Types of Aid

Each student who completes a FAFSA will be considered for all of the following types of aid. Parental higher education enrollment cannot be considered when eligibility for aid is calculated.
For information about the Federal Work Study, Non Federal or Institutional Work Study and Off Campus Community Service Work Study, please visit our Student Employment page.                    

Institutional Scholarships and Grants

University Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and demonstrated talent. The Trustee, Presidential, International Presidential, Sam S. McKeel Promising Young Artists Scholarship, and Artist Grant as well as Director’s Scholarships and Dean's Awards are types of University Scholarships.

University Scholarships are awarded when students are admitted.

To assist students and their families with financial planning for their enrollment, most scholarship amounts are fixed and renewable so long as the student makes satisfactory academic progress.

Named/Endowed Scholarships

The University offers a number of scholarships that have been donated by individuals, families or groups to help support promising artists. These named scholarships are awarded based on specific criteria, which may include need and/or merit. Faculty and departments nominate students for these scholarships; students cannot directly apply for them.  A portion of named/endowed scholarships may be used to offset other financial aid.

University Grant

University Grants are generally need-based and are awarded by the Office of Student Financial Services to supplement all other financial aid assistance.

Undergraduate students must be enrolled for at least twelve credits in order to receive Institutional Aid that is merit or need-based. Graduate Students must be enrolled for at least nine credits to be considered for such assistance.
Federal/State GrantsPell Grant

The Pell Grant is a federally-funded need-based program that awards individual grants to students who have not received a bachelor’s degree, nor been aided for the maximum number of semesters allowed and meet all other eligibility criteria.

Eligibility is determined by the federal government and notification is sent directly to the student in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR should be reviewed for accuracy and corrected if necessary. A copy of the corrected SAR should be retained by the student as confirmation of receipt of the FAFSA. Students must enroll for at least three credits in order to be eligible for the Pell Grant.


Awards are made to Pennsylvania residents who are seeking a first bachelor’s degree and who have not yet completed the maximum number of semesters allowed (eight).

Eligible students must demonstrate sufficient financial need as determined by PHEAA, Pennsylvania residency, and be enrolled for at least twelve credits. To continue to be eligible for state grant assistance, a full-time student must complete a minimum of 24 credits per academic year.

An award letter may indicate an estimated state grant amount; however, eligibility is determined by the state and official notification is sent directly to the student beginning in May.

NOTE: Students must meet state residency requirements in accordance with PHEAA guidelines. PHEAA’s filing deadline is May 1.

Other states have scholarship and or grant programs for their residents. Information and applications are available from the respective states.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

FSEOG is a federally funded University-administered program. These grants are awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need and are seeking a first bachelor’s degree, and who have not yet completed the maximum number of semesters allowed (eight). Typically, FSEOG grants are first awarded to Pell Grant recipients who have met the filing deadlines on a funds-available basis.

Outside Scholarships

The University encourages students to explore all options for outside scholarship assistance. Local businesses, foundations, churches, unions, civic organizations, etc., often sponsor scholarships that can be used toward educational costs.

Secure and comprehensive scholarship search engines can be found at FastWeb or The College Board. The University of the Arts advises students NEVER to pay for financial aid information or for scholarship searches.

Students who receive outside awards or scholarships are required by federal regulation to notify the Office of Student Financial Services. In some cases, outside scholarships may cause a revision or reduction of other types of aid.
Student Loan Programs

Direct Loans

The University of the Arts participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Student and parent borrowers will receive funding for their student loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education rather than from private banks and other lending institutions as they did in the past through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

Because you may have questions about the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, we have provided some commonly asked questions and their answers to assist you through this process.

Question: Why is the University of the Arts making a change to the Direct Loan Program?  

Answer:    Congress recently passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) which eliminates the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and mandates that all federal student loans be originated by the U.S. Department of Education.  Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution.

Question: What is the difference between the Direct Loan Program and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program?

Answer: The most important difference between Direct Lending and the FFELP program is the source of loan funding. Direct loans are funded through the US Department of Education using funds obtained from the US Treasury. This program offers students and parents one point of contact-the Department of Education. In the FFEL program, funds come from banks and lenders and can result in multiple points of contact for students. There are also some differences in interest rate, fees and repayment options.

Question: Will I still be able to borrow through the same lender as last year?

Answer: No, if you borrow a Federal Stafford or your parent borrows a Federal PLUS loan for the academic year, you will be required to borrow through the Direct Loan program. This change will require you to complete a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Federal Stafford and Federal PLUS loans.

Question: I borrowed loans through the FFEL program. Will I have to repay two different lenders?

Answer: Yes. Any loans you borrowed previously from other lenders will be serviced by the lender/servicer you selected when you signed your original MPN. However, many loans were sold to the Department of Education so you may end up repaying a different lender/servicer then the one from which you originally borrowed. After graduation you may choose to make individual payments to your previous lender(s) and to the Department of Education for your Direct Loans, or you can consolidate your loans into one payment with the Department of Education. Please visit the Department of Education's website for more information about loan consolidation.

Question: Where can I find information about who services my other federal loans?

Answer: Information on your servicers for your federal loan debt can be accessed through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Note that any private (alternative) loans you have borrowed will not appear in the NSLDS.

Question: I borrowed previously from a lender through the FFEL program. Do I have to complete another Master Promissory Note?

Answer: Yes. You must sign a new Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) because you will be borrowing from a new lender, the Department of Education.

