Undergraduate Financial Aid


Undergraduate tuition and fees for one year (2014-2015 school year) is $28,870. Beyond tuition and fees, we estimate a student’s budget for one year based on payment of room and board, personal expenses such as transportation, clothing, and books/art supplies.

Our budget estimates are based on the higher end resident housing costs and other miscellaneous costs. You may spend less than our estimates.


Other than tuition costs, expenses will vary greatly depending on personal preference and restraint. These costs are estimates – not expected costs.

Tuition and fees for one year
Art supplies and books (estimated)
Housing (cost of MCA’s most expensive housing facility)
Food (estimated)
Transportation (estimated)
Personal expenses (estimated)

HOUSING COSTS (per year):

Apartments and Efficiencies
At the Park – shared apartment for 2 students
Fogelman Hall – suite-style housing with single rooms and shared common spaces for 4 students
Metz Hall – suite-style housing with single rooms and shared common spaces for 4 students
Parkside Efficiency

How to Apply for Institutional and Federal Aid:

To apply for MCA merit awards, a student need only submit all required application materials to be considered for institutional scholarships, grants, and work-study. Students will be notified of merit/portfolio awards along with acceptance replies. MCA awards are determined by the admissions review ranking.

Eligibility for Federal and State Aid is determined upon receipt of a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Click here to apply online. Student and parent information is required on this form if the student is dependent (usually younger than 24). Only student information is needed if the student is considered independent. Memphis College of Art’s institutional need grants are based on information from the FAFSA application as well.

The U.S. government offers Federal Pell Grants of up to $5,730 (for the 2014-2015 school year) per year. Federal SEOG grants, Federal student and parent loans, and Federal Work-Study are other forms of aid available to qualified students. Also, students may qualify for alternative educational loans.

Tennessee offers a state grant (TSAA) and Lottery Scholarship (TELS) to qualifying residents. Early applicants who qualify for a Federal Pell grant may also qualify for a TSAA grant and/or TELS grant. The TSAA budget is usually exhausted early in the year. Tennessee residents should submit a FAFSA before February 1, 2014 to be certain of qualifying.

Lottery Scholarship recipients must complete the FAFSA by August 1 and have a 21 ACT, 980 SAT or 3.0 GPA and graduate from a Tennessee High School. For more information on Lottery Scholarships you can go to http://www.tn.gov/collegepays/
Students may also be awarded Federal or College Work-Study through the admissions and financial aid process. An average yearly allotment of $500 is awarded allowing the student to work during the academic year and in some cases during the summer months. Work-study is paid in the form of a paycheck at a rate of $8.00 per hour for undergraduate students ($9.00 per hour for graduate students).

To complete and file the FAFSA form, students should go online to www.fafsa.gov

Additional information is available at studentaid.ed.gov.

The MCA required federal code is 003507. International students are not eligible for federal or state aid.

Special Circumstances:

If you have a unique financial situation, please contact our Financial Aid Office at 1-800-727-1088 or locally at 901-272-5136. We’re happy to provide assistance.

Download the Special Circumstances form.

MCA Scholarships:

The Portfolio Scholarships that a student receives entering MCA are renewable each year in May by maintaining a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 2.0 for freshmen (0-29 credits); 2.25 for sophomores (30-59 credits); 2.50 for juniors (60-89 credits); 2.75 for seniors (90+ credits).

These awards are based on full-time attendance and will be prorated for part-time enrollment and renewable through the completion of 120 credits. Scholarships will be reinstated any semester the required CGPA is attained. Scholarships are not renewable any semester the semester GPA falls below academic progress limits as defined by Memphis College of Art: 1.75 for freshmen (0-29 hours), 2.0 through the completion of the degree program (30-120 hours) following a first probationary period.

