Scholarships and Financial Aid

Art School 101: Saturday, July 24

9:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. CT

Join us for this online info session, where you’ll get an overview of an art and design school education + info about the application process, portfolio preparation and merit scholarships.


SAIC Undergraduate Merit Scholarships

We award merit scholarships to new students based on a holistic review of student portfolios, test scores, artist's 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

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:

  • California State Summer School for the Arts
  • Chicago Public Schools All-City Senior Portfolio Exhibition
  • Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois
  • Greater Manchester Art Prize
  • Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE) Senior Scholarship Exhibition
  • Ohio Governor's Youth Arts Exhibition
  • Project Osmosis All High School Design Competition
  • Scholastic Art and Writing National Medal Winners
  • YoungArts Presidential Scholars in the Arts

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

Scholarships and Deferred Admissions

For students deferring to Fall 2021: Due to complications surrounding COVID-19, if you made your tuition deposit and later deferred admission to Fall 2021, you will not need to resubmit an updated portfolio, statement of intent, or transcripts to be eligible for your merit scholarship.

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.

SAIC is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. While our physical offices are currently closed, our entire Admissions team is working, and ready to help you navigate your college search and selection process. Please feel free to call us at 312.629.6100, 800.232.7242, or email with any questions you may have. SAIC is here for you!