Question: How and when do I complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note?

Answer: We will provide you with instruction on completing an electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). Instructions will be sent to you via email and will be available online on the UArts Tuition and Financial Aid web page.

Question: How and when does my parent complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note?

Answer: Your parent must complete a new Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note. We will provide instruction for this process via regular mail and on theUArts Tuition and Financial Aid web page.

Question: I completed entrance counseling under the FFEL program, do I have to complete Direct Loan entrance counseling?

Answer: Yes. Since the Direct Loan program does differ from FFEL in certain ways, we are requiring all Direct Loan student borrowers to complete Direct Loan entrance counseling. The online entrance counseling session takes about 30 minutes to complete. Graduate PLUS loan borrowers are required to complete Entrance Counseling. Parent PLUS Loan borrowers do not need to complete entrance counseling.

Question: Will the Stafford Loans I borrowed through my bank or lender in prior years still be deferred now that the University of the Arts is participating in the Direct Loan Program?

Answer: As long as you are enrolled in school on at least a halftime basis, your prior year(s) federal loans will continue to be deferred. Enrollment information is reported to lenders by the University on a regular basis through the National Student Clearinghouse.

Question: What steps should my parent take to obtain a Direct Parent PLUS loan?

Answer: Under the Federal Direct PLUS loan program parents may borrow up to the full estimated cost of attendance minus other financial aid received, including Federal Direct Stafford Loans. Your parent cannot apply through any lender other than the Department of Education. Federal Direct PLUS loan application instructions will be provided on our website www.uarts.edu/admission/tuitionandfinaid. 

Question: How do the Direct Loan repayment options differ from repayment options through the FFEL program?

Answer: All repayment options offered to FFELP borrowers are available for Direct Loan Borrowers, with the exception of Income Contingent Repayment, which is available only in Direct Loans. There are five repayment options available for Direct Loans and more information is available online on the Repayment Plans web page.

  • Standard
  • Extended
  • Graduated
  • Income Contingent Repayment
  • Income-Based Repayment

Question: How do I contact the Department of Education’s Direct Loan Customer Service?

Answer: The U. S. Department of Education Direct Loan Program Customer Service phone number is  800-848-0979 and their office hours are 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

Direct Loan Program Websites:

General Direct Student Loan Information 

General Direct PLUS Loan Information       

Private Education Loans

Private education loans are privately funded loans which may be used to supplement students’ federal and University-based aid. When combined with all other forms of aid, alternative loans may not exceed the University’s cost of attendance. Approval for these loans is credit-based.

Once you and your family have considered federal loan options, you can use ELMSelect to find & utilize private lenders.

Federal Perkins Loan

Perkins is a need-based federal loan program awarded by the University. The Federal Perkins Loan is currently offered at a fixed five percent interest rate and is repayable to the University over a maximum 10-year period. Repayment begins nine months after graduation or cessation of at least half-time enrollment at an eligible institution in an approved program of study.

Because Perkins loan funds are limited, this loan is offered to the earliest applicants whose Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is lowest. Perkins loans are usually awarded to Freshman and Sophomore students (Junior and Senior students have greater eligibility for Stafford loans). Notification of eligibility for this loan is included in the award letter.

To claim these funds the student must endorse a Perkins promissory note in the University’s Student Billing Office. Funds cannot be credited until a complete, correct note is negotiated.

Disbursement Amounts

The lender may deduct origination and insurance fees from Stafford, PLUS, and other alternative loans before they are disbursed. These fees can total up to four percent (or more for some alternative loans) of the principal amount; thus, the amount available from the loan to pay educational costs may be less than the amount borrowed.
Student Employment
Federal Work Study (FWS)FWS is a federally funded program administered by the University. Eligibility for this program is based upon the availability of funds to the University and the student’s EFC.

The Financial Aid Office will make a determination of the student’s eligibility to earn money through the FWS Program. Notification of eligibility will be included in the Award letter.

An FWS award is not an offer or a guarantee of a job; it is the amount a student is eligible to earn should she or he secure a job. Work study awards are not applied against the invoice. Payment is made directly to employed students by a University payroll check.

Eligible students are permitted to work up to 20 hours weekly when classes are in session. Students are paid at least minimum wage, and hours may be arranged to accommodate the class schedule.

Jobs are usually available throughout the University in academic departments, Public Safety, University offices, the University Libraries etc. Positions require various levels of skill and experience. Additional positions with approved off-campus, non-profit organizations provide students the opportunity to be employed in community service positions and receive payment through the FWS program.

Non-Federal Work Study (NFWS)

Students who do not qualify to work under the Federal Work Study program may work on campus under the NFWS program.

Information about job availability and placement is as listed in the Federal Work Study section.

General Information About Student Employment

The Student Employment Handbook contains expanded information about FWS and NFWS, job opportunities, and additional information for fall placement. The student employee handbook is available in the Student Employement section.

Students are reminded that falsifying time cards is a criminal offense, which can subject them to criminal prosecution, disciplinary action, expulsion, and/or loss of all financial aid.
Tuition Remission and Discounts

Full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students are entitled to only one type of tuition discount (i.e., Merit Awards or Scholarships, Named/Endowed Scholarships, Legacy Scholarships, Sibling Discount or Spousal Discount) in any given academic year. These discounts are not available to students enrolled in graduate, part-time, or continuing studies programs.