Financial Aid FAQs

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When will I get my award letter?
If you are an incoming freshman and have filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to February 1, expect an award letter to arrive by April 1st. If you are a returning student and have filled out your FAFSA for the upcoming school year, you will receive your award the end of June or early July. The spring term must end and final grades must be submitted before awarding for continuing students can begin.

When can I apply for a refund?
Students receiving financial aid in excess of direct charges for a given term may apply for a refund after the official add/drop period if a credit appears on their account. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to initiate the request. If approved, your refund check will be available in approximately two weeks.

What if I have a credit on my account – Can I use it for books?
If credit is anticipated at the start of the semester once financial aid funds are received, you may request a book voucher. Book vouchers are available at the Office of Financial Aid.

What if I decide to live off campus?
You must notify the Office of Financial Aid whenever your housing status changes. Students who reside off campus, but not at home, are also required to provide a signed copy of their lease for review by a financial aid counselor. Many students with valid leases qualify for the same financial aid they would have received in on-campus housing. Contact your financial aid counselor for further details.

Do I have to use one of Rider's Suggested Lenders?
No, you are not required to use one of these lenders. If you choose a lender outside of Rider's preferred lender list, the Office of Financial Aid will gladly process your loan with your requested lender. We work closely with all recognized lenders to ensure the best possible service for Rider families.

Where can I find information on scholarship opportunities?
Returning students who would like to be considered for Rider University endowed scholarships may complete a scholarship application obtained from the Office of Financial Aid. Links to free outside scholarships are maintained at

Can financial aid be used for study abroad?
Yes, with approval and documentation. Consult with your financial aid counselor and your academic advisor to determine your eligibility and responsibilities.

I received my Student Aid Report (SAR). What happens now?
If you have not received an award, you will be receiving a tentative financial aid package from our office explaining what type of financial aid you are entitled to receive. If our office has requested additional information be sure to respond in a timely manner.

What is verification? What do I need to do?
Verification is a process used to make sure that the information applicants report is accurate. Rider University will contact you by mail after May 1 indicating which documents we need in order for you to complete this process. These documents should be completed and returned promptly. Failure to return documents in a timely manner will result in losing your tentative award package.

I have been selected for review (verification), can I send in my tax documents?
Before sending in any documents please wait for the university’s Quality Assurance Verification Document to be sent to you with a complete list of all documents required for verification. Verification packets are mailed after May 1st. When submitting tax returns make sure all related statements and schedules are included and that all tax returns are signed.

After I received my award I noticed my scholarship has been lowered, why?
Financial aid from Rider University’s resources and the resources of others may be used by full-time students to offset charges for tuition, fees, and on-campus room and board. However, the total amount of federal, state, institutional, and outside grants and scholarships generally cannot exceed the cost of tuition. Adjustments to scholarships and other monies may be necessary to remain within these guidelines.

Is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC) all that I am required to pay?
No, after deducting your financial aid award, you are responsible for any unmet expenses to cover all University charges. There are several payment options available to students and parents to meet any remaining balance. Some options include alternative loans, the Tuition Payment Plan, and many more. Financing Options can be viewed on this site by clicking on Payment and Finance Options or by referring to the Reference Guide that was included in your financial aid award mailing for more options.

How do I determine how much I owe?
Prior to receiving your Rider bill you may download our Financial Worksheet (*PDF), which may be used to estimate your expected costs and plan your Financing Options. On your bill there will be a list of direct charges from the University. Any financial aid you have been awarded will also be included on your billing statement. The amount owed is the difference between your direct charges and your estimated financial aid proceeds. Don’t forget to exclude any loan origination fees when determining your balance. If your award letter includes Federal Work Study please keep in mind that this amount is not credited to your account; instead you’ll be receiving wages if you obtain an on-campus or contracted (community service) job.

I still did not complete and submit my FAFSA to the Department of Education. Is it too late?
No, you should submit the application to the processing center AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in order for your aid not to be affected for next school year. The priority deadline is February 1st. You can obtain an application from the Office of Financial Aid located on the second floor of the Student Center or you can complete an application online at

What is satisfactory academic progress?
All students receiving financial aid from federal, state, and/or Rider University sources must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress at Rider to establish and retain eligibility for student financial aid. Students who do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy standards will have their financial aid eligibility terminated, or will be placed on financial aid probation. Students must submit an Agreement to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid to the Office of Financial Aid within two weeks of receiving notice of aid termination or probation. This agreement must outline how the student will meet all of the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the next period of study. See Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy or look in the Reference Guide you received with your award letter.

Beyond the financial aid award, how much do I need to apply for in alternative financing this academic year?
It may be best not to apply for alternative financing until you have received your bill in mid-July in order to be certain of exact charges. If you would like to estimate how much you will need to finance, you may subtract your total direct charges from your estimated financial aid award (excluding any Federal Work Study and loan origination fees). Please utilize our Financial Worksheet (PDF Download) to help determine any remaining balance.

When do I need to submit a loan application for next year?
Our office will not start processing loan applications until early July. If you submit an application too far in advance it may expire before the application can be processed.

Can I pay my tuition on a monthly basis?
A 10 month, interest free payment plan through the Tuition Payment Plan is available for students and their families who wish to participate.

Returning Student FAQs

What will happen since I did not meet the deadline of the school?
There is a possibility, after careful review by your financial aid counselor, that some institutional financial aid may be affected pending available funding. But that determination cannot be made until after your Student Aid Report (SAR) is received and a counselor has reviewed your file.

Are there any other deadlines for financial aid that I need to meet?
The State of NJ has a deadline for the TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) of June 1st. If you are TAG eligible, we urge you to submit your FAFSA before that deadline.

When will I receive my award for next year?
Returning students will receive their financial aid award letter towards the end of June or early July. The spring term must end and final grades must be submitted before awarding for continuing students can begin.

Why has my award been reduced?
There are several reasons why your financial aid award could have been reduced. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) may be higher than last year, members in the household may have decreased, the number in college may have decreased, your academic performance may not meet policy standards, or the availability of funds at the school has been reduced. Financial aid awards can vary from year to year for any combination of these reasons and possibly others not mentioned here. If you have questions relating to your financial aid award feel free to schedule an appointment with your Financial Aid counselor. All appointments should be made through the help desk in the Office of Financial Aid 609-896-5360.

I received my award letter and would like to apply for additional financial aid.
In order to become eligible for additional financial aid you must meet certain criteria. Has there been a change in your family’s income, loss of employment, or decrease in employment? Do you have substantial unreimbursed medical bills? If you have special circumstances then you need to send a letter explaining your situation in detail and include all supporting documentation.