Obligation for Payment
Enrollment constitutes a financial contract between a student and the San Francisco Art Institute. The student’s rights to services and benefits are contingent upon making all payments as agreed upon. If payments of amounts owed to SFAI are not made when they become due, SFAI has the right to administratively withdraw them from the current term; or withhold their grades, transcripts, diplomas, and scholastic certificates. Failure to maintain good financial standing with SFAI will result in denied participation in any deferred payment plans and/or some forms of financial aid. In addition, balances due to SFAI are reported by our collection agencies, which may impact the student’s credit ratings.
CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund
The CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund is government aid for students who have been affected by the COVID-19 global outbreak. Universities received a designated amount, decided by the government, with a specific amount to allocate for student use. For more information on CARES Act Relief, visit: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html.
SFAI student qualifications for CARES Act
Students must be:
The relief funds you request must be due to the impact of COVID-19 and covering expenses* within the below categories.
*Please note documentation to support expenses are not mandatory, but can be requested by the Appeal Committee.
How to Apply?
SFAI CARES Act Reporting
Initially, Spring 2020 students were approved for up to $1,500 of CARES Act Emergency Relief funds. After June 15, 2020 all previously eligible recipients during the Spring 2020 semester were given a 2nd distribution of CARES Act Emergency Relief funds for a total of $2,442 per student. All remaining CARES Act Emergency Relief funds were distributed equally to students who filed Financial Appeals for the Summer 2020 semester of $2,415.50 per student.
Holds on Student Accounts
Prior to registering for a new term, a student must pay any outstanding balances from any preceding terms. If the student does not pay their outstanding balances or make payment arrangements satisfactory to SFAI, they will not be permitted to register.
Tuition and Fees
For more information on current tuition and fees, please visit the Tuition + Fees page.
New and Continuing Degree-Seeking Students
Your semester balance must be paid in full by this date unless covered by financial aid, or unless you have set up a payment plan with the Student Accounts Office.
Students who enroll in classes after these deadlines must satisfy their balance by the last day of Add/Drop. Failure to do so may result in being administratively withdrawn.
Tuition and fees are due in full at the time of registration. Payment may be made in the Student Accounts Office by cash, check, or credit card.
Tuition and fees for any class that is scheduled outside the first day of the regular semester session (i.e., travel classes such as Faculty-Led Programs) will be due according to specified due dates.
The cost of off-campus Faculty-Led Programs is three units (more where applicable) of per-unit tuition costs, along with program course fees that vary by program.
Program course fees are charged to a student’s account at the time of registration and are due in full by the date noted on the individual program’s literature. All fees must be paid before departure. All deposits and fees for Faculty-Led Programs are nonrefundable.
We offer alternative options for payment that must be chosen prior to the tuition due date. Tuition payment plans are only in effect for the current term, and must be renewed each semester.
Full Payment Option
This payment option requires one payment after deducting financial aid.
Monthly Payment Option
This payment option divides tuition, after deducting financial aid, into four monthly installments due on the first day of each month. Monthly payment plans are only available to students enrolled in six units or more per semester that are in good financial standing. Students who enroll in less than six units must pay in full at registration.
Methods of Payment
Tuition payments may be made by cash, check, credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express), debit card, ACH, wire transfer, or bank draft payable to “San Francisco Art Institute.” Please include the student name on any payment.
Financial Aid Appeal
Financial Appeals Committee Process + Guidelines
When students enroll at SFAI, they are aware of the costs they will incur and the institutional and other aid (Pell, SEOG, federal loans) available to them. Before enrolling, students should understand their financial obligations for the duration of their degree program.
A student who can document that extenuating life circumstances or changes adversely affected the ability to pay tuition for a specific academic year can file a financial appeal with the Financial Appeals Committee.
Students may only submit one appeal per academic year. No appeals will be reviewed from students who have submitted appeals within the current academic year.
