FINANCIAL AID RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE. Important financial aid and eligibility information

FINANCIAL AID RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE Important financial aid and eligibility information 2010 To our students and their families, At Rens...
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Important financial aid and eligibility information 2010

To our students and their families, At Rensselaer, we are committed to making a quality education financially possible for you and your family. Thus, we are very pleased to offer the assistance outlined on your financial aid award letter. We know your education and your future as a leader in a technologically-based career are your top priorities. Thus, we are committed to making a complex process as simple and straightforward as possible. This brochure offers information about your aid award and provides guidance on what to do next. With these steps in hand, you can indeed focus on your education. Please feel free to call us in the financial aid office at (518) 276-6813 or e-mail us at [email protected] to ask questions or make an appointment for a personal visit. We are here to serve you.

Lynnette Koch Acting Director of Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York 12180-3590 2010


professional judgment. In making aid awards, our usual approach is to award scholarship funds first and, because these funds are necessarily limited, we add self-help awards (loans and work-study jobs) to help meet your need. When comparing aid awards with those of other colleges, you will want to consider not only the amount of the award but also the cost of attendance. Another college with a higher award may also have a higher cost of attendance, and thus expect a larger—not smaller— contribution from you and your family.

Most assistance from Rensselaer is based on financial need, which is the difference between college costs and what you and your family can be expected to pay. We consider each application individually. We use the information on the FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the Profile Form as a guide in determining your expected contribution, but we may change the actual amount based on our

Your Need


Our Cost of Attendance

Rensselaer’s costs for the nine-month 2010–2011 academic year: Resident students

Commuter students*

Tuition $39,600 Fees 1,080 Room and board 11,465 Commuting expense — Books and supplies 1,875 -----------------Total $54,020

$39,600 1,080 — 4,295 1,875 -----------------$46,850

Your Family Contribution To determine your expected family contribution, we look at both parent and student resources. The contribution made by your parent(s) is determined by income and asset information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Profile Form, along with the previous year’s federal tax return. Allowances are made for factors such as siblings in college, age of parents (for estimating retirement needs), and family size.

*For junior and senior students only.


ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS We are often asked: Will my award change? Will it be renewed next year—and for how much? How will financial aid be reflected in my tuition bill? Will my award be adjusted later? We may adjust your aid award if your need or family contribution changes after the award is made. Estimates New York State TAP, Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART Grant), and other awards may be estimated when we prepare your award letter. Outside scholarships If you receive scholarship aid from outside industrial, community, or other sources, you must notify the financial aid office of these awards. If your federal need has not been fully met or you are receiving only merit awards, you may be able to keep the outside award in addition to our financial aid offer. However, if your need is fully met and your aid award includes federal aid, we will reduce the loan or work portion of your package first. If you should have any questions regarding how an outside award may affect your financial aid offer from Rensselaer, please contact our office. Changes in your family situation We will request parent and student tax returns to verify the awards offered. During the fall semester we may verify the enrollment status of other family members enrolled in college. Adjustments may result when there are differences between FAFSA/Profile estimates and actual figures on tax returns and if family enrollment status differs from that reported on the initial application. 2

Applying for aid each year Because family circumstances may change from year to year affecting your eligibility for financial aid, need will be re-evaluated annually. You must reapply each year by submitting a current FAFSA. Please note that it is not necessary to complete the Profile form for renewal of your aid award. If your application is selected for verification, we will request a copy of both student and parent tax returns as well as any other documents that may be necessary to complete the verification process. Will my scholarship be renewed next year? If you are receiving any merit awards (page 7), your scholarships will automatically be renewed in subsequent years. You are not required to submit an application for renewal of merit awards. For information on the Room and Board Scholarship, please see the full policy online at–students.html. If you are receiving any need-based scholarships/grants and you continue to demonstrate a similar level of need as measured through the FAFSA in subsequent years, your award will be renewed at this same level. Please note that both merit and need-based scholarships are not increased from year to year. In addition, if you did not qualify for scholarship assistance for your initial enrollment period at Rensselaer, you are not eligible for scholarship consideration in subsequent years. There is no minimum grade point average required for the renewal of merit or need-based scholarships/grants from Rensselaer. Eligibility for renewal Undergraduate aid is normally continued through eight semesters (10 for students in the School of Architecture), including semesters spent at institutions other than Rensselaer. Students who require additional semesters to complete their degree because of reduced

