For Parents & Guardians

Financial Answers

If finding ways to afford a college education is one of your biggest questions, we’re here to walk you through the resources to support your student’s investment in their future.

Can we afford PCA&D?

We are committed to making a high-quality art education affordable through our own scholarship and grant program. Our tuition is among the lowest of all AICAD-member art and design colleges.  PCA&D’s tuition is nearly $10,000 less than the average tuition at a private, four-year nonprofit college in the country. Source: Education Data Initative

You can estimate the cost of attending PCA&D with our Net Price Calculator.

PCA&D Tuition & Fees

PCA&D Open House

Is a four-year college degree worth the investment?

Every few years, The College Board conducts research to answer this question. In the Education Pays 2023 Report, they found the following:

  • Median levels of income increase with the level of education. College graduates are more likely than others to be employed.
  • College graduates in commercial art & graphic design careers earn near the average of all professions early and mid-career (40K/70K vs. 45K/75K, respectively)
  • Over the course of a lifetime, and accounting for the costs of obtaining a degree, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn about $400,000 more than individuals with a high school degree.
  • More educated citizens have a healthier lifestyle with greater access to health care and retirement plans.
  • College-educated individuals are more likely to pursue civic engagement (voting and volunteer rates are higher) and provide better opportunities for their children and be more involved in their children’s activities.
  • Society at large also benefits, as spending on social support programs such as unemployment compensation, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid is much lower for those with higher levels of education.

Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2022 shows that the average sticker tuition prices have declined or remained stable in the most recent three years, after adjusting for inflation. Furthermore, the average net prices that students pay after subtracting grant aid have been declining steadily in recent years. The average debt levels of bachelor’s degree recipients have been declining as well. One would not automatically assume this to be true, as media headlines tend to highlight stories of college students saddled with debt who struggle to find gainful employment.

PCA&D Photography Student

What types of scholarships and financial aid are available at PCA&D?

PCA&D offers a variety of merit scholarships based on students’ portfolios, geographic location, academic program, etc. 100% of new students receive, at minimum, one scholarship upon acceptance to the college. Our annual portfolio scholarship competition provides an additional opportunity to earn an award up to $5,000.

PCA&D participates in the Title IV Federal Aid Programs, including Pell Grants, Federal Direct Student Loans, FSEOG, and Federal Work Study. More than 68% receive grants from federal, state, and institutional sources.

Residents of Pennsylvania may also qualify for the Pennsylvania State Grant. Residents of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, and West Virginia may also qualify for grants from their respective states. We advise residents of those states to contact their respective grant agencies for details.

How do we apply for financial aid? What forms are necessary and what’s the deadline?

Students who wish to be considered for all types of financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually. Residents of Pennsylvania must complete the FAFSA no later than May 1 before the start of the academic year in order to be considered for the Pennsylvania State Grant. (Deadlines for other states may vary.)

FAFSA Application
PCA&D’s code is 016021

Students who do not complete the FAFSA will not be considered for any type of federal or state aid, nor will they receive any need-based institutional grants for which they may qualify. PCA&D Merit Scholarships do not require students to complete the FAFSA; however, students are encouraged to notify the Office of Financial Aid if they will not be completing it.

Provost, Dr. Carissa Massey discusses the advantages of a micro-college

What is residency?

To be considered for the Pennsylvania State Grant, students and their respective families must be residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a minimum of one year prior to the May 1 deadline for the PA State Grant. For example, a student who will be starting college in Fall of 2024 and their family must have been a resident of PA before May 1, 2023.

Students must also be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents (i.e., Green Card holders).

My student’s citizenship is either DACA or “Dreamer”. Are they eligible to enroll?

DACA students may enroll at PCA&D, and are eligible for financial assistance through the college, including merit scholarships and need-based grants. Unfortunately, they do not qualify for Federal Title IV Aid, nor do they qualify for the Pennsylvania State Grant. DACA students may or may not be eligible for grants through other states, depending on the respective states’ individual guidelines.

My student is a permanent resident. Are they eligible for financial assistance?

Permanent residents (i.e., Green Card holders) may qualify for all varieties of Federal Title IV Aid, as well as the Pennsylvania State Grant (if they meet PA residency requirements). Permanent residents who reside outside of PA should contact their respective state grant agencies for citizenship requirements.

Residents of the Freely Associated States (including the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia) may qualify for limited types of Federal Student Aid.

Are there work-study opportunities for my student?

There are a limited number of work-study opportunities available. The number of positions available is based on the needs of each department at the college.

Who Can I Contact?

If you’re looking for more answers, our Director of Financial Aid and Student Employment, Vince Frank, is available to meet with you in person, by phone, or by Zoom. He can be reached by email: vfrank@pcad.edu or by phone 717.396.7833 ext. 1013 or toll-free at 800.689.0379.

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