Financial Aid Application Process

(for Domestic Students)


Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2024-25 FAFSA will be available to all domestic students in December 2023. To complete the FAFSA, please visit The Federal School Code for California Institute of the Arts is 001132.

The Institute's priority deadline for completing the FAFSA is February 28. We encourage all eligible students to complete the FAFSA on/before the priority deadline in order to receive early consideration for limited federal funding, such as Federal SEOG and Federal Work Study. However, please note that the FAFSA may be completed at any time throughout the academic year.


To electronically apply and sign your FAFSA, students and parents must have a FSA ID. An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites such as Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites.

It’s important to understand that the student and the parent may not share an FSA ID: Your FSA ID is your signature, so it has to be unique to you. If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA form electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications, but each child must have his or her own.

To create an FSA ID, please visit

FAFSA Contributor

A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on an applicant’s FAFSA including:

  • The student

  • The student's spouse (if applicable)

  • A biological or adoptive parent; or

  • The spouse of a remarried parent who is on the FAFSA--the stepparent

The new FAFSA is student driven, so that means the student's answers on their section will determine who will be a contributor (in addition to the student). Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA. Contributors will need to provide personal and financial information on their section of the FAFSA.

All contributors are required to have an FSA ID and to provide consent to have their Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred from the IRS, have their tax data used to determine a student's eligibility for federal student aid, and allow the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to share their tax information with institutions and state higher education agencies for the administration of Title IV aid. Consent is provided once for the award year and cannot be revoked in that award year. This consent is necessary even if the contributor does not have an SSN, did not file taxes, or filed taxes in another country.

If a dependent student's parents are unmarried and living together, both parents will be contributors, will need to have separate FSA IDs, and need to provide consent. Dependent students whose parents filed their U.S. income tax return as Married Filing Jointly only require one parent contributor to complete the FAFSA. If the student's parents filed separately, both parents will be considered contributors and therefore need separate FSA IDs, and both must provide consent.

If an independent student is married and filed separately, both individuals are contributors, must have FSA IDs, and must provide consent for the student to be eligible for Title IV aid.

Parent of Record Starting 2024-25

Effective the 2024-25 award year, parent of record on the FAFSA is noted below. You will notice that the parent with whom the student lived the most in the past 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA, is no longer a criterion in cases of divorced or separated parents. For divorced or separated parents, income and assets are reported for the parent who provides the most financial support even if the student does not live with that parent or lives with the other parent.

Parental Income on FAFSA

  • Parents who live together
    Parental income and assets in the case of student whose parents are married and not separated, or who are unmarried but live together, shall include the income and assets of both parents.

  • Divorced or separated parents
    Parental income and assets for a student whose parents are divorced or separated, but not remarried, is determined by including only the income and assets of the parent who provides the greater portion of the student's financial support.

  • Death of a parent
    Parental income and assets in the case of the death of any parent is determined as follows:
    (A) If either of the parents has died, the surviving parent shall be considered a single parent, until that parent has remarried.
    (B) If both parents have died, the student shall not report any parental income or assets.

  • Remarried parents
    If a parent whose income and assets are taken into account under paragraph (2), or if a parent who is a widow or widower and whose income is taken into account under paragraph (3), has remarried, the income of that parent's spouse shall be included in determining the parent's assessment of adjusted available income if the student's parent and the stepparent are married as of the date of application for the award year concerned.

  • Single parent who is not divorced or separated
    Parental income and assets in the case of a student whose parent is not described in paragraph (1) and is a single parent who is not divorced, separated, or remarried, shall include the income and assets of such single parent."

Federal Tax Information (FTI) Through Direct Data Exchange (DDX)

EVERYONE (students, spouses (if applicable), and parents) will need to consent to have their Federal Tax Information (FTI) imported into the FTI module.

  • To provide consent, the individual will need to access the FAFSA with an FSA ID that has been matched with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

  • Federal tax filers will have their tax information imported into the FTI module. No tax income will transfer into the FAFSA, but tax data will be sent to the colleges listed on the FAFSA.

  • Non-tax filers must also check the box to consent. When IRS Data is accessed, the process will verify non-filing status.

For International Students

International students should be fully prepared to fund their education and living expenses for the entire length of their degree program at CalArts. Funding sources typically come from family support, government grants or loans from the student’s country of citizenship, private scholarships, and CalArts merit scholarships. There is no separate scholarship application for international students; CalArts Institutional, Endowed & Annually Funded Scholarships are determined by committee upon review of each admitted student’s application materials.

California Dream Act Application

(for BFA Students Only)

Dream Act Students are individuals who were born abroad and may have entered the United States as children without the proper documentation to be considered a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, even though they may have resided here since childhood.

This application is used by undocumented students who meet the eligibility requirements of California Assembly Bill 540 and come from a lower income household or qualify for need-based aid. The California Student Aid Commission process the application and any aid received can be used at eligible California public or private institutions.

*Application is due by April 2, 2024

Click here to learn more