course loads, change of major, double major, failure in courses that must be made up, or other unusual circumstances are not eligible for any type of aid administered by Rensselaer. Will my aid change if I live off campus? Financial aid eligibility is determined based on using an average cost of attendance for all undergraduate students. This amount includes the cost of tuition plus average amounts for fees, books, personal expenses and room and board. The average amount used for room and board is the same whether you live in campus housing or in an off-campus apartment. Therefore, your financial aid will not change as a result of living off-campus in an apartment or fraternity/sorority. For information on the Room and Board Scholarship, please see the full policy online at–students.html. Summer financial aid If you wish to apply for financial aid for a summer session, you should request a summer aid application from the financial aid office and file it by April 20. Summer financial need is determined using the FAFSA for the next academic year. Summer school aid counts as one semester of eligibility. Co-op students If you were on co-op assignment during 2008, please complete a living expense worksheet itemizing expenses incurred as a result of the co-op assignment. This form is available online at dept/admissions/aid/current_students.html and should be submitted by April 20. Dependence/independence Under standard financial aid procedures, your personal and family situation, as described in the initial application for admission, continues to be the basis for Rensselaer financial assistance for the duration of the undergraduate

program. If you enroll at Rensselaer as a dependent family member, you must continue to submit parental financial information as the basis for aid until you receive your bachelor’s degree. Marriage, leaves of absence, declarations of “emancipation,” or other circumstances do not alter this requirement, however, the Financial Aid Office may use professional judgment to make you independent. Divorced/separated parents If your parents are separated or divorced, you should follow the instructions on the FAFSA/ Profile very carefully. The form needs to be completed using the financial information for the parent with whom you lived the majority of the time during the previous 12 months. How does financial aid affect my payment? Fall semester Ebills will be available in July, Spring semester Ebills are available in December. Your financial aid award will appear on your bill as credited to your account. One half of each type of aid, except Federal Work-Study (where students receive biweekly paychecks), may be deducted from your bill each term. For first time Federal Perkins and all Institute loans, you must return signed promissory notes to the financial aid office. Signed promissory notes must be received before the award can be credited to your account. Loan notes will be mailed to you over the summer. Federal Stafford Loan promissory notes must be completed online. See instructions at Our Billing and Payment Instructions are included with your Ebill as well as on the Bursar’s web page. This includes information on payment methods, our Monthly Installment Plan, late payments, and tuition refunds.


RENSSELAER READY REFERENCE While this booklet focuses on financial aid, we understand that you may have other questions. Please don’t hesitate to call us. Our area code is 518 unless otherwise noted. Admissions






Bursar (Student Accounts)


Dean of Students Office


Dining Services (Sodexho)


Disabled Student Services


Financial Aid


Health Services


Office of the First Year Experience




Rensselaer Union


Residence Life




FINANCIAL AID WEBSITES Scholarship Search Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) CSS Profile Application General Aid Information


DETAILS OF THE AWARDS ON YOUR AWARD LETTER These pages provide some more information about the awards that may be listed on your a w a r d l e t t e r.