MCA Admissions Portfolio Awards:

J.R. Hyde Sr., Foundation Full-tuition Scholarship
Portfolio Awards
$3,000-$17,000 off tuition each year
Saul & Mildred Brown Half-tuition Scholarships
2 @ $13,425
National Scholastic Art Award
10 @ $11,650
Mid-south Scholastic Art Award
6 @ $9,000


Transfer Grant
Governor’s Honors Grant
Rust Need Grant
determined based on FAFSA Information

MCA Special Merit Awards:

Once a student attends Memphis College of Art, there are continuing opportunities for merit awards based on the student’s performance in classes. Special Merit Scholarships are awarded for excellence each year by faculty nomination. These one-year awards range from $50 cash awards to $6,000 per year tuition discounts. Some awards are based on criteria set by the donor and others are open to all students.

Outside Scholarship Opportunities:

MCA recommends that students do research to find outside scholarships that can be available through organizations and companies that help students go to college. The best method for locating scholarships is by internet search, where students may conduct free online searches. Parents’ employers, churches, or other organizations that a family might be active in are also potential resources. MCA distributes scholarship application information received by the financial aid office to eligible enrolled students.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for more links!

Click here for a guide to Scholarship Searches from the Student Loan Network

Click here for a Memphis College of Art Guide to Scholarship Searches

Financial Aid Forms

These links will open a PDF in a new window.

Buying Books With Financial Aid

Additional Loan Request Form
Direct Loan Application Instructions
Direct Student Loan Request Form
Exit Counseling Acknowledgment
Exit Counseling Instructions
In-School Deferment Form

PLUS Loan Application Instructions

HOPE Lottery Checklist
HOPE Lottery Class Repeat Option Form

Cost of Attendance Increase Form
Dependency Override Form
Special Circumstances Form

Petition for Reinstatement of Financial Aid
Satisfactory Progress Academic Plan

You will want to determine which Verification group you have been selected from to determine which documents need to be submitted.

DEPENDENT STUDENTS (only complete what has been requested)

Dependent Verification Worksheet
High School Completion
Ordering a Federal Transcript
Child Support Paid – Dependent
Receipt of SNAP Benefits (Dependent)
Statement of Educational Purpose
Verification of Untaxed Income (2014-15)

INDEPENDENT STUDENTS (only complete what has been requested)

Independent Verification Worksheet
Child Support Paid – Independent
High School Completion
Ordering a Federal Transcript
Receipt of SNAP Benefits (Independent)
Statement of Educational Purpose
Verification of Untaxed Income (2014-15)


Applying for Student Loans

To apply for student loans, you will need to complete a series of forms. This only needs to be completed once for the first time you become interested in borrowing from the Department of Education.

Borrowers must complete their own Master Promissory Note (MPN). This means that each student borrower will need to complete the MPN to be able to borrow the Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loan. Parents will need to complete the MPN to be able to borrow the Federal Direct Stafford PLUS loan.

You will need to complete these to borrow the Federal Subsidized & Unsubsidized  loans:

- Your full legal name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and PIN
Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized
Direct Loan Entrance Counseling

To borrow the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans, you will need:

- Your full legal name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and PIN
Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Parent PLUS
- Direct Student Loan Request Form

If the Department of Education finds adverse credit history for the parent, the parent may follow these Adverse History Options.

Helpful Financial Aid Websites

FAFSA Information:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) www.fafsa.gov
Request PIN for your FAFSA pin.ed.gov
Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation www.CollegePaysTN.com

Financial Aid Information:

College.gov www.college.gov
Federal Student Financial Aid www.ed.gov/studentaid
Federal Student Gateway to the US Government www.students.gov
FinAid www.finaid.org
US Department of Education www.ed.gov

Loan Information:

Federal Student Loan Default Assistance www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/Students/
Financial Aid Calculators www.finaid.org/calculators/
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) www.nslds.ed.gov

Additional Sites:

Alternative Loan Information www.elmselect.com/oll/SchoolLenderList/?schoolId=8170
Americorps www.Americorps.org
College Opportunities Online (COOL) http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cool/
Federal Veterans Affairs www.gibill.va.gov
Selective Service www.sss.gov
Social Security Administration www.ssa.gov
US Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook http://stats.bls.gov