students who are not creditworthy by program guidelines may still be eligible to participate IF they can find a creditworthy person to co-sign their loan application. Families are free to choose any lender which best serves their needs.

    You should visit each potential lender's website to fully evaluate the benefits that they offer before making a final choice of a lender for your loans. For more information on private education loans please go to www.elmselect.com.

Work Study

  1. Federal Work Study

    Federal and RISD Work Study programs are for students with financial need who must earn an income to offset educational expenses. Over 1,300 RISD students, more than half the student body, participate in the Work Study Program, which consists of both Federal Work Study (FWS) or RISD Work Study (RWS) and is part of a student’s financial aid package. While priority is given to financial aid recipients for on-campus jobs, RISD also allows non-financial aid students to work, if there are jobs left unfilled by work study students.

    Work study jobs are available to undergraduate and graduate students through the Financial Aid office (located in the Prov-Wash building at 20 Washington Place | call 401 454-6661 | email financialaid@risd.edu). Work study offers five levels of hourly pay rates and students are paid bi-weekly.

    Note: The Graduate Studies office is not able to provide information on the work study program. Please visit the Financial Aid office if you have questions.

    All assistantships and fellowships originate from each graduate program and are assigned by the graduate program director.

  2. Employment

    Both on- and off-campus jobs are posted on the RISD Student Employment website. Off-campus job listings include community service opportunities at nonprofit agencies in the Providence metro area; jobs in the local community (babysitter, waiter/waitress, retail sales, lawn/garden, etc.) and professional opportunities such as freelance art and design jobs.

    To prove eligibility to work, students must provide RISD with documentary evidence of identity (driver’s license, RISD ID or government photo ID) and US citizenship (US passport, social security card or birth certificate with a seal). Copies are not acceptable. You may request a duplicate of your social security card from the Social Security Administration Office. If you plan to work while at RISD, please bring the appropriate documentation with you.

External scholarships

  1. External scholarships

    External/outside scholarships are an excellent way to help reduce your need to work and/or borrow student loans while at RISD. Keep in mind that federal regulations stipulate that an outside scholarship cannot be used to reduce your family's expected contribution. When you receive an outside scholarship, our office is required to reevaluate your financial aid package and account for the additional resource.

    Outside scholarships can be used to reduce the following:

    • Student Loans
    • Federal Work Study

    Listed below are several links to search engines where you can investigate and apply for various outside scholarship opportunities:

    • College Board Online
    • CollegeNet
    • Embark
    • FastWeb Scholarship Source
    • FinAid
    • GoCollege
    • Sallie Mae
    • International Education Financial Aid
    • (International Students Only)

    Download outside scholarship listings