Respond to Your Offer Of Admission

You may submit your Declaration of Intent form online as soon as you are ready. 

You may also download the Declaration of Intent Form [PDF] to: SAIC Undergraduate Admissions, 36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201, Chicago, IL 60603, or fax it to us at 312.629.6101.

Step 1: Activate Your Artic Account

In order to make online deposits, view financial aid, and review billing information, you will need to activate your ARTIC account. This account will also provide you with access to your SAIC email, Self Service, library databases, and much more.

Please note that you will need your SAIC ID number (included in your admission letter) in order to complete this process.

Activate your account by visiting You will be asked for:

  • Your 7-digit SAIC ID Number (included on your admission letter)
  • Your birthday

Your login is automatically assigned, but you will create your own password. Passwords must be alphanumeric and at least 6 characters.

Once you have activated your account, visit to access Self-Service and your email through Google Apps.

For more information about your ARTIC account, visit the help desk website or contact Technical Support at 312.345.3535 or

Step 2: Make Your Tuition Deposit

In order to accept your admission and secure your place in our fall 2016 class, we require that admitted students pay a non-refundable $300 tuition deposit. The deposit is not an extra fee, and will be applied toward your tuition charges.

You may submit your deposit as soon as you are committed to SAIC, and no later than May 1, 2016.

To make your tuition deposit:

  1. Visit
  2. Click the "Self-Service" button under Quicklinks.
  3. Enter your login information.
  4. Under "My Account", select "CASHNet—payments, set-up authorized users"
  5. Select "Make a payment or ARTICard Deposit"
  6. Select "Enrollment Deposit"

Though online payment is the preferred method for paying your tuition deposit, you may also send a check or money order to:

SAIC Undergraduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash, suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

Step 3: Apply for Financial Aid

How to Apply

In order to be eligible for need-based aid such as SAIC, state and federal grants, loans and work study you need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at We encourage you to file your FAFSA early as some types of assistance are limited, and may have early deadlines. Find more information at

  • We encourage you to file the FAFSA even if you aren't sure you will qualify for financial aid.
  • You may complete your 2016–17 FAFSA with an estimate of your 2015 income tax if you have not yet filed your taxes. But, you must update the FAFSA when the actual tax information is available using the IRS Data Retrieval option available on the FAFSA.
  • International students do not file the FAFSA.

In early March, SAIC begins awarding financial aid for eligible students who have completed the FAFSA. An official award letter outlining your financial aid will be sent to you once your file has been reviewed and your eligibility has been determined.

Merit Scholarship

You are reviewed for SAIC's merit-based scholarship (based on a holistic review of your application and not on need) once you have been admitted to SAIC. No additional paperwork or applications are necessary. Find more information at

Outside Scholarships

We recommend searching sources like or speaking with your high school or college counselor about other local scholarship opportunities. Also consider scholarships offered by any professional, community, or religious organizations of which you are a member. For additional outside scholarship sources and information, visit

Figure Your Costs Budgeting Worksheet

Complete this worksheet available in your Financial Aid Award Guide or online at by June 1 to determine if you have enough financial resources to cover your entire annual cost of attendance. You may need to apply for additional credit-based loans such as the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan or Private loans. These loans are only available to credit-worthy borrowers.

Loan Entrance Counseling Sessions and Applications

Entrance counseling sessions for Federal Direct Stafford and Perkins loans, and loan applications for Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Parent PLUS, and Private loans should be completed no later than July 1. Please note: the Federal PLUS loan and Private loan programs are credit-based and may not be available to some applicants.

Important Dates

February 1, 2016 FAFSA filing priority deadline for all Illinois residents
March 1, 2016 FAFSA filing priority deadline for all other students
March 1, 2016 SAIC begins mailing awards for Fall 2016
June 1, 2016 Complete the Figure Your Costs budget worksheet
July 1, 2016 Priority deadline for completing 2016–17 loan entrance counseling session and loan applications
August 15, 2016 Fall 2016 payment in full or payment arrangements

Need Help?

Our Student Financial Services Advisors are here at every step in the process to help you finance your education at SAIC. Don't hesitate to contact us at 312.629.6600, email us at, or access our online Q&A at

Helpful Tips

  • 3–5 days after you file your online FAFSA you will be emailed a confirmation. Review your processed FAFSA carefully to ensure that you have supplied the correct data and follow any further instructions.
  • There may be questions you need to answer based on information you provided on the FAFSA. We will contact you by mail if we need clarification or additional documentation. Please respond as soon as you receive this request to avoid any delay in processing your financial aid.
  • If you feel the FAFSA has not accurately represented your financial situation, or there has been a change in family finances—loss of employment, separation, divorce or death, for example—you should contact the Student Financial Services office at 312.629.6600 or to discuss your circumstances with an advisor.

