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Financial Aid & Tuition Information

Financial Aid: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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The process of coordinating financing for college can be a daunting one for new students and their parents. With that in mind, the Academy has compiled this list of questions frequently asked by prospective students about financial aid:

Q. My financial aid does not cover my tuition. What should I do?

A. The Academy of Art University awards students the maximum allowed by federal regulations (except for limited SEOG funds). If your award does not cover your tuition balance you can either:

If you have any questions on alternative loans, you can call:
Sun Chan
Alternative Loan Manager

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Q. What is your Federal School ID Number?

A. 007531

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Q. Why do I have to include my parents income information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

A. If you are considered a dependent student by the Department of Education you must include your parent's income and asset information on the FAFSA. If your parents are divorced or separated see the instructions contained in the FAFSA for information on which parent's income must be reported on the application.

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Q. Why am I a dependent student when my parents do not support me and will not help me finance my education?

A. If you answer "no" to all seven (7) dependency questions in step 3 on the FAFSA, you are considered a dependent student for financial aid purposes, even if your parents are unwilling to help you finance your education.

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Q. What is the definition of an independent student?

A. In order to be considered an independent student you must answer "Yes" to at least one of the seven questions below:

  • Will you be 24 years old by December 31st of the current academic year?
  • Will you be working on a master's program during the current academic year?
  • As of today, are you married? (Answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced)
  • Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you, now and through the end of the current academic year?
  • Are you an orphan or ward of the court or were you a ward of the court until age 18?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?

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Q. How does my parent apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

A. Direct Parent PLUS Loans are offered to parents of Dependent students. These loans are credit based loans and are not guaranteed. Your parent will need a Federal PIN # in order to complete the Direct Parent PLUS Loan application online. If your parent does not have a Federal PIN #, your parent can apply for a Federal PIN # online at Your parent can then go to and sign in using the assigned Federal PIN #. Your parent should click on “Request a Direct PLUS Loan” and then select, “Parent Plus loan” and follow the application steps. The credit decision will be provided to your parent upon completion of the Federal Parent PLUS Loan application.

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Q. How do my parents apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?

A. If you are a dependent student and your parents wish to apply for a Parent Plus loan you must “accept” the Parent PLUS Loan on the award letter and we must receive a Parent Plus Information sheet (included in the Financial Aid Forms packet). The parent applying for the Parent PLUS Loan must also complete a Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note at

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Q. When will I receive a refund check?

A. Refund checks are disbursed within fourteen (14) days from the date a credit balance exists on the student's account. The date you receive a refund check will vary based on:

  • The amount of financial aid you receive.
  • The types of financial aid you receive.
  • Whether or not your file is complete.

Pick up a list of "Important Financial Dates" at either the Financial Aid or Accounts Receivable offices.

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Q. Where do I send my FAFSA and other financial aid documents?

A. For a quicker turnaround time, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid over the internet with FAFSA on the WEB at: You can send all other financial aid documents to:

Academy of Art University
Attn: Financial Aid Department
79 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

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Q. What is my estimated financial aid eligibility and how do I accept/decline the financial aid offer online?

A. Once you submit the FAFSA application you will receive by mail a red postcard from the Academy of Art University confirming that your FAFSA application has been received. This may take 3-5 business days to reach you. The post card will prompt you to check your "To Do" List by logging into Student Self Service Once you are logged into Student Self Service you will be able to accept or decline your financial aid awards and complete the items on your "To Do" list.

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