Graduate Types of Aid | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Graduate Types of Aid

There are numerous opportunities for financing your MCAD education including scholarships, loans, and payment plans available to students who qualify.

Grants (MFA Only)

MCAD Opportunity and Renewable Opportunity Grants

Awarded by MCAD based on financial need. You must complete the FAFSA by the priority deadline. 

Yellow Ribbon Grant

The Yellow Ribbon Grant is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veteran’s Educational Assistance Act of 2008, also known as Post-9/11 GI Bill®.

Grants do not need to be repaid.


External Scholarships

Outside scholarships, many of which are based on merit or special criteria, are great options for funding your education. MCAD students are often awarded money by businesses, community groups, and religious organizations, to name a few.

MCAD Creative Leadership Admissions Scholarships (MA in Creative Leadership Only)

This scholarship competition is available to all entering MA in Creative Leadership students. If you submit all application materials by the deadline you may be eligible for scholarship consideration. 

MCAD MFA Admissions Trustees Scholarships (MFA Only)

This merit-based competition is open to all entering MFA students. If you submit all application materials by the deadlines you may be eligible.

MCAD Annual Merit Scholarships (MFA Only)

This competitive scholarship competition is for students who are currently enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program. Competition requirements and deadlines are posted each spring. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to enter. Competitions are judged by MCAD faculty.

Scholarships do not need to be repaid.


Federal Direct Stafford Loans

long-term, low fixed-interest rate loan based on your grade level. Can be awarded in two forms:

  • Subsidized Stafford Loans: Need-based. The federal government subsidizes (pays) the interest until the loan goes into repayment.
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: Not need-based. The federal government does not subsidize (pay) any interest. You have the option to pay interest while attending school or have interest accumulate and be capitalized at repayment.

Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loans

You may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. You must complete an online Master Promissory Note and loan request to borrow this loan.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loans allow you to borrow the remainder of what traditional financial aid programs do not cover. Loans may require a cosigner. Interest rates vary.

Unlike grants and scholarships, loans need to be repaid. International students do not qualify for federal financial aid. Learn about required loan counseling.

Tuition Reimbursement Through Your Employer (MA Only)

If you intend to work while earning your MA, ask your employer if tuition reimbursement is available to you.

MCAD's online master of arts (MA) degrees are designed for students who wish to continue working full- or part-time while enrolled. Some MCAD students have successfully organized tuition reimbursement through their employers, alleviating some or all of the costs of MCAD tuition.

Tuition reimbursement policies vary greatly based on your place of employment.

Employers/companies may:

  • not offer any reimbursement;
  • reimburse education costs within a discipline relevant to the business; or
  • reimburse anywhere from 50 to 100 percent of all expenses, regardless of relevance.

Please contact your place of employment's Human Resource Department for more information. MCAD is happy to provide your employer with more information on the MA, including course descriptions and skills learned. Contact for more information.

Graduate Assistantships (MFA Only)

Graduate Assistantships provide students with meaningful extracurricular experience while offsetting expenses. Available both on- and off-campus, assistantships last two semesters. Graduate Assistantships are subject to financial aid regulations and may result in a reduction of Federal Stafford Loans. To apply, you must be enrolled in nine or more credits.

Similar to a job, assistantship aid is earned through work and does not need to be repaid.

Installment Payment Plan

You may be eligible to participate in a monthly payment plan once you are admitted and have submitted your tuition deposit.

Installment plan not available to international students enrolled in an online MA program.