The Community College of Rhode Island offers financial assistance to students who might otherwise be unable to further their education without such support. Depending on the type of aid, eligibility is based on one or more of the following criteria: financial need of the individual (in the case of dependent students, family need is used), educational costs, academic program and availability of funds.
Types of Financial Aid
A federal grant awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need and have not previously earned a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Awards are based on students' enrollment status and their expected family contribution. Awards for full-time students range from $650 to $6,495 per academic year.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
A federal grant that is awarded when a student demonstrates exceptional need and has not previously earned a Bachelor's degree or equivalent. Limited funding is available, not all students who qualify will receive SEOG.
College Work Study Program (CWS)
A federal work program that provides jobs for students to earn paychecks to help pay for educational expenses. This program encourages community service and work related to the student's course of study. Students will be paid at least the federal minimum wage and can work up to 15 hours per week.
A CCRI institutional non-need-based student work program on campus. Students will be paid at least the minimum wage and can work up to 15 hours per week. Students who are not eligible for need-based CWS may be considered for the Student Help program.
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
When a student's need cannot be met with other forms of financial aid, a federal direct Stafford Loan may be recommended. A subsidized loan has a fixed interest rate of 2.75 percent for the 2020-2021 academic year. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period or during deferment periods. Repayment is deferred until six months after students graduate, withdraw or enroll less than half time. An origination fee is charged at time of disbursement. Students must be enrolled at least half time (six credits) at time of disbursement. Community college students are limited to three years of subsidized loan borrowing.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
A federal loan that is not based on financial need. Unlike the subsidized Stafford Loan, interest begins to accrue while the student is enrolled, during grace periods and/or during deferment periods. Repayment is deferred until six months after students graduate, withdraw or enroll less than half time. Unsubsidized loans have a fixed interest rate of 2.75 percent for the 2020-2021 academic year. An origination fee is charged at time of disbursement. Students must be enrolled at least half time (six credits) at time of disbursement.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
PLUS loans allow parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow up to the cost of education minus other financial assistance. Like the direct unsubsidized Stafford Loan, interest is not deferred during all in-school, grace and deferment periods. PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.3 percent for the 2020-2021 academic year. An origination fee is charged at disbursement. Unless deferred, repayment begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the academic year. Students must be enrolled at least half time (six credits) at time of disbursement.
A CCRI institutional grant for students enrolled in an eligible certificate or degree-granting program. Student must be enrolled in at least six credits each term and meet certain eligibility requirements. The grant may be prorated based upon students’ enrollment status when considering the amount of grant to be awarded.
Rhode Island State Grant
A state grant awarded to Pell Grant recipients, who are RI residents, priority is given to students enrolled at least half time (6 credits) in need of additional free aid to pay for tuition and fees and if funding permits, an allocation for books. The grant may be prorated based upon students' enrollment status when considering the amount of grant to be awarded. The amount of the grant awarded will be reflective of all free aid and waivers received. Award amounts vary based upon the annual availability of funds. Priority is given to students by FAFSA
Awarded by the CCRI Foundation and the Alumni Association to assist incoming, continuing, graduating and transferring students in meeting their financial needs. More than 90 scholarships, which are need-based and/or merit-based, are awarded to deserving students each year. Detailed information about each scholarship and the application are available here.
Withdrawal from the College
Repayment of Title IV Funds
The Federal Financial Aid Title IV Refund Policy requires colleges to calculate how much federal aid a student has earned if he or she withdraws or stops attending all courses prior to completing more than 60 percent of the semester. Students may have to return a portion of the aid received, as well as owe the college a portion of the tuition and fees.
The policy allows a student to earn a portion of the financial aid awarded for each day of enrollment. In addition, the policy requires a student to repay the U.S. Department of Education a portion of the unearned funds received depending on the withdrawal date. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60 percent point earns all aid for the semester for which the aid was awarded.
If the student unofficially withdraws (stops attending) or the student's academic transcript reflects unsuccessful completion of all courses during the semester, the Community College of Rhode Island will have student aid calculated based on the last reported date of attendance, or if unknown, at 50 percent completion of the term. Documentation of an academic- related activity, including notification from the faculty, may be used to recalculate aid eligibility based on the last date of attendance. Students who have questions should contact their campus Enrollment Services or Financial Aid office.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
Federal regulations require students to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward an eligible degree or certificate program to qualify for financial assistance. Satisfactory academic progress includes three required standards:
- Quantitative (i.e. number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted), PACE measure
- Qualitative (i.e. grade point average), GPA standard
- Timeframe, the program of study must be completed within 150% of the timeframe allowed. For example, students enrolled in an associate degree program that requires 60 credits for completion must finish their program before exceeding 90 attempted credits (i.e. 60 credits x 150%=90 credits)
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid applicants is reviewed at the end of each spring semester regardless of whether the student received financial aid for the semester(s) being reviewed. SAP will be measured at the end of each semester (fall, spring and summer) for students enrolled in a certificate program and/or who have an appeal approved to ensure compliance with conditions of their education plan. SAP will also be measured at the end of every term for students who are not maintaining SAP to determine if they are back in good standing.
