VA Benefits

The Rhode Island School of Design proudly welcomes veterans and their families. The Registrar’s Office is committed to assisting veterans and their families navigate VA Educational Benefits and the college experience as a whole.

RISD is approved to certify students (veterans or dependents) who are eligible for educational benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In addition, RISD partners with the VA in support of the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program.

Using your benefits

  1. The GI Bill® Comparison Tool helps you determine your eligibility.
  2. Apply for education benefits with the VA.
  3. Let RISD know. Email Chris Barrett at cbarre01@risd.edu. We’ll need your Certificate of Eligibility but even if you have not received this yet, please reach out.

Yellow Ribbon Program®

RISD is pleased to participate in the Post 9/11 GI Bill® Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional financial assistance to veterans who qualify for 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill® educational benefits.

Criteria of eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon Program for a veteran or a dependent of a veteran include:

  • Served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
  • Was honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001;
  • Is a dependent of a veteran who is eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.

RISD provides scholarship assistance in the amount of $10,000, which is matched by the federal government for a total of $20,000. Participation is limited to 25 veterans, with Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations stipulating that assistance be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Students are automatically considered for this program by providing a copy of their VA Certificate of Eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon to RISD. Qualified students seeking assistance for the upcoming academic year can begin submitting certificates on May 1; materials submitted prior to May 1 are not accepted.

Please note: Scholarship assistance cannot exceed tuition and fees from all sources. If an applicant receives scholarship assistance from RISD, $10,000 of this scholarship amount will be designated as the Yellow Ribbon match. If the total of scholarship assistance from RISD, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and Chapter 33 benefits exceed tuition and fees, the scholarship assistance offered by RISD will be reduced commensurately. Check the VA website for more detailed information on your benefits.

Self Certification

The VA requires students receiving Post-9/11 Gill Bill® or Montgomery GI Bill benefits to self verify their course enrollments every month by text, email or calling the VA. Learn more here.

Resources and Disclosures

RISD understands succeeding during college involves more than just understanding finances. We aim to ensure student success from your first year to post-graduation. In accordance with Section 1018 of Public Law 116-315, Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, we’ve assembled the below resources to help you navigate and plan your college career.

Campus Contacts

School Certifying Officials (Traditional academic programs)
School Certifying Officials (Continuing Education programs)
Student Financial Services (Billing)
  • sfs@risd.edu, 401 454-6661, Washington Place
  • Amanda Woodward, awoodw01@risd.edu, 401-427-3116 x3116, Washington Place
Student Financial Aid
Academic Support or Disability Services
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551)
  • Website

Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

Traditional academic programs

Detailed tuition, fees, housing, dining and other costs may be found on the Student Financial Services website. Please note that students who separate from the institution during a semester may be charged a prorated amount.

Continuing Education programs

Costs for continuing education vary by specific experience and are listed alongside the course. Course information, including costs, may be found on the CE website.

Costs Covered by VA

Your VA benefits depend on the chapter and your individual eligibility as determined by the VA. The VA provides on its website rate tables. You can also use the GI Bill® Comparison Tool to explore institutions and estimate benefits.

RISD also participates in the Post 9/11 GI Bill® Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional financial assistance to veterans who qualify for 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill® educational benefits.

Other Financial Aid

Students participating in traditional academic programs using VA education benefits are encouraged to apply for financial aid online through the FAFSA to be considered for federal, state, and institution grants, as well as scholarships (receiving Financial Aid does not reduce your monthly housing allowance from the VA). Financial aid can be used alongside VA veteran education benefits. The school code for RISD on the FAFSA is 003409.

Student loan debt

Qualified undergraduate and graduate students have access to the federal student loan program. Students may also work with private lenders.

Undergraduate students who are dependents and borrow the maximum allowed under the federal loan program each year for four years can expect to graduate with an estimated $27,000 in outstanding principal. Congress sets interest rates each year.

Undergraduate students who are independent (not claimed as a dependent on a tax return) and borrow the maximum allowed under the federal loan program each year for four years can expect to graduate with an estimated $36,000 in outstanding principal. Congress sets interest rates each year.

Graduate students who borrow the maximum allowed under the federal loan program each year for two years can expect to graduate with an estimated $20,500 in outstanding principal. Congress sets interest rates each year.

Tuition Payment Deadline

For GI Bill students, our tuition policy complies with 38 USC 3679 (e) which means a GI Bill student will not be charged or otherwise penalized due to a delay in the VA tuition and fee payments.

Taking a Break from RISD

Students who need to step away from the institution for personal, medical, military or other reasons should review RISD’s leave policy and submit a leave of absence request. Leaves are generally limited to a year unless the student is called to active military service, then the leave of absence may be for the duration of the military service.

Transfer Credit Policy

Transfer credit is awarded on the basis of credits earned at a regionally accredited, non-profit, college or university. Credits are transferable only for courses in which a grade of “C” or better is earned. “P” in a pass/fail system, or other such notations, are interpreted as “C” or better.

RISD does not accept credit for life experience, workforce, or military training. RISD does accept prior learning assessment credit for some Advanced Placement (AP), Advanced Level (A-Level) subject qualification, or International Baccalaureate (IB), but does not award credit for College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), or workshop or programs approved by the American Council on Education (ACE).

For the full transfer credit policy, refer to our website.

Graduation Requirements

Requirements to graduate vary by program.

For students in traditional academic programs, requirements are outlined in the Course Announcement.

Students pursuing continuing education should review the requirements for the specific course or program.

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates for undergraduate students in traditional programs are available through Institutional Data and Research Services’ online dashboard.

Job Placement Rates

Information on internships and professional engagements may be found on the RISD Careers website.

Enrollment certification for VA benefits

Students utilizing GI Bill benefits must submit a Certificate of Eligibility (C.O.E.) before the fall semester of each attending year.

About Rhode Island

Meet some veterans attending college in Rhode Island.

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill