Grants, Scholarships, Loans, and More

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


Federal Pell Grants

Awarded based on financial need.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

Awarded based on financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Grants range from $100 to $2,000.

Minnesota State Grants

Awarded if you 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 based on financial need. You must complete the FAFSA by March 15 to be considered.

MCAD Distance Grants

Awarded if you are an out-of-state student with an expected family contribution below $10,000. You 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 5% interest rate if you show exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Loans range from $500 to $3,000. You must complete the FAFSA by March 15 to be considered.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Available to your parents if you are still considered a legal dependent. Parents must complete an online Master Promissory Note and loan request.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

A long-term, low fixed-interest rate loan based on your grade level. Can be awarded in two forms:

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

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans allow you to borrow the remainder of what traditional financial aid programs do not cover. Loans may require a cosigner. Interest rates vary.


MCAD Admissions Merit Scholarships

This competitive scholarship, which recognizes achievement and talent, is open to all entering undergraduate students. If you submit all application materials by the deadlines you may be eligible. Awards are granted every year for a total of eight semesters of full-time attendance, provided you maintain the scholarship requirements.

MCAD Annual Merit Scholarships

This competitive scholarship competition is for students who are currently enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program. Competition requirements and deadlines are posted 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 you may earn scholarships that MCAD then matches. To receive a matching scholarship, you 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 those who have completed an undergraduate degree program at MCAD are eligible for this scholarship.

MCAD Laptop Scholarship

The MCAD Laptop Scholarship provides admitted students with a free MacBook computer when they enroll at the college. Students who have submitted their undergraduate application and all supporting materials by the Early Action Deadline are eligible for this scholarship.


Through RaiseMe, a free micro-scholarship platform, students can earn awards by adding academic and extracurricular achievements to their RaiseMe portfolio. 

Note: Your final RaiseMe total represents a minimum amount of scholarship or grant aid you will receive in your MCAD financial aid package. If you receive a larger scholarship based upon other factors (like your artistic or academic achievements or financial information supplied on the FAFSA), then the package will include the amount that you have earned on RaiseMe. The RaiseMe micro-scholarships earned are always part of your MCAD award, not in addition to it.

External Scholarships

Outside scholarships, many of which are based on merit or special criteria, are great options for funding your education. MCAD students are often awarded money by businesses, community groups, and religious organizations, to name a few.


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

Installment Payment Plan

You may be eligible to participate in a monthly payment plan once you are admitted and have submitted your tuition deposit.

Benefits for Veterans and Dependents

Veterans and their dependents may be eligible to receive help paying for tuition, fees, supplies, housing, and more.