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Academic Promise Eligibility Requirements

Recipients of a an Academic Promise Scholarship award may receive up to $2,500 per year to a maximum of four years for enrollment in an undergraduate program that leads to a degree or certificate at an accredited college, university, or post-secondary school. The scholarship is funded by proceeds from the CollegeBoundfund® 529 College Savings Program.

Please Note:

No new recipients were selected to receive Academic Promise Scholarship awards for the 2014-2015 academic year due to a reallocation of program funding. Funding levels for the 2014-2015 year have not yet been determined.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive an Academic Promise Scholarship, a student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Graduating High School Senior
  • Completed FAFSA by March 1
  • SAT or ACT
  • Rhode Island Resident as of January 31
  • United States Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen
  • Full-time enrollment (12.0+ credits per term)
  • First Undergraduate Degree
  • Demonstrate Financial Need
  • Academic Requirements
  • Federal Title IV Requirements
  • Selection Process
  • Use of Funds
  • Eligible Schools
  • Loss of Eligibility
Description of Terms

Graduating High School Seniors: The student must be in his senior year at a high school located in Rhode Island to be considered for an Academic Promise Scholarship. Only 100 new scholarships are awarded each year.

Completed FAFSA: Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The federal processing center must receive the FAFSA no later than March 1. The FAFSA may be completed online at The student must submit a FAFSA each year.

SAT or ACT: The student must take either the SAT or ACT standardized test.

Rhode Island Resident: The student must be a resident of Rhode Island as of January 31. In the case of a dependent student (as determined by federal Title IV regulations), at least one of the student's parents must also be a Rhode Island resident as of January 31.

United States Citizen on Eligible Non-Citizen: The student must be either a United States Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen as determined by Title-IV federal financial aid regulations.

Full-Time Enrollment: The student must enroll on a full-time basis each academic semester, trimester, or quarter to maintain eligibility. Full-time enrollment is defined as at least 12.0 credit hours or its equivalent.

First Undergraduate Degree: Academic Promise Scholarship awards are available only to undergraduate students who have not yet achieved their first bachelor's degree. Students enrolled in graduate-level programs are not eligible.

Demonstrate Financial Need: A student's financial need is determined by information provided by the student and his/her family on the FAFSA. The student's federal estimated family contribution (EFC) must be $5,550 or lower.

Academic Requirements: In order to remain eligible, a student must achieve at least the following cumulative grade point averages each year:

Minimum Cumulative GPA
Year in College
2.50First Year
2.62Second Year
2.75Third Year

Federal Title IV Requirements: The student must comply with federal Title-IV requirements regarding selective service and drug conviction. The student must not owe a refund on a federal educational grant program or be in default on a federal student loan.

Selection Process: The graduating high school senior with the highest ranking selection index is offered the first scholarship, and so on until all 100 slots are filled. Vacancies in the program will be filled based on a student's original ranking.

The selection index is determined as follows:
Selection Index = ((5,550 - EFC)/10) + SAT Score or Adjusted ACT Score

Use of Funds: Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment required for enrollment, room and board. The school may apply these funds to expenses but, as a condition of acceptance of funds, is not allowed to use these funds to displace any institutional gift aid it has awarded the student.

Eligible Schools: Funds may be used at any eligible school that participates in the Title-IV Federal Financial Aid Programs throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Loss of Eligibility: A student who loses eligibility to receive a subsequent award has the right to petition for reinstatement should that student re-establish eligibility at the end of a subsequent year within the four-year cohort for that class. Reinstatement will be subject to the availability of funds and space in the program. Vacancies in the program will be offered to the student with the next highest selection index from the original selection group.