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Know the Different Types of Student Financial Aid Options for College

Art schools can provide an outstanding education, and the value associated with it comes at a cost. However, you shouldn’t let the matter of finances discourage you from pursuing the degree you want at the right school. When you are unable to afford to pay for college upfront, which is the case with many students, there are student financial aid options available. Find out more about these options as you prepare for college.

I. Federal Aid

You can receive student financial aid from the federal government in different ways, such as grants and loans. You’ll have to pay back a loan, but you typically don’t have to pay anything back when you get a grant. Common types of financial aid options that are available from the federal government include the following:

  • PELL Grant: This grant, which you do not need to repay, is generally given to undergraduate college students. The Department of Education determines this based on your financial information, tuition costs, whether you are attending college as a full-time or part-time student, and other factors.
  • Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): This is another grant that you do not have to pay back. Keep in mind that schools that offer this grant only receive a certain amount of funds for it, so you should apply as early as possible.
  • Direct Stafford Loans: The federal government offers subsidized and unsubsidized loans to all eligible students. After graduating, you must pay these loans back.
  • Direct ParentPlus Loans: Parents can take these loans out from the federal government for eligible, dependent students. These loans must be paid back after graduation.

 II. State Aid

Student financial aid is also available from the state. If you live in California and you are looking into attending a San Francisco art school, you may be eligible to receive a CAL Grant. The California Student Aid Commission offers this type of grant to California residents who meet the requirements, such as the following:

  • Being a California resident for a minimum of 1 year
  • Not having an undergraduate or professional degree already
  • Meeting certain financial hardship requirements
  • Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress standards that the school sets

III. School Grants and Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are available from different schools for students who qualify. The exact requirements and qualifications for these grants and scholarships and the amounts that are available vary. Academy of Art University, for example, provide the following options, among others:

  • STEAM Program Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to eligible students who are pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, art or math (STEAM). Students must meet minimum eligibility requirements in order to apply for this scholarship.
  • MFA/MA Fall Scholarship: These scholarships are available to eligible students who are pursuing a graduate degree, such as an MFA or MA.
  • PCAE: The Pre-College Art Experience gives high school students a chance to earn scholarship money when they participate in pre-college classes. There is no tuition charged for these classes.


These options are there to ease the financial burden of going to college.  Go ahead and try to apply for one, or even more. The cost of education may be high, but you can be sure that it will all certainly be worth it.