Eligibility and Demonstrated Need

Understanding Your Eligibility and Demonstrated Need

Rice’s philosophy is that funding a student’s undergraduate education is a partnership with the family. While the primary responsibility to pay for college lies with the family, we also believe the brightest students should not only envision themselves here, but also be confident that they can embrace the full Rice experience.

The Rice Investment

Determining Total Income

Total income is a combination of both taxed and untaxed income from the parents and student. Untaxed income includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

  • Voluntary contributions to retirement savings (i.e., 401[k], 403[b], IRA, etc.)
  • Child support received
  • Tax exempt interest
  • Foreign income exclusion
  • HSA deduction
  • Untaxed Social Security benefits
  • Veterans non-education benefits
  • Certain business related losses

Typical Assets

For assets, we evaluate whether assets are typical or atypical for the family’s income level. Families with significant assets atypical for their income level may not qualify for The Rice Investment. Assets include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cash and savings
  • Investments
  • Home equity
  • Business/farm worth
  • Other real estate equity

Retirement savings in a qualifying account (i.e., IRA, 403[b], 401[k], etc.) are not included in the total assets.

The Rice Investment may be met through a combination of federal, state and institutional gift aid. Any additional demonstrated need may be met through work study and/or additional gift aid.

A holistic review is given to each application to determine eligibility.

What if I do not qualify for The Rice Investment?

Families who apply for financial aid and do not qualify for The Rice Investment will still be evaluated for need-based aid eligibility. For these families, Rice remains committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need. Awards may be comprised of a combination of grant aid, work study and loans.

We consider multiple factors in determining your financial aid eligibility at Rice University. The total income and assets of both you and your family, your parents’ ages, your state of residence and other factors contribute to our calculation. Federal and institutional financial need formulas are used to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC) toward the Cost of Attendance. The EFC is the amount your family is expected to be able to reasonably absorb over the course of the year rather than cash on hand.

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Demonstrated Financial Need







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