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Financial Aid

As a nontraditional student, your financial needs are unique. Rochester University wants to work with you to help meet those needs—and get the education you deserve. Accelerated Learning students pay for their education in three convenient ways:

  1. Financial aid
  2. Personal payment plans
  3. Third-party assistance such as employer reimbursement

The Accelerated Learning program offers adult students the maximum amount of financial aid while keeping tuition rates competitive and affordable. With Rochester University, you can afford to complete your education!

Tuition and Fees are payable online or by check, money order, or major credit card. Checks and money orders should be payable to Rochester University. For a complete list of fees, consult the current registration packet or your adviser.

Steps to Apply for Federal Student Aid if_right_arrow_476325_white

Students should apply for aid every year, even if they think they won’t qualify. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is free, and it’s easy to apply. There are many factors affecting eligibility for financial aid, including income, family size and number in college. To apply for most financial aid — including federal and state student grants, work-study and loans – you will need to complete the FAFSA using one of the following formats:

  • online at studentaid.gov
  • on the new mobile app myStudentAid available on the App Store (iOS) or on Google Play (Android)
  • using a paper FAFSA – note: PDF FAFSAs must be mailed for processing.

The FAFSA form is available as early as October 1 for the following school year. It’s important to fill it out as soon as possible to meet school and state financial aid deadlines.

IMPORTANT:  The State of Michigan has a priority deadline of March 1, 2020 (date received) for State of Michigan student aid programs for the 2020-21 award year!

  1. Create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) number. Go to studentaid.gov and click on “Create Account.” Both students and parent(s) are required to use an FSA ID to access sensitive financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. Each person will create a username and password and enter their personal email address. The FSA ID process requires your name, date of birth, social security number and contact information, along with challenge questions and answers. You will be able to use your new FSA ID number only after confirming your email address using a secure code sent to you when creating your FSA ID. It is important to remember that a mobile phone number or email address can be associated with only one FSA ID.
  2. Have your and your parent’s tax return and income information available when you file the FAFSA. Students and families completing a FAFSA are now required to use tax and income information from two years prior to the academic year for which they are applying. This is commonly referred to as Prior-Prior Year FAFSA. Families have the ability to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when completing the FAFSA, which allows for automatic transfer of tax and income information directly to a student’s FAFSA. While not required, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
    • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is the easiest way to provide tax return information.
    • It is the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax return information.
  3. File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after October 1 as possible each year.*
    • The 2019-2020 FAFSA is for students attending or planning to attend Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and/or Summer 2020.
    • The 2020-2021 FAFSA is for students attending or planning to attend Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and/or Summer 2021.
    • *TIP: If you are given the option to complete a “renewal” FAFSA form, choose that option. When you choose to renew your FAFSA form, your demographic information from the previous year will roll over into your new application. Go to studentaid.gov to start your financial aid application and indicate that you are the student. Certain information may be automatically loaded into your application to prevent common errors. The online and app versions of the FAFSA include step-by-step instructions for completing the FAFSA. These versions provide built-in edit checks to catch simple errors and allow both the student and the parent(s) to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The student is the one applying for financial aid, so be sure it is the student entering his or her FSA ID in the “I am the student” tab.
    • Do not start the FAFSA form by supplying the parent’s FSA ID!
  4. Be sure to include Rochester University’s federal school code (002288) in the number 1 spot in step 6 of the FAFSA to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of aid.
  5. Before your FAFSA form can be processed, you’ll need to sign and submit the application. If you are providing parent information, one of your parents will be required to sign your application.
  6. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) upon completion of the FAFSA. The SAR is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. Review your Student Aid Report and correct any mistakes online by logging into your student aid account.
  7. Student Financial Services at RU will receive a copy of your FAFSA application 3-5 business days after submission and review to determine your eligibility for financial aid. If additional information is required, you will receive an email from SFS@rc.edu outlining what information or update(s) is required. When your FAFSA is approved, you will receive an award letter outlining cost information and detailing your financial aid award package.

IRS Data Retrieval Instructions if_right_arrow_476325_white

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available when you file the FAFSA online or on the mobile app. Using this tool is the easiest and most accurate way to file the FAFSA. If you choose not to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will need to have student and/or parent tax returns and other records available. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you may be asked to supply a copy of your IRS tax record (transcript).

Students and parents who are eligible to use the IRS DRT can access it from within the FAFSA application on the student or parent finances pages. The IRS DRT can be used as soon as 3 weeks after filing the federal income tax return electronically and 11 weeks after filing a paper income tax return. There are several situations in which you will not be given the option to use the IRS DRT.

