Types of Financial Aid

Review your options and discover the various types of financial aid available to students at Academy of Art University. Below you will find information on federal loans and grants, work study programs, alternative loan options, and more, for those who qualify.

Academy of Art University participates in the following programs:

Undergraduate Students

Federal AidType of Aid
PELL GrantA Federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. The amount depends on your financial need as determined by the Department of Education, costs to attend school and status as a full time or part time student.
SEOGGrant aide that does not have to be paid back
Federal Work StudyFinancial Aid earned while working
Direct Stafford LoansLoans from the government that must be paid back
Direct Parent Plus LoansLoans that are taken out by parents of dependent students that must be paid back
Veterans BenefitsAcademy of Art University is authorized by the Department of Veterans Affairs to certify eligible students for Veterans Benefits
State AidType of Aid
CAL GrantGrant aid awarded to California residents who meet certain financial and GPA requirements

Graduate Students

Federal AidType of Aid
Federal Work StudyFinancial Aid earned while working
Direct Stafford LoansLoans from the government that must be paid back
Direct Graduate Plus LoansLoans that are taken out by Graduate students that must be paid back
Veterans BenefitsAcademy of Art University is authorized by the Department of Veterans Affairs to certify eligible students for Veterans Benefits


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 undergraduate 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 Student Financial Services 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. If you attended an out-of-state high school and are now a resident of the state 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.

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. Current interest rates for federal student loans can be found here: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates

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.

Academy of Art University strongly encourages you to apply for and exhaust your eligibility in federal student loans and grants before taking out private student loans. This is because federal education loan programs offer fixed-interest loans at lower interest rates with flexible repayment plans, as well as forgiveness or discharge options.

Private Education Loans, also known as Alternative Education Loans, can help you and your families to bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. There are no federal forms to complete and eligibility depends on you or your cosigner’s credit score.

Additional eligibility requirements may be considered and are determined by each private lender. The interest rate and repayment provisions vary with each lender and will often change from year to year. We are happy to assist you in accessing information about outside alternative loans.

Please refer to ElmSelect for more information and a list of loans and lenders currently available. We encourage you to contact these loan providers to see what options are available to you.

If you have any questions, please contact the Student Financial Services Office.

Federal Work Study is a federal student aid program that provides opportunities for current undergraduate and graduate students to earn money to pay for school through part-time jobs. Students can gain valuable work experience in Federal Work Study positions working for various departments within Academy of Art University or in community service positions with our off-campus non-profit partners.

Students must meet general federal student aid eligibility requirements and demonstrate financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for Federal Work Study. Review the information at the link below for additional information regarding the eligibility requirements for federal student aid:

If you are interested in applying for a Federal Work Study position and are eligible based on the information outlined above, complete the FAFSA and course registration and then submit a Federal Work Study Inquiry Form at the link below to request review of your Federal Work Study eligibility:

Current Federal Work Study job postings are listed at the link below. Do not apply for any Federal Work Study positions until your Federal Work Study Inquiry Form has been reviewed and your eligibility has been confirmed.

The availability of Federal Work Study positions is limited and placement is not guaranteed.

Academy of Art University is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered regardless of age, Aids or HIV positive status, marital status, domestic partnership, medical condition or genetic characteristics, race or national origin, pregnancy, religion, sex, gender identity, gender or sexual orientation, name change, citizenship, physical or mental disability, veteran status or other status protected by federal, state, local or other law. Equal access to the hiring process, services, and employment is available to all persons. Applicants requiring accommodations to the application and/or interview process should contact the Human Resources Manager by calling 415-274-2222. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

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