Frequently Asked Questions about College Costs and Financial Aid


Students are notified about their financial aid awards via CalArts email each spring.  Financial aid awards and information are available online through the CalArts Hub at CalArts Hub.

Admitted students are considered for CalArts Scholarship funding during the admission process.  The amount of the CalArts Scholarship is renewable for each year of full-time enrollment for up to four years of study in a BFA program.  Students who also wish to be considered for federal and state financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) each year at www.fafsa.gov.


The Cost of Attendance is an estimated budget of a student’s expenses for the 9-month academic year.   Tuition and fees (and on-campus housing, if applicable) are direct costs that are payable to CalArts. Living expenses are estimated only; each student’s costs will vary depending on their budget, living arrangements, and lifestyle.

Our online Estimated Payment Worksheet allows you to enter your estimated costs and financial aid award information to calculate your estimated tuition and fee bill each semester.  Payment arrangements for any balance due must be made before registration can be finalized each semester.


Tuition and fees (and on campus housing) are charged on a semester by semester basis.   Payment for the Fall semester is generally due in early August and payment for the Spring semester is due in early December.  Payment arrangements must be made before course registration can be finalized each semester. Students should check their CalArts email regularly for important information about registration and payment deadlines each semester.

Federal PLUS and private educational loans

In addition to federal student loans, you may be eligible for a Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Graduate PLUS, or a private educational loan. Both the Federal PLUS/Grad PLUS and private educational loans require credit approval or an endorser/co-signer with good credit. 

For information about the Federal PLUS/Graduate PLUS Loan, visit: www.studentloans.gov

For information about private educational loans, visit: https://calarts.edu/tuition-and-financial-aid/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/federal-and-private-loans/private-educational-loans

Outside Scholarships

We highly recommend that students research and apply for private scholarships to help fund their education. Scholarship criteria vary and opportunities are available year-round.



Tuition and fees (and on campus housing) are charged on a semester by semester basis.   Payment for the Fall semester is generally due in early August and payment for the Spring semester is due in early December.  Payment arrangements must be made before course registration can be finalized each semester. 

Tuition, fees, and on –campus housing can be paid directly to the Institute or through a combination of financial aid, payment, and/or the TMS Tuition Payment Plan. 

CalArts has partnered with Tuition Management Systems (TMS) to administer a monthly payment plan. CalArts’ payment plan is an interest-free monthly payment plan that allows you to divide tuition and other expenses into four smaller monthly payments spread out over the semester. The cost to enroll is $45 per semester. There is no interest or other cost as long as you make your payments on time. If your payment is late, there is a $40 late fee. Each semester you need to re-enroll with Tuition Management Systems; it will not happen automatically.


Financial Aid staff are available in person, by phone or email, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (we are closed Fridays in the summer from mid-May through mid-August).
Phone: 661-253-7869
Email: finaid@calarts.edu
Fax: 661-287-3816