Scholarships + Grants

SFAI understands that your education is an investment in you and your creative future. 

In addition to any state and federal financial aid that a student may be eligible for, we offer scholarships and grants to help provide financial support for you in your pursuit of an arts education. Scholarships and fellowships are awarded to incoming students each year and are subject to the terms of the award as indicated below or on their scholarship award letter.

For more information, please contact SFAI Admissions.

Undergraduate Awards

  • Merit Scholarships
  • California Transfer Scholarship
  • BFA Portfolio Achievement Scholarships
  • BA Critical Essay Achievement Scholarship
  • PreCollege Scholarship
  • Harlan Jackson Diversity Scholarship
  • Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship
  • California State Summer School of the Arts Scholarship
  • Scholastic Awards
  • SFAI Grants
  • SFAI Legacy
  • Veterans Benefits

Graduate Awards

  • MFA Fellowships
  • MFA Low Residency Fellowship
  • MA Fellowship
  • Harlan Jackson Diversity Scholarship
  • SFAI Grants
  • SFAI Legacy
  • Veterans Benefits

 

China Academy of Art IMFA Awards 

  • China-US Culture Scholarship

Undergraduate Awards

All admitted first-degree and second-degree BA and BFA students are automatically considered for these merit-based scholarships. Students are considered for our merit scholarships based on their academic GPA and portfolio or critical essay. Recipients of this award must maintain full time status and the required GPA as indicated on their scholarship award letter. Scholarship amounts range from $10,000 to $17,500 a year.

Award Amount
$20,000 a year

Eligibility
Transfer students from any California community college pursuing their first bachelor’s degree who are admitted into SFAI will be automatically eligible for the California Transfer Scholarship provided that they have earned at least 24 credits from the CA community college and achieved a minimum 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. This scholarship will replace any previously awarded Merit Scholarship.

How to Apply
All California transfer applicants who submit applications on or before the priority deadline will be considered for this award during the admissions process.

Eligibility
The scholarship is highly competitive, and receiving one represents a prestigious honor. The scholarship is renewable, and replaces any previously awarded Merit Scholarship.

How to Apply
All applicants who submit their complete application and portfolio on or before the priority deadline will be considered for this award during the admissions process.

Eligibility
Offered to an outstanding BA applicant who submitted their complete application by the priority application deadline and is based on the merit of their critical essay. The scholarship replaces any previously awarded Merit Scholarship.

How to Apply
All applicants who submit their complete application and academic essay on or before the priority deadline will be considered for this award during the admissions process.

Award Amount
$2,000 for the first year of enrollment ($1,000 disbursed in fall and $1,000 disbursed in spring)

Eligibility
Awarded to any student who successfully completes SFAI’s summer PreCollege program

Award Amount
$10,000 per academic year—$5,000 awarded in the fall and $5,000 is awarded in the spring. Supported in part by the Hearst Foundations, this award is renewable and the maximum eligibility time frame for undergraduate students is four years. Students must receive passing grades.

Eligibility
The Harlan Jackson Diversity Scholarship is one of many initiatives aimed to meet our institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion for domestic students. 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.

How to Apply
Fall 2019 applicants should submit the application, the Essay Prompt and Personal Statement sections by March 31, 2019 in order to be considered. Please email your completed application to admissions@sfai.edu.

Award Amount
$1,000 yearly

Eligibility
Awarded to any admitted student with a certificate of Phi Theta Kappa membership. An unlimited amount of scholarships are available. SFAI is a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

Award Amount
$15,000 yearly

Eligibility
Alums of the CSSSA program who complete their SFAI application by the deadline will automatically receive the award amount upon admission. An unlimited amount of scholarships are available. The scholarship replaces any previously awarded Merit Scholarship.

Scholastics is an organization that awards silver and gold medals to graduating seniors who submit a portfolio to them showing originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice.

  • Portfolio Gold Medalists in Art or Photography—$1,500/year for four years
  • Portfolio Silver Medalists in Art or Photography—1,000/year for four years
  • Gold Medalists and American Visions Medalists (Seniors only)—$250/year for four years

SFAI also funds need-based grants for students who demonstrate financial need beyond any scholarship assistance. Domestic candidates for the BFA and BA programs are eligible to be considered for these grants.

How to Apply
To be considered for these awards the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is required. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA early in the application process. This form can be found online at fafsa.ed.gov and SFAI’s school code is 003948.

SFAI Legacy Scholarship is awarded to admitted incoming students with financial need who are a family member of an SFAI alum or family member of a current student at SFAI. The scholarship amount is up to $4,000 a year based on the financial need of the incoming student. 

Please let us know if you are a family member of a current student or of an alum of SFAI.

SFAI is committed to providing support for your education and career goals and proudly offers education opportunities for military members and veterans who have honorably served.


Yellow Ribbon Program
As a military-inclusive school, SFAI participates in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program. Depending on your benefit eligibility, you may find that you will be able to attend SFAI without incurring any out-of-pocket expense for tuition.

To find out if you qualify for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits or other education programs, call the VA Office for Students at 888.442.4551 or visit Vets.gov.

