SAIC Merit Scholarships
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) awards merit scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional levels of thoughtfulness, skill, conceptual capabilities, and academic groundedness. Scholarships are financial awards that do not need to be repaid. Each department offers a unique array of awards that range from $2,500 to full tuition annually.
All students who have successfully completed the admission process by the program deadline are automatically considered for merit scholarships. Recipients are selected through a holistic review of each student's academic history, portfolio, and statement of intent. If awarded, students will be notified by a separate letter in their admission packet.
New Artist Society: All Departments
Each masters program offers a number of New Artist Society awards for their specific department. This scholarship is awarded to domestic or international master's degree–seeking students who are enrolled at least half-time and demonstrate exceptional ability upon entering the School.
Incentive & Enrichment Scholarships: All Departments
Each program offers a number of Incentive & Enrichment Scholarships for their specific department. Qualification is based on a combination of merit, academics, and financial need.
Presidential & Recognition Scholarships: All Post-Baccalaureate Programs
Each post-baccalaureate program offers a number of Presidential and Recognition awards for their specific department. Recipients are selected during the admissions process for a post-baccalaureate certificate. These scholarships are awarded to post-baccalaureate certificate students enrolled at least half-time.
Christopher Wetzel Memorial Fund: Film, Video, New Media, and Animation
The Christopher Wetzel Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by Linda Wetzel and John Hurley in 2013. This merit-based scholarship supports an incoming graduate student in the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation.
Lenore Tawney Merit Scholarship: Fiber and Material Studies
This scholarship was created at SAIC in 2008 with a gift from the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation. This merit-based scholarship is awarded to one graduate student in Fiber and Material Studies.
Ellen Sandor Merit Scholarship: Art and Technology Studies
In 2013, Ellen and Richard Sander established the Ellen Sandor Scholarship. This merit-based scholarship is granted to one graduate student studying in the department of Art and Technology Studies or Film, Video, New Media, and Animation.
Margot and Thomas Pritzker Scholarship (*Special Application): Any Department
The Margot and Thomas Pritzker Scholarship is designed to provide assistance to students who are committed to the advancement of art and design in China. These scholarships are awarded to graduate students each year studying in any department. This scholarship requires an additional application.
Criteria for Selection Includes:
- Financial need
- First in family to attend college
- Prior work or study experience in China
- Familiarity with Chinese language, culture or history
- Demonstrated Intention of working in China after graduation
Margot and Thomas Pritzker Graduate Fellowship: Any Department
The Margot and Thomas Pritzker Scholarship Fund was established by the Pritzker Family Foundation and the Pritzker Foundation in 2011. This fund supports merit and need-based scholarship for graduate students in any department.
Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Scholarship: Film, Video, New Media, and Animation
The Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Scholarship for Graduate Study in Film, Video, New Media, and Animation (FVNMA) was established in memory of Lyn by Frima Blumenthal in 2012. This scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit and financial need.
Holly Hunt Graduate Merit Fellowship: Any Department
The Holly Hunt Graduate Merit Fellowship was established by Holly Hunt in 2015. This merit-based scholarship is awarded to a graduate student in any department.
George and Ann Roman Siegel Scholarship: Painting and Drawing
The George and Ann Roman Siegel Scholarship is awarded to an incoming student in Painting and Drawing. This award is merit-based.
Mencoff Family Fellowship in Historic Preservation: Historic Preservation
The Mencoff Family Fellowship in Historic Preservation was established in 2016 by Samuel Mencoff. The endowed fund supports graduate students studying in the Department of Historic Preservation.
REAM Foundation Graduate Merit Fellowship: Any Department
The REAM Foundation Graduate Merit Scholarship is awarded to an incoming student in any department with experience in the country of Israel. This scholarship aims to assist students who will contribute to the scholarly and cultural life of the SAIC campus and share their wisdom in Israel.
Wilson/Livingstone Graduate Merit Fellowship: Fiber and Material Studies
The Wilson/Livingston Graduate Merit Fellowship was established by Gail and Thomas Hodges in 2014. This fund supports a merit-based fellowship for an incoming graduate student studying in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies.
Jeffrey Geesa Memorial Scholarship Fund: Painting and Drawing
The Jeffrey Geesa Memorial Scholarship was established in 2015 by Roy and Susan Geesa in honor of their late son Jeffrey Geesa. This merit-based scholarship provides support to graduate students in the Department of Painting and Drawing.
Daniel Berger Barbara DeGenevieve Graduate Merit Endowment Scholarship: Photography
The Daniel Berger Barbara DeGenevieve Graduate Merit Scholarship was established in 2015 by Daniel Berger in honor of Barbara DeGenevieve. This merit-based scholarship supports a graduate student in the Department of Photography.
Lisa Wainwright Graduate Merit Scholarship Fund: Any Department
The Lisa Wainwright Graduate Merit Scholarship Fund was established by Regis Haid in 2016. This fund supports merit-based scholarships for graduate students.
Colin Spence Memorial Scholarship Fund: Sculpture
The Colin Spence Memorial Scholarship Fund is a need-based scholarship awarded to a graduate student in the Department of Sculpture.
John H. Bryan Graduate Merit Fellowship Fund: Any Department
The John H. Bryan Graduate Merit Fellowship Fund is a merit-based scholarship awarded to a graduate student in any department.
In addition to SAIC scholarships, there are many sources of outside scholarships. We encourage students to begin their search early. SAIC regularly updates a list of outside scholarship opportunities. We also frequently post opportunities on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
US 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.
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.
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
- Federal Work-Study Program
- Institutional Employment
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Private Education Loans
For further details on Financial Aid, please visit our Student Financial Services pages.