Step 4: Secure Housing

On-Campus Housing

Living on campus in one of our three buildings allows you to immerse yourself in a community of fellow artists, live just minutes away from your classes in the heart of downtown Chicago, and enjoy conveniences you won't find in most student apartments. Visit for more information.

Residence Hall Features:

  • Large, well-lit common studios in two buildings for use by all residents
  • Live-in professional staff
  • In-room wireless internet
  • Computer Labs
  • 24-hour security staff
  • In-room kitchenettes
  • In-building laundry
  • Private bathrooms
  • Exercise room in two buildings for all residents

Housing Application Process

Housing invitations, including next steps, are sent via mail and to your SAIC email address beginning in early February for early action students and after March 1 for non-early action students.

Once you receive your invitation:

  • Log in at
  • Enter your preference for building, room, bed type and lifestyle choices.
  • Mail or fax a signed copy of your housing contract to: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Residence Life, 36 South Wabash Avenue, suite 1203, Chicago, IL 60603.
  • Pay your $550 housing deposit online via Self-Service at You may also send a check or money order to Residence Life (address above).
  • Once your contract has been received, a housing confirmation email will be sent to your SAIC email address only.
  • Room assignments and roommate contact information will be available in early August.

Fall 2016 Move-In Dates

International New Students: Sunday, August 21, 2016
Domestic New Students: Sunday, August 27, 2016

Meal Plan

If you plan to live in one of our residence halls you will be required to have a meal plan. You will be able to use your declining dining dollar balance at one of SAIC's three dining locations.

Our dining facilities, run by Food for Thought, offer delicious and nutritious selections, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Utilizing organic, fair trade and local ingredients, as well as promoting sustainability, are important aspects of food service at SAIC.

In addition, our residence hall rooms are equipped with either kitchenettes—including two-burner stoves, a microwave and full-sized refrigerator or full kitchens—for you to prepare meals and snacks. Visit for more information.

Off-Campus Housing

SAIC is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, easily accessible from many of the city's historic and diverse neighborhoods. The Residence Life office staff can serve as a resource to you as you seek off-campus housing. Many resources for off-campus living can be found in the off-campus housing section of the housing website, including neighborhood information, tips for apartment searching, a list of common abbreviations, and a booklet with many helpful resources.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has partnered with, a company that specializes in providing off-campus housing solutions for post-secondary students. Because the free listing database is provided exclusively for SAIC students, faculty, and staff, you will be asked to go through a simple registration process, and your password will be sent to your SAIC email account within seconds.

Other services offered by Residence Life include:

  • Assistance in finding an SAIC roommate
  • Map of Chicago neighborhoods popular with SAIC students
  • Tips on managing an apartment search in Chicago
  • Resources on leasing and tenant responsibilities


Contact Residence Life at 312.629.6870 or

Step 5: Register for Classes

Options for Course Registration

Schedule a registration appointment: Beginning April 1, contact the Admissions office between 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (CT) at 800.232.7242 or 312.629.6100, to schedule a registration appointment. Registration will begin May 1, and appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis with earlier dates reserved for Early Action applicants.

Phone registration: If you schedule a phone appointment, an admission counselor will call you at a phone number you designate to help select your courses. Appointments will last between 30–45 minutes.

In-person: You may also come to campus and meet with an admission counselor to register for classes. Beginning April 1, you may schedule your appointment for in-person registration sessions that will begin on May 1.

Email Registration for International Transfer Students: After May 1, email Larry Lee at, providing your name and student ID number, indicating you would like to register via email. An admission counselor will email you back and assist you in scheduling your courses.

Before You Register

AP, CLEP or IB Credit and Scores: During your registration appointment, please make sure to inform your counselor if you have A-level, AP, CLEP or IB scores that you will be submitting officially to the Admissions office. SAIC awards 3 credits for scores of 4–5 on ANY AP subject test up to 12 hours total. For IB, SAIC will award 6 credit hours for scores of 5 or better at higher-level (HL) only for a maximum of 12 credit hours. A-level results of "C" or better will earn 6 credit hours, up to a maximum of 12 credit hours.

