Financial Aid

AICAD schools offer financial aid packages which are typically based on a student's merit and financial need. In order to be considered for any type of financial aid (excluding some purely merit-based scholarships) at AICAD schools, students will be required to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile) - an additional form distributed by the College Board and used to award nonfederal, need-based financial aid.

Important Note: Submit the FAFSA and CSS Profile by the posted deadline as forms submitted after these dates are considered only in light of available resources.

In addition to financial aid offered through colleges directly, there are local, state, federal, and other private sources of financial assistance. There are hundreds of websites and apps to help students and parents explore these opportunities, as well as understand how to pay for college in general.

The Best Online Financial Aid & Scholarship Resources

Understanding FAFSA

Financial Aid Resources ​for First Generation Students

Financial Aid Resources for Black Students

Financial Aid ​Resources ​for Hispanic Students

Scholarship Opportunities for Minority Students

Search more than 7,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other financial aid opportunities at careeronestop.

The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid at FinAid is a free and comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools.

Fastweb is an online resource for finding targeted scholarships based on strengths, interests and skills.

The Federal Student Aid Office of the US Department of Education has a comprehensive website that outlines detailed information on governmental aid.

NerdScholar offers resources to walk students through financial aid forms. NerdScholar’s FAFSA guide, created with a grant from the Gates Foundation, is designed to walk you through it step by step (keep it open as you fill out the FAFSA).

MoneyGeek, the Guide to Graduating Debt-Free, provides an extensive list of alternative ways to pay for college, ranging from scholarships and grants to newer strategies such as raising money through online crowdfunding campaigns. by Unigo is a full scholarship directory, where you can browse millions of scholarships in multiple categories, including scholarship contests, merit-based scholarships, minority scholarships, state scholarships and "weird" scholarships.

SALT is a free, nonprofit-backed educational program that helps every student who wants a college degree to get it in a financially responsible way. SALT offers a search tool for finding scholarships, internships, and jobs, a comparison tool for student loan borrowing options, and resources to develop a personalized student loan repayment plan.

Open Education Database ( lists scholarships and grants specifically for African American students.

Resources to help international students pay for college

AICAD Scholarship Partners | Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

AICAD schools are partners in the Scholarship Network of The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, organizers of the annual Scholastic Awards. Student winners may be eligible for scholarships upon admittance to a participating AICAD school.

Art Academy of Cincinnati
Art Center College of Design
California College of the Arts
California Institute of the Arts
Cleveland Institute of the Arts
College for Creative Studies
Columbus College of Art & Design
Cornish College of the Arts
Kansas City Art Institute
Laguna College of Art & Design
Lesley Art + Design
Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
Maryland Institute College of Art
Massachusetts College of Art
Memphis College of Art
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Montserrat College of Art
Moore College of Art & Design
New Hampshire Institute of Art
Otis College of Art & Design
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Parsons The New School for Design
Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Pratt Institute
Rhode Island School of Design
Ringing College of Art & Design
San Francisco Art Institute
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
School of Visual Arts
The Cooper union
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
University of the Arts
Watkins College of Art

AICAD CSSSA Scholarship Partners

All students who have completed CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts), are eligible to be considered for college scholarships from several affiliated AICAD schools (should they gain admission), including:

Art Center College of Design
California Institute of the Arts
California College of the Arts
Cornish College of the Arts
Laguna College of Art & Design
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Otis College of Art & Design
San Francisco Art Institute
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
The University of the Arts

Students apply for admission within regular application guidelines (identifying themselves as CSSSA alum) and CSSSA scholarship awards are made by the school directly.

Graduate Financial Aid Resources features a comprehensive section on their website for Paying For Your Masters Degree.