For Graduate Students

Institutional Scholarships, Work Study, and Direct Loans

Scholarships, on-campus work, and federal loan offers are types of financial aid that may be available to graduate students.  See the sections below for more information on each type of aid.

When looking to fund their education, students should first seek aid that does not require repayment, such as grants and scholarships. 

Merit scholarship is a type of financial aid that does not have to repaid. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and talent, they are determined at the time of admission based on the portfolios and auditions students present during the admissions process.   

Eligible students may see a Federal Work Study award on their financial aid offer. Federal Work Study is a federally funded program that assists students with earning income through part-time employment on or off-campus. Visit our website to learn more about the federal work study program at CalArts. A Federal Work Study award is not a guarentee of employment, but a notification of eligibility of what you can earn up to under this work program if you apply for and work a Federal Work Study job.

Students who do not qualify for federal work study may still have options to work on campus. Students who are eligible to work in the United States can look for non-federal work study jobs on our job portal, Compass. Please see our Student Employment site for more information on searching for jobs and working on campus. 

Loans are money you borrow that must be repaid with interest. Data shows that a degree leads to greater earning potential at both the undergraduate and graduate level, so when you borrow to pay for your education, you're making an investment in the future.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to graduate students who completed a FAFSA for this academic year, regardless of financial need. This loan accrues interest from the time of disbursement. The amount awarded to you is based on your grade level and cannot be increased, however students who need additional funding can consider applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan or an Private Education Loan (see below in "Other Financing Options" for more information). 

For more information on eligibility, interest rates, repayment and how to apply, please see our website.

Other Financing Options

CalArts understands that financial aid does not always cover all the charges that a student has for a particular academic year. Below are options to help you find ways to cover your balance.

CalArts offers an option to pay your direct charges over the course of a few months. Students can enroll in a monthly payment plan and their payments will be automatically withdrawn each month. To learn more about monthly payment plans and the dates to enroll by, please see the bottom of the page on this link.

Receipt of this loan is contingent on the approval of a Federal Graduate Plus Loan application, which includes a credit check. The federal credit check process will check for adverse credit history, if a student is denied they have a few options - students can appeal the decision with the Department of Education, the student borrower can also add an endorser (co-signer) to their loan. Plus Loans can be borrowed for up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. Plus loans must be repaid by the student borrower. More information about eligibility, interest rates, repayment and how to apply for Graduate PLUS Loans can be viewed here

Students can also apply for a private student loan to help cover their balance. Contingent upon application approval from a bank, credit union or higher education lender, students can apply for loans up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. For more information on this type of loan and to view common lenders who our students have borrowed with in the past please click here.

Scholarships are available from many sources.  One of the best ways to find scholarships to apply for is by using a scholarship search engine. We recommend using one of the search engines listed at the top of this link.

Receipt of outside scholarships could affect your eligibility for certain aid types and cannot exceed the total cost of attendance in a given academic year.