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Financial Aid

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is one of the most affordable private art colleges in the country and is an excellent value for those seeking a professional degree in the visual arts. More than 90% of our students receive a full range of federal, state, and institutional financial assistance that includes scholarships, non-repayable grants, educational loans, and part-time work-study. We also offer a convenient payment plan that can cover any balances remaining after deducting financial aid awards.

Estimate Your Cost of Attendance

Receiving aid

The FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the online Federal application PCA&D and most colleges use to determine financial aid. It’s also required for federal student loans.

Filling out the FAFSA

Students may begin to file the 2021-2022 FAFSA as of October 1, 2020. The 2021-2022 FAFSA uses 2019 Federal Tax Returns. Filing annually is required for financial aid, and filing as early as possible will allow more time to get your aid in place. Incoming accepted and deposited students will receive their financial aid information beginning in January. PCA&D returning students’ financial aid award notification letters will be distributed starting in May after academic progress is determined.

PCA&D’s financial aid code for the FAFSA is 016021.
Complete the FAFSA
Apply for a new FSA ID

Additional Resources


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. A section of the CARES Act, the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, provided money to colleges and universities to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

On May 6, 2020, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The total amount of funds that Pennsylvania College of Art & Design received from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Cash Grants to Students is $137,950.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of October 28, 2020, is $137,050.

Presently, there were 320 students Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. As of October 28, 2020, 285 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design used the following method to determine which students may receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act:

1st Distribution

77% of the funds upfront are based on an EFC tier system for students who completed a FAFSA in 2019-2020.

EFC Brackets Grant Count Total Notes
zero $900 46 $41,400.00
1-750 $800 21 $16,800.00
751-2500 $700 18 $12,600.00
2501-5576 $500 21 $10,500.00 Pell Cutoff
5578-25000 $250 86 $21,500.00 FY20 Tuition Max
25,000-99,999 $100 30 $3,000.00
$105,800.00 First Distribution
$32,150.00 Remaining Funds

2nd Distribution

On September 30, 2020, the application process for the remaining $32,150 in CARES Emergency Cash Grants commenced. The CARES Act Emergency Funds Committee reviewed 72 applications. On October 28, $31,250 was distributed to 63 students.  Grants ranged from $250 to $1,000 depending on the level of need.

The College partnered with RefundSelect, a disbursement service that provides students options as to how students would like CARES Act funds delivered. For students eligible for the CARES Act grant funds, this is a method to ensure that students receive these funds in a timely manner and one that is most convenient for each student. The RefundSelect online platform provides students with the ability to easily sign-up and receive these funds through direct deposit or paper check. Students received an email from RefundSelect with instructions and notification when a CARES Act disbursement was available. Students can also access their account at any time to see the status of their disbursements.

During the enrollment process, Heartland ECSI for a student ID number. This can be found either on a student’s ID or by logging in to the student’s MYPCAD account, clicking on the My Profile tab, and choosing Account Information. The System ID listed is the Student ID. This number should be entered in RefundSelect without any letters and without any dashes. For example, if the student ID is P123-45-6789, the student will need to enter 123456789. Heartland ECSI’s contact information: Customer Service Team at 1-844-760-6052, Monday-Friday 7:30 am-8 pm EST.

Other questions, concerns about financial aid, or payment programs, students are encouraged to contact David Hershey, Director of Financial Aid at dhershey@pcad.edu or Lisa Good, Bursar at lgood@pcad.edu.

Letter to Students re: CARES Act

Dear Students,

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is expecting to receive funding from the federal CARES Act for aid to assist students who are eligible for federal (Title, IV) financial aid with expenses related to the disruption of the campus operations caused by COVID-19.  Specifically, this emergency funding is designed to pay for expenses related to campus disruption due to the pandemic.

From the CARES Act, the PCA&D will be awarded $137,950 in direct aid to disburse to students. The College will distribute these funds based on the student’s level of calculated financial need.  The funds will be distributed directly to students and will not be applied to the amounts due to the College.

What this means is that we are able to directly send 77% or ($105,800) of this relief funding to eligible students now. Students will receive these initial funds in amounts ranging from $100-$900. These funds are distributed based on their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The remainder of available funds, 23% ($32,150), will be distributed during the next academic year. We will utilize an application process for these additional funds to be disbursed to students with additional critical needs. Please know, these funds are available to enrolled students who are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

The College is partnering with RefundSelect, a disbursement service that provides students options as to how you would like your CARES Act funds sent to you. If you are eligible for the CARES Act grant funds, we want to ensure that you receive these funds in a timely manner and one that is most convenient for you. The RefundSelect online platform will provide you with the ability to easily sign-up and receive these funds through direct deposit or paper check. You’ll receive an email from RefundSelect with instructions and notification when a CARES Act disbursement is available to you. You can also access your account any time to see the status of your disbursements.

As always, if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to our Director of Financial Aid, Dave Hershey at dhershey@pcad.edu or our Bursar, Lisa Good at lgood@pcad.edu

Kind Regards,

Jonelle Matthews, Director of Finance & Administration

David Hershey, Director of Financial Aid

Lisa Good, Bursar

Quarterly Budget & Expenditure

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report – Sept 30, 2020

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Report – Dec 31, 2020

Quarterly Reports

Quarterly Report – Sept 30, 2020

Quarterly Report – Dec 31, 2020



  • With help from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), financial literacy information is now available for PCA&D students with CashCourse.
  • YouCanDealWithIt.com provides practical and easy-to-understand advice on how to deal with common financial situations facing today’s college students and recent graduates




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