Financial Aid Application Process

(for Domestic Students)


Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Beginning October 1, the FAFSA opens to all domestic students. To complete the FAFSA, please visit The Federal School Code for California Institute of the Arts is 001132.

The Institute's priority deadline for completing the FAFSA is February 28. We encourage all eligible students to complete the FAFSA on/before the priority deadline in order to receive early consideration for limited federal funding, such as Federal SEOG and Federal Work Study. However, please note that the FAFSA may be completed at any time throughout the academic year.


To electronically apply and sign your FAFSA, students and parents must have a FSA ID. An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites such as Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites.

It’s important to understand that the student and the parent may not share an FSA ID: Your FSA ID is your signature, so it has to be unique to you. If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child's FAFSA form electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications, but each child must have his or her own.

To create an FSA ID, please visit

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

When completing the FAFSA, you will be prompted to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to upload your/your parents' tax information into your FAFSA online directly from the IRS. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool makes it easy to transfer your/your parents' tax information accurately to the FAFSA and reduces mistakes and delays in the processing of your financial aid.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available*:
- Approximately 6-8 weeks after your paper tax return has been accepted by the IRS
- Approximately 3-4 weeks after you file a tax return electronically and it has been accepted by the IRS If you owe a payment to the IRS, the payment must have been made in full as well.

*Not all tax filers will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. For more information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool please visit the Federal Student Aid site.

For step-by-step instructions for using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please visit

For International Students

International students should be fully prepared to fund their education and living expenses for the entire length of their degree program at CalArts. Funding sources typically come from family support, government grants or loans from the student’s country of citizenship, private scholarships, and CalArts merit scholarships. There is no separate scholarship application for international students; CalArts Institutional, Endowed & Annually Funded Scholarships are determined by committee upon review of each admitted student’s application materials.

California Dream Act Application

(for BFA Students Only)

Dream Act Students are individuals who were born abroad and may have entered the United States as children without the proper documentation to be considered a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, even though they may have resided here since childhood.

This application is used by undocumented students who meet the eligibility requirements of California Assembly Bill 540 and come from a lower income household or qualify for need-based aid. The California Student Aid Commission process the application and any aid received can be used at eligible California public or private institutions.

*Application is due by March 2, 2023

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