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2020 Student Financial Aid Budgets

Each year, the A.C.T. Financial Aid Office develops standard allowable budgets for financial aid recipients. These budgets are used to determine financial aid eligibility and include a cost-of-living allowance, tuition, fees (if applicable), books, and supplies.

Financial Aid Budget Totals

The chart below displays the total cost to attend A.C.T by program and year. These totals are used to determine financial aid eligibility. Please note: the amount of tuition and fees students are charged is subject to a 3–10% annual increase.

1. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.
2. These figures reflect food, transportation, personal, miscellaneous, medical and housing costs for students living in off-campus apartments.

Exceptions to the Student Budget

Listed below is information about some allowable add-ons to the student budget used to determine financial aid eligibility. This is not an exhaustive list. Therefore, students are encouraged to discuss their specific situations with the Financial Aid Office before submitting a request. Budget exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis and subject to approval.

Child Care

Students may request financial aid to cover reasonable child care (“baby-sitting”) costs (up to $900/month per child, maximum $1,800/month) for children ages 12 and younger during periods when the student is enrolled. The agency or child care provider must complete a Child Care Verification Form, available in the Financial Aid Office. The student must document the child care costs.

Medical and Dental Expenses

Expenses that are not covered by personal health insurance can sometimes be added to a Federal Student Loan or other outside loan source. Costs must be reasonable and medically necessary (for example, having dental cavities filled). Financial aid cannot cover cosmetic work, elective expenses, work that is desirable but not medically necessary, or treatment that can reasonably be postponed until after graduation (for example, elective orthodontic work). To request additional funds for medical and dental expenses, please visit the Financial Aid Office for more information. NOTE: A.C.T. in coordination with the Federal Affordable Care Act will require students to provide proof of health insurance. See 2014–15 M.F.A. Program Policies and Procedures (A.C.T. does not offer student health insurance coverage plans.) Included in the student financial aid budgets are average costs from several health insurance companies. To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace go to www.healthcare.gov.

Computer Purchases

Students have access to computers in the A.C.T. library. However, students may also receive loan funds to a maximum of $2,000 during their entire A.C.T. enrollment. The appropriate documentation must be submitted to request funding for computer purchases. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Cost-of-Living Allowance

The Financial Aid Office establishes a modest yet adequate cost-of-living allowance to determine financial aid eligibility each school year. This allowance includes housing and utilities, food, transportation, personal, miscellaneous, and medical expenses. As required by federal law, budgets used to determine financial aid eligibility can only include the student’s costs; spouse’s and/or children’s expenses cannot be included.

As required by federal law, budgets used to determine financial aid eligibility can only include the student's costs; spouse's and/or children's expenses cannot be included.

1. Allowance assumes shared housing costs. San Francisco rents are too expensive for financial aid to cover living alone.

Spouse and Children

Living costs of family members must be covered by student and spouse earnings and/or assets. Financial aid, however, can help cover reasonable childcare ("baby-sitting") costs for children ages 12 and younger for periods when the student is enrolled and the spouse is employed or in school.

Single Parents

Single parents are expected to support their children through earnings, savings, child support, etc. If sufficient funds are not available from these sources, an exception will be considered to include dependent costs in the student’s budget. Single parents must provide information and documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Single parents are expected to use all legal means to obtain fair and reasonable child support. They may wish to seek aid from public assistance programs.

Living with a Parent or Relative

Students living with a parent or other relative will have a lower cost of living than indicated in the standard student budgets. The monthly cost of living is $877 (excluding fees, tuition, books and supplies) for students living with a parent or other relative.

Prescription Drug Costs

Contact our office for additional information on necessary prescription costs. This expense can sometimes be covered with a Federal Loan. As required by federal law, budgets used to determine financial aid eligibility can only include the student’s costs; spouse’s and/or children’s expenses cannot be included. These estimates can be used as a planning tool for students and will not be used to determine financial aid eligibility.

 

1. Allowance assumes shared housing costs. San Francisco rents are too expensive for financial aid to cover living alone.
2. Budget includes cost for one child/dependent and spouse, if married. For each additional child/dependent, add $250 per month enrolled. Does not include child/day care expenses.

*In the rare situation someone is admitted to the Master of Fine Arts Program without prior college experience, they are considered to be a First-Time, Full-Time Student.  These students should use this link to review tuition and financial aid pricing estimates for the MFA Program: Click here for our Net Price Calculator.