Types of Financial Aid for Graduate Students

  • Undergraduate
    • Types of Financial Aid Options for the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science Degree Programs
  • Graduate
    • Types of Financial Aid Options for the Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts Degree Programs
  • Post-Baccalaureate
    • Types of Financial Aid Options for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs
  • Pre-College
    • Types of Financial Aid Options for the Pre-College Summer Session

Financial Aid Options for Graduate Students

Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for grants (MFA only), which do not need to be repaid, or loans, which must be repaid after graduation. Students with academic achievement and artistic talent may qualify for merit scholarships (MFA only). Additional financial aid options are also available.

MFA-Only Grants

  • MCAD Opportunity Grants and MCAD Renewable Opportunity Grants
    Awarded by MCAD to MFA students who demonstrate financial need. Students must complete the FAFSA by the priority deadline.

  • Yellow Ribbon Grant
    This program available to MFA students is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veteran’s Educational Assistance Act of 2008, also known as Post-9/11 GI Bill.


  • External Scholarships
    Outside scholarships, many of which are based on merit or special criteria, are often awarded by businesses, community groups, and religious organizations.

MFA-Only Scholarships

  • Admissions MFA Trustees Scholarship
    Merit-based competition open to all entering MFA students. Students must have all application materials submitted by the deadlines to be considered for this scholarship.

  • Annual MCAD MFA Merit Scholarships
    Awarded to MFA students enrolled full-time. Graduate faculty members of each division select the winners. A GPA of 3.0 or better is required.


  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans
    Enables students to obtain a long-term, low fixed-interest rate loan. Loan amount is based on a student's grade level and can be awarded in two forms:

    • Subsidized Stafford Loans
      Need-based loan. The federal government subsidizes (pays) the interest until the loan goes into repayment.
    • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
      Non need-based loan. The federal government does not subsidize (pay) any interest. Students have the option to pay interest while attending school or have interest accumulate and be capitalized at repayment.

    Learn more about required loan counseling or interest rates, award amounts, and other loan information.

  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
    Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. Students need to complete an online Master Promissory Note and loan request to borrow this loan.

    Learn more about required loan counseling.

  • Alternative Loans
    Alternative loans allow students to borrow the remainder of what traditional financial aid programs do not cover. Loans may require a co-signer. Interest rates vary.

MFA-Only Assistantships

  • Graduate Assistantships
    Graduate Assistantships provide students with meaningful extracurricular experience while offsetting expenses. Available on- and off-campus, assistantships last two semesters. Graduate Assistantships are subject to financial aid regulations and may result in a reduction of Federal Stafford Loans. To apply, you must be enrolled in nine or more credits.

Installment Payment Plan

  • Monthly Payment Plan
    Students may be eligible to participate in a monthly payment plan. For more information, contact the business office.