RENSSELAER SCHOLARSHIPS In an effort to provide access to a quality education for high-quality students, Rensselaer offers substantial financial aid from its own funds. You do not need to apply separately for these awards. 1 Rensselaer Grants This grant is given in recognition of the outstanding commitment Rensselaer alumni have made to your education. It is need-based and awarded based on our analysis of your FAFSA/Profile. 1 Rensselaer named (industrial and endowed) scholarships These include dozens of scholarships named for individuals, companies, and institutions who have given from their wealth to help Rensselaer students succeed. Named scholarships are need-based and based on our analysis of your FAFSA/Profile. 1 Rensselaer Medal This medal has been awarded by approximately 3,000 high schools worldwide to their most promising juniors in math and science since 1916. In addition, all candidates for admission are considered for the following merit awards. No FAFSA/Profile is required to qualify for any of these scholarships: 1 Rensselaer Medal Scholarship

1 Rensselaer Leadership Award 1 Rensselaer Merit Award 1 International Leadership Award 1 Rensselaer Room & Board Scholarship All merit awards will be renewed automatically for four years of full-time undergraduate study. If you are a candidate for the five-year program in our School of Architecture or participate in the coterminal Masters program, your award will be renewed for five years.

GRANTS AND LOANS The federal government offers a number of grant, loan, and work-study programs. When you file the FAFSA, the financial aid office reviews your eligibility for the following programs and makes awards within program guidelines and formulas (as always, subject to available funds). If made, these awards are listed on your financial aid award letter: 1 Federal Pell Grant These grants are awarded to the neediest students (based on a federal calculation). 1 Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) These additional grants are made to Pell Grant recipients.

FEDERAL PARENT LOAN FOR UNDERGRADUATES (PLUS) Your parent(s), if creditworthy, may be eligible to borrow up to the cost of attending Rensselaer (minus other financial aid accepted). Application instructions are included with your award letter. Loan proceeds are credited directly to the student’s account. The federal government deducts up to a 4% processing fee from the amount borrowed.

1 Federal Perkins Loan A need-based loan program, with a fixed interest rate of 5%. Payment of both principal and interest are deferred while you are in attendance at least half-time. First time borrowers will receive a Master Promissory note over the summer. 1 Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) This grant is available to Pell eligible U.S. citizens who are enrolled full-time in their 1st or 2nd academic year and have graduated from a rigorous high school program of study. 1 National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) This grant is available to Pell eligible U.S. citizens who are enrolled full-time in their 3rd or 4th academic year, majoring in mathematics, science, technology, engineering, or critical foreign languages and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0.


1 Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized) A need-based student loan with a fixed interest rate and maximum amounts of $3,500 (freshmen), $4,500 (sophomores), and $5,500 (juniors and seniors) with a maximum cumulative total of $23,000. Both principal and interest are deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time. First time borrowers will receive notification regarding the completion of a Master Promissory Note during the summer; if you would like to borrow a lesser amount, you must notify the financial aid office in writing of the revised amount you wish to borrow. Your lender may deduct up to a 1.5% processing fee from the amount borrowed.

1 Federal Work-Study Program Need-based employment program for students with very high needs. Students work approximately 8 hours per week and receive biweekly paychecks. Awardees will receive job information and applications over the summer. Academic progress Rensselaer does not tie renewal of financial aid, including the size of your Rensselaer scholarship grant, to your grades. If you have federal or New York state awards, however, you must meet their satisfactory progress guidelines. Academic Eligibility for Federal Title IV Programs To remain eligible for these Title IV federal student assistance programs, you must earn a specified number of credit hours and maintain a required grade point average each year. These are noted in the chart below. If you fail to maintain the minimum credit hours and/or achieve the required grade point average, you will be placed on federal financial aid probation and will have one academic year in which to earn sufficient credits or achieve the required grade point average before losing federal aid eligibility. If you are denied federal financial aid for failure to make satisfactory academic progress, you may appeal through the Office of Financial Aid.

1 Federal Stafford Loan (Unsubsidized) If you do not qualify for all or part of the subsidized Stafford Loan program described above, you may qualify for an unsubsidized Stafford Loan, that is, a loan for which you must either start paying interest while you are still in school or allow the interest to accrue. Your lender

may deduct up to a 1.5% processing fee from the amount borrowed. 1 Colvin Loan A need-based Institute loan program with a fixed interest rate of 5%. Payment of both principal and interest are deferred while you are in attendance at least half-time at Rensselaer. Promissory notes will be mailed over the summer.


