HOW TO APPLY & COMPARE

YOUR FINANCIAL AID
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
BE PREPARED

Financial aid can be complicated, but the steps you need to take to apply for financial aid are simple. Start with creating your Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID),  filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and completing your College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile. These forms need to be filed every year.

Also, search and apply for scholarships. If you are awarded scholarship funds, it reduces the amount you may need to borrow.

The only way to get financial aid is to apply.

LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION?

THE FINANCIAL AID GUIDE is a free detailed informational guide to start early on planning for college.

COLLEGE PLANNING SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

RISLA’s College Planning Center offers free services to Rhode Island students and parents in preparing, planning, and paying for their educational journey. 

STEP 1

CREATE YOUR FSA ID

Apply for an FSA ID at studentaid.gov. Your FSA ID will consist of a username and a password that will enable you to “sign” documents electronically and make corrections to your FAFSA, if needed.  Both the parent and student must apply for a separate FSA ID, using different email addresses.

STEP 2

COMPLETE THE FAFSA FORM

The FAFSA is used by all colleges to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your eligibility for federal and state aid. Many colleges also use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for institutional aid.

File the FAFSA anytime after October 1 and before your college’s deadline.

CSS PROFILE

STEP 3

COMPLETE THE CSS PROFILE

(IF REQUIRED BY SCHOOL)

Some private colleges require a CSS PROFILE
application or an institutional financial aid form to determine your eligibility for their own sources of financial aid.

The profile application can be completed as early as October and is available at cssprofile.collegeboard.org.

Make sure you know if you need to file any forms in addition to the FAFSA and be sure to submit them by the school’s specified deadline.

Check out the quick and easy links below to help get you started.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE APPLIED

LET'S START BY COMPARING

COMPARE YOUR AWARD LETTERS

SCHEDULE A FREE APPOINMENT

RISLA College Planning Center

Experts can guide parents and students with financial aid award letters and find resources to help finance the finance gap.

COMPARING YOUR FINANCIAL AID AWARDS

When you receive your financial aid award letters from colleges that accepted you, there will be some tough decisions to make. Follow these steps to determine which aid package best meets your family’s needs.

MEETING COLLEGE COST WORKSHEET

MEETING COLLEGE COSTS

EASY WAYS TO HELP YOU TRACK & SAVE

Keep track of your college costs with an easy-to-use worksheet. This worksheet allows you to track and compare costs with multiple colleges. Taking the time to do the math can save you more in the end!

 

TOOLS & RESOURCES

KNOWLEDGE FOR COLLEGE
ENTER TO WIN $2,000 SCHOLARSHIP

Visit our Knowledge for College Scholarship page to learn more and enter today!

EVENTS
UPCOMING VIRTUAL & IN-PERSON EVENTS

A free service offered by RISLA's College Planning Center.

RISCHOLARSHIPS.ORG
SEARCH FOR FREE SCHOLARSHIPS

Look for hundreds of hard-to-find local scholarships.

Get started with your scholarship search today!

QUESTIONS
SCHEDULE A FREE APPOINTMENT

Do you have questions about college planning?  We are here to help you prepare, plan, and pay for college.

RISLA PRODUCTS & SERVICES

COLLEGE PLANNING CENTER

Students and families can be overwhelmed with planning and how to pay for college.  We have experienced counselors that offer one on one assistance helping families understand all their options start to finish.

EDUCATION LOANS

We have been offering low cost, fix rate education loans for almost 30 years.  Helping students and families borrower responsibly to help achieve their higher education dreams.

REFINANCE

Refinancing may help you simplify and save when repaying student loans.  Combining outstanding balances, and securing a low interest rate with RISLA may reduce your overall repayment amount and possibly your monthly payment.

EMPLOYER REPAY

Employer Student Loan Repayment assistance is a tax-free benefit allowing employers to contribute towards the repayment of employee student loans.  This newest in-demand employee benefit helps reduce financial stress for employees while increasing retention and loyalty to employers.