Financial Aid FAQs

Providing answers to financial aid questions for prospective students, parents, undergrads, graduate students, and military/veteran students.

Undergraduate Students

How to Apply
How do I apply for Federal financial aid?

The US federal government provides financial aid options to students through either federal grants, federal loans or both to help you cover your educational costs. To begin the federal financial aid process, please view our guide to 5 Steps for Completing your Federal Financial Aid.

The school code for Academy of Art University is 007531.

For assistance with understanding the FAFSA process and for help completing your application, please contact a financial aid representative.

Federal School ID Number
What is the Academy’s Federal School ID Number?

The school code for Academy of Art University is 007531.

State & Federal Financial Aid
What types of State and Federal Financial Aid are available?

Cal Grant

Grant aid for California students that does not have to be paid back

  • 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.
  • If you attended an out-of-state high school, are now a resident of California and wish to be considered for a Cal Grant award, please complete the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar (registrar@academyart.edu) before the application-filing deadline of March 2.
  • See the Cal Grant website for more information.

PELL Grant

Grant aid that does not have to be paid back.

  • Awarded to eligible undergraduate students (first AA/BA/BS/BFA) and eligible education certificate candidates.
  • Learn more about Pell Grants.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Grant aid that does not have to be paid back

  • Awarded to eligible undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.
  • See Federal Student Aid for more info.

Federal Work Study

Financial Aid earned while working.

  • Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally funded program that provides students financial assistance that will not have to be paid back.
  • 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.
  • See Federal Work Study for more info.

Direct Stafford Loans

Loans from the government that must be paid back.

  • 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 website.

Direct Parent Plus Loans

Loans that are taken out by parents of dependent students that must be paid back.

  • 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.
  • See the Direct Parent Plus Loans website for more info.
Grants & Scholarships
Where can I find college grants and scholarships?

There are hundreds of grants and scholarships available through outside organizations to help you cover your educational costs.

Although grants and scholarships are funds you do not need to pay back, each is different and each has its own set of requirements in order to receive the award. Explore Grants & Scholarships.

Tuition Payment Plans
Does the Academy offer tuition payment plans?

Academy students have the option to pay education costs through an installment plan. This allows you to continue your education while managing your budget.

The installment plan enables students to pay their tuition in four separate payments during Fall and Spring and two separate payments for Summer. Students may also use the installment plan for any portion of their tuition not covered by their awarded financial aid.

Students must submit an online application for our installment plan contract. For more details about our tuition payment plans, please contact accounts receivable at 415-618-6249.

FAFSA
Why am I required to include my parents income information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

Dependency status is determined by the Department of Education based on a few factors (age, marital status, children, dependent, veteran, etc.). An independent student will not have to include parent information. A dependent student will need to include parent information.

Independent Student
What is the definition of an independent student?

Dependency status is determined by the Department of Education (https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/filling-out/dependency ) based on a few factors (age, marital status, children, dependent, veteran, etc.). An independent student will not have to include parent information.

Awards Letter
When should I expect an awards letter?

The Financial Aid Office will send you a postcard and email when your awards are ready to view. Instructions and forms will be provided on the postcard and email.

If you have applied to the University and submitted your FAFSA but did not receive a postcard or email, please contact our office:

Phone: 1-415-618-6190
Email: financialaid@academyart.edu

BankMobile
Who is BankMobile and why are they sending me a green envelope with a personal code?

Academy of Art University has partnered with BankMobile Disbursements, a financial services company, to provide students with electronic options for refunds. BankMobile is committed to transparently providing students with refund choices.

Receiving a Refund
When will I receive a refund?

The date you receive a refund 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.
  • What refund method you selected.

Refer to our Important Financial Dates for more information.

Submitting Financial Aid Paperwork
How do I submit my financial aid paperwork?

Some forms can be submitted by logging into Student Self Service. Forms that cannot be submitted online can be submitted several ways:

Fax: 1-415-618-6273

EmailFinancialAid@academyart.edu

In person

150 Hayes Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA

By US Mail

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

When Your Financial Aid Doesn't Cover Tuition
My financial aid does not cover my tuition. What should I do?

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:

  • Pay the difference by tuition deadline.
  • Sign up for the interest free payment plan (Fall and Spring semesters only).
  • Apply for alternative loans. Please refer to ElmSelect for more information and a list of loans and lenders currently available.
  • Apply for a private educational loan. A credit check is required and a cosigner may be required.

Questions on alternative loans

Sun Chan
Alternative Loan Manager
1-415-618-6228

Graduate Students

Federal Financial Aid Programs
What types of Federal financial aid programs are available to graduate students?
Federal Work Study

Financial Aid earned while working.

  • Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally funded program that provides students financial assistance that will not have to be paid back.
  • 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.
  • Get more info at the Work Study website.
Direct Stafford Loans

Loans from the government that must be paid back.

  • 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 website.
Direct Graduate Plus Loans

Loans that are taken out by graduate students and must be paid back.

