Paying For College

RCU Accelerate Support For Success

Payment and Paperwork Policy

All Undergraduate, Graduate, and Adult Learning students have a payment and financial aid paperwork deadline of the Monday before the first day of each semester. We want students to be able to start off the semester with having all paperwork and (if necessary) payment being made so you can be better prepared to focus on your studies and succeed academically.

We do not offer institutional aid to RCU Accelerate students.

  • Complete a FAFSA form at
  • Complete any missing items (i.e. verification, missing signatures, unusual enrollment history, etc)
  • Accept or Decline all awards on the student portal at
  • If accepting loans, students must complete:
    • Entrance Counseling (EC)
    • Master Promissory Note (MPN)
    • Parent PLUS Loan MPN (if applicable)
    • Private/Alternative Loan secured (if applicable)
  • If payment is due:
    • If paying in full, payment is due the Monday before the first day of the semester.
    • If doing a payment plan, the first payment is due the Monday before the first day of the semester.
  • Students will receive an “Unofficial” email two times per month in June and July, notifying them of any outstanding items. One time per week during the first two weeks of August and then daily the week leading up to the deadline. Please do not ignore these emails.
  • IMPORTANT: Students who do not complete all of the required steps will be administratively dropped from all of their courses on Tuesday following the payment deadline. 
  • You will receive notification to your RCU email that you have been administratively dropped from your courses.
  • If you are administratively dropped from your courses and complete your paperwork/payment after the fact, then you can re-register for courses. You may not be able to get back into the same courses as before. Graduate and Accelerated Learning students must re-register by Friday 4pm before the first day of the semester.
  • Exceptions will be limited, but must be approved by Student Financial Services.

Please contact Student Financial Services at or 248-218-2127 for any questions.

Students should apply for aid every year, even if they think they won’t qualify. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is free, and it’s easy to apply. There are many factors affecting eligibility for financial aid, including income and family size. To apply for most financial aid — including federal and state student grants, work-study and loans – you will need to complete the FAFSA using one of the following formats:

  • online at
  • using a paper FAFSA – note: PDF FAFSAs must be mailed for processing.

The FAFSA form is available as early as October 1 for the following school year. It’s important to fill it out as soon as possible to meet school and state financial aid deadlines. For the 2024-2025 award year, FAFSA applications will be available beginning Dec. 31, 2023. RCU will receive student FAFSA information starting in March 2024. 

IMPORTANT:  The State of Michigan has a priority deadline of  July 1 (date received) for State of Michigan student aid programs!

  1. Create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) number. Go to and click on “Create Account.” Both students and parent(s) are required to use an FSA ID to access sensitive financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. Each person will create a username and password and enter their personal email address. The FSA ID process requires your name, date of birth, social security number and contact information, along with challenge questions and answers. You will be able to use your new FSA ID number only after confirming your email address using a secure code sent to you when creating your FSA ID. It is important to remember that a mobile phone number or email address can be associated with only one FSA ID.
  2. Federal Tax Information (FTI) from two years prior to the academic year for which they are applying. This is commonly referred to as Prior-Prior Year FAFSA.
  3. File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after October 1 as possible each year. The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available beginning December 2023.
    1. The 2024-2025 FAFSA is for students attending or planning to attend Fall 2024, Spring 2025 and/or Summer 2025.
    2. *TIP: If you are given the option to complete a “renewal” FAFSA form, choose that option. When you choose to renew your FAFSA form, your demographic information from the previous year will roll over into your new application. Go to to start your financial aid application and indicate that you are the student. Certain information may be automatically loaded into your application to prevent common errors.
    3. Do not start the FAFSA form by supplying the parent’s FSA ID!
  4. Parent Invitations to Complete FAFSA: Students will complete their section of the FAFSA first, then indicate which parent(s) should be invited via email to complete their parts of the FAFSA:
    1. One parent (if single parent) or if parents are married and filed joint 2022 tax returns.
    2. Two parents (if parents married, filed separately in 2022).
    3. For other parent situations not listed above, refer to the FAFSA for instructions
  5. Be sure to include Rochester Christian University’s federal school code (002288) in the number 1 spot in step titled “Enter the schools that should receive the student’s FAFSA information” on your application to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of aid.
  6. Contributors Must Provide Consent and Sign FAFSA: All students and parent(s) contributing to the FAFSA must provide consent on the 2024-25 FAFSA to have their 2022 tax information released from the IRS to the Department of Education.
    1. Contributors must use their FSA ID to access the FAFSA form, answer questions, provide consent, and sign the form electronically.
    2. The FAFSA will not be submitted for processing until ALL contributors provide consent and sign.
    3. Consent to releasing tax information cannot be revoked and is mandatory for the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation to be completed and for the student to be eligible for federal aid.
    4. Students or parents who are non-tax filers must still provide consent and enter income data manually.
  7. You will receive a FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) upon completion of the FAFSA. The FSS is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. Review your FSS and correct any mistakes online by logging into your student aid account.
  8. Student Financial Services at RCU will receive a copy of your FAFSA application 3-5 business days after submission and review to determine your eligibility for financial aid. For the 2024-2025 award year, RCU will begin to receive FAFSA information in March 2024. If additional information is required, you will receive an email from outlining what information or update(s) is required. When your FAFSA is approved, you will receive a financial aid offer outlining cost information and detailing your financial aid award package.

