Most likely you will want to use a FORMAT= on the SELECT clause, specified after the SAS variable name -- this would be if you are attempting to truncate a CHARACTER variable or if you want to "format" the output of a NUMERIC variable.
Simply as this:
proc sql noprint;
select rate length=8
But I suspect that's not what you need.
As Scott suggested, I'm guessing you want to format rate in some specific way.