Types of Undergraduate Financial Aid

  • 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 Undergraduate Students

Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for grants, which do not need to be repaid, or loans, which must be repaid after graduation. Those with academic achievement and artistic talent may qualify for merit scholarships. Additional scholarships, work-study, and payment plans are also available.


  • Federal Pell Grants
    Awarded to students based on demonstrated financial need.

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
    Awarded to students based on demonstrated financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Grants range from $100 to $2,000.

  • Minnesota State Grants
    Awarded to students who meet criteria set forth by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Grant. Grant amounts are dependent upon annual appropriation levels established by the State of Minnesota.

  • MCAD Opportunity Grants and Renewable Opportunity Grants
    Awarded by MCAD to students who show demonstrated financial need. Students must complete the FAFSA by March 15 to be considered.

  • MCAD Distance Grants
    Awarded to out-of-state students with expected family contribution below $10,000. Students must complete the FAFSA by March 15 to be considered.

  • Tuition Exchange Awards
    Participating colleges and universities make funding available to dependents of faculty and staff.

  • Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Grants
    This program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veteran’s Educational Assistance Act of 2008, also known as Post-9/11 GI Bill.


  • Federal Perkins Loans
    Available at a fixed five percent interest rate to students with exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Loans range from $500 to $3,000. Students must complete the FAFSA by March 15 to be considered.

  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
    Available for the parents of dependent undergraduate students. Parents need to complete an online Master Promissory Note and loan request.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • Admissions Merit Scholarships
    Students who submit all required application materials to the college by the application deadlines may be eligible.

    MCAD's Admissions Merit Scholarships recognize student achievement and talent. The scholarships are granted each year for a total of eight semesters of full-time attendance, provided students meet the maintenance requirements of the scholarship outlined in the notification letter.

    This competitive scholarship program is open to all entering undergraduate students, and scholarships are awarded based on the strength of the applicant's admission file in relation to the applicant pool.

  • Annual MCAD Merit Scholarships
    This scholarship competition is for students who are currently enrolled full time in a degree-seeking program. Students are notified of the competition requirements and deadlines each spring. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to enter. Competitions are judged by MCAD faculty.

  • Special Competition Scholarships
    ARTS and the Scholastic Art Awards are national competitions for which students may earn scholarships that MCAD then matches. To receive a matching scholarship, applicants are expected to place as a gold key winner at the national competition and to be admitted to MCAD. These are need-based funds and are awarded on a funds-available basis. Please consult your high school art teacher for more information.

  • Alumni MCAD Legacy Scholarships
    This is a total scholarship of $8,000 over four years ($2,000 per year). Children of MCAD alumni who have completed an undergraduate degree program are eligible for this scholarship.

  • External Scholarships
    Outside scholarships, many of which are based on merit or special criteria, are an increasingly important source of funding for students. MCAD students bring in external scholarship money awarded by businesses, community groups, and religious organizations.


Many different part-time jobs are available to help students offset educational expenses and gain work experience. Work-study positions are limited and posted approximately one week before classes begin and as available throughout the semester. Students typically work five to ten hours per week.

Installment Payment Plan

Students may be eligible to participate in a monthly payment plan once they are admitted and have submitted a tuition deposit.