Semester Credit hours Grade Point Average










11 1.0

21 1.0

32 1.4

43 1.4

54 1.6

64 1.6

75 1.8

86 1.8





97 107 118 130 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8

on New York state taxable income and vary from $500 to $5,000. If you are a New York State resident, we have included a TAP award in your package at a level we estimate to correspond with information provided on the FAFSA. You must complete an Express TAP application (ETA) which will be sent to you by New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. You will receive notification of the actual amount of your grant from this agency approximately four weeks after submitting your application. To remain eligible to receive New York State financial assistance, you must earn a certain number of credit hours each semester and maintain a minimum grade point average (on a 4.0 scale). These are noted on the chart below. You must also achieve what is referred to as “satisfactory program pursuit.” This is defined as completing, with either a passing or a failing grade, a certain percentage of a full-time course load (12 credits per semester) in each term for which an award is received. The percentage is 50 percent of the minimum full-time course load in each term of study during the first year in which an award is received; 75 percent of the full-time course load in each term of study in the second year for which an award is received; and 100 percent of the minimum full-time course load in each term thereafter.

ROTC SCHOLARSHIPS If you enter Rensselaer with a three- or fouryear ROTC scholarship (with the exception of Air Force Type III or POCI Scholarships), you will receive from Rensselaer scholarship support covering the average cost of on-campus room and board. This scholarship will be paid each year you remain eligible for ROTC scholarship benefits, reside in Institute housing, and participate in a meal plan. ROTC scholarship recipients must file a FAFSA each year to determine eligibility for federal aid. Your total assistance may not exceed the total cost of attendance. For more information regarding ROTC programs and awards, contact the following military branches: Aerospace Studies (Air Force) (518) 276-6236 Military Science (Army) (518) 276-6254 Naval Science (Navy/Marines) (518) 276-6251

NYS TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TAP) TAP awards are available to New York state residents attending Rensselaer full-time during the academic year (half-time during the summer). Please note that repeated courses may affect your TAP eligibility. They are based

ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: NEW YORK STATE AWARDS Before being certified for this payment: You need these credit hours and this Grade Point Average










3 1.1

9 1.2

21 1.3

33 2.0

45 2.0

60 2.0

75 2.0



90 105 2.0 2.0


APPLICATION CALENDAR Freshmen students February 1 Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to the Federal Processor and complete the CSS Profile online at Transfer students February 1 Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to the Federal Processor and complete the Institutional Transfer Aid Application.

July – August Promissory notes will be issued to all first-time Stafford and Perkins Loan recipients and all Institute Loan recipients. Upperclass students December You will receive an email renewal reminder in the fall from the Department of Education. This email will provide instructions regarding the completion of your renewal FAFSA.

Freshman and new transfer students

February 15 Submit the FAFSA to the Federal Processing Center.

May Parent and student tax returns and verification worksheets should be sent to the financial aid office when requested in May. Federal Parent Loan (PLUS) instructions will be mailed to parents and will also be available online.

April 20 If your FAFSA is selected for verification, copies of both student and parent federal tax returns as well as the verification worksheet are due to the financial aid office. June – August The financial aid office will notify you of decisions on completed applications.

Students from Vermont, Rhode Island, or New York March 1 Vermont Incentive Grant applications for upcoming academic year are due to the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Champlain Mill, P.O. Box 2000, Winooski, VT 05404-2000. Call (802) 655-9602 for a copy of this application. April 30 Rhode Island State Scholarship applications for the upcoming academic year are due to the Office of Scholarships, Rhode Island Department of Education, 199 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908. May 31 Applications for all New York state grant and Tuition Assistance Programs for the upcoming academic year should be submitted to the Higher Education Services Corporation, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12255.

0310 11324 SC