Each year schools must make certain required information available to prospective and enrolled students under the Higher Education Act (HEOA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In addition to the Financial Aid information below, see RISD's Policies + Disclosures for answers to frequently asked questions.
Need-based and non-need based federal financial aid available to students
Need-based and non-need based state and local aid programs, school aid programs and other private aid programs
Aid application process and eligibility
Distribution of aid among students
Disbursement of aid to students
Please review the "Aid + your bill" section of the Student Accounts page.
Terms and conditions for student employment related to financial aid
Terms of, schedules for, and the necessity of loan repayment and required loan exit counseling
Net Price Calculator
This calculator will provide you with an estimate of the Net Price of attending RISD. These calculations are for informative purposes only and should not be considered an actual award or an expected award. Funds are based on availability. https://risd.studentaidcalculator.com
Average Undergraduate Student Loan Debt
The average student loan debt for undergraduates from the class of 2018 who borrowed federal or private loans was $35,938.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires the College to establish minimum standards of “satisfactory academic progress” for students receiving financial aid. The College applies these standards to all federal, state and institutional funds.
RISD will only disburse financial aid to those students who are in good academic standing and are making satisfactory progress toward completion of their degree.
A student is not making satisfactory academic progress if either of the following conditions exists:
- The student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) is below 2.0 at the end of the second year of his/her academic program.
- The student completes (finishes with a passing grade) less than 67% of all attempted coursework, as calculated at the end of spring semester each year. Grades of “W” (withdrawn) and “I” (incomplete) are not considered passing grades.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed at the end of each semester. If a student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, he or she will be placed on financial aid warning. The student will then have one semester to meet SAP requirements. The financial aid warning status will be removed if the student achieves SAP requirements. If the student does not meet SAP requirements, financial aid will be denied the following semester. A student denied financial aid based on Satisfactory Academic Progress may submit a written appeal with an academic plan of study to the Financial Aid Office. Should the appeal be approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for the subsequent semester. The student will have one semester to meet SAP requirements or be deemed ineligible for financial aid until he/she achieves the required GPA.
Students who are ineligible for financial aid because they are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress may appeal. Appeals are considered when a student has been able to complete coursework in a fashion that corrects the cause of his/her losing financial aid eligibility, or when extraordinary circumstances (for example, student illness or the illness/death of a family member) have prevented the student from achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students considering an appeal should contact the Financial Aid Office to make an appointment.
If a student withdraws from the College and has Title IV aid for that term, the amount of the Title IV aid that may have to be returned is based on the amount of the Title IV aid that has been earned as of the date of the withdrawal from the College. The amount of the Title IV aid that is considered earned is in the same proportion as the amount of the term that the student has completed before they withdrew. If a student has completed more than 60% of the term, then all of the Title IV aid is considered as being earned.
The amount of unearned Title IV aid that the College must return is based on the institutional charges, such as: tuition, room and board. The student may also be required to return a portion of the unearned Title IV aid. The College will notify the student of the amount(s) that the College is responsible for returning as well as the amount the student may be responsible for returning. If a student is required to return a loan or a portion of a loan, it is the student’s responsibility to repay the loan according to the original terms of the loan. If a student is required to return a grant, only 50% is required to be returned. If a student is due a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV aid and has outstanding institutional charges, the College will notify the student of the awards and the procedures to accept or decline the aid.
Rights and responsibilities
- RISD awards financial aid to recipients on a non-discriminatory, equal opportunity basis.
- Financial aid recipients must be matriculated and pursuing courses leading to a degree. Students must be enrolled at least half-time for the following Federal programs: Federal Work Study and Federal Direct Loans. (NOTE: If your attendance falls below half-time, you will be using your grace period for repayment of your Federal Direct Loans).
- Financial aid recipients must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
- Financial aid awards are processed on the basis of full-time attendance for undergraduate students (12 or more credits per semester). Any changes in enrollment status, such as number of credits, leave of absence, withdrawal, graduation or completed requirements for bachelor’s degree, may result in reevaluation of the award(s). The student may then become responsible for the balance of his/her bill and all late fees.
