Financial Matters

Spring 2022 Semester

A refund will not be offered for the first week of the Spring 2022 semester. The Rensselaer Housing and Dining contract for 2021-22 states that any refunds offered for the cancellation of housing or dining due to the pandemic or another health emergency will be consistent with the refund schedule for student withdrawal. Consistent with the contract, a one-week delay or cancellation does not create a refund of housing or dining charges.

Spring 2021 Semester

If you applied for a remote learning request for spring 2021 and were approved, your student bill will be adjusted in the coming weeks. The room and board charges for spring 2021, that are reflected on the student bill, may be deducted when submitting payment; any remaining balance is the student’s responsibility.

Return-to-Campus 2020

Q. Will financial aid be affected for those who are remote?

A. No. There will be no adjustments to the overall cost of attendance based on the course delivery method or the requirement to attend in person. Additionally, there will be no change to financial aid awards.


Q. How does a Leave of Absence (LOA) affect my financial aid?

A. Merit-based awards are generally valid for eight semesters of study (10 for Architecture majors). A LOA will not count toward the eight to 10 semesters of merit-based awards unless you take a LOA after the semester begins.

Need-based aid is based on your FAFSA. For details, contact Financial Aid at (518) 276-6813.

Q. What are the first-year housing and dining costs per semester?

A. All incoming first-year students will be billed for the fall 2020 semester as follows:

Room: $4,470
19-Meal Plan: $3,450
Total: $7,920


Q. Will students get a tuition or fee refund or a tuition discount if they are taking all online courses?

A. No. There will not be a reduction in the cost of attendance or a reduction in the financial aid that students have been awarded. Rensselaer is very focused on the expansion and quality of online learning, the ongoing development of programs and events to engage students both online and in-person, and the maintenance of campus facilities to provide the best student experience possible. Helping students thrive personally and academically is our top priority. Therefore, we have designed a remote educational experience that will provide students with an exceptional, high-quality Rensselaer education.

Q. What is the Student Health Center fee?

A. The undergraduate Health fee for fall is $337/semester. The Student Health Center, including Mental Health Services, will continue operating. The Student Health Center will also provide additional testing and monitoring services to ensure the safety of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional support for students on campus who test positive for COVID-19 is provided at no additional cost. The Institute will also bear the significant cost of providing cloth face coverings and disposable medical masks across the campus. Based on these factors, there will be no change to the Student Health Center fee. 

Q. How are the student activity fees determined and will they be reduced due to COVID-19?

A. The student activity fees for fall 2020 are detailed as follows:

Student Union fee: $202
Undergraduate Council fee: $7
Athletics fee: $160
Total: $369

The student activities fees have not been reduced for fall 2020 due to several factors. These include the ongoing costs and maintenance of campus facilities, the costs that are being incurred to comply with COVID-19 requirements, and the ongoing development of programs and events to engage students online and in person.


Q. What is the Student Union activity fee?

A. The undergraduate Student Union activity fee for fall is $202/semester. Programming for all students will continue throughout the semester. Student Life has developed and is continuing to develop a robust set of student programming and will continue to work closely with student leaders to expand the online programming offered through the Student Union and various clubs and organizations.


Q. What is the Undergraduate Council fee?

A. The undergraduate council fee for fall is $7/semester. All student government functions will continue as planned for the academic 2020-2021 year.


Q. What does the Athletics fee cover?

A. The Athletics fee will help to offset some of the costs associated with the reopening, cleaning, and monitoring facilities in line with COVID-19 requirements. Student-athletes will continue to be provided with workout plans, academic and personal support, and leadership development opportunities by our strength and conditioning and coaching staff. Similar to Athletics guidelines, where possible, recreation and intramural programs may continue with appropriate social distancing adjustments. We will align with federal, state, county, and Institutional health and safety policies, and follow the protocols for testing, tracing, tracking, treatment, and quarantine or isolation as necessary.

Q. What is the orientation fee?

A. The orientation fee is $175 and allows us to support the execution of onboarding students. The fee covers the hiring and training of staff to work during the summer, preparation, and logistical costs.

Summer 2020 Semester

Contact Financial Aid via email: A staff member will respond as quickly as possible.

To expedite the processing of documents during this time period, we ask students to not send anything to our office through the mail. Whenever possible, all documents should be uploaded online at: or via fax at: (518) 276-4797.

Rensselaer will not be adjusting tuition for summer semester 2020. Classes are continuing through remote instruction.

The Institute is not currently providing any financial assistance for travel. Students who need financial assistance should contact their Class Dean at (518) 276-8022 or email

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