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This is the Rhode2College resources page!

This is where you can find PDFs of documents that are shared with you during the Milestones, as well as resources to help you on your journey to college and the life you deserve. Please take a look below to learn more about these topics.

Program Resources

During Rhode2College, we send R2C Scholars various documents that are helpful in completing Milestones or otherwise keeping up with the program. Please find these documents below, so that you can refer back to them over time.

Receiving Gyft CFC. This document contains instructions for enrolled R2C Scholars to claim their Cash-for-Completion from the Gyft portal.

Understanding the College Search. This page describes how we created each measure in the College Search, which is a tool R2C Scholars use over time to find schools they are interested in and create a list of schools they will apply to.

Who can I talk to for more information?
You can email info@rhode2college.org if you have any more questions about Rhode2College!

Financial Aid

Paying for College

There are many opportunities and resources available to help make college more affordable and help you pursue the education of your dreams. Rhode2College is here to guide and support you as you make decisions about paying for college!

Financial aid comes in many different forms. Most people pay for college from multiple sources: some money from the government, some from their university, some from loans, and some from scholarships. We’re here to help you understand what it all means! A run-down of some key financial aid terms, College Board’s Financial Aid Glossary, and the rest of this page can help you understand the world of financial aid and your next steps in paying for college.

What are some resources I can look at to know more about paying for college?
There are many places to get more information about paying for college. Check out these resources to learn more:

FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it's the key to getting a lot of the support and aid you need for college! By filling out the FAFSA you can receive grants, work-study, loans and scholarships to help you pay for your education.

When should I fill out the FAFSA?
Rhody is going to guide you through the FAFSA process with two different Milestones. In October, when the FAFSA opens, Rhody will help you gather the information and items you need for your application. In November, Rhody will guide you through submission!

Who should fill out the FAFSA?
You should fill out the FAFSA if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Check out the Federal Student Aid Office definition of eligible noncitizen to see if you qualify.

If you’re not an eligible non-citizen please read the “Non-Citizen Aid” section below.

How do I fill out the FAFSA?

Rhody will tell you about all of these options in November! You can learn more about filling out the FAFSA on College Board’s website!

What do I need to fill it out?
Rhody is going to help you keep track of the materials you will need in October. In the meantime, check out this link from the US Dept. of Education on what you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA!

What are some more resources I can look at to learn more about the FAFSA?

  • To get a general overview of the FAFSA and key things to know about it, see College Board's FAFSA Overview.
  • To know what information the FAFSA will ask you and your family for, see the Department of Education's FAFSA Preview.

CSS Profile

The CSS profile is an online application similar to the FAFSA that determines if you qualify for grants and additional aid. According to College Board, it is used by nearly 400 colleges, universities and scholarship programs to award more than $9 billion in grants &endash; depending on the schools you’re applying to, it will be a very important step in helping make college achievable and affordable for you!

Some schools will require the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA. You will need to provide similar information to the FAFSA. The deadline to submit the CSS Profile will depend on the school you are applying to, so make sure you know your schools’ financial aid priority deadlines! Unlike the FAFSA, it costs money to submit the CSS Profile, but most Rhode2College Scholars are eligible for fee waivers.

Here are some links to help you learn more about the CSS!

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

You will see the term “Expected Family Contribution,” or EFC, on many of your FAFSA documents and financial aid applications.

An Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that you and your family will be expected to contribute toward your college costs. When you submit your FAFSA, it will tell you what your EFC is based on the financial information you provided. Many financial aid providers use your family’s EFC to decide how much aid you are eligible for.

Here are some links to help you learn more about EFC!

  • Use College Board’s EFC calculator to estimate how much money your family can contribute to your college costs. You’ll need tax information for you and your parents/guardians to use the calculator.
  • Go to the US Dept. of Education’s website to learn more about how they calculate EFC.

Grants and Scholarships (“Gift Aid”)

Grants and scholarships are financial aid that you do not need to repay, making them the best way to pay for college!

Grants are usually “need-based,” meaning that you are eligible based on your financial background, while scholarships are often “merit-based” (or based on a combination of merit and need), meaning that you are eligible based on your achievements in and outside the classroom.

Most grants come from the government and are capped at a certain amount. Scholarships can come from the college, or from private sources and come in all sizes. Scholarship amounts can range from as low as $250, which can help you pay for books and other necessities, or as much as the full cost of attendance, or a “full ride”. Full ride scholarships are often quite competitive, have early deadlines, and lengthy applications, so if you think you’d like to apply for any it is important to get started early.

Here are some links to help you learn more about grants and scholarships!

Loans (“Non-Gift Aid”)

A loan is money that you borrow for school expenses. Loan money must be repaid over time with interest (essentially a fee you pay for borrowing the loan money). If you are eligible, loans may be a part of your financial aid package. You can also apply for loans outside of your financial aid package.

You should make sure you understand all the terms of potential loan offers before accepting them! Rhody will help work through this process together with you in the Spring.

Here are some links to help you learn more about loans!

There will be a Milestone in the Spring where Rhody will help you learn about your options for loans.

Work-Study (“Non-Gift Aid”)

Work-study is a federal program, which you may be eligible for based on your FAFSA, that provides part-time employment for eligible college students to earn money for their college expenses. Work-study is different than a regular part-time job, because the money you earn doesn’t change the amount of financial aid you will be eligible for in later years of college.

Here are some links to help you learn more about work study!

Non-U.S. Citizen Aid

If you are not a U.S. citizen, there are still financial aid options available for you! Many of these are available from private sources and from your college. For a quick overview of federal aid options, see this Federal Student Aid FAQ for Noncitizens.

Eligible Non-U.S. Citizen
You may still qualify for federal financial aid if you are an eligible noncitizen. Check out this Federal Student Aid Office definition of eligible noncitizen to see if you qualify. If you are an eligible noncitizen, you should fill out the FAFSA to see your federal financial aid options. Rhody will walk through submitting the FAFSA together with you in November!

Ineligible Non-U.S. Citizen
If you are not an eligible noncitizen, are a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient, or are undocumented, there are still financial aid resources available for you to pay for college. Rhody will help walk you through these options in October and November!

  • If you have three years of residency in the state of Rhode Island and plan to attend college in Rhode Island, you qualify for in-state tuition rates for RI public colleges , regardless of your citizenship status (see Rhode Island Residency Policy S-5.0).
  • The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund keeps a list of scholarships that do not ask for immigration status. This list is for everyone, regardless of nationality and ethnicity, so be sure to check it out!
  • The National Immigration Law Center posts resources on financial aid, scholarships and student advocacy groups for undocumented students.

Contact your school guidance counselor to learn more about other financial aid options available to you.