What if you could make Rice a reality?Your step-by-step Guide to Paying for college


Welcome to your personal college financial planning hub! We’re here to make understanding and applying for financial aid simple and straightforward.

What If You Could make Rice a Reality? Video

Interested in more financial aid information, from the basics to helpful resources?

Sign Up for Paying for College 101


Even though it’s a little different for each student and their family, there are a few basic steps that everyone follows.

Learn the Lingo

To make the best decisions when it comes to choosing and paying for college, you need speak the language of financial aid.

Discover What's Possible

Choose the Right Fit

You may be wondering how you'll pay for college. While each school is different, many have resources to help international students fund their education through need-based and/or merit-based aid.*

Once you know what you’ll be expected to pay, you’ll have a better idea of where you’d like to apply and what sort of financial support you’ll need.

Apply to Schools

Complete the CSS Profile

You’ve done the research; now it’s time to apply! (Remember to keep track of the dates for early decision, regular admission and rolling deadlines.)

To be considered for financial aid, you’ll need to complete and submit the CSS Profile form.

Please note that international students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid, but may be eligible for institutional or private aid.

*At Rice University, need-based and merit-based aid is available for first-time incoming freshman students. (Transfer students are not eligible.) To learn more, visit the International Students Applying for Aid page.



There’s a lot that goes into choosing and paying for your college education. Learning the answers to these questions is a great place to start.

How do I get help paying for college?

Everyone’s situation is a little bit different, but taking these steps can help you find the funding you need for college:

Help Paying for College Video

I don’t know what half of these financial terms mean. Can someone help break it down for me?

When it comes to financial aid, you’ll see a lot of terms – some of them for the first time! And with new terms being added or revised, it can be a bit overwhelming. Head to our glossary for a crash course in the language of financial aid!

Let’s face it: Money is a sensitive topic. How do I have the financial aid talk with my family?

We get it. Talking about money can be uncomfortable. And, for some people and cultures, it’s downright taboo. To take some of the stress out of The Money Talk, here are some tips to make it a little easier:

Financial Aid: Handling Sensitive Topics

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

Yes! While international students are not eligible for federal aid, they may be eligible for need-based and/or merit-based institutional aid. International students can apply for financial aid by completing the CSS Profile and submitting income documentation.

Please note that all international students must also complete an International Student Financial Statement form and supply appropriate supporting documentation with their admission application, regardless of whether or not they choose to apply for financial aid.

I’m afraid I won’t qualify for financial aid. Should I even apply?

Yes! It’s definitely worth applying for financial aid!

There are a lot of options to pay for college beyond what is offered from completing FAFSA and the CSS Profile—including outside scholarships, grants, private loans and work study programs. And at Rice, first-time international undergraduate students receiving need- based aid will have 100% of their demonstrated needs met with institutional grant aid!

Financial Aid eligibility Infographic
Download Infographic PDF






M-Th 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CT