October is a month of many things. But aside from colder weather, pumpkin spice and Halloween movies, the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is now open for students to fill out as of Oct. 1. This is, in short, the application that determines a student’s financial aid eligibility for college.
Students typically complete their first-ever FAFSA application during senior year in high school as they’re applying for colleges. Each school has their own deadlines they encourage current students to submit their applications by. Meeting this deadline each year is critical to avoid any delays or loss of financial aid. Financial aid offices usually prioritize the early applicants. According to Rhode Island College’s website, this year’s deadline is March 1 – but the earlier one finishes their FAFSA, the better.
The federal deadline, for reference, is on June 30, 2024 by 11:59 p.m. Central time. And those who need to make any changes or fixes to that application will have until Sept. 9.
For RIC, there are a few general eligibility requirements, according to the website’s section for financial aid:
Students who have been accepted into a program that will lead to a degree.
Students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
Students who are enrolled at the College at least half-time (6-8 credits for undergraduates; 4.5 or more credits for graduate students) (limited Federal Pell Grants are available to some students studying less than half-time).
Students who are maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
Those who are applying for financial aid on FAFSA’s website may be asked to enter in the federal school code for RIC. RIC’s code is 003407.
Filling out the application could differ for some students compared to others. Some students may have to fill out their FAFSA as a dependent and provide their parents’ tax information. Other students may have to apply as independent, which may require additional information to be sent to RIC’s financial aid office if they ask.
There are plenty of resources available and places that do students’ FAFSA applications for free. The RISLA College Planning Center not only provides assistance with helping students fill out their FAFSA, but they also have other services such as searching for scholarships, college essay reviews and more. They are located in Warwick, but also do over the phone appointments.
RIC’s Financial Aid office is available to answer any questions students may have. Their phone number is 401-456-8033. They can be reached via email at email@example.com, and they’re open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Building 3, located next to the Athletic Center.