College Studies Program: SAIC's College Studies Program is an academic enrichment program for freshmen and transfer students designed to strengthen academic skills prior to beginning our rigorous Liberal Arts degree requirements. Information regarding College Studies requirements and placement will be provided to students prior to registering for classes.

English Courses for International Students (EIS): International students with a TOEFL score below 96, IELTS score below 7.0, or PTE Academic score below 65 must register for EIS courses. International students who are required to take EIS courses will test during orientation for placement.

Transferring Credit: College-level equivalent courses for which a student has received a grade equivalent to "C" or better are eligible for transfer. These include early college courses taken at SAIC or other institutions.

Transfer students seeking advanced studio placement within the departments of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects; and Visual Communication Design MUST respectively provide technical and conceptual examples of their work in order to waive prerequisite studio coursework specific to these departments. Please inform your counselor if you are currently enrolled in any courses or plan to enroll in courses this summer at your local college or university.

Submit Your Final Transcripts

Send us your final, official transcript(s) by August 15, 2015. All admission decisions are subject to evaluation of final high school transcripts and must be received by August 15.

Send transcript(s) to:

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Undergraduate Admissions
36 South Wabash, suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

Your counselor may upload your final transcripts through the Common Application up until July 1.


Step 6: Payment Information

Student Financial Services is dedicated to helping you through the process of financing your education at SAIC and has provided multiple ways to manage your payments, including payment plans, which will stretch your tuition payments over the course of the semester. Visit for detailed information.

  • Beginning in July, tuition and fee bills will be mailed monthly or can be viewed online if you have a balance due or if you have had account activity since the last monthly bill.
  • Payment in full or payment arrangements of any balance not covered by financial aid is required by August 15 for the fall semester, December 15 for the winter term, January 15 for the spring semester, and May 15 for the summer term in order to avoid late fees, restriction of access on campus, and prevention from future registration and release of academic transcripts/diplomas.
  • Bills are sent to your billing address as listed in SAIC Self-Service, unless you have selected electronic bills. If a billing address is not available, your bill will be mailed to your permanent address. Electronic bills can be viewed online in Self Service by students, or through CASHNET by others once the student has set them up as an authorized user.

Payment Options

Cash, Check or Money Order (Made Payable in U.S. Currency)

  • Mail: SAIC's Bursar's Office, 37 S. Wabash, room 711, Chicago, IL 60603
  • In-person: SAIC's Bursar's Office, Monday–Friday, 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Credit Card, ACH (Automated Check Handling)

  • Made online through CASHNet in SAIC Self-Service—All major credit cards are accepted.
  • To allow parents/guardians to make payments, you will need to set up an authorized user account for them.
  • A service fee is charged for credit card payments, but not for ACH payments.

Tuition and Fee Payment Plan

  • Four payment semester plan available through CASHNet in SAIC Self-Service for fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters
  • Three payment semester plans available for summer 2017 semester
  • Payment plan enrollment fee — $50 per semester
  • Enroll online through SAIC Self-Service

Important Dates

Early July Fall 2016 charges and payment plans available online
Late July First fall 2016 bill mailed
August 15 Tuition payment or payment arrangements due
August 31 Health insurance waivers due


Student Financial Services
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312.629.6600
Fax: 312.629.6601

Step 7: Health Insurance and Immunization

Accept or Waive Health Insurance

Health insurance coverage is required for all full-time domestic students and for all international students. If you wish to accept SAIC's coverage you need not do anything further and the charge will be applied to your account. Visit for more information.

You may waive health insurance by doing the following:

  1. Complete a waiver form by the end of the first day of classes (available through Self-Service at; AND
  2. Provide proof that your coverage meets SAIC's minimum standards; AND
  3. Allow SAIC's designee to verify your coverage.

Please note: If you are a full-time domestic student and then drop to part-time before the end of the add/drop period, the health insurance charge will automatically be removed from your account and health insurance coverage will not be provided. Health insurance coverage can be reinstated if you request health insurance online through Self-Service.

Immunization Records

Illinois State law requires proof of immunization for all college students enrolled for six or more credits per semester. Proof of immunization is due to Health Services on July 1.

