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. Students with academic achievement and artistic talent who apply by the application deadlines may qualify for admissions merit scholarships. Additional scholarships, work-study, and payment plans may also be available.


Federal Pell Grants

Awarded to students based on their demonstrated financial need. In 2010/11, grants ranged from $555 to $5,550.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)

Awarded to students based on demonstrated financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients with the greatest financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA. SEOG grants range from $100 to $2,000 depending upon need and funds availability.

Minnesota State Grants

This program is funded by the State of Minnesota, and the grant money is awarded to students who meet criteria set forth by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Grant. Grant amounts are also dependent upon annual appropriation levels established by the State of Minnesota.

MCAD Opportunity Grants and the MCAD Renewable Opportunity Grants

Awarded by MCAD to students that have completed the FAFSA and show demonstrated financial need. All students must complete the FAFSA by March 15 each year to to be considered for these grants.

MCAD Distance Grants

Awarded to out-of-state students with expected family contribution (EFC) between zero and $10,000. Students need to complete the FAFSA application by March 15 to be considered for this grant.

Tuition Exchange Awards

Tuition Exchange is a program that has been set up by participating colleges and universities to make funding available to dependents of faculty and staff. View the list of participating schools and the application process.

Yellow Ribbon Grants

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veteran’s Educational Assistance Act of 2008, also known as Post-9/11 GI Bill. Additional grant information and application form >


Federal Perkins Loans

Federally funded loans available at a fixed 5 percent interest rate to students with exceptional financial need, with a preference given to students who have been awarded the Federal Pell Grant. Students borrow an average of $1,500 per year during undergraduate years. Repayment and interest are deferred until nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Repayment is made to MCAD at a minimum of $40 per month.

In order to be considered for the Perkins Loan, students must complete the FAFSA by March 15. Loan eligibility will be reviewed as part of the financial aid award process. Award amounts will be included on the financial aid award if the student qualifies for the loan. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to be eligible to receive a Federal Perkins Loan. Due to limited Perkins funding, not all MCAD students will have the opportunity to borrow a Perkins Loan.

Awards amounts range from $500 to $3,000 per academic year, depending upon fund availability and the student's financial need. The amount available to borrow is included on the financial aid award notification.

The Federal Perkins Loan is a need-based subsidized loan (interest-free during in-school, grace, and deferment periods). The annual interest rate is fixed at 5 percent and is not charged until the student enters the repayment period.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan program is available for the parents of dependent undergraduate students. Parents need to complete an online Master Promissory Note (MPN) and loan request to borrow this loan.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Stafford Loan program enables eligible students the option to obtain a long-term, low fixed-interest rate loan. This program will start repayment six months after a student withdraws, drops below half time or graduates from college. The amount awarded is based on a student's grade level and can be awarded in two forms: subsidized or unsubsidized.

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

Subsidized Stafford Loans
A subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need, based on the information supplied on the FAFSA. The federal government "subsidizes" (pays) the interest until the loan goes into repayment.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
This is a non need-based loan, and awarded based on the information supplied on the FAFSA. Interest is not subsidized (or paid) by the federal government. Students have the option to pay the interest while attending school or have the interest accumulate and be capitalized at repayment.

Independent undergraduate students, as well as dependent students whose parent has been denied a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, may obtain additional loans through the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program. Award amounts are based on the student's grade level.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loan programs assist you in financing the cost of your education. Most alternative loans allow you to borrow the remainder of what the traditional financial aid programs did not cover. Alternative loan programs may require a co-signer if you have not established a credit score. Generally, alternative loan programs will wait until six months after you graduate, withdraw or drop below half time enrollment before going into repayment. Interest rates vary.

Review and apply for alternative loan options.


Admissions Merit Scholarships

If you submit all the required application materials to the college by the posted undergraduate application deadlines, you will be eligible for an Admissions Merit Scholarship.

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 you 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 designed for students who are currently enrolled full time in an MCAD degree-seeking program. Students are notified of the competition requirements and deadlines each spring. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required to enter. Competitions are judged by MCAD faculty.

Special Competition Scholarships

ARTS and the Scholastic Art Awards are a national competition that starts at the state level. High school students submit work to compete for a silver or gold key award. Gold Key winners go on to the national competition. Judging is determined by Scholastic Arts. MCAD has hosted this event for the last few years and supports this foundation by matching the Scholastic Art Award Scholarship. 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 on the Scholastic Arts Competition.

Alumni MCAD Legacy Scholarships

The Alumni MCAD Legacy Scholarship is a total scholarship of $8,000 over four years ($2,000 per year) for undergraduate students. 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.