Undergraduate Aid

Student Financial Services (SFS) helps undergraduate students understand the aid process and how best to finance their education.

In this section you'll find financial aid:

  • information
  • forms
  • deadlines

Please note the relevant deadlines, since any financial aid forms submitted after the posted deadlines will be considered in light of available resources.

To be considered for federal financial aid, incoming students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You must file the FAFSA each year by the posted deadline.

International students, visiting students, mobility students and students in other special categories are not eligible for financial aid.

We are here to help with any additional financial aid questions or concerns.

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How to apply

Domestic students (US citizens and permanent residents)

To be considered for financial aid resources, you must complete the following two forms:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (to be considered for federal financial aid; use federal school code 003409)
  • Institutional financial aid form through the Admissions applicant status portal (available to applicants who have completed their application for admissions)

International students

Starting with the 23–24 academic year, RISD will provide an international student aid application to better support our international student community. If you are an international applicant you will need to complete the following:

  • Institutional financial aid form through the Admissions applicant status portal (available to applicants who have completed their application for admissions)


You must submit your form(s) by:

  • November 15 for early decision
  • February 15 for regular decision
  • March 25 for transfer students
  • May 1 for current students

Federal resources

The US federal government provides several resources to help you finance your education. All of these require a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)每学年,目前.

The FAFSA is part of our aid consideration and also used to award all federal financial aid, including grants, work-study jobs and loans. Applicants who to apply exclusively for federal student aid should complete a FAFSA application only.

When filling out your FAFSA form, please list RISD’s federal code 003409 so that our Financial Aid office receives your information. Please note you cannot complete your FAFSA application prior to October 1 for the following academic year. 

Students who do not apply for financial aid by the deadline but still wish to be considered for federal student loans may still complete the FAFSA application.

For details about all federal programs, view and download this 2023–24 federal student aid program summary from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Private loans

Private student loans are consumer loans that should only be considered after first exhausting your federal loan eligibility. Typically, federal loans provide students with more beneficial terms and conditions. Some of these federal loan benefits may include a lower annual percentage rate, fewer and lower fees, and more favorable repayment options.

A number of private educational loans are available to students who need extra funding to assist in managing the expected family contribution. You must apply for private educational loans directly with the lender/agency.

Borrowers must be creditworthy to participate in these programs. Students who are not creditworthy by program guidelines may still be eligible to participate IF they can find a creditworthy person to co-sign their loan application. Families are free to choose any lender which best serves their needs.

We encourage you to visit each potential lender's website to fully evaluate the benefits that they offer before making a final choice of a lender for your loans.

There are other tools in addition that can help you and your family better understand the private loan options available to you: Credible and ELMSelect. These are loan comparison tools that provide borrowers with the ability to compare information about various lenders. See below for more information.