CATALOG: Types of Financial Aid

The college offers three primary types of financial assistance (Grants, Scholarships, and Federal Work-Study):


These are need-based awards which DO NOT require repayment, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant, College Scholarship Assistance Program, Virginia Student Financial Assistance Program (which consists of the Commonwealth of Virginia Grant and Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program), Part-time Assistance Program and Supplemental Grant.

  • Federal Pell Grant (PELL): Federally funded grants which provide financial assistance to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. A student must establish financial need, be a U.S. citizen, and be accepted in an eligible curriculum. Award is determined based on student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are available to a limited number of undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Students completing the FAFSA and qualifying for the Pell grant will be considered for SEOG while funds are available.
  • Commonwealth of Virginia Grant (COMA): The COMA state grant is available for students who enroll at least half-time, demonstrate financial need, are domiciliary residents of Virginia, and meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP): The VGAP state grant is available to Virginia residents who graduated from a Virginia high school with a 2.5 (GPA) or higher. Students must be first-time freshmen enrolled at RCC full-time. Awards may be renewed for a second year for students who have maintained full-time enrollment and a minimum 2.0 GPA or higher at RCC, and continue to demonstrate financial need.
  • Part-Time Tuition Assistance (PTAP): PTAP grants are available for students who enroll for 1 to 8 credits only, are residents of Virginia, and demonstrate financial need. The maximum award is the cost of tuition and fees.
  • Supplemental VCCS Grant (SUPP): SUPP grants are available for students from tuition set-aside funds. To be eligible students must demonstrate financial need, have a preferred Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under 8,000, be residents of Virginia, meet the College Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, be seeking a degree or certificate, and can maintain any enrollment level.


The RCC Educational Foundation, Inc. manages 100 different scholarships that provide awards totaling approximately $400,000.  The scholarships can be combined with federal and state financial aid assistance or used alone to cover RCC tuition costs.  They are awarded based on academic excellence and/ or need, through the generous contributions of individuals, civic organizations, and businesses who wish to recognize outstanding performance and assist students as they pursue an RCC education.

The easy, online application, as well as additional information on the scholarship program, are found on the RCC website.  The scholarship application period is tentatively scheduled for October 1, 2019, to February 15, 2020, for awards starting in the fall 2020 semester.

Students should always remember that applying for Financial Aid and Scholarships is FREE.

Prospective and current students should always be aware of scams involving financial aid and never pay for any financial aid or scholarship application or service.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program that provides part-time jobs for students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half time (6 credits) during the fall and spring semesters at RCC. Awards, for which the student must work, are based on need.

Money is earned hourly and paid on a bi-weekly basis through the Federal Work-Study Program. Student class schedules, curriculum, and job skills are considered in assessing jobs. Most employment is on-campus; however, additional employment opportunities have been established for off-campus community service employment.

Student Loan Program Notice

RCC DOES NOT participate in Federal Family Education Loan Program or Federal Direct Loan Program due to federal regulations which were enacted in 1996-97.

The federal government will suspend institutional eligibility for PELL grants and other forms of Title IV financial aid at U.S. colleges and universities where student loan default rates are 25 percent or higher. Since the number of borrowers at RCC who had no other source of financial aid was small and the number of students defaulting on their student loans was high, the college ended participation in student loan programs in April 1996.

Other Sources of Aid

The college offers several programs for special populations:

  • Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
    Certain disabled persons may qualify for services and/or financial aid from the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. Consult the financial aid staff or a counselor for referral assistance.
  • Virginia Foster Care Tuition Grant
    The Tuition Grant program provides tuition and fees at any Virginia community college for high school graduates or general education development (GED) completers in foster care, in the custody of a social services agency, or considered a special needs adoption.

Awards will be provided to eligible applicants who are not already receiving sufficient grant funds to pay for their tuition and fees. The awards cannot exceed tuition and required fees. Students who are already receiving grant funds that cover tuition and fees are not eligible for these awards. Inquire with the financial aid office for further eligibility criteria.

  • HOPE Scholarship Credit
    The Tax Relief Act of 1997 offers tax credits for tuition and fee payments under certain conditions. Effective January 1, 1998, those paying tuition and fees may be eligible for up to $1,500 in tax credit under the HOPE Scholarship Credit. Only students who are taking at least a half-time load, who are in their first two years of postsecondary education and who do not have their tuition paid by an employer or through grant aid, are eligible.

Students should contact a tax expert to find out whether they qualify for this credit.

Important Financial Aid Deadlines

RCC’s priority deadline is April 15 before the fall semester the student would like to attend. Applications for financial aid should be completed and submitted electronically to the office of Federal Student Financial Aid Programs four weeks prior to registration at RCC.

Students must submit a separate applications for scholarships. RCC Educational Foundation Inc. Scholarship applications are usually available in December with a late February deadline for the upcoming academic year.

Students who wish to be considered for the work-study program must inform RCC financial aid staff after completing the FAFSA.

RCC establishes deadlines each semester for the first day and the last day to charge against financial aid award in the bookstore and for submission of any additional documents required. These dates will be posted in the Financial Aid Office, on bulletin boards, in the Business Office, Bookstore, Student Lounge (display TV screens), and on the RCC Website (financial aid section).

Students who wish to take advantage of Veterans Administration educational benefits for which they may be entitled should plan well in advance to ensure that the necessary VA approvals can be obtained prior to registration.

Last modified on 08-28-2019