Financial Aid To-Do

Congratulations on your acceptance to RMU! We know that financial aid eligibility and the financial aid process is a big part of the equation for most prospective students. We continue to work hard to provide a quality, affordable education, which is why our tuition remains well below the average of Pennsylvania private colleges. We also strive to make the entire financial aid process as understandable as possible.  

The guidance outlined below should be considered a supplement to the Financial Aid Award Package and To-Do List that was mailed home. We hope you find this guide useful.  

Special Note: Invoicing is electronic and done on a per semester basis.  Email notifications will be sent once invoices are available to view online through Sentry Secured Services/Sentry Shared Portal.  Fall invoicing begins toward the middle of summer, spring invoicing takes place mid-November.  

1. Understand Remaining Balance

As part of the financial aid award package, we estimate an annual balance.  The calculation is based on standard charges, and certain assumptions made at the time of packaging.  Actual charges will be generated after registration, and a housing contract (on campus students), is in place.  

2. Complete Verification

A portion of students are selected for an accuracy review process called Verification. Although we can estimate your aid and balance, so you have an idea of what to expect, we cannot officially disburse aid until the verification process is complete.  If selected, the financial aid award letter will be marked as Pending and a Verification Worksheet will be included in the folder.  Please be sure to complete this step as soon as possible.  If you were not selected, feel free to move on to step 3! 

3. Finalize PHEAA State Grant

To ensure review for a Pennsylvania state grant, all first year PA students must complete a State Grant Application.  There is a link at the completion of the FAFSA that will take applicants to PHEAA’s website for completion. If that step was not taken, please visit www.pheaa.org. You’ll also want to make sure RMU is listed as the school of choice. If you are not a PA resident, no need to worry about this step. Move on to step 4! 

4. Complete Federal Loans

Most financial aid award packages will include eligible Federal Direct Student Loans.  The loan(s) may be subsidized (interest free while in school) or unsubsidized (not interest free).  To ensure the loans are finalized, and will eventually show on your tuition invoice, the two steps listed below are required.  Both can be completed at www.studentloans.gov. If you’d like to cancel all or a portion of the student loan(s) listed, just let us know! 

5. Notify Us of Outside Scholarships

If you’ve been awarded a scholarship from an external organization, we usually will not know about it until you tell us. Please forward scholarship award notifications to finaid@rmu.edu.  Once received, we can project the funds toward your balance. Use the link below to explore our directory of External Scholarships. 

6. Consider How to Handle Remaining Balance

Once all applicable steps have been completed above, it’s time to consider how to handle the remaining balance. There’s no one size fits all way to pay.  We encourage you to consider what works best for you and your family.  We’ve outlined common options below.  Please note, you can combine multiple methods if desired.