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are available to eligible students in a graduate or degree or certificate program.
  • Borrowers must meet credit history and debt burden requirements.
  • See the Direct Graduate Plus Loans website for details.

Parents

Total Education Costs
What are the total educational costs for my student?

There are four primary charges billed directly to students by Academy of Art University:

  • Tuition
  • Course fees
  • Housing
  • Meal plans

Complete educational costs vary depending on the program, so please schedule an appointment with your student and the Academy’s financial aid office to review complete costs and to create a customized financial aid plan for covering educational costs.

Getting Involved with Financial Aid Decisions
How should I get involved in my student’s financial aid decisions?

Assisting your student in pursuing a degree at Academy of Art University is a big investment. That’s why we encourage all parents of prospective students to get involved in financial aid discussions as soon as possible so you can understand all of  financing options available.

Our financial aid advisors work with you and your student to create a customized plan that provides options for paying for school, such as federal and state financial aid.

Speak with a financial aid advisor to help you:

  • Determine your estimated tuition and expenses based on your location and chosen degree program.
  • Review your financial plan and make adjustments if needed. Educational costs vary by program.
  • Get help choosing an academic program so you can fully understand the financial cost of your education. Set up an info tour today with the admissions office to find the best program that fits your goals and interests.
Parent PLUS Loan
What is a parent PLUS Loan and how do I know if I’m eligible?

The Parent PLUS Loan, a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, is an option for parents of undergraduate students to help pay for educational expenses.

A parent who qualifies may receive a Parent PLUS Loan for the education costs of a dependent undergraduate student who meets the eligible student definition. You can find additional Parent PLUS Loan information at studentaid.gov (PDF).

As a parent of a dependent student, you may be eligible for a Parent PLUS Loan as long as your student is a degree seeking student, enrolled for classes at least half time, and meets financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements. Parents will also undergo a credit check to determine your eligibility for the loan.

Applying for Direct PLUS Loan
How does a parent apply for the Direct PLUS Loan?
  • A parent must log on to StudentLoans.gov using their own information and FSA ID. Select ‘Request a Direct PLUS Loan’, then select Parent PLUS. Complete the borrower information, student information and loan information. Lastly, review and submit for credit check.
  • What is a Direct Parent PLUS Loan? The loan is money that can be used to pay a dependent student’s educational costs including tuition, fees, housing, transportation, supplies, etc.
  • Who can apply for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan? A parent or step-parent of a dependent student.
  • Why is there a credit check? Direct Loans checks for adverse credit including bankruptcy, repossession, foreclosure, wage garnishment, defaulted loan, etc. Direct Loans is not checking income ratio, credit score, employment status or lack of credit. You will be presented with options if the credit is denied.
Borrowing with Parent PLUS Loan
How Much Can I Borrow with a Parent Plus Loan?

The loan limit for a Parent PLUS loan is equal to the total cost of your student’s education (including an allowance for room and board, personal expenses and transportation) minus any other financial aid to be received for the academic year.

What If I'm Denied?
What if I am denied a Parent PLUS Loan because of poor credit history?

If you are denied a Parent PLUS loan, the Academy’s  financial aid office may be able to provide you and your student with alternative options. You may be able to add a cosigner to your Parent PLUS loan, or your student may qualify for an additional unsubsidized Direct Stafford loan.

Please contact the financial aid office today for a detailed review of Parent Plus Loan eligibility requirements and important financial aid dates and deadlines.

Phone: 1-415-618-6190
Email: FinancialAid@academyart.edu

Military/Veterans

VA Benefits at the Academy
Can I use my VA benefit at your school?

Academy of Art University is authorized by the Department of Veterans Affairs to certify students enrolled in our degree programs for benefits under

  • Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty)
  • Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill® – Active Duty and the Fry Scholarship)
  • Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation)
  • Chapter 35 (Veteran’s Spouses or Dependents)
  • Chapter 1606 (Selected Reserve)
  • Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program).

Eligibility and chapter is determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Does My Benefit Cover Tuition & Fees?
How do I know if my benefit will cover all of my tuition and fees?

There are different types of VA education benefits and eligibility, some benefits are paid directly to the student, some benefits are sent directly to the school to be applied to tuition cost, some benefits may cover all of tuition, and some won’t.

We encourage you to email us a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility, or contact us so that we can guide you regarding your specific eligibility. Our email address is VA@academyart.edu.

Getting Started with GI Bill
What do I need to do to start using my GI Bill?

If you have not applied for your education benefit, apply today on VA.gov. You need to complete Form 22-1990e.

VA will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) once they have approved you for your education benefit.

Please email us a copy of your COE once you receive it to VA@academyart.edu.

Montgomery GI Bill vs Post 9/11 GI Bill
What is the difference between the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Montgomery GI Bill is a monthly education benefit for Active-duty or Selected Reserve service members. The amount awarded can vary depending on length of military service and full-time or part-time student status.

