Student Financial Services


The primary responsibility for financing a college education lies with the student and the family (if the student is deemed dependent). All students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually to receive consideration for financial aid. The purpose of the FAFSA is to determine the financial need of a student and to confirm their eligibility to participate in student aid programs. FAFSA results are sent to Rivier University and are used to determine your award. A financial aid award will vary according to a student’s need and the availability of funds. Financial aid is awarded for one academic year at a time; students 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 Student Financial Services Office. 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 a revised award letter. Some typical reasons for award adjustments are:

1. Enrollment change (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.

Please note: All students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive most financial aid. Undergraduate half-time enrollment is defined as a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester. Graduate half-time enrollment is defined as a minimum of 5 credit hours per semester. 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 (PsyD)

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

2. Housing change (A student changes from a campus resident to commuter.) This affects the student’s cost of attendance and may reduce financial aid eligibility and a student’s award.

3. New information is available. New information provided by the student may result in an EFC change.

4. 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 Student Financial Services Office 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 be maintaining 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 are attempting for any given semester. The University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy outlines all SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility.