How to Apply

Financial_aid_2Eligibility requirements for financial aid are:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen.
  2. Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  3. Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25).
  4. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree program.
  5. Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds.
  6. Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the Academy.
  7. Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) stating that:
  • You are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
  • You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

Applicants for financial aid must submit the following information to the financial aid office:

  1. The American Academy of Art College's Financial Aid Application.
  2. A signed FAFSA.
  3. Tax filers (both students and parents of dependent students) must use the IRS Data Retrieval through the FAFSA or provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript or a signed copy of their Federal Income Tax Return from two years ago.
  4. Non tax filers (both students and parents of dependent students) will need to fill out the American Academy of Art College's Non-Tax Filer Form.
  5. An IRS Confirmation of Nonfiling Letter is required for parents who did not file taxes and for independent students who did not file taxes.
  6. A copy of your Social Security card.
  7. A copy of your driver’s license or state identification card.

A tax transcript can be obtained at

The school will use the current Verification Guide issued by the Department of Education as the governing document for substantiation of information on students’ applications. Any required supporting documentation needs to be submitted to the Financial Services Office as soon as possible. Brochures and pamphlets regarding student aid programs, including information on specific loan types and repayment conditions, are available in the Financial Services Office.

Grant Programs

Federal Pell Grant Program

The Federal Pell Grant Program is a need-based federal student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education for students who meet eligibility requirements. Awards do not have to be repaid.

Federal SEOG Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a limited fund program based on financial need and administered by the Financial Services Office at the American Academy of Art College. Awards do not have to be repaid.

State of Illinois Grant Program

The Monetary Award Program (MAP) provides grant assistance to eligible Illinois residents demonstrating financial need. MAP grants are applied toward tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate students. Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Student Aid (FAFSA).

Loan Programs

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan provides federally guaranteed, low-interest loans of $3,500 for first-year, $4,500 for second-year and $5,500 for third-year and fourth-year students. These loans are for undergraduate students who meet the eligibility requirements. Repayment is deferred until six months after the student’s last day of attendance. Interest is charged when the student enters repayment.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The Federal Unsubsidized Loan provides $2,000 for dependent students as a supplement to the subsidized loan program. For independent students and dependent students whose parents do not qualify for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan provides as much as $6,000 for the first- and second-year and $7,000 for third- and fourth-year academic grade levels. Repayment of the principal is deferred until 6 months after graduation or withdrawal. However, interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed but may be deferred while the student is in school. There may be exceptions to the criteria for the listed financial aid programs, and students may need to provide additional information to be considered as an eligible student.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) provides loans up to the cost of attendance for an academic year, less other financial aid, to qualifying parents of undergraduate students. Repayment usually begins 60 days after the loan is disbursed. PLUS loans offer an alternative for students who may not qualify for other forms of aid or provide supplemental funding for those who need additional assistance.


The American Academy of Art College can accept scholarships from most organizations. The student applicant is responsible for assessing criteria.

High School Senior Scholarship Competition

The Academy’s High School Senior Scholarship Competition awards tuition scholarships annually, totaling more than $400,000. High school seniors who have requested information about the school will automatically receive competition rules and entry forms. Others wanting to enter should request information by calling the Academy at 312-461-0600. Information is available after the start of the fall semester.

Withdrawal Procedure

Students who wish to withdraw from school after attending classes must have an exit interview with the Registrar and complete a Notification of Withdrawal form.  Students that do not officially withdraw and stop attending, will be withdrawn 14 days from their last day of attendance.  Withdrawal is complete when all forms have been processed and all financial obligations have been met. Transcripts of credits earned are issued only after withdrawal conditions are satisfied.

If a student withdraws from the Academy in good standing, the student will not be required to repeat the interview process upon returning to the Academy.  However, if the degree requirements change during the student's absence, all new requirements, as listed in the new Enrollment Agreement must be met.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

1. REFUNDS: All monies shall be refunded to applicants that did not meet all admission requirements and/or their application was rejected by the Academy.

2. THREE-DAY CANCELLATION: All monies paid by an applicant will be refunded if notice is received in the school office within 3 days after signing an enrollment agreement and making an initial payment.

3. POST-VISIT CANCELLATION: Applicants who have not visited the school prior to enrollment are entitled to a refund of all monies paid if notice is received in the school office within 3 days after the scheduled orientation or following a tour of the school facilities and inspection of equipment, whichever comes first.

4. CANCELLED RESERVATION: Applicants requesting cancellation more than 3 days after signing an enrollment agreement and making an initial payment, but who do not report for class, may request a refund of monies paid to the school. All tuition and related fees except the $50.00 reservation fee will be refunded.

For a student who begins classes, the following policy will apply. As the American Academy of Art College charges tuition and fees on a per semester basis, in all cases, the reference to tuition refers to the charges for the semester.

1. FIRST WEEK WITHDRAWAL: For a student withdrawing after entering school and attending class but within the first week of the semester, the school shall retain 10% of the tuition, the activity fee, and the $50.00 reservation fee.

2. AFTER FIRST WEEK WITHDRAWAL: For a student withdrawing after one week, but within the first four weeks of the semester, the school shall retain 45% of the tuition. The activity fee and the reservation fees are also retained.

3. AFTER THE FOURTH AND THROUGH THE EIGHTH WEEK OF THE SEMESTER: The school shall retain 70% of the tuition. The activity fee and the reservation fees are also retained.

4. AFTER THE EIGHTH WEEK OF THE SEMESTER: The school shall retain 100% of the tuition. The activity fee and the reservation fees are also retained.

Please note:  Technology fees are refunded at the same percentage and on the same schedule as tuition charges for students who withdraw from school.


Withdrawal Recalculation of Title IV Aid Eligibility

If a student drops before 60 percent of the term has been completed, a portion of the federal aid received may need to be returned to the government. Thus, it may be the case that it was expected that financial aid would cover the full costs of education, but that because of the student’s drop status, a portion of the funds must be returned.  Moreover, because of the recalculation of the student’s eligibility for aid, the student may owe the school additional amounts for tuition, fees, and books and supplies. The student may also owe funds back directly to the government, if he/she received funds for living costs.

For example, if you dropped after four weeks, the school would have earned 70% of your semester’s tuition, but the government would only consider you as eligible for 26% of the aid you would have received had you completed the semester.  This would mean that you would be responsible for paying the Academy the difference.

If federal aid is to be returned to the government, funds will be returned within 45 days to the financial aid programs in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan.
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loan.
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
  4. Federal PELL Grant.
  5. FSEOG.
  6. Other private or institutional aid.
  7. The student or the student’s parent.

The Academy uses the U.S. Department of Education calculator system called the R2T4 to determine the amount of aid that a student is eligible for upon withdrawing from school.  The calculation is based on the student’s last day of attendance and the credit hours taken during the period of enrollment.

Late Disbursements

In some instances, a withdrawn student may not have received all eligible financial aid.  The student will be notified in writing within 30 days of the school’s determination of withdrawal that additional funds are available. Upon written request from the student, a disbursement can be made that will be applied to the account balance to cover unpaid charges. 

Any disbursements from Direct Loan funds will need to be repaid according to repayment policies of the U.S. Department of Education.


Insofar as refunds apply, termination will be as of the last date of attendance.  All refunds shall be based on the student's time in attendance, the tuition costs for the semester, and the Academy's Cancellation and Refund Policy.  Any monies due the student shall be refunded within 14 days of the date that the school performs the return calculation.


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