Scholarships and Financial Aid


SAIC Undergraduate Merit Scholarships

We award merit scholarships to new students based on a holistic review of student portfolios, test scores, artistic statements, academic records, and recommendations. Merit scholarships are annually renewed as long as students maintain successful academic standing. Scholarships are financial awards that do not need to be repaid.

Types of Merit Scholarships

  • Presidential
  • Distinguished
  • Honors
  • Recognition
  • Incentive
  • Enrichment

Merit Scholarship Deadlines

Final Merit Scholarship Deadline: February 28, 2020

No additional application is required; merit scholarships are awarded at the time of admission based on a holistic view of your portfolio and application materials. Learn more about how to assemble a scholarship-winning portfolio.

Competitive Excellence Award

This $2,000 renewable scholarship may be awarded to incoming first-year students for their participation in one of the following art exhibitions or competitions:

  • Chicago Public Schools All-City Senior Portfolio Exhibition
  • Art Institute Re:Imagine24 Youth Competition
  • Illinois High School Regional Artist Exhibitions
  • Ohio Governor's Youth Arts Exhibition
  • National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 
  • National YoungArts Foundation
  • California State Summer School for the Arts

No additional application is required; admissions is notified of winners through these organizations.

Scholarships and Deferred Admissions

If you defer admission to a later term, you will need to resubmit an updated portfolio, statement of intent, and recent transcripts to be considered for future merit-based scholarships.

Outside Scholarships

In addition to SAIC scholarships, there are many sources of outside scholarships. We encourage students to begin their search early. 

Listing of Opportunities

We also post frequent opportunities on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Financial Aid


U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for need- and non-need based aid.

Important Dates:

DEC 1 FAFSA Priority Deadline
JAN 15 FAFSA Award Letters sent for admitted Fall students who have applied

Find tutorials and helpful information on filling out the FAFSA.

Please include our school code, #001753, on the FAFSA so that your information is sent directly to us to evaluate.

Gift Assistance

Federal and state governments offer gift assistance (which does not need to be repaid) to eligible students.

Examples include:

  • SAIC need-based grants and scholarships
  • Endowed and restricted scholarships
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Monetary Award Program (MAP) for Illinois residents attending approved Illinois schools
  • Other state-funded programs

Employment Opportunities

  • Federal Work Study Program
  • Institutional Employment


  • Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Private Education Loans

For further details on Financial Aid, please visit our Student Financial Services pages.