Simple steps to transfer tax information into your FAFSA are listed below:

  1. Log in to your current FAFSA form or start a new application at gov.
  2. Click Link to IRS. (Note: If you have already used the IRS DRT to transfer your tax return information into your application, the information will not display on your FAFSA. For your protection, the answer to each question is replaced with “Transferred from the IRS.”)
  3. Enter your FSA ID. (Note: The person whose tax information is being transferred should enter his or her own FSA ID. Students will not be asked to enter their FSA ID if they entered an FSA ID to begin their FAFSA.)
  4. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the external IRS Web site.
  5. On the IRS Web site, you must enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your federal income tax return. If you get an error that there’s no match, double check your information, including the exact mailing address and tax filing status on your return.
  6. Check the “Transfer my Tax Information into the FAFSA form” box and click the “Transfer Now” button.
  7. Finish filling out the FAFSA, sign and submit it.

See visual tool below for information on transferring tax information into the FAFSA:

Types of Federal and State Aid

By closely following and completing the following steps, you will accelerate the financial aid process and maximize the amount of aid you are eligible to receive. Packaging will be based on students’ maximum eligibility for grants/scholarships/loans within the cost of attendance.



Federal Pell Grant
Eligibility:Need-based grant, awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree.
Amount: Maximum $6,345 for the 2020-2021 award year, pro-rated based on enrollment.
Deadline: June 30, 2021 for the 2020-2021 award year.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester University listed first.


Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Eligibility: Need-based grant for low-income undergraduate students. Awarded to students with exceptional financial need who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients.
Amount: Maximum $500 per award year, pro-rated based on enrollment. RU receives a limited amount of funds each year, so early application is important to receive this grant.
Deadline: June 30, 2021 for the 2020-2021 award year.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester University listed first.


Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized)
Eligibility: Need-based loan available to undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time.
Amount: Determined by student’s grade level, dependency status, financial need and cost of attendance. Freshman up to $3,500, Sophomore up to $4,500, and Junior/Senior up to $5,500. There are aggregate (lifetime) limits.
Details: The government pays the interest while student is enrolled in college at least half-time and during a six-month grace period. Repayment begins six months after graduation or when the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. There is a time limit on how long a student can receive loans.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester University listed first.


Federal Stafford Loan (Unsubsidized)
Eligibility: Loan available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time regardless of financial need.
Amount: Determined by student’s grade level, dependency status, and cost of attendance Freshman/Sophomore maximum $6,000 and Junior/Senior maximum $7,000. There are aggregate (lifetime) limits.
Details: Student is responsible for paying the interest during all periods. Interest payments are the responsibility of the student for the duration of the loan. Repayment begins six months after graduation or the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester University listed first.


Federal Work-Study
Eligibility: Provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.
Amount: Varies (at least minimum wage) – student receives a paycheck.
Details: Work-study funds listed on a student’s award letter are not applied directly to the student’s bill. In order to receive funds, students must apply and be hired in a student worker position.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester University listed first and submit work-study application on the RU student portal. Complete work study application.


Michigan Tuition Grant
Eligibility: The Michigan Tuition Grant is available to undergraduate Michigan residents with financial need who plan to attend or are attending a Michigan degree-granting, non-profit independent college. The Michigan Competitive Scholarship is available to undergraduate students pursuing their first degree and is based on both financial need and merit.
Amount: Awards pay up to a maximum of $2,800 for the 2020-21 award year.
Details: Current and future awards are subject to available and approved funding.
Deadline: March 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 award year.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester University listed first prior to the state deadline of March 1.


Michigan Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)
Eligibility: Need-based award available to eligible students enrolled in an associate degree program (Phase I) and/or a bachelor’s degree program (Phase II). TIP application must be completed prior to August 31 of the year the student graduates from high school.
Amount: Phase I maximum is $2,712 and Phase II maximum is $1,000 per award year.
Details: Only students who were identified by the Michigan Medicaid Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) as having met the Michigan Medicaid eligibility requirement may apply for TIP.
Deadline: Eligible students must apply before August 31 of the student’s graduating year from high school or it’s recognized equivalent.
Apply: The TIP application may be completed online in the MiSSG Student Portal or by calling 1-888-447-2687 prior to the application deadline and complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester University listed first.


Additional Financial Aid Resources if_right_arrow_476325_white

  • Parents of dependent students may apply for a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan at gov to help pay for their child’s educational expenses. If approved for the loan, the parent must complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) and the loan must be accepted on the student’s portal. Note, there is one MPN for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and a different MPN for Direct Parent PLUS Loans.
  • When a parent is denied for a PLUS loan, the dependent student may then be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans. The student may be awarded as much as an independent student at the same grade level. Independent students in their junior or senior year are eligible to receive up to $12,500 per year in federal Direct loans, with a limit of $5,500 in subsidized loans.
  • Students may apply for a private, or alternative, student loan. Private loans available from private lenders and vary in their interest rates, terms and eligibility requirements. Find more information here.
  • Students may pay the out-of-pocket cost in full by the due date.
  • RU offers a payment plan option, breaking down the balance into affordable monthly payments. Students are required to enroll or re-enroll in the payment plan ($75 enrollment fee) each semester. Students are never penalized for paying off the balance early.