Tools and Resources

Funding your education is a partnership between you, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and the state and federal government. We have compiled a list of websites, calculators, scholarship searches, and more to help you find the sources of financial aid you need to fund your education at SAIC.

Our lists are not exhaustive, so we encourage you to do some research on your own as well.  You can use the links in the left menu as a starting point.


There are many resources available to help you finance your education at SAIC. If you plan to seek financial aid to help cover your tuition costs, your first step is to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which will help determine your eligibility for any need-based aid. Use the links below to learn more about the FAFSA and the variety of programs and resources available to you.


FAFSA on the Web: This is the official website of the online FAFSA form where you can complete your application, use online chat if you have any questions during the process, and receive a PIN number that will provide you access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. (English/Spanish)

FAFSA4caster: Is a free financial aid calculator that gives you an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. 

Federal Student Aid: Federal website that provides information on how to prepare for college, types of aid, who can get aid, the FAFSA aid application, repaying your loans and more.

Checklists for Academic and Financial Preparation: The US Department of Education provides checklists with the steps you can take to help your (or your child’s) chances of getting into—and being able to afford—the school of your choice.

Social Security Administration: Access this site for assistance with obtaining a Social Security number, updating your name and birthdate and other helpful items.

Student Aid Alliance: The Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of 77 higher education organizations that support increased funding for federal student aid programs.

NSLDS: Students can access their federal financial aid history at this website, including borrowing history.


Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC): ISAC is a state organization charged with making a college education accessible and affordable for Illinois students. It offers Illinois residents a variety of grants and scholarships based on financial need, loan repayment and forgiveness programs, and a prepaid tuition program.

Illinois Department of Human Services: Provides Illinois residents with access to integrated services including Vocational Rehabilitation funding for those that qualify.

Voter Registration

If you are eligible, you are encouraged to participate in the country’s political process by registering to vote. You are encouraged to vote with an absentee ballot from your home state, or to register to vote in Illinois. In compliance with federal statutes, SAIC makes Illinois and absentee voter registration forms available through

To obtain additional information regarding absentee voting, go to SAIC Civic Engagement.

Net Price Calculator

SAIC’s Net Price Calculator helps families plan for educational expenses at SAIC. By entering information into the Net Price Calculator, a prospective student can receive an estimated financial aid package and net price figure (i.e., cost of attendance less estimated merit and need-based scholarships and grant aid).

When using the Net Price Calculator, please keep in mind the following:

  • Tuition costs and estimated financial aid packages are based on 2019–20 figures. They are also based on SAIC student aid award policies in place during the 2019–20 academic year for undergraduate students. Such policies may change in future years.
  • Estimated financial aid packages assume full-time undergraduate enrollment.
  • To arrive at an estimated financial aid package, the prospective student is required to make certain subjective assumptions. For instance, the prospective student is asked to rank his or her portfolio on a scale of 1 to 10 both technically and conceptually. If the prospective student's self-ranking varies significantly from SAIC's actual ranking, then the prospective student's estimated financial aid package is likely to be over or underestimated. (Prospective students may request assistance in determining the technical and conceptual ratings for their portfolios by contacting the SAIC Admissions Office at 312.629.6100.)
  • SAIC's actual determination of a prospective student's financial aid package will be based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), availability of funds, and the prospective student's compliance with eligibility requirements and filing deadlines.
  • The financial aid package and net price figures provided through the Net Price Calculator are for estimating purposes only. The prospective student's actual financial aid package and net price paid to attend SAIC may vary. 

Financial Literacy

Personal financial literacy is more than just being able to balance a checkbook, compare prices or get a job. It also includes skills like long-term vision and planning for the future, and the discipline to use those skills every day.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (sections 1041 and 1042) requires the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of Education and other agencies to enhance financial literacy among postsecondary students through developing initiatives, programs and curricula that improve student awareness of short- and long-term costs associated with student loans and other debts and assisting students in navigating the financial aid process.

The following information is available to help educate our students and families and assist them in making informed decisions to reach their financial goals.

This website is designed to help you learn about:

  • Affording college and the changing direct/indirect costs of higher education.
  • Identifying strategies for paying for school and other expenses.
  • Managing student loans without feeling overwhelmed.  
  • Identifying which important money management skills to develop.
  • Financial Avenue (below) — Free online financial literacy tools to help you manage your money and loans more effectively.

Financial Avenue

Financial Literacy with Financial Avenue

SAIC has partnered with a Financial Avenue and the Knowl, our helpful financial literacy and student loan knowledge owl, to provide a free online financial literacy tool and help you manage your money and loans more effectively.

What is Financial Avenue?

Financial Avenue was created by Inceptia, a non-profit division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP) to help SAIC students and alums become more financially savvy. The idea behind Financial Avenue is to provide students with smart resources to help demystify the world of personal financial.  It is about empowering you with smart money basics so you can make informed decisions.

Financial Avenue and the Knowl offer ten online courses that take on big financial literacy topics in a way that will interest you.  Courses include paying for college, budgeting, credit and identity theft, managing student loans, understanding your paycheck and more.

To get started using Financial Avenue, you will need to create your account :

  1. Go to or go directly to
  2. Click "I am a new user".
  3. Create your account by populating the required fields.

Student loan borrowers should also go to to meet the Knowl at Student Loan Knowledge Headquarters! He’s got knowledge to share about student loans and to help keep your financial stress low. The Knowl will give you all the advice you need, some smart tips and a good game plan to stay on top of your student loans, whether you’re in school, in repayment, or in between.

Financial Aid for Disabled Students

Disabled students may be eligible for the scholarship opportunities listed on the websites below.