Appeals are based on the following extenuating / unforeseen circumstances:
Tuition appeals will NOT be approved in the following instances:
Process to Submit an Appeal
Students must submit the following information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
If no supporting documentation is provided or the form is incomplete, an appeal will not be reviewed.
Upon receiving an appeal, the Financial Appeals Committee conducts a review. A response will be provided to the student within 15 business days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Financial Appeals Committee is final in all cases.
Dropped Classes by Degree and Non-degree Students
Full tuition refunds for dropped classes are given only during the add/drop period in the first two weeks of the fall and spring semester, or during the stated add/drop period for courses that occur outside of the regular semester schedule. (View the academic calendar.) The add/drop date for intensive courses is the first day of class.
No refund is given for withdrawals after the add/drop period. No refund is given for withdrawals after the add/drop period. If a student decides to withdraw from classes, it is the student’s responsibility to notify all of the required offices and to complete a withdrawal form.
Complete Withdrawals by Degree and Non-degree Students
If a student takes a hiatus or withdraws from SFAI prior to the beginning of the term through the end of the add/drop period, 100 percent of tuition can be refunded, provided a student submits official notification to SFAI. Withdrawals must be filed in writing with the Office of Registration and Records by obtaining a withdrawal form and following SFAI’s withdrawal procedures as outlined in the Student Handbook. It is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit the withdrawal form as soon as they decide they will withdraw from SFAI. Students who fail to do so, will be responsible for the tuition and fees associated with their course registration.
Non-refundable items such as the application fee, tuition deposit, or housing deposit will not be refunded.
After the end of the add/drop period, no refunds are offered. Note that no credit is made for temporary absence, nor for students who are suspended, dismissed, or leave SFAI without formally withdrawing.
Appeals - Tuition Credits / Extraordinary Circumstances
If a student withdraws due to extraordinary, unforeseen circumstances, that student may petition the Financial Appeals Committee for partial tuition credit towards a future semester’s tuition. Such requests are granted at the committee’s discretion, which is based on the student's provided documentation.
Should a credit be granted, it remains on a student’s account for one calendar year and is calculated according to the following general guidelines:
*Tuition Credit based on actual tuition paid by student after applicable SFAI Scholarships/Grants
Tuition Credit granted will first be applied to any remaining balance on a student’s account. Recipients of Federal financial aid are subject to the Title IV Return of Funds Policy; students should consult the Financial Aid Office to understand the individual implications of withdrawing from SFAI.
Title IV Return of Funds Policy
Dispersed Federal Funds Owed by Student to Lenders: The Institute is required, per the Title IV Return of Funds Policy, to return any unused portion of federal financial aid for students who withdraw from the college before 60 percent of the semester is completed.
Students are required to repay these funds to the Institute and will be billed accordingly.
Students should consult with SFAI’s Financial Aid Office on these matters.
Repayment Policy for Financial Aid Recipients
The Higher Education Act Amendments of 2008 require SFAI and a withdrawing student to return any unearned federal aid funds (grants or loans). The Financial Aid Office will calculate earned financial aid upon receipt of a completed Withdrawal Form. Students may be required to repay some or all of aid refunds received prior to withdrawal. The Financial Aid Office will answer questions about the impact of withdrawing on financial aid eligibility.
Students who are awarded financial aid and receive a refund because their aid exceeds their tuition charges, and who then subsequently drop classes, may be required to repay some or all of the refund back to SFAI. It is strongly advised that financial aid recipients considering a reduction in course load consult with the Financial Aid Office before dropping classes.
SFAI will provide full tuition refunds and refunds of any related fees, if applicable, for classes that are canceled.
Appeals Process for Student Accounts
Any alleged discrepancy or error on a student’s account must be reported in writing to the Student Accounts Office, prior to the end of the semester in question.
Within 20 calendar days of receiving such a report, the Student Accounts Office will submit a written recommendation for resolution of the discrepancy or error to the Finance Director and to the student. If there is a continued dispute, within 10 calendar days the student may submit additional information or comment to the Finance Director. The written decision of the Finance Director will be communicated to the student and will be final.