To apply for financial aid at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, most commonly known as the FAFSA at Consult the 2014–15 SAIC Financial Aid Application Process [PDF] for complete instructions.

Expected Family Contribution

The FAFSA collects information about the student (and parents for dependent students) regarding income, number of family members, number of family members in college, and plans for college and determines a level of financial need for the student. SAIC uses the resulting Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to determine the amount of financial assistance to be provided to the student for their education.

Personal Identification Number

Completing the FAFSA is easy and convenient. A Personal Identification Number (PIN) for you and your parents (if applicable) will be required to complete the FAFSA online. Students and parents can secure a PIN at A PIN number acts as a digital signature for signing the FAFSA, loan applications, and other financial aid documents.

Priority Deadline: February 1 for Illinois Residents, March 1 for All Others

SAIC's suggested priority deadline is February 1 for Illinois Residents and March 1 for all others. Some types of assistance are limited in funding, so the earlier you apply, the better. SAIC begins issuing financial aid awards for eligible students in March each year. In order to meet these very important deadlines, you may need to use estimated tax information and then correct your FAFSA after you have completed your federal income tax filing.Students and families are STRONGLY encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval process available within the FAFSA application to update tax information. Federal tax information is normally available two to four weeks after you have filed, depending on the time of year. 

Online Submission

Students will need to include SAIC's school code (001753) when completing the FAFSA. Also, the previous year's federal tax information for both the student and parents (if applicable) should be available for completion of the FAFSA. Once this information is collected, we suggest that students complete the FAFSA On The Web (FOTW) worksheet before inputting the information online. Once the FAFSA is submitted online, as long as the school code was included, SAIC will receive an electronic copy from the federal government. After completing the FAFSA and receiving confirmation it has been processed from the federal government, students must review and submit corrections at within five days to ensure accurate financial aid estimates.

After successful completion of the FAFSA, all degree-seeking students will be sent an official Award Letter packet outlining financial aid options and the next steps required in the process. Typically, the award is based on full-time enrollment/standard enrollment for the program; any deviation from that condition may result in a change in the financial aid award. Most aid sources require the student to be enrolled at least half time.

Summer and Winter Terms

Students desiring financial aid estimates (including merit scholarships) for summer and winter terms must complete an SAIC Institutional Financial Aid application for the term.

On Campus Classes Only
If you are only planning on enrolling in classes on-campus, you will need to submit an SAIC Institutional Financial Aid application for on-campus classes only. It is available online at in PDF format or may be picked up in person at the Student Financial Services office.

Study Trip Classes (with or without on campus classes)
If you are planning on enrolling for a winter or summer study trip, you will need to complete the online Study Trip Pre-Registration application by logging into SAIC Self-Service and clicking on the "Study Abroad" link in the Academics section of the Student Center. This application will allow you to pick up to 3 study trips for financial aid estimates as well request a financial aid estimate for additional on-campus classes (summer only). You should visit the SAIC Study Abroad/Off-Campus webpage for additional details on registration and study trip deposit information.