Understanding Your Financial Aid Offer

Welcome & Welcome Back

Congratulations to all our newly accepted students and welcome back those who are returning to CalArts for the upcoming year! Please use this financial aid offer supplement as an easy to use guide on how to understand your financial aid offer. After reviewing your offer, If you have any questions please call us 661-253-7869 or email us at finaid@calarts.edu

Please note, if there are any future adjustments made to your financial aid, you will receive an email from our office to notify you of the change.

Our CalArts Community

At CalArts we strive with our unique intimate and inclusive learning environment that provides students with the tools, training, and support to succeed in a life and career in the arts. 

CalArts is one of very few institutions dedicated to the study of the arts to offer degree programs in the performing, visual, and literary arts–encouraging artists from different branches to mix and collaborate as a way of sparking new ideas and methods. In fact, we were the first to do this as it was part of Walt Disney’s founding vision of the school. Located in Los Angeles, the primary city for employment for the creative industries in the U.S. Due to this proximity, students regularly exhibit and perform in Los Angeles venues. CalArts is a place where students learn from each other and their teachers learn from students. CalArts is a diverse community of artists, where the community constantly strives to deepen intercultural awareness. By breaking through artificial barriers, this ongoing exchange of ideas and methods opens up fresh perspectives, sparks out-of-the-box innovation, and energizes the creative community as a whole. This is why CalArts is widely recognized as a truly successful experiment in American arts education. 

View Your Financial Aid Offer

Please log in to view your financial aid offer at sso.calarts.edu.  For more information about the different types financial aid that you may see on your award letter, and other financial aid options, click on the appropriate button below

For Undergraduate Students         For Graduate Students         For International Students

Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of students’ educational expenses for the period of enrollment, as determined by the school.  The cost of attendance is determined by your living arrangement, you are assigned a COA based on whether you live on campus, off campus or at home (with a parent) and your academic level. The COA includes many aspects of the cost of attending CalArts, such as tuition, fees and housing and food. The COA sets a limit on the total aid that a student may receive for a given academic year.

  • Billable (Direct) Costs – Direct costs are the actual charges that a student is billed by the CalArts accounting department, this includes tuition, fees and housing and food if the student is living on campus.

  • Estimated (Indirect) Costs – Indirect costs are other estimated auxiliary costs associated with attending CalArts. These are not specific amounts that a student must pay, but are used to help students estimate a total cost of attendance for a year of enrollment at CalArts. Indirect costs include transportation, personal and miscellaneous expenses, books and supplies, housing and food expenses if the student is not living on campus.

The examples below show a COA for undergraduate students living on campus and attending full-time and graduate students living on campus and attending full-time  - for more information and cost of attendance for off campus and at home students please see our cost of attendance website.

Undergraduate - On Campus Full-Time COA 2024-2025

Cost Component Full-Time Cost
Tuition $58,318
Fees $678
Housing $9,898
Food $8,991
Transportation $1,233
Personal/Miscellaneous $3,213
Books/Supplies $1,062
Loan Fees $50
Medical $2,658
Total $86,101


Graduate - On Campus Full-Time COA 2024-2025

Cost Component Full-Time Cost
Tuition $58,318
Fees $678
Housing $11,000
Food $8,991
Transportation $1,233
Personal/Miscellaneous $3,213
Books/Supplies $1,062
Loan Fees $200
Medical $2,658
Total $87,353


Welcome CalArts Parents and families, we are so excited to have your student join our diverse community of artists! Since we communicate directly with the student you are strongly encouraged to review the complete website to get all the facts regarding the application procedures, deadlines, grants, scholarships, loans and work programs that may be available to your student as a resource. If you want to inquire about specific information regarding your student’s financial assistance you must have confirmed access as a Proxy. Proxy access information and instructions can be found here

CalArts provides an estimated cost of education on an annual basis which breaks down the direct charges- such as tuition, fees and housing and food for students who live on campus and indirect charges. To view our estimated cost of attendance for the current academic year, please click here.

The Office of Financial Aid understands that the cost of education can be difficult to cover out of pocket. Parents of dependent undergraduate students, who complete a FAFSA for the academic year can apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to help brige the gap between the cost of attending CalArts and the financial aid the student is currently receiving. To learn more about eligibility, interest rates, repayment and the application process please see this link. Dependent Undergraduate students will have a Parent PLUS loan listed on their financial aid award letter, the amount listed is not the maximum that can be borrowed, parents can request up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student is receiving during the application process. 

Other options for covering your student's balance include Monthly Payment Plans or Private Education Student Loans

If you have questions regarding payments or billing please contact the Bursar at accounting@calarts.edu or 661-253-7847.

Next Steps

In some cases, we may ask students to submit additional documentation to the Financial Aid Office in order to confirm eligibility for certain financial aid. To view any additional documents that are required, and instruction on submitting documents: 

  • Log in to sso.calarts.edu and click on Self Service within the available web app dashboard

  • Click on “Financial Aid” to view your Financial Aid Checklist

  • Click on “Complete required documents"

Please submit documents using the secure Missing Documents Upload Form, do not email this type of documentation directly to financial aid office.

You can accept or reject aid on your financial aid offer.  Scholarships and grants are generally already set as accepted, and don’t require additional action.

Federal work study and direct loan offers require you to accept or reject them, which can be done by logging in to sso.calarts, clicking on “Financial Aid” and then 

You can click here for more information on how to accept or reject your award.

For an easy to use estimate of your balance for the upcoming year, please see this link: https://estimatebalance.calarts.edu/

When reviewing your Financial Aid Award, please remember the following:

Enrollment Requirements
Your award is based on full-time enrollment (i.e. 12 or more units for BFA students) each semester. If you do not enroll full-time, your Federal, State and institutional funds can be decreased or removed. You must be enrolled in at least six units each semester to receive federal student loans.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
To receive financial aid, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completing your degree. SAP is defined as maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher for BFA students and 3.0 or higher for Graduate students, completing at least 67% of all attempted units, and not exceeding 180 attempted units overall for BFA students or 90 attempted units overall for Graduate students. If you fail to maintain SAP, you may be in jeopardy of not receiving financial aid. Click here for more details on SAP.

Rights and Responsibilites
It is essential that all students receiving financial aid at CalArts are aware of the student’s rights and responsibilities. Read your rights and responsibilities.


The Office of Financial Aid understands that sometimes a student or family's financial circumstances change unexpectedly so to help address this we are able to provide Special Circumstances Appeals for FAFSA filers and Need-Based Appeals for International students. To learn more about eligible circumstances that can be reviewed, please follow this link.


Please contact our office at 661-253-7869 or 800-443-0480 or by email at finaid@calarts.edu with any questions.