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Student Accounts

As a division of Student Financial Services (SFS), the Student Accounts office oversees the tuition payment process for students and the college. Dedicated staff support students in managing RISD-specific education expenses.



Financial arrangements must be in place by the following deadlines in order to remain registered for academic coursework:

Fall 2019—August 15, 2019

Spring 2020—January 15, 2020


RISD accepts payment by checking or savings account, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover at All payments should be made online with the exception of Scholarship and 529 payments. For the safety of our students and staff, we do not accept cash. A $30 return fee will apply to all ACH/check payments returned due to insufficient funds or invalid account information.

Interest free payment plans are available through Tuition Management Systems/Nelnet for a flat rate of $65 per semester. The fall plan begins August 1 and the spring plan begins January 1. Each term includes five monthly installments. Enrollment can be completed online at or by calling 800 279-1869. Students are responsible for reconciling their payment plan with their student account statement on a monthly basis. Outstanding balances caused by underfunded payment plans may be charged a late payment fee in addition to any other TMS/Nelnet late fees.

International bank transfers can be made by visiting Flywire offers best pricing guarantees, transfer tracking and distribution in a secure manner.


Students with an outstanding balance will be charged a $195 Late Payment Fee. To avoid Late Payment Fees, students must ensure that all financial obligations to the College are met by the published due dates. Late Payment Fees are accessed once per term.

Students with outstanding balances may be blocked from the following:

  • Registration for future terms
  • Room selection for on-campus housing

RISD will also not provide official transcripts, grades or grant diplomas certifying graduation for any student who has an outstanding balance.

Students who plan to travel on school-sponsored trips must first pay their student account in full. Students with an account balance are ineligible for travel and may forfeit any funds already used to book travel arrangements.

Defaulted balances may be assigned to a collection agency. Students may be responsible for collection and/or legal expenses.

Aid + your bill


Financial aid is awarded for the entire academic year. When you receive your tuition statement each semester, it will include half of the total financial aid you have been awarded. Financial aid will be disbursed to your student account 10 days before classes as long as all required documents have been received and, if required, federal verification of your financial aid file has been completed. Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, Direct Graduate PLUS and Direct Parent PLUS loans require a completed Master Promissory Note.


Students that receive outside scholarships are required to notify Student Financial Services. Although we consider these scholarships as part of your total financial aid package, they do not appear on your bill as pending and will not show up until a check has been received.


State grants will be put on your student account as pending once Student Financial Services receives an official state roster of eligible students. State grants are not certified with the state until after the add/drop period. Funds will be disbursed to your student account once the funds are received by the state.


Private education loans are certified for the entire academic year, which means half will come in for the fall semester and half for the spring semester. These loans will appear on your account as pending until the lender sends the loan funds to RISD.

Credit balances + refunds

Students will automatically receive refunds for any excess financial aid funds (credit balances) on their student account each semester. Refunds are generally available within the first week of school; therefore, it is important to budget your expenses appropriately. Any credit balance generated from a Parent Plus loan will be returned to the parent borrower and mailed directly to the parent unless requested otherwise. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit to prevent lost/stolen checks. Enrollment can be completed by visiting WebAdvisor.

Health insurance

RISD policy requires all enrolled students to be covered by a comprehensive health insurance program. The College meets this requirement by providing United Health Care coverage, administered by University Health Plans. Students are automatically billed and will be enrolled in the student health insurance plan if a valid waiver is not completed by the required deadline. Once the waiver is approved, the health insurance charge will be removed from the student account.

All international students will be enrolled in the plan automatically, with the exception of the international students for which their health insurance company’s primary home office is based in the US and the policy provides comparable coverage to the College’s student health insurance plan. International students who do not fall under those conditions must purchase the College’s plan.

All other students enrolled in a comparable health insurance program may elect to waive the College plan by submitting an online waiver on or before the bill due date. Those that fail to submit the online waiver will automatically be enrolled in the coverage. The waiver must be completed each academic year.

If health insurance coverage is lost due to a qualifying event and enrollment is now necessary, please contact University Health Plans at 1-800-437-6448. For questions regarding the insurance coverage, or to complete the online waiver, please visit

Tuition insurance

Given the current cost of education, we are concerned for the students who suffer serious illnesses or accidents requiring them to leave RISD before the semester is completed. In many instances it means not only the loss of time invested in studies, but also the loss of the semester’s costs.

We are pleased to advise you of an insurance program, the Tuition Protection Plan, which will minimize the financial portion of the loss. This optional insurance plan provided by GradGuard and Allianz Global Assistance provides coverage for tuition, fees and on-campus room and board charges. This plan significantly extends and enhances RISD’s published refund policy.

For additional details on the policy, please visit To enroll in the Tuition Protection Plan, please complete the enrollment at prior to the first day of classes.

Withdrawals + leaves of absence

Full-time students who withdraw or take a leave from RISD after the semester begins are charged a portion of tuition, room and board as follows:

Withdrawal during Tuition portion charged Room & board portion charged*
First week 0% 5%**
Second week 20% 20%
Third week 40% 40%
Fourth week 60% 60%
Fifth week 80% 80%
Thereafter 100% 100%

Charges may be assessed once official notification is sent from the Registrar’s Office.

* Meal plan contracts are billed twice during the academic year. First semester meal plan values begin on September 1, 2019. Second semester meal plan values begin on February 9, 2020.

** Room charges for the first week begin on move in day through the first week of classes.

Withdrawn Student Outstanding Balance Policy

Students who fully withdraw from RISD with an outstanding balance on their student account will have 180 calendar days to satisfy this balance. Any accounts not paid in full or satisfied through an agreed upon payment plan will be sent to an outside collections agency.

Policy and procedure for all students who take a leave of absence from RISD
Policy and procedure for all students who withdraw from RISD