Post-9/11 GI Bill provides tuition benefits based on length of service after Sept. 10, 2001, plus other eligibility requirements. Stipends for living expenses, books and supplies are provided.

As part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program makes additional tuition assistance available to eligible veterans whose tuition costs more than the highest in-state undergraduate tuition.

Yellow Ribbon Program
Is there a Yellow Ribbon application/form?

No, there isn’t a Yellow Ribbon application or form to complete at our school to participate in this program. We do request that you submit a copy of your COE and your DD214, and that you confirm with VA that you are eligible for this program, if you haven’t already done so.

Basic Allowance for Housing for Part-Time Students
I am eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Will I receive a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) if I am a part-time student?
Basic Allowance for Housing is not payable at part-time. You must be enrolled more than part-time to be eligible.
Transferring Your GI Bill From Another School
I used my GI Bill at another school. What do I need to do to transfer it to this school?

You must submit VA Form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training) through VONAPP.

Once VA processes your request, they should mail you an updated COE. We request that you fax or email us a copy.

Additional Paperwork
In addition to my Certificate of Eligibility (COE), is any other paperwork required?

Yes, all students using VA education benefits are required to submit a Student Bill of Rights.

VA Student Bill of Rights
What is the VA Student Bill of Rights?

VA Students Bill of Rights is a document that all VA students must complete regardless of the type of VA education benefits you are using.

Download your copy of the VA Student Bill of Rights.

Tuition Assistance
How do I start using Tuition Assistance (TA)?

You will need to get in touch with your admission representative or academic advisor here at our school and request an Academic Plan.

Then take the Academic Plan to your Education Office at your unit to get approved.

Once you are approved, you will be supplied with a TA Authorization Form. We need this form to receive your TA funds. Please email (VA@academyart.edu) or fax (1-415-618-6273) Attn: School Certifying Official.

How much will Tuition Assistance cover?

The Department of Defense (DoD) has directed a uniform TA fiscal policy across the military services. Currently, the established semester hour cap is $250 and has an annual ceiling of $4,500.

TA covers a total of $750 for one class (3 units). That will not be enough to cover the entire cost of one class.

You may use financial aid, enroll in our payment plan option, utilize other education benefits from other source, or pay the difference out of pocket.

Is tuition assistance available for my branch of the military?

In addition to the Federal Tuition Assistance and Top-Up benefit programs, each service has its own criteria for tuition assistance (TA) eligibility, obligated service, application process’ and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services.

Select your branch or service area below to learn more:

Tuition Assistance is not a loan; it should be viewed as money you have earned just like your base pay.

Military Scholarship
What is the Military Scholarship and am I eligible?

The Military Scholarship provides U.S. Servicemembers (Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Coast Guard) an opportunity to start preparing for a career in art and design. This art scholarship applies toward any online undergraduate-level course.

Program provides a tuition scholarship for a maximum of:

  • Three undergraduate course units per semester
  • $2,001 per class per semester, for a maximum amount of $4,002 per semester
  • 12 Total Units maximum
  • Lifetime Maximum of $8,004 per student
  • Applicants should be first-time students who will utilize the scholarship to fund the first four sequential semesters or until they reach their maximum lifetime limit of $8,004, whichever comes first.
Eligibility

This scholarship is open to all U.S. Servicemembers (Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Coast Guard).

  • All Military Scholarship recipients must provide a copy of his/her approved Military Tuition Assistance form for scholarship eligibility.
  • Student must complete course. Withdrawal from any Military Scholarship course will result in forfeiture of the scholarship that will require the payment of full tuition for the specified course.
  • Previous Military Scholarship recipients that have met the maximum use of one course (3 units) per semester for a maximum of four semesters (max. 12 units) are not eligible.
  • Available for first-time students enrolling on or after Fall 2015 utilizing the scholarship to fund the first four sequential semesters.
Approved Educational Programs
What educational programs are approved by the VA?

To obtain a list of approved educational programs:

    1. Go to the Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS) website. Enter ‘Academy of Art University’ in the ‘Institution Name’ field.
    2. Select “Institution of Higher Learning” from the Program Type selector.
    3. Submit your search for a list of approved programs.
How to obtain a list of approved educational programs from WEAMS
How to obtain a list of approved educational programs from WEAMS


This list is regularly maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Call Military Admissions (415-618-8551) if you have questions.

If Your Parents Were in the Military
My parent was in the military, am I eligible to receive VA education benefits?

Please call VA directly at 1-888-442-4551 to confirm if you are eligible.

The Department of Defense Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum and The Academy
Has Academy of Art University signed the Department of Defense Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (DoD MOU)?
Yes, Academy of Art University has signed the DoD MOU.
Accessing my claims for Veterans Education and Vocational Rehabilitation benefits
How do I access my claims for Veterans Education and Vocational Rehabilitation benefits?

You can access your claims via the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP).

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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