Types of Federal and State Aid

By closely following and completing the following steps, you will accelerate the financial aid process and maximize the amount of aid you are eligible to receive. Packaging will be based on students’ maximum eligibility for grants/scholarships/loans within the cost of attendance.

Eligibility: Students will now be considered for one of three types of Pell Grants: maximum, minimum, or a calculated Pell amount. Eligibility is now based on dependency status, family size, parent’s marital status, income (AGI), a multiplier of the federal poverty level and enrollment status. All students enrolled for at least one credit hour will now receive consideration for a Pell grant.
Amount: Maximum Estimate based on 23-24 Pell amounts – $7395 for the 2024-2025 award year, pro-rated based on enrollment intensity.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester Christian University listed first.

Eligibility: Need-based grant for low-income undergraduate students. Awarded to students with exceptional financial need who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients. 
Amount: Maximum $500 per award year, pro-rated based on enrollment. RCU receives a limited amount of funds each year, so early application is important to receive this grant.
Deadline: June 30, 2024 for the 2024-2025 award year. 
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester Christian University listed first.

Eligibility: Need-based loan available to undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time.
Amount: Determined by student’s grade level, dependency status, financial need and cost of attendance. Freshman up to $3,500, Sophomore up to $4,500, and Junior/Senior up to $5,500. There are aggregate (lifetime) limits.
Details: The government pays the interest while student is enrolled in college at least half-time and during a six-month grace period. Repayment begins six months after graduation or when the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. There is a time limit on how long a student can receive loans.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester Christian University listed first.

Eligibility: Loan available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time regardless of financial need.
Amount: Determined by student’s grade level, dependency status, and cost of attendance Freshman/Sophomore maximum $6,000 and Junior/Senior maximum $7,000. There are aggregate (lifetime) limits.
Details: Student is responsible for paying the interest during all periods. Interest payments are the responsibility of the student for the duration of the loan. Repayment begins six months after graduation or the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester Christian University listed first.

Eligibility: Provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.
Amount: Varies (at least minimum wage) – student receives a paycheck.
Details: Work-study funds listed on a student’s award letter are not applied directly to the student’s bill. In order to receive funds, students must apply and be hired in a student worker position.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester Christian University listed first and submit work-study application on the RCU student portal. Complete work study application.

Eligibility: The Michigan Tuition Grant is available to undergraduate Michigan residents with financial need who plan to attend or are attending a Michigan degree-granting, nonprofit independent college.
Amount: Awards pay up to a maximum of $3,000 for the 2024-25 award year.
Details: Current and future awards are subject to available and approved funding.
Deadline: March 1, 2022 for the 2022-2023 award year.
Apply: Complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester Christian University listed first prior to the state deadline of March 1.

Eligibility: Need-based award available to eligible students enrolled in an associate degree program (Phase I) and/or a bachelor’s degree program (Phase II). TIP application must be completed prior to August 31 of the year the student graduates from high school.
Amount: Phase I maximum is $126 per credit hour (up to 80 hours) and Phase II maximum is $1,000 per award year (up to $2,000 total lifetime benefit).
Details: Only students who were identified by the Michigan Medicaid Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) as having met the Michigan Medicaid eligibility requirement may apply for TIP.
Deadline: Eligible students must apply before August 31 of the student’s graduating year from high school or it’s recognized equivalent.
Apply: The TIP application may be completed online in the MiSSG Student Portal or by calling 1-888-447-2687 prior to the application deadline and complete FAFSA with school code 002288 Rochester Christian University listed first.

Additional Financial Aid Resources

  • Parents of dependent students may apply for a federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan at to help pay for their child’s educational expenses. If approved for the loan, the parent must complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) and the loan must be accepted on the student’s portal. Note, there is one MPN for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and a different MPN for Direct Parent PLUS Loans.
  • When a parent is denied for a PLUS loan, the dependent student may then be eligible for additional unsubsidized loans. The student may be awarded as much as an independent student at the same grade level. Independent students in their junior or senior year are eligible to receive up to $12,500 per year in federal Direct loans, with a limit of $5,500 in subsidized loans.
  • Students may apply for a private, or alternative, student loan. Private loans available from private lenders and vary in their interest rates, terms and eligibility requirements. Find more information here.
  • Students may pay the out-of-pocket cost in full by the due date.
  • RCU offers a payment plan option, breaking down the balance into affordable monthly payments. Students are required to enroll or re-enroll in the payment plan ($75 enrollment fee) each semester. Students are never penalized for paying off the balance early.

Outside Scholarship Resources

As an adult accelerated student, you may be eligible for outside scholarships or grants; however, you are not eligible for institutional aid or grants. You can find additional information on the Michigan Tuition Grant here.
Our #1 goal is to help make attending Rochester Christian University a reality. Students in all programs are eligible to apply for outside scholarships.

Outside Scholarships