Lovett Hall at sunset

Understanding Your Aid Offer 

Disbursements of financial aid awards during the academic year occur in two equal disbursements (Fall and Spring), and are released to the student's account once all requirements are completed. The scheduled disbursements are credited a week prior to the start of each term. We encourage you to log on to your ESTHER account using your user name and pin supplied by the Office of the Registrar. This will be our main communication channel to inform you of your financial aid status, financial aid offer, charges and payments for tuition, course schedule, grades and much more. Our packages may contain various types of aid as listed below that may appear in your financial aid award. This will enable you to have a better understanding of your Financial Aid Offer.

Rice Merit Aid is a scholarship fund that is awarded to academically outstanding students. When applying for admission to Rice, you are automatically considered for these awards by the Office of Admission. For more information, please visit Merit Scholarships.

Rice Tuition Grant is funding awarded to students with unmet institutional need-based financial aid eligibility after the awards below have been added. Rice ensures that a student's unmet financial need is entirely covered through various financial aid types. To be eligible you must apply for financial aid. For more information, please visit Applying for Aid

Outside Scholarships are non-Rice funds received from a third-party source.  It is crucial for Rice to know of any outside scholarships that you expect to receive. These scholarships are first used to replace self-help aid in the need-based package, such as loans and work study. Subsequently, these may replace a portion of any need-based institutional funds provided by Rice. If the Office of Financial Aid becomes aware of any outside scholarships that are not reported by a student, we will lower the student's institutional funds by the same amount. For more information, please visit Outside Awards. To report any outside resources, please visit ESTHER under the following tabs Financial Aid/Award Status/Award for Aid Year/Resources & Additional Information.

Federal or State Grants, such as the Pell Grant and the Texas Equalization Grant, are grants that are provided by the federal or state governments based on your demonstrated financial need. To be eligible for these grants, you must apply for financial aid. For more information, please visit Federal and State Grants.

Federal Work Study is an opportunity to work on campus while attending Rice. We award $2500 in Federal Work Study or Rice Work for students who choose to work while attending school. It is the student’s responsibility to find employment on campus. To be eligible you must apply for financial aid. For more information, please visit Student Employment.

Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans are federal loans that must be repaid. All students are eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans regardless of need. Undergraduate students are eligible for a Direct Subsidized loan if they have demonstrated need. Rice will not award the federal maximum amounts unless it is requested by the student. For more information, please visit Federal Direct Loans.

Perkins Loans are low interest rate loans offered to students with high financial need. Undergraduate students have priority for this loan since funding is limited. To be eligible you must apply for financial aid. For more information, please visit Federal Perkins Loan.

Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students is a credit-based, fixed rate loan that enables graduate or professional students to borrow funds to meet their educational expenses. For more information, please visit Direct PLUS Loans.

Direct PLUS Loan for Parents is a credit-based, fixed rate loan that parents of undergraduate students can borrow on the student’s behalf to meet educational expenses. For more information, please visit Direct PLUS Loans.

Private Loans are credit-based loans that may have a variable or fixed interest rate. For more information, please visit Private Loans

Rice University offers loan options to assist you and your family with your educational expenses. Not all of these loans are based on financial need and can be used to replace a portion or all of your expected family contribution (EFC). If you are a Texas Resident, then you may want to review the options under Texas State Loans.