Guide to financial aid


To maximize your financial aid opportunities, we encourage you to take full advantage of the services provided by our Financial Aid Office ...

... where our expert staff is dedicated to answering any questions you may have so you can make an informed college choice.

You have been assigned a Rider Financial Aid counselor who will help your family navigate the financial aid process — not just now, but over the next four years. Your counselor will become familiar with your family’s unique circumstances and help link you to as many financial aid resources as possible.

This brochure features additional information about Rider’s distinctive, long-term approach to financial aid over a student’s academic career at Rider. We also invite you to schedule a personal appointment (in person or by phone) to discuss your family’s needs and concerns. Working together, we can help you optimize your financial plan for college affordability.

Your Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s how you can build your financial aid at Rider by doing well in your studies ... getting involved ... and preparing for your career.

Year 1: Baseline Award

Your “Baseline Award” is made when you are admitted to Rider. It’s based on:

  • Your high school performance
  • Special talents
  • Financial need (determined by the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Your baseline award will remain stable if:

  • You earn good grades
  • Your family financial circumstances stay the same

Years 2 through 4: Connecting Financial Aid with your Personal Growth

At Rider, you’ll join a vibrant living and learning community that is focused on engaging your heart, mind and spirit — in and out of the classroom. That’s why financial aid and student growth go hand-in-hand at Rider. Our financial aid program rewards students who take full advantage of our educational opportunities, and who actively contribute to life and learning on campus.

In addition to your Baseline award, we use financial aid to recognize and support your accomplishments as you progress through your degree:

  • Exceptional academic performance
  • Campus involvement
  • Student research
  • Student leadership and service

We also work with students to secure paid internship and co-op positions, where possible.

Your final financial aid award builds previous support — using aid so you can to prepare for “what comes next” after Rider.

As you progress through your degree, we use Endowed & External Scholarships to give you the freedom to:

  • Interview & network
  • Gain even more on-the-job experience
  • Prepare for graduate school

Financial Aid Office: 609-896-5360 | [email protected] | website

A Quick Reference Guide to Filing for Financial Aid at Rider


  • Rider requires all students to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if they wish to be considered for any federal, state and University-funded need-based aid.
  • We encourage all prospective students to apply for aid consideration, because there is no income limit for many programs, such as the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
  • If you haven't already done so, file the FAFSA as quickly as possible. For future reference, plan on filing the FAFSA before February 1 every year.
  • The FAFSA can be completed online at anytime after October 1, 2016. Be sure to indicate Rider’s code: 002628.
  • You'll use your family’s 2015 information on the FAFSA. To import your family's income information directly from the federal tax return, the FAFSA includes an electronic Data Retrieval Tool to assure accuracy.


The FAFSA employs a standard federal formula to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a measure of your family’s financial strength.  

After filing the FAFSA, you will receive a Federal Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education that will indicate your EFC calculation. By deducting your EFC from the total cost of attending a particular college, you can determine your financial need.

Be sure to review the SAR carefully; you can make corrections any time and receive an updated report by going to

Have questions about how to complete the FAFSA?

Contact Rider’s Office of Financial Aid at 609-896-5360.

Understanding Your Financial Aid Package

If you’re new to the financial aid process, it’s important to understand the types of financial aid and how they work:

  • Need-based aid is calculated on demonstrated financial need.
  • Merit-based aid is awarded for outstanding scholarship, talent or performance.

Based on data provided from your FAFSA report, Rider’s Office of Financial Aid develops a financial aid package to meet your financial need. Your package will include all federal and New Jersey programs for which you qualify. (Out-of-state residents should contact their high school guidance office for assistance in identifying and applying for their state’s financial aid programs.)

For most students, their financial aid package usually includes a mix of the following:


Do not need to be repaid; generally need-based; include New Jersey’s Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) and Rider grants.


Do not need to be repaid; generally merit-based; include many annually renewable scholarships funded by Rider, as well as scholarships from external sources.

Federal Work-Study Employment

Based on financial need; features on-campus employment as well as select opportunities with area non-profit organizations.


These require repayment; many offer low interest rates and long repayment periods; include Federal Direct student loans and Parent PLUS loans.

Full details about these financial aid and scholarship opportunities can be found at

When you receive your financial aid package, you also will be sent Rider’s Reference Guide to Financial Aid, which will help answer other questions you may have.

Financing a Rider Education

Rider offers a number of financing options, one or more of which is likely to meet your specific budget needs and family circumstances. We encourage you to contact your Financial Aid counselor for help if you have questions about the right options for your specific goals.


Many families choose to incorporate loans as part of their financing plan. Upon filing the FAFSA, your family will be sent a complete information packet from Rider’s Office of Financial Aid, which will advise you if you are eligible to receive a no-interest subsidized loan (based on need) or a low-interest unsubsidized loan.

If additional funds are needed to meet educational costs, Rider maintains information on a wide range of loan products and participating lenders. Details can be found at

Tuition Payment Plan

The Tuition Payment Plan is a 10-month, interest-free payment plan offered by Rider. Instead of paying one lump sum for a full semester of tuition, fees, and room and board, the plan splits the payments into smaller amounts, payable over a number of months. While the actual amount owed remains the same, families have more time to pay and the size of each payment is reduced.

The plan also minimizes or eliminates the need to borrow. Borrowing less means you pay less interest — which can add up to great savings. Families can also hold on to their interest-earning savings a little longer. Details about the plan’s low enrollment fee and payment options can be found a

“By clearly connecting financial aid to student growth and development, we give our students the opportunity to plan and shape their future. This can make a real difference in their ability to make thoughtful choices about their college and professional opportunities.”

Judy Wood
Director, Office of Financial Aid

A vibrant living and learning environment is the heart and soul of the Rider University experience, delivering the opportunities, resources and support that our students need to achieve their goals.


At Rider, learning extends far beyond the classroom. Our students gain hands-on experience through internships, co-ops and study abroad; develop their leadership skills; give back through service learning; collaborate with faculty on research, and develop culturally through the arts.




Students start taking advantage of Rider’s comprehensive Career Development and Success Office in their first year. We help students discover their areas of interest, participate in professional development workshops, and gain practical hands-on experiences through internships, co-ops and field placements.




The ultimate measure of a college education is how well it prepares students for personal and professional success. We invite you to hear the stories of some of our recent graduates. Learn how their Rider experiences — in and out of the classroom — helped them discover their path to success.


Financial Aid Office: 609-896-5360 | [email protected] | website