Types of Aid: Master of Fine Arts | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Types of Aid: Master of Fine Arts


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 MFA Admissions Trustees Scholarships

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 

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:

  • 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

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a fixed interest loan program that enables graduate students to borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help pay for educational expenses. It is not based on need; however, you must still file the FAFSA to be eligible. More information about the loan and instructions to complete the application and Master Promissory Note can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

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

Tuition Reimbursement Through Your Employer

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

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 MFA, including course descriptions and skills learned. Contact admissions@mcad.edu for more information.

Graduate Assistantships

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.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.