- If you officially or unofficially withdraw during a payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of financial aid that you have earned up to that point is calculated by a specific formula. If no last date of attendance can be determined, the student must repay all funds credited to his or her account. If you receive more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned.
- Students must notify Student Financial Services as well as the Registrar’s office of any change to the following: address, withdrawal, leave of absence or change in the number of credits attempted. Receipt of any outside sources of financial aid, including grants or scholarships, may require adjustments to your financial aid package.
- The institution is required by federal regulations to review selected financial aid applications through the process of verification. The deadline for you to submit required financial aid documents for verification is two weeks from the date of your notification. Failure to submit your documents within this timeframe may result in a delay or cancellation of your financial aid awards. If your award changes as a result of verification, you will be notified by mail or email.
- Student Financial Services reserves the right to request verification of any data submitted by parents or applicants. If the data is found to be incorrect, the data may be corrected and the award revised. If the applicant is determined ineligible for financial aid, the applicant’s award can be withdrawn. The applicant will then be responsible for payment of all expenses incurred.
- Awards are based on information provided by the applicant and are subject to revisions and/or cancellation at any time if: federal or state regulations change; federal, state or institutional fund allocations change; estimated family contribution changes; student receives a scholarship, VA educational benefits, or an error is made in the calculation of eligibility or award, whether by the Servicer or the institution.
- Financial aid awards are for an academic year, with equal payments for the fall and spring terms. With the exception of Federal Work Study, half of the total award will be credited to the fall semester and half to spring. These amounts will be transmitted to the Student Accounts office and posted on your account. After the aid is disbursed and the student account is paid in full, Student Accounts will issue any remaining balance of financial aid funds to you. You will receive notification from Student Accounts for the exact date when the refund will be issued. If financial aid does not cover your bill, you will be responsible for the difference. Contact Student Financial Services to make payment arrangements or for personal deferment/budget plan information.
- First-time Federal Direct Loan Borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling and Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN). Direct loan proceeds cannot be disbursed until the student has met these conditions.
- Students who are awarded Federal Work Study as part of their financial aid package have the opportunity to work on campus in a variety of jobs, or off campus in non-profit agencies. The program is a great way to earn spending money while at school. You will be required to complete several forms before you can begin working.
- The Federal Direct PLUS and/or Alternative loan resources will be applied to the bill after action is taken on your part and approval is received.
- If you receive an outside scholarship, your awards may be adjusted. It is your responsibility to provide scholarship information to Student Financial Services.
- Please note that students cannot use any current financial aid to pay prior educational expenses.
- It is your responsibility to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form each academic year by May 1.
- The institution is absolved of any and all responsibility for funding in the event that a grant and/or a loan or any other financial assistance is based upon fraudulent, inaccurate or misleading information.
Code of Conduct
Financial Aid staff have always been bound to act in compliance with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator's Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals.
- No staff member shall accept any gift worth more than $10 from a representative of a student loan provider. The Department of Education has defined "gift" as:
- Any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item valued at more than a de minimus amount.
- The term includes services, transportation, lodging or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance or by reimbursement.
- Staff can participate in meals, refreshments and receptions in conjunction with professional association meetings, trainings or conference events open to all attendees.
- Staff will place all unsolicited marketing materials (such as pens, pads and markers) received from lenders in the reception area for the use of students and parents.
- Office visits by representatives of major lenders are normally limited to once per quarter.
- Staff members are free to pursue part-time employment outside of their scheduled work day. However, any staff member who is approached by a lender with an offer for supplemental employment will provide full written details to his/her supervisor. Staff members cannot accept supplemental employment with a lender that creates any potential "conflict of interest" with the operations of RISD Financial Aid.
- Staff members cannot accept any remuneration nor any expense reimbursement for serving as a member of a lender's advisory board. Staff may participate on advisory boards that are unrelated in any way to higher education loans.