For more information about VA Benefits, contact:
Financial Aid | financialaid@sfai.edu

Graduate Awards

Eligibility
The fellowship is a highly competitive, partial tuition scholarship and receiving one represents a prestigious honor. All admitted MFA applicants are eligible to be considered for this award. Recipients of this award must maintain full-time enrollment status and a high level of artistic development during the course of your graduate studies at SFAI.

How to Apply
All applicants who submit applications on or before the priority deadline will be considered for this award during the admissions process.

Eligibility
The fellowship is a highly competitive, partial tuition scholarship and receiving one represents a prestigious honor. All admitted Low Residency MFA candidates are eligible to be considered for this award. Recipients of this award must maintain full-time enrollment status, as defined by their program, and a high level of artistic development during the course of your graduate studies at SFAI.

How to Apply
All applicants who submit applications on or before the priority deadline will be considered for this award during the admissions process.

Eligibility
All MA and Dual Degree candidates are eligible to be considered for this award. Recipients of this award must maintain full-time enrollment status and a high level of artistic development during the course of your graduate studies at SFAI.

How to Apply
All applicants who submit applications on or before the priority deadline will be considered for this award during the admissions process.

Eligibility
The Harlan Jackson Diversity Scholarship is one of many initiatives aimed to meet our institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion for domestic students. 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.

How to Apply
Fall 2019 applicants should submit the application, the Essay Prompt and Personal Statement sections by March 31, 2019 in order to be considered. Please email your completed application to admissions@sfai.edu.

Eligibility
SFAI Grants are need-based grants awarded through the Financial Aid Office. Domestic candidates for the MFA, Low Residency MFA, MA, Dual Degree, and Post-Baccalaureate programs are eligible to be considered for these grants.

How to Apply
To be considered for these awards the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is required. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA early in the application process. This form can be found online at fafsa.ed.gov and SFAI’s school code is 003948.

SFAI Legacy Scholarship is awarded to admitted incoming students with financial need who are a family member of an SFAI alum or family member of a current student at SFAI. The scholarship amount is up to $4,000 a year based on the financial need of the incoming student. 

Please let us know if you are a family member of a current student or of an alum of SFAI.

SFAI is committed to providing support for your education and career goals and proudly offers education opportunities for military members and veterans who have honorably served.


Yellow Ribbon Program
As a military-inclusive school, SFAI participates in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program. Depending on your benefit eligibility, you may find that you will be able to attend SFAI without incurring any out-of-pocket expense for tuition.
To find out if you qualify for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits or other education programs, call the VA Office for Students at 888.442.4551 or visit Vets.gov.

For more information about VA Benefits, contact:
Financial Aid | financialaid@sfai.edu

China Academy of Art IMFA Awards

The China—US Culture Scholarship supports San Francisco Art Institute’s institutional commitment to cross-cultural exploration and preparing students to be global citizens. SFAI, located in the Pacific Rim city of San Francisco, was the first art school of higher education to have an official partnership with China. To continue this partnership, China Academy of Art is offering five select SFAI Undergraduate, Post-Baccalaureate or Graduate students a full tuition scholarship to the three-year IMFA (International Master of Fine Arts) degree after the successful completion of one of SFAI's Undergraduate, Post-Baccalaureate or Graduate programs. The prestigious China Academy of Art has three campuses located in Hangzhou and Shanghai, China. The IMFA is a full residency program in China. This China—US Culture scholarship is merit-based; reviewed by a committee composed of faculty and staff. More information can be found here.

Award Amount
The China Ministry of Education will award two scholarship amounts: the Government Full Scholarship which includes full-tuition, free room and board, health insurance, and a stipend to three select applicants and the Provincial Scholarship which includes a full-tuition award to two additional applicants each year. The award is renewable for up to the published length of the IMFA program at CAA (three years). Awards may be used toward the IMFA degree at CAA only and are not transferable to the tuition costs of the programs at SFAI.

Eligibility 
Applicants must be US citizens and must complete an Undergraduate, Post-Baccalaureate or Graduate program at SFAI as a pathway to receiving this scholarship. CAA requires that applicants into the program be under 35 years of age at the time of application and acceptance into the program. No prior knowledge of Chinese language is required for admission. The IMFA requires a minimum result of 90 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS for non-native English language speakers.

How to Apply
Alumni or current SFAI students, must submit the following items by April 1, 2019:

  • Transcript from SFAI showing degree conferral or a letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating anticipated degree conferral before the start of the IMFA program.
  • Online application to China Academy of Art
  • Elaborate on one of the essay questions below and submit via email with your full name and contact info to admissions@sfai.edu by April 1, 2019, in order to be considered.

Essay Questions
Choose 1 question below and respond with an 800-word response essay. Please type your response and email it as an attachment to admissions@sfai.edu. Include your name, program, contact info, and date of SFAI graduation on each page of your response essay. (File types accepted: pdf or word doc.)

  1. Given your unique perspective, background, and set of experiences, how would you contribute to cultural exchange with China? How do you see your art and ideas participating in cross-cultural art education?
     
  2. What is your vision of world art? How do multi-culturalism, social practice, and extended media define contemporary art of the last quarter of a century?