Apply for Aid

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Types of Aid

Merit Scholarships Need-based Funding

When you apply to Rensselaer, you will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships, which include endowed scholarship sources. There are no other forms to complete. RPI merit scholarships are not available to international students who are not citizens of Canada.

If you want to be considered for need-based funding, you will need to complete both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid  (FAFSA) and College Board's College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. In most cases, the data on these documents should match. Whenever possible, we recommend completing them at the same time.

CSS Profile College Code: 2757
FAFSA College Code for Troy Campus: 002803

Also, the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), requiring separate application, helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at Rensselaer.  
New York State TAP College Code: 0635


Who Should Apply

  • New students who are U.S. citizens, or residents of the U.S. who would qualify for U.S. federal student aid programs
  • New students from Canada
  • Transfer students who are U.S. Citizens, federal aid "eligible non-citizens," or from Canada
Types of Aid
  • Merit scholarships from Rensselaer, including endowed scholarship sources (requires Admission Application [only])
    • Rensselaer Leadership Award

      Given in recognition of an outstanding record of academic and personal achievements, a strong commitment to excellence, and illustration of intellectual curiosity. Award amounts vary.

    • Rensselaer Medal Award

      Awarded to promising secondary school juniors who have distinguished themselves in mathematics and science. Responsibility for selecting the Medalist belongs to the faculty and staff within the participating secondary school. The award is $40,000 per academic year.

  • Need-based grants from Rensselaer (requires Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Board's College Scholarship Service (CSS) applications)
  • Federal student aid programs  (requires Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Board's College Scholarship Service (CSS) applications)
    • Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized (Student) Loans
    • Federal PELL Grant
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG / SEOG)
  • Non-federal educational loans
Do I apply for aid every year?

Undergraduate students seeking Rensselaer need-based aid (including federal aid programs) or graduate students seeking federal aid programs must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year the aid is sought.

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Enrollment Level Requirements

Students are expected to enroll full-time each semester in order to complete their degree requirements in the established timeframe. There are some cases where it may be appropriate for a student to enroll less than full-time. In these scenarios, aid is processed in the following manner:

  • Only credits which meet degree requirements for fully admitted students are eligible for Federal and New York State awards.
  • Students must be enrolled in six or more credits in a degree-granting program to be eligible for Federal Student Loan Program funding.
  • Students enrolled in fewer than 12 degree-applicable credits are not eligible for New York State TAP Grants at RPI.
  • RPI scholarships and grants may be provided proportionately based on the actual number of credits attempted if the student is approved for less than full-time enrollment:   
    • a student taking 12 credits is eligible for 100% of their full-time award; 
    • a student taking 9 credits is eligible for 75% of their full-time award;
    • a student taking 7 credits is eligible for 58% of their full-time award.
  • Enrollment Level Terminology Based On Federal Pell Grant Program Rules
    • Full Time:  12+ eligible credits
    • Three-Quarter Time:   9 - 11 eligible credits
    • Half-Time:  6 - 8 eligible credits
    • Less-Than Half-Time:  5 or fewer eligible credits


My parents are separated/divorced. What do I report on my application?

You are required to report the income of the parent (and stepparent if your parent is remarried) who provided the most financial support during the past 12 months. In addition, you need to report all asset information for this same parent(s). This parent is considered the Contributor on your FAFSA and CSS Profile forms.

What happens if my family's financial situation changes after I file my form?

If there is a change in your family’s financial situation after you complete and submit your FAFSA/CSS Profile, call or write directly to Rensselaer's Office of Financial Aid.

If I am a Rensselaer scholarship award recipient and I subsequently receive outside awards, will you reduce my Rensselaer scholarship assistance?

Not usually. Students are allowed to keep any outside awards in addition to their Rensselaer scholarship awards, as long as the total does not exceed our cost of attendance. Need-based awards are subject to change in the following order: loans, federal work-study, and finally, grants.