Financial Aid

There are many financial aid options available to help assist you with paying for graduate school.

The University of the Arts offers a variety of financial aid programs to assist graduate 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 and private organizations.

Who Should Apply

Most graduate 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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Application Process

The only application form we require for students to be evaluated for need-based aid, is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To apply for federal, state and institutional need-based financial aid, please complete the following process:

  1. Submit the FAFSA online at

  2. Include the Federal School Code for UArts on the form - 003350.

  3. Graduate students must utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.

  4. For spring entry, we recommend you file the FAFSA by November 1.

  5. Applicants for summer or fall entry can file the FAFSA anytime after October 1.

  6. For summer or fall entry, we recommend you file the FAFSA by February 15.

The FAFSA will be processed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid. Based on the data you provide, the U.S. Department of Education will determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for you. This information will then be shared with each school you listed on the FAFSA.

The Office of Student Financial Services at UArts will use this information to determine how much federal student aid and institutional need-based aid you may receive at UArts. The results of the FAFSA are also shared with your state's higher education agency to determine what aid you may be eligible to receive from them.   

Your EFC will be deducted from the total Cost of Attendance (COA) at UArts to determine your financial need. 

Admissions decision letters for fall entry will begin being issued as early as November 1. Admissions decision letters may include notification of any merit-based scholarship you may have been awarded during the review of your application materials.  

Approximately two to three weeks after receipt of an admissions decision letter and a scholarship offer, a need-based financial aid package will be issued to you if you have already submitted the FAFSA. Financial aid packages will list any federal, state and UArts need-based awards (grants, loans and work study) for which you are eligible. 

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. Students can view what items are needed on the Financial Aid page of Student Self Service under Required Documents.

Confirming Your Award
You can view tasks that must be completed to confirm your financial aid and to reject any unwanted aid, including loans, through Student Self Service. Once on the page, click on Financial Aid which will take you to a page where you can view your checklist and review and adjust your awards.

Billing & Gap Funding

  • Fall Semester: Bills will be issued in late May. Full payment must be received or an approved financing plan put in place by July 6.

  • Spring Semester: Bills will be issued in late October. Full payment must be received or an approved financing plan put in place by Dec. 5.

  • Summer First 5-Week Term: Bills will be issued in early April. Full payment must be received or an approved financing plan put in place by May 9. 

  • Summer 10-Week Term and Summer Second 5-Week Term: Bills will be issued in early April. Full payment must be received or an approved financing plan put in place by June 1. 

The balance due on your bill is the difference between the total tuition and fee charges for the semester less the total financial aid awarded for that semester. The majority of our students fund that gap through one or more of the following options: payment plans, Federal Direct Plus Loans and private loans.  

Payment plans allow you to split your cost for the semester into four or five monthly payments. Interest-free payment plans are available through Nelnet with an enrollment fee of $50. Fall payment plans begin in June and spring payment plans begin in October.

To enroll in a payment plan through Nelnet, log into their online portal.

Veterans Benefits
UArts welcomes military veterans who wish to use benefits such as Chapter 33 Post-9/11, Chapter 31, Chapter 35 Dependents’ Education Assistance, the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Montgomery GI Bill. All eligible military veterans who receive financial support are able to use these benefits to help pay for tuition.

To determine eligibility for funding through Veterans Affairs you must request your Certificate of Eligibility at If eligible for funding, you must complete a Request for Benefits every semester in order to receive your benefits. Your benefit amount will vary based on your eligible chapter and percent of maximum award. Please note that students using VA Educational Benefits may have tuition and fees that exceed the maximum benefit and will be responsible for paying any remaining balance due. We strongly recommend that all students complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional funding. If eligible for additional funding through the FAFSA, you may receive or be eligible to apply for grant, scholarship or educational loan funds to help finance your cost of education.

The Veterans Affairs (VA) certifying official for UArts is Lakeisha Sanders. Please contact Lakeisha Sanders, certifying official for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits at UArts, with any certification questions you may have. Learn more about the process of receiving VA benefits at UArts.

Apply online for VA Benefits.

Types of Aid

Financial aid comes in the forms grants, loans or student employment, and can be funded through federal, state, institutional or private organizations.

  • Grants or Scholarships are considered gift aid and need not be repaid. 

  • Educational Loans must be repaid and are usually offered at a low interest rate with an extended repayment period. 

  • Student Employment or Work-Study is a work-to-earn program that is paid biweekly at an hourly rate. 

Loan Programs

Direct Loans

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program provides unsubsidized loans to eligible graduate 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 loans and amounts, please visit the Federal Student Aid loan page.

  • Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate students can use to help pay for college once direct loans have been exhausted. For more information on interest rates, difference between loans and amounts, please visit the Federal Student Aid loan page.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I attend part-time and receive aid?

University aid, including Merit-based Scholarships, is typically not awarded to part-time students. There may be federal or state programs for which you may be eligible for as a part-time student. Please contact our office prior to making the decision to attend part-time so we can review how this will impact your financial aid and billed expenses.

Does my financial aid apply to Study Abroad?

Yes, financial aid and Merit-based scholarships can be applied to approved study-abroad programs. Since there are additional costs such as travel insurance, housing and airfare, we encourage all students to meet with a counselor in Student Financial Services prior to applying to study abroad.

Can I use financial aid to pay for off-campus housing?

Yes, you can use financial aid, including loans, to help assist with the costs of living off-campus. If you are relying on a refund from an over-payment, keep in mind that fall refund checks are generally not available until late September and spring checks until mid-February. Make sure you plan ahead to pay your rent for these months.

How do I get refunded for an overpayment?

Refunds are automatically issued in the 2 weeks after the drop/add period has ended. The refunds are issued as checks and are able to be picked up by students.

When will I receive my financial aid award?

Incoming Students: 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 Students: 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.

Have additional questions? 

Contact Student Financial Services: 
Toll-Free: 800-616-ARTS x6170 or 215-717-6170

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