Item 4

Federal and State aid available at the Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University participates in the following programs:

Undergraduate Students
Federal Aid Type of Aid
PELL Grant Gift aid that does not have to be paid back
SEOG Gift aid that does not have to be paid back
Federal Work Study Financial Aid earned while working.
Direct Stafford Loans Loans from the government that must be paid back.
Direct Parent Plus Loans Loans that are taken out by parents of dependent students that must be paid back.
State Aid Type of Aid

CAL Grant

Gift aid awarded to California residents who meet certain financial and G.P.A requirements.
Graduate Students
Federal Aid Type of Aid
Federal Work Study Financial Aid earned while working.
Direct Stafford Loans Loans from the government that must be paid back.
Direct Graduate Plus Loans Loans that are taken out by Graduate students that must be paid back.


Federal Pell Grant (Pell)

Awarded to eligible undergraduate students (first BA/BS) and eligible education credential candidates seeking an initial credential who are enrolled in at least 6 units and are not concurrently admitted to a Master's degree program.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Awarded to eligible undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.



Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students receiving loans must be enrolled half-time to be eligible.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Subsidized loans are available to students with financial need. No interest is charged on a subsidized loan while the student is in school. Unsubsidized loans are available to all students regardless of income, less any subsidized amount received. Students are responsible for the interest that will accrue on an unsubsidized loan while in school. Additional information about repayment, deferment and consolidation of these loans can be found at the Direct Loans web site.

Parent PLUS Loans (for parents)

Federal Direct PLUS Loans are available to parents and stepparents of dependent students. Borrowers must meet credit history and debt burden requirements. Repayment is amortized over 10 years.

Federal Direct Graduate (Grad) PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Grad PLUS loans are available to Master’s students who are enrolled at least half-time. A credit check is required to determine if the borrower has an adverse credit history. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.


State Aid

California Grants (Cal Grants)

The California Student Aid Commission makes new awards to eligible undergraduate students (based on financial need and GPA) who are California residents, who are enrolled in a minimum of six units, and who meet the application-filing deadline of March 2 (California Grants A and B.) These grants are renewable.

Please visit the Cal Grant website for more information at


Congress has passed and the President has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act, interest rates will be determined each June for new loans being made for the upcoming award year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan will have a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.
Loan Interest Rates by Disbursement Dates
Loan Type First Disbursed between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015
Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans (Undergraduate Students) Fixed at 4.66%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans (Graduate or Professional Students) Fixed at 6.21%
Direct PLUS Loans (Parents and Graduate or Professional Students) Fixed at 7.21%

Note: The interest rates for federal student loans are determined by federal law. If there are future changes to federal law that affect federal student loan interest rates, we will update this page to reflect those changes.

View the interest rates on federal student loans first disbursed before July 1, 2013.


Alternative Loans

We are happy to assist you in accessing information about outside alternative loans. We have listed below some of the major sources of alternative loans for our students. We encourage students to contact these loan providers to see what options are available to them. Should you have any questions or wish to receive assistance, please contact us at 1-800-544-2787.


Private Alternative Loans

Lender & Loan Program: Sallie Mae/Smart Option Loan

Phone Number: 1-800-695-3317


Enrollment: Students can be enrolled less than half-time to full-time

Loan Disclosure Link:

View the application/solicitation Disclosures for the loan


Lender & Loan Program: Wells Fargo Student Loan for Career and Community Colleges

Phone Number: 1-877-437-3029


Enrollment: Students can be enrolled less than half-time to full-time

Loan Disclosure Link:

View the application/solicitation Disclosures for the loan


Interest Rates & Eligibility Criteria

More information on these private alternative loans can be found here:

Private/Alternative sheet(PDF)

What is Federal Work Study?

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally funded program that provides students financial assistance that will not have to be paid back. FWS is need-based form of financial aid awarded to students that are able to secure jobs from interviews arranged through the Financial Aid Office. A FWS award is not a guarantee that you will earn your entire award amount. FWS is different from other types of financial aid because you do not receive funds until you locate a job and begin working. The amount you earn is dependent upon the job you obtain and the number of hours you work. One main advantage of FWS employment is that when you apply for future financial aid, your FWS earnings are not included as a financial resource.


How do I get a FWS job?

Interested students must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • Have "financial need" calculated by the federal need analysis formula (Estimated Family Contribution or EFC) and cost of going to school
  • Complete financial aid file
  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program and make satisfactory academic progress
  •  Not owe on a federal grant or be defaulted on a federal loan

Students interested in FWS should prepare a resume and check with us at:


How do I get paid?

After you secure a position and begin work, you are paid biweekly. The amount of FWS you earn is dependent upon the number of hours you work each week and your hourly pay rate. Most students work between 15-20 hours per week and pay rate is determined by San Francisco's current minimum wage. The maximum you can earn on a job is determined by the amount of your FWS award. When your earnings equal the total amount of the award, the Financial Aid Office will contact you with further options. Earnings in excess of your award may jeopardize the rest of your financial aid package.


When are timesheets due?

Timesheets must be signed by you and your supervisor and turned into the Financial Aid Office no later than 11:30a.m. Monday before payday.


Where and when do I pick up my paycheck?

A payroll schedule is available at the Financial Aid Office. You may pick up your paycheck at the Financial Aid Office, 150 Hayes Street, 4th Floor after 9am on paydays. Paychecks not picked up by the following Friday may be mailed to the address on the paycheck.

Direct deposit is also available. Students with direct deposit will have their pay stubs mailed on payday.


What else do I need to know about FWS?

Awards: FWS begins on the first day of classes and ends on the last day of classes. Students may not work during intercessions without approval from the direct supervisor and the Financial Aid Office. Unearned FWS awards may not be carried forward into the next award year.

Hours: Students are limited to working 8 hours per day and 20 hours per week.

Breaks: Students are entitled to a 15 minute break for every 4 hours worked during a given work shift. The supervisor determines when breaks are to be taken. A minimum 30 minute unpaid break must be taken during work shifts that are more than five hours.


If you are interested in applying for FWS, please contact the Financial Aid Office. The availability of positions is limited and placement is not guaranteed. Applications will not automatically carry over between terms, so be sure to check back with us at a later date if you were unable to obtain a position.


Financial Aid Office – 4th Floor

150 Hayes St.

San Francisco, CA 94102


Other Financial Aid Resources

The following institutions are unaffiliated with AAU, but offer additional information on student financial aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am an international student—am I eligible for U.S. financial aid?

How much financial aid can I get and when do I get my refund?

Can I use financial aid to pay for campus housing?