Download the Certificate of Immunity and the Admission Health Record Packet at and return the required forms by email to, fax to 312.499.4290, or mail as soon as possible to the Health Services office at:

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Attention: Health Services
116 S. Michigan Ave., 13th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60603


Contact the SAIC Health Services Office at 312.499.4288 or

Step 8: Attend Orientation

Attend Orientation

New Student Orientation: August 28–30, 2016
International Orientation: Begins August 23, 2016

Orientation programming is a perfect way to introduce you to all the amazing things here on campus and beyond. The following is just a small sampling of the types of things you will be doing:

  • Meeting with current SAIC students
  • Attending a Campus Resource Fair
  • Having lunch with your faculty
  • Taking excursions into Chicago
  • Picking up your ARTICard and UPass

In order to have all the information you need to transition into the SAIC community you are required to attend orientation. You will be assigned an orientation leader—a current SAIC student—and will spend your first few days with a small group of your fellow new students, giving you the opportunity to immediately make friends and learn about your peers while you learn about SAIC.

Since students are required to attend this event, RSVPs are not required. A $150 orientation fee will be added to your student account.

Please note: If you are an international student, you will need to arrive on campus for international orientation, and you are required to attend the general New Student Orientation program as well.

Parent Orientation

All Parent Orientation: August 28, 2016
International Parent Orientation: August 23, 2016

We encourage your parents or guests to join us for orientation, and we have created special programming for them including:

  • Programs designed to highlight the history and future of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and provide a true sense of the community you will be joining.
  • A catered continental breakfast and lunch.
  • A Campus Resource and Vendor Fair where students, parents and guests can meet staff members from a variety of offices and get all of their last minute questions answered.
  • The opportunity to connect with other parents and students and much, much more!

Parents and guests are not charged a fee for orientation, though RSVPs are required. Sign up at

Step 9: Laptop, ArtiCard, U-Pass and Text Books

Laptop Requirement

All incoming undergraduate students, with the exception of second-degree students, are required to own a laptop prior to the first day of classes. Detailed information can be located at

Questions? For questions regarding software and hardware, contact 312.345.3738, option 1, or


The ARTICard is SAIC's mandatory identification card which provides access to facilities, equipment, and library books, as well as providing debit card capabilities on campus and at select off-campus sites. It can be used to make copies, print projects, do laundry, purchase books and supplies, and buy food. There is no membership fee, service charge or minimum balance. The balance carries over from semester to semester, year to year until the account is closed.

ARTICards are available during Orientation. In order to avoid long wait times, students are encouraged to send in their photos electronically at least four weeks before orientation. Visit for more details.

Deposits to your ARTICard can be made by cash or check at the ARTICard Office, via mail by check or money order (ARTICard Office, 37 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603), or online with a credit card or electronic check (see instructions for depositing online at Make checks payable to SAIC.

Questions? Contact ARTICard/U-Pass office at 312.629.9362 or

Ventra U-Pass

The U-Pass entitlement, loaded onto a Ventra U-Pass card, allows full-time students unlimited use of CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) bus and rail transportation each fall and spring semester. The U-Pass entitlement is not offered during the summer and winter terms. The Ventra U-Pass card can be used as a full fare card whenever the U-Pass entitlement is not active. The cost of the U-Pass entitlement is $135* per semester, a savings of over $200 when compared with regular CTA fares.

This mandatory fee is automatically charged to all full-time students' tuition and fee accounts each semester. A one-time $5 fee, which covers the cost of the card, will also be charged to each full-time student's account for the initial issuance of the Ventra U-Pass card. The Ventra U-Pass is distributed during the first week of school and should be kept for subsequent semesters. Incoming transfer students who hold a Ventra U-Pass card from their previous school can contact the ARTICard office to have their card information transferred to SAIC.

Questions? Contact the ARTICard/U-Pass office at 312.629.9362 or

* Price is subject to change.

Text Books

The DePaul University/Barnes & Noble College Bookstore, located at the corner of Jackson Blvd. and State St. (1 East Jackson Boulevard), is SAIC's designated primary provider for textbooks and course packet services. The store provides a space in the textbook area of the lower level for all SAIC class book titles and course packets (all SAIC books and course packets are found under the department "SAIC" and are then organized alphabetically by SAIC department). The store accepts ARTICard for purchases, and also buys and sells used textbooks.

You can also access SAIC class book lists at Select "Art Institute/SAIC." Once you have selected your search type (new, used, etc.), select the term you are searching for—the term will include "SAIC" in the name. You may then search by department and course number.

Please note: Many courses may not have books or supplies listed until the beginning of the semester.