Scholarships, Fellowships & Grants

Scholarships and fellowships are awarded to incoming students each year and are renewable for the length of the student’s academic program.

Undergraduate applicants are automatically considered for SFAI’s competitive scholarships, which are awarded through the Admissions Office and based on artistic merit and grade point average:

SFAI Undergraduate Scholarships include:

  • Portfolio Scholarship
  • Trustee Scholarship
  • Presidential Scholarship
  • Dean’s Scholarship
  • Visionary Scholarship
  • California Transfer Scholarship

Graduate applicants are automatically considered for the MFA and MA Fellowships, the most prestigious scholarships awarded at SFAI. The Graduate Faculty Review Committee awards a limited number of these partial tuition fellowships to applicants whose portfolio of artwork or writing samples and complete application are deemed to be of the highest caliber.

International students and Low-Residency MFA students may qualify for MFA Fellowships.

For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

SFAI/CSSSA Scholarship

San Francisco Art Institute is pleased to offer a minimum of one $11,000 scholarship per year to an exceptional California State Summer School for the Arts alum. This is a renewable award and CSSSA students must submit all admissions materials and be admitted in order to receive this scholarship. For details on this award please contact your admissions counselor.


Harlan Jackson Scholarship

The Harlan Jackson Diversity Scholarship is one of many initiatives aimed to meet our institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion. In line with our institutional mission, this scholarship is particularly intended to support campus-wide diversity in regards to gender expression and identity, age, culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, learning style, religion, occupation, nationality, immigration status, socio-economic status, and the many forms of composite subjectivity and life experience that span these differences. This merit-based scholarship is reviewed by a committee composed of faculty and staff. 

The total yearly amount of the Scholarship is $10,000 for one academic year—$5,000 awarded in the fall and $5,000 is awarded in the spring. The maximum eligibility time frame for undergraduate students is four years; for graduate students, it is the published program length. Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average, and graduate students must receive all passing grades.  

Apply Here


Please complete the both Essay Prompt and Personal Statement sections in order to be considered. You may email your completed application to


California Transfer Scholarship

Direct transfer students from any California community college pursuing their first bachelor’s degree will be automatically eligible for a Transfer Scholarship in the amount of $20,000 provided that they are admissible to SFAI with a cumulative GPA of 3.0. There will be no limit to the number of scholarships available each semester and no additional application required to receive funds. For details on this scholarship please contact your admissions counselor.

SFAI Grants

SFAI Grants are need-based grants awarded through the Financial Aid Office. SFAI provides institutional grants to help make up the difference between college costs and what a family can be expected to contribute through income, savings, loans, and student earnings. These funds are available in limited amounts at the beginning of the fall and spring terms, and may be awarded to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate students. Applicants who want to be considered for institutional grants are encouraged to complete the FAFSA.

Federal and State Grants

Cal Grant
Cal Grant requires submission of a school certified GPA in addition to the submission of the FAFSA. Applicants are encouraged to obtain proof of mailing their GPA, and to retain a copy of their GPA form for their records. Deadline is March 2.

Federal Pell Grant
A Federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. The maximum Pell Grant award for 2016–2017 will be approximately $5,815 annually, as determined by the Department of Education. The amount awarded is determined by financial need, and the results on your FAFSA.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG does not require repayment. FSEOG is a federally funded supplemental award given by SFAI to Pell Grant recipients who qualify for the maximum amount of the Pell Grant. The FSEOG program is for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be considered first for FSEOG. FSEOG is a limited fund, and only students who complete their FAFSA in a timely manner will be considered for this grant.

Veteran’s Benefits

SFAI provides a Yellow Ribbon matching scholarship ($10,000), limited to 10 undergraduate students and 5 graduate students with qualifying VA benefits.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning (degree granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the $17,500 tuition cap set forth by Congress. For more information and details on how to apply, please visit the Yellow Ribbon Program website.

SFAI also works with students eligible for other Veteran’s Benefits.

Apply for Financial Aid

In order to be considered for any institutional aid, all domestic students must file their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at using the SFAI FAFSA code 003948.

California residents should complete their FAFSA and submit their GPA verification form by March 1 in order to be considered for the Cal Grant program.

A separate application is not required to be considered for SFAI’s partial-tuition merit-based scholarships, which may be awarded to applicants with exceptional application materials.