Determine Aid Eligibility

Accessing available financial aid—grants, scholarships, and loans—begins with filing a FAFSA.

All students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually to receive consideration for Federal financial aid. The FAFSA determines the financial need of a student and confirms their eligibility to participate in student aid programs. Your FAFSA results will be sent to Rivier University and used to determine your award. Financial aid awards vary according to each student’s need and the availability of funds. Financial aid is awarded for one academic year at a time, and you and your family must reapply annually to receive consideration in subsequent years.


A student’s file may be selected by the U.S. Department of Education or by the University for review in a process called verification. Students selected for verification will be asked to provide additional documents to the Office of Financial Aid. These documents will be used to either confirm or correct information submitted by the student on the FAFSA. Since a student’s financial aid eligibility is based on information provided on the FAFSA, any changes in that data may affect a student’s financial aid award. For this reason, awards will not be finalized until verification has been completed. See Steps in the Verification Process for more detailed information.

Financial Aid Award Revisions

Revisions to a financial aid award are sometimes required. If the Student Financial Services Office receives additional information pertaining to a student’s financial aid application, adjustments to an award are often necessary. If a student’s award is adjusted, he or she will receive notification of the revised award. Some typical reasons for award adjustments are:

Enrollment change

This occurs when a student drops or adds a class or classes. An enrollment change affects the student’s cost of attendance, which often alters financial aid eligibility.

All students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive most financial aid.

The information below outlines the number of credits needed to be considered less than half-time, half-time, three-quarter time, or full-time status:

Undergraduate Requirements

Full-time: 12 or more credits
Three-quarter time: 9 to 11 credits
Half-time: 6 to 8 credits
Less than half-time: Less than 6 credits

Graduate Requirements

Full-time: 9 or more credits
Half-time: 5 to 8 credits
Less than half-time: Less than 5 credits

Doctoral – Ed.D.

Full-time: 8 or more credits
Half-time: 4 to 7 credits
Less than half-time: Less than 4 credits

Doctoral – DNP

Full-time: 6 or more credits
Half-time: 3 to 5 credits
Less than half-time: Less than 3 credits

Doctoral – Psy.D.

Full-time: 6 or more credits (Except for ED886 or ED887)
Half-time: 3 to 5 credits
Less than half-time: Less than 3 credits

Housing Change

This occurs when a student changes from a campus resident to commuter. A housing change affects the student’s cost of attendance and may reduce financial aid eligibility and a student’s award.

Employment or Income Change

This occurs when new information becomes available regarding a student’s or family’s income (such as a job loss). The new information provided by the student may result in a change in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and result in a change in financial aid eligibility and a student’s award.

Additional Source of Support

Also a factor is whether a student is receiving assistance from a source other than Rivier University. If a student receives private scholarship or grant money, it is their responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Services of this information.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial aid recipients are required by both federal and institutional policy to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students are expected to work at a reasonable pace towards a degree or certificate and maintain at least the minimum grade point average required for graduation. The financial aid policy regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress is all students, full or part-time, are expected to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. In addition, students must complete 67 percent of the courses they attempt for any given semester. The University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy outlines all SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility.


Office of Financial Aid