We understand that financial aid may seem very confusing, which is why we want to help guide you through the process here at URI.
FAFSA is the acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The government expects all college students to contribute financially toward their education. The amount that the government estimates that each student and family can pay is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and varies depending on individual financial circumstances.
The FAFSA is the basis for how the U.S. Department of Education (ED) determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The government conducts a "need analysis" based on financial information, such as income, assets, and other family information, which you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) will be asked to provide. Your application is examined by a federal processor and the results are sent electronically to the financial aid offices of the colleges you've chosen (to select URI, you must use the URI Code 0003414). The application is online at fafsa.ed.gov.
The FAFSA is the application most colleges use to determine eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.
Financial aid is completely separate from merit scholarships, which are awarded based on academic achievement and not on financial need. Need-based aid, which at URI is only available to students who file the FAFSA, includes a variety of types of assistance.
Grants are a preferred method of financing your education because they typically do not have to be repaid.
Federal Pell Grants
These federally funded grants are currently awarded to exceptionally needy students. The amount varies due to federal funding levels. The amount of your Pell Grant is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) noted on your Student Aid Report, the cost of attendance, and your enrollment status.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
These grants are for undergraduates who are enrolled at least half-time with exceptional financial need. Priority is given to students who receive Federal Pell Grants.
The University provides funds for grants to several hundred students who are enrolled at least half-time. Awards are made to students with a satisfactory academic record and demonstrated financial need.
Click here to learn more about grants.
There are numerous types of education loans:
Click here to learn more about loans.
1. Financial Aid is part of the Office of
2. We recommend that everyone file
the FAFSA. If your financial
circumstances change due to loss of
employment or other hardship, the
only way that we can help is to adjust
your FAFSA award. If you never filed
the FAFSA, we have nothing to adjust.
3. The earlier you file the FAFSA the
better. You can file between
January 1 and March 1, 2014.
March 1 is the "Priority Deadline."
4. You do not need to wait until you file
your taxes to file the FAFSA. You can
estimate your income based on last
year and any differences will be
adjusted after you file your taxes for
the current year.
5. Financial Aid packages are not sent
until after you receive an admission
decision. Your acceptance letter will
therefore not include information about
6. If you filed the FAFSA and have not
received a Financial Aid package from
URI by the end of March, call
Enrollment Services immediately
7. Financial aid is awarded annually,
and you must reapply each year.
The amount you receive each year
can vary according to your financial
need, the number of students with
need, and the availability of funds in
8. URI offers payment plans. Click here
to learn more.
9. Fees may vary and some are optional.
To learn more about fees, which are
separate from tuition, room, and board,
10.Because government programs
change, please check here for the
most recent Financial Aid updates.
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