Financial Planning

Summer Here

Federal, New York State, and Rensselaer Financial Aid are available as long as you meet eligibility requirements including being enrolled as a full-time student throughout the semester.

Unless your demonstrated financial need is reduced based on your FAFSA filing outcomes, you can expect to receive the same total gift aid from Rensselaer for two semesters of full-time enrollment during your Arch year as you would during a traditional fall/spring semester full-time enrollment pattern. Merit-based awards are never impacted as long as you remain full-time for the entire semester.

The room and board portion of the financial aid Cost of Attendance will be less, compared to the fall and spring terms, due to the shortened length of the summer semester. For some students, this may reduce eligibility for need-based work or loans. Our priority is to renew gift awards before awarding need-based work or loans.

Semester Away

In most cases, students will participate in experiential learning opportunities that do not include taking Federal Aid eligible classes. Using Federal Aid during the away semester is discouraged because it can decrease the amount available to you during the two semesters you are on campus. You cannot use Federal Work Study during your away semester. For more information, visit The Office of Financial Aid.

RPI Policy
Eight semesters of gift aid funding apply toward undergraduate enrollment:

  • Students use two semesters during a typical year
  • The Arch summer of course enrollment counts as one semester
  • The second semester of course enrollment during The Arch year counts as one semester

Students can expect to receive the same per-semester awards, as long as typical renewal requirements are met, including:

  • Being enrolled full time
  • Remaining in good standing for satisfactory academic progress
  • Filing the renewal FAFSA to determine eligibility for need-based grant renewal

FAFSA is required for:

  • Need-based grants from Federal, State,and RPI sources
  • Federal work-study
  • Direct loans

Timeline for annual FAFSA renewal:

  • Available online October 1
  • File by Dec 1, prior to Arch summer on campus (I.e., Dec. 1, 2022 for summer on campus 2023)
  • The goal is to award in March for aid to appear on April bill

Note: This is not required if only award received is a merit scholarship.

  • Regardless of living location
  • Students must be enrolled at least half the time in “academic course-work credits” to qualify for new borrowing
  • Arch away-semester approved activities, include:
    • Qualify as “in school at least half-time” for loan deferment purposes
    • Are not considered “academic coursework credits”

Participating in an Arch-approved activity helps retain student loan deferment eligibility because it is viewed as being enrolled.

A non-Arch-approved activity may lead to early loan repayment.

  • The Federal Direct Loan grace period is six months
  • "Spring ‘24 no activity" + "Summer ‘24 no classes" > six months of non-academic enrollment
  • Only one grace period per loan is allotted throughout the life of the loan

Expired grace period results in:

  • End of in-school deferment eligibility
  • Start of loan repayment obligations
  • Additional work to renew in-school deferment eligibility
  • Immediate start of repayment the next time you are not enrolled, even for a summer break
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