The following chart details the measures that are used to determine whether a student is maintaining SAP:
|Attempted Credits||Cumulative Financial Aid GPA Required||Completion Rate (PACE) Required|
(Students in a certificate program of less than 30 credits in length must reach a 67% PACE by the midpoint of their program)
PACE example: students who have attempted 15 credits, must earn 9 credits to maintain a 60% completion rate. Students who have attempted 25 credits cumulatively, must earn 15 credits cumulatively to maintain a 60% completion rate.
Students who have attempted 30 credits, must earn 20 credits to maintain a 67% completion rate. Students who have attempted 45 credits cumulatively, must earn 30 credits cumulatively to maintain a 67% completion rate.
The first 30 credits of a student's developmental coursework do not count toward the 150% limit, however developmental credits attempted and grades earned in these courses are counted in the qualitative and quantitative academic progress measures. Any developmental coursework above 30 credits will count toward the 150% limit and may therefore affect the student's eligibility to receive financial aid. Financial aid does not cover any developmental coursework above the allowed 30 credits.
The "financial aid GPA" includes all grades from developmental coursework, the institutional GPA excludes developmental coursework.
All courses withdrawn from are considered credits attempted but not earned.
Attempted credits are all credits registered for at the end of the add/drop period. To earn credits, a student must receive a final grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P. Students who receive a final grade of F, I, IC, NA, NR, NS, W, WP or WF will not earn credits for their courses.
Students should contact the Financial Aid Office when grades are changed after the final grading period, for example, when incomplete coursework is submitted and an I grade is updated or when a grade change is issued. The SAP status will be re-evaluated based upon the updated grade history. Changes to the SAP status cannot be processed retroactively for award periods that have already ended, the new SAP status will allow students to regain eligibility for future terms only.
Once a student receives a "D" or better grade, they can repeat the course a second time. If a student receives a grade the second time, the following applies:
- Letter grade of A, B, C, D or F, Financial Aid will not pay for a third attempt.
- "W", "WF", "WP","NA" course is considered attempted and not completed. Financial Aid will pay for additional attempts until a student receives a grade of A, B, C, D or F.
Student is not to have completed a course until they have a grade of "D" or better. Therefore, students initially receiving "W's" and "F's" are eligible for Financial Aid until they receive a "D" or better.
Once a student receives a grade of "D" or better, option 1 or 2 may apply. Only the highest grade of a repeated course will be included in the overall Financial Aid GPA, and the credits attempted and earned will only be counted once, even if the course is successfully passed multiple times.
Consequences for Not Meeting the Requirements
If a student fails to meet the SAP policy described above, the student will become academically ineligible for financial aid for the next enrolled semester. This will result in the ineligibility for all federal, state and institutional financial aid. Once placed on financial aid suspension, a student may regain financial aid eligibility by meeting the required GPA and PACE standards based upon the number of credits they have attempted. Students who have exceeded the 150% requirement may only regain eligibility upon approval of an appeal (see below) or by declaring a new program of study. Students who declare a new major will have their 150% calculation based upon only those attempted credits that apply to the new program. The recalculation will be completed upon request by the student and/or Academic Advisor.
When a student becomes academically ineligible, they have the right to appeal the suspension of their financial aid based on mitigating circumstances (please see Financial Aid Appeal Instructions ). All appeals must be submitted in writing and documentation must be provided when applicable. Situations such as serious illness and family emergencies may be considered as mitigating circumstances. The Financial Aid Appeal committee will review appeals and make decisions regarding approval or denial. The decisions of this committee cannot be appealed unless additional information is presented that was not included in the initial appeal. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeal committee may only be overturned by the Director of Financial Aid or their designee.
Students with approved appeals will be given a plan of study ("academic plan") by an Academic Advisor and will be considered on probation until they are back in compliance with all SAP standards. During the probationary period, the student must earn all credits attempted with a minimum 2.0 term financial aid GPA and must continue to enroll in only those courses outlined in the plan of study and/or courses specifically required for graduation from their current program of study. The plan of study may require a higher minimum GPA to allow the student to achieve a 2.0 by the time they are ready to graduate. A review of probationary students' academic progress is completed at the end of each semester to ensure the student is in compliance with the requirements of their plan of study.
- How to apply for financial aid.
- Student loan information.
- CCRI bookstore authorizations.
- Student employment.
- Determining eligibility.
- Terms and conditions.