Undergraduate Financial Aid

The University of the Arts offers a variety of financial aid programs to assist students in meeting their educational goals. Aid may be offered in the form of grants, loans, or employment, and is funded through federal, state, institutional, or private organizations.

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid can be in the form of grants, scholarships, loans or student employment, and is funded through federal, state, institutional or private organizations.

  • Grants and scholarships are considered gift aid and need not be repaid. For more information on scholarships, please visit the Undergraduate Scholarship page.
  • Educational loans must be repaid and are usually offered at a low interest rate with an extended repayment period. For more information, see the Loan Programs section below.
  • Student employment or work-study is a work-to-earn program that is paid biweekly at an hourly rate. Learn more about student employment.

Financial Need & the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of education and the family’s calculated contribution to these costs as determined by the FAFSA. Where need exists, the University assists in meeting costs within the resources available to the institution.

Who Should Apply

Nearly 80 percent of the University’s undergraduate students enrolled on a full-time basis are eligible for some type of need-based aid. Additionally, some scholarship opportunities take need-based criteria into account. All students who are US Citizens or eligible non-citizens and are enrolled in a degree program are encouraged to apply by completing the FAFSA.

Need-Based Grants

University Grants

University Grants are need-based grants awarded by the Office of Student Financial Services to supplement all other financial aid assistance. Undergraduate students must be enrolled full time, have financial need as determined by the FAFSA, and meet satisfactory academic progress to be considered for a University Grant.

Federal Pell & FSEOG Grants

The Pell Grant is a federal grant awarded to students with financial need. The Pell grant is not a loan and does not need to be repaid. Students who already have a Bachelor's Degree or a professional degree may not be eligible for the Pell Grant. The amount you may receive varies on your need, your enrollment status and the cost of attendance for your program.

FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) 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.

State Grants

State grants are available to students seeking their first bachelor's degree who reside in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Massachusetts, West Virginia, or Vermont. All states require that you file a FAFSA in order to be evaluated for eligibility and most states require secondary application information. Each state and program has varying eligibility requirements which are available through their websites linked above.

Your award letter may indicate an estimated state grant amount. This amount and your eligibility must be verified by the state and may be subject to change based on enrollment, changes to the student’s eligibility and academic progress. This confirmation typically happens in July or August depending on your state.

Loan Programs

Direct Loans

  • The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program provides subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans to eligible students to assist with their educational costs. Students are awarded these loans when they file a FAFSA and the student is the borrower. Repayment typically begins 6 months after graduation. These loan funds are provided by the federal government. For more information on interest rates, difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans and amounts, please visit the Federal Student Aid loan page.
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loans are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college. Undergraduate students cannot borrow a PLUS loan, only their parent is eligible. The student must file a FAFSA and the parent needs to complete a PLUS loan application. If approved, the parent borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and may need to complete loan counseling if required by the Department of Education.

    If a parent of a dependent student applies for the PLUS loan and is denied, the student may be eligible for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan funds. For additional information on the PLUS loan program, interest rates, or to apply visit studentloans.gov.

To Reject your loans, please log in to the UArts Portal and visit the Self Service Financial Aid page. You can reject your loans under the My Awards tab. If you need assistance reviewing loan rates or have questions, please contact Student Financial Services for assistance.

If you have a Federal Direct loan and graduate or leave the university, you must complete Loan Exit Counseling as required by the Department of Education.

Master Promissory Note / Entrance Counseling

Students receiving Direct Loans are required to electronically sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), the promise to repay the loan, and complete Entrance Counseling in order to receive direct loan funds. Entrance Counseling goes through the student’s rights and responsibilities, important information on the loans terms and repayment. The MPN and Entrance Counseling are typically done the first year the student borrows and renews automatically. The MPN and Entrance Counseling can be completed at studentloans.gov.

Perkins Loans

The Federal Perkins Loan Program is a University-based loan program for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Please note that the Perkins Loan program will be ending on September 30, 2017.

Private 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, private 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.

When & How to Apply

To secure your financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid after October 1 at fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to include the UArts Federal School Code, 003350. Parents and students must utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing a FAFSA. The priority filing date for new and returning students is February 15.

Award Notification

Incoming Student award letters are sent starting on February 15th. If you submit your FAFSA after this date, expect your award package within three weeks of filing your FAFSA.

Returning Student award letters are sent beginning in April based on successful completion of attempted credits for the spring semester. If you submit your FAFSA after this date, expect your award package within three weeks of filing your FAFSA.

If an award is listed as estimated, we will contact the student via university email with what additional steps must be taken by the student before the student can receive those funds. The student may need to complete items or documents which can be viewed on the Financial Aid page of Student Self Service under Required Documents. The only exception is Federal Work Study; you can read more about how Federal Work Study is earned on our student employment page.


Approximately 30% of students who complete a FAFSA are required to complete a process called verification. In this process, additional forms and documents are required in order to verify the information supplied on the FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, you will be notified via your award package and additional forms will be mailed to you. The student can view what items are needed on the Financial Aid page of Student Self Service under Required Documents.

Special Circumstances

Special circumstances are documentable situations outside of standard financial aid procedures from a family’s financial or household situation that the FAFSA does not accurately capture. Examples include: job loss or salary reduction, unusually high medical bills, one-time income on the previous year tax return, one-time retirement withdrawals, dependency overrides, and more.

Please contact our office for assistance if you have special circumstances or need help determining if you do.

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