Adam Horrigan coop portrait
Erin Chlagmo portrait
Elaine Li portrait

Give the Gift of an SAIC Education

You can have a profound and long-lasting impact on the creative life of a young artist, designer, or scholar by supporting scholarships at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Scholarships advance our students’ education, give them the financial freedom to pursue their artistic goals after graduation, and encourage them to give back to the community that made their education possible. Your gift is an investment in our collective cultural future.

With more than 75 percent of SAIC students receiving financial assistance each year, scholarship support is critical to maintaining academic excellence and diversity at SAIC. To respond to the economic challenges faced by today’s students, SAIC must offer more competitive financial packages to attract and secure top candidates. 

Merit and Need-Based Scholarships

Merit scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellence in their artistic and academic work. These prestigious scholarships help SAIC remain competitive with other top art and design schools.

Need-based scholarships are crucial to encouraging students to attend SAIC and cultivating geographical, racial, and ethnic diversity within the student body. By helping to offset the cost of tuition, need-based scholarships make an SAIC education possible for many students who could not otherwise afford to attend. With the majority of our students requiring financial assistance, securing need-based scholarships is an increasingly important priority for SAIC.

 “We are proud to offer our support for the benefit of needs-based Chicago area students who will further their education at SAIC.”

—Tim Maloney, President of Bank of America Illinois

“The Bank of America Scholarship has allowed me to attend SAIC and shape my own identity, knowing who I am and where I come from.”

—Jeanette Lopez, Bank of America Scholarship Recipient

“This scholarship is a way to connect Vivian Maier and her story to future artists. It’s an endowed scholarship; it’s permanent. And this will be part of her legacy.”

—Charlie Siskel, Director of Finding Vivian Maier

“I owe so much of my growth as a person and artist to SAIC. I would not be here, nor have developed to the extent that I have, without the amazing support of faculty, friends, and generous donors.”

—Shandi Hass (BFA 2016), Vivian Maier Scholarship Recipient

“We are part of the SAIC family and we are honored to be giving back to the school that gave us so much.”

—Jarl Mohn, President and CEO of National Public Radio

“I believe in the power of art in education and am committed to its importance as a generator of change.”

—Beatrice “Buddy” Cummings Mayer (HON 2012), Life Trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago

Ways to Support SAIC

Donate to an Established Scholarship Fund

Make a difference today by donating any amount to an established scholarship at SAIC. Whether you make your contribution by mail, phone, or online, please be sure to indicate the name of the fund to which you would like to direct your gift.

Read a story about one of SAIC's established scholarships.

Create a One-Time Named Scholarship

You can create a one-time named scholarship with a gift of $20,000 or more. Depending on your philanthropic interests, you may choose to direct the scholarship to support students in a particular department or degree program. Additionally, you may choose to name the scholarship after yourself or in honor of a loved one.

Read a story about one of SAIC's one-time named scholarships.

Create an Endowed Named Scholarship

With a gift of $100,000 or more, you can create an endowed named scholarship. Once established, the principal of the endowed fund is invested in accordance with the Art Institute of Chicago’s investment practices, while the spendable portion is annually awarded as a scholarship. Your gift will create an enduring legacy and continue to transform the lives of young artists year after year.

Read a story about one of SAIC's endowed named scholarships. 

Ways to Give

Gifts to SAIC for the establishment of a named scholarship fund may be paid outright, over a period of time, through an agreed-upon pledge schedule, or at a later time through a planned gift. If you should decide to make an investment in our students, we will gladly work with you to determine the payment method that best suits you.

If you are interested in creating a scholarship, please contact Kendra Foley in SAIC’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 312.499.4971 or