- RISD does not currently require staff to complete and submit financial disclosure forms as a condition of employment. All staff members in the Student Financial Services office will disclose to his or her immediate supervisor if an assigned task could create a perceived or real "conflict of interest" in the eyes of the public.
Staff who knowingly fail to follow these guidelines will be subject to disciplinary action.
- RISD does not have a revenue-sharing arrangement with any student loan provider. These agreements are prohibited.
- Lender account representatives are not permitted to work within Student Financial Services or to pass themselves off as employees of the College.
- No staff member shall accept any gift worth more than $10 from a representative of a student loan provider. The Department of Education has defined "gift" as:
The late Senator Robert C. Byrd, a former West Virginia Democrat and Congress' unofficial Constitutional scholar, believed that American primary, secondary and post-secondary students lack significant knowledge regarding the United States Constitution. In December 2004, Senator Byrd proposed an amendment that was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in an attempt to increase students' knowledge about the Constitution.
The legislation requires that all educational institutions receiving federal funds implement educational programs relating to the U.S. Constitution on September 17 of each year. This date was chosen due to the fact that on September 17, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the United States Constitution and present it to the American public.
The U.S. Constitution was written in the same Pennsylvania State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington received his commission as Commander of the Continental Army. Now called Independence Hall, the building still stands today on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, directly across from the National Constitution Center.
Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed on September 17th. But it wasn't until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states. The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries.
Some of the original framers and many delegates in the state ratifying conventions were very troubled that the original Constitution lacked a description of individual rights. In 1791, Americans added a list of rights to the Constitution. The first ten amendments became known as the Bill of Right. Of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention, 39 signed and 3 delegates dissented. Two of America's "founding fathers" didn't sign the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was representing his country in France and John Adams was doing the same in Great Britain.
Established on November 26, 1789, the first national "Thanksgiving Day" was originally created by George Washington as a way of "giving thanks" for the Constitution.
Of all written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.
At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention and at 26, Jonathon Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest.
On March 24, 1788, a popular election was held in Rhode Island to determine the ratification status of the new Constitution. The vote was 237 in favor and 2,945 opposed!
Verification is a process in which a student’s financial aid record is selected for further review. Verification selection can either be by the Department of Education or by the institution. In accordance with federal regulations, RISD’s verification policy is as follows.
RISD’s verification deadline for submitting documents is the end of the academic year or term in which a student is enrolled, whichever is sooner. Failure to provide required verification documentation by the established deadline will result in a student’s federal, state and institutional financial aid to be cancelled. Any balance on the student account that would have been covered by financial aid will immediately become due.
selection process and notification
Students who are selected for verification will be notified by email to their RISD email address that there are missing documents that must be submitted. Students should log onto Financial Aid Self Service to review all missing document requests. Because each verification request is unique to a student there is no all-inclusive list of what may be requested. The most commonly required forms are listed at www.risd.edu/sfs. In addition, most students are required to provide student and parent (if the student is dependent) tax information in the form of federal tax returns, federal tax return transcripts or the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
Once verification is complete, a financial aid award is finalized or created. Students awarded prior to verification will receive an email that their financial aid file is complete and their final financial aid award is available to view on Financial Aid Self Service. This award will include any award changes that may have occurred due to changes made to the expected family contribution (EFC) during the verification process. Students who have not been awarded prior to verification will receive an email that their financial aid award is complete and available to view on Financial Aid Self Service.
correction of information
Any information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that does not match the verification documents will be corrected by Student Financial Services and sent electronically to be processed by the Department of Education. A student will receive an updated Student Aid Report (SAR) when the correction has been processed.
If a student believes that the information verified by RISD is incorrect, they must contact our office. The student will have to identify in writing where they believe there is an error and provide documentation as determined by Student Financial Services in order for the file to be reviewed again.
RISD Student Financial Services is required to report any suspected fraud or falsified information to the Department of Education Office of the Inspector General.