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  • FAFSA – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the application you will use to apply for aid. It is the only aid application that we require at MassArt.
  • Student Aid Index (SAI) – A measurement of your and your family’s ability to pay for college.
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) – An estimate of the cost of one year of college, including both direct costs and indirect costs.
  • Direct Costs – Costs that are billed to you directly from the College, like tuition and housing and food.
  • Indirect Costs – Costs associated with earning your degree that you aren’t billed for by the College, like art supplies, books, or personal living expenses.
  • Net Price Calculator – A tool available to undergraduates that estimates your financial contribution to attend MassArt. Net price is calculated by subtracting any grants or scholarships for which you may be eligible from your COA.
  • Grants –  A grant is gifted aid that typically doesn’t need to be repaid.
  • Scholarships – A scholarship is another type of gifted aid that doesn’t need to be paid back. Scholarships are usually (but not always) awarded based on merit.
  • Merit-Based Aid – Financial aid that is distributed based on your academic and creative achievements.
  • Need-Based Aid – Financial aid that is distributed based on your level of financial need.
  • Subsidized vs Unsubsidized Loan – Subsidized loans are based on financial need while unsubsidized loans are not. Over time, loans accrue interest in addition to the full sum of money borrowed. The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while you are enrolled in school for at least six credits per semester and during authorized deferment periods. You are responsible for all accrued interest from an unsubsidized loan.

Four Things to Remember

  1. Start with the FAFSA

    To be considered for aid at MassArt, the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) is the only form you need to file. March 1 is the priority deadline for filing the FAFSA at MassArt.


  2. Deadlines and Details Matter

    You may be asked to provide information and documentation at different points in the process. Providing incomplete information, or submitting it late, can impact whether you receive an award.


  3. There are Many Options Available

    In addition to loans, scholarships, and grants, you may be eligible for tuition waivers, work-study jobs, and many other options.


  4. We’re Here to Help!

    The team at the Office of Student Financial Assistance is here to answer your questions, and you can also reach out to a member of the Admissions staff

Filing the FAFSA

Learn how to apply for undergraduate financial aid at MassArt using the FAFSA form.

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Determining Financial Aid Awards

The information you provide on your FAFSA will determine your financial need, and how much need-based aid you’re eligible to receive. Financial need is calculated by subtracting your Student Aid Index (SAI) from your Cost of Attendance (COA). 

Your SAI measures your and your family’s ability to pay for college expenses each year. Typically, the lower your SAI, the more types of aid you’re eligible to receive. Your COA, meanwhile, is an estimate of the cost of one year of college. It includes direct costs like tuition and housing and food, and indirect costs, which are things you aren’t billed for, such as art supplies, books or personal living expenses. 

Non-need-based aid is not determined by your SAI. Instead, the College subtracts any financial aid you’ve been awarded from your COA. When subtracting your current allotment of aid, the College considers aid you’ve received outside of your MassArt award, like private scholarships. 

Appealing Financial Aid Decisions

If your financial situation changes due to special or unusual circumstances, you may appeal your financial aid decision. 

  • A special circumstance is a financial situation that impacts your ability to cover college costs, such as a loss of income, unanticipated expenses (e.g., medical/dental, home repair, etc.), or the separation, divorce, or death of a parent.
  • An unusual circumstance refers to a condition that requires changing a student’s dependency status  (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylum status, parental abandonment, incarceration, etc.) and is more commonly referred to as a dependency override.

To appeal your financial aid decision due to special circumstances, submit a financial appeal form and include supporting documentation like termination letters, unemployment determination letters, canceled checks, copies of bills, etc. Please be specific in explaining the changes in your financial situation. The Director of Student Financial Assistance will review your appeal and contact you directly with a decision. We will make every effort to make a decision with the information provided but may ask for additional documentation.

To submit an appeal for unusual circumstances, please review the dependency override policy and book a meeting with the Director of Student Financial Assistance.  

Types of Aid

There are different types of aid to help pay for MassArt. Some, like loans, must be repaid with interest, while other types of aid, like scholarships and grants, are gifts that do not have to be repaid. 

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Undergraduate Aid

Learn about the types of aid available to undergraduates.

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Graduate Aid

Understand the aid options for graduate students.

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Boston, MA 02115

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