Prospective Students Financial Aid
Bard offers several types of financial aid to help offset the costs of tuition and fees. Aid is in the form of fellowships, scholarships, and federal loans; the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts does not offer teaching assistantships, work-study opportunities, or tuition waivers. All students are eligible to apply for fellowships and scholarships; only U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for federal loans. For financial aid purposes students are considered to be enrolled half-time during their first two years of the program and full-time for their final summer.
Over 90% of MFA students receive at least one type of grant aid (fellowship or scholarship); many receive both.
Applicants who are selected for an interview and wish to apply for financial aid will be instructed to submit a 2015-16 FAFSA or International Student Financial Aid form by March 1, 2015. There are no financial aid forms to submit at the time of application to the program.
Fellowships are awarded by the Graduate Committee to new and returning students on the basis of merit or program-balancing needs. All admitted students are automatically considered for fellowships; no application is necessary. Fellowships are reviewed yearly and are not automatically renewed.
Need-based Financial Aid
A student may qualify for financial assistance in the form of scholarships or loans, depending on financial need. Financial need is assessed by a uniform method from financial data submitted by the student on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the International Student Financial Aid form. Financial need is the difference between the student's budget of expenses and the assessed ability of each student to meet those expenses. Scholarships and loans are not automatically renewed. In order to be eligible for renewal, the student must reapply every year, remain in good standing, and continue to demonstrate financial need. No student who is in default on a student loan or who owes a refund on a federal grant is eligible for scholarships or loans.
Scholarships are awarded to new and returning students based on a student's demonstrated financial need. Applicants who are selected for an interview and wish to apply for a scholarship will be instructed to submit a 2015-16 FAFSA or International Student Financial Aid form by March 1, 2015. Returning students must submit a FAFSA by the same date. Links to these forms are available on Bard's Financial Aid website, http://www.bard.edu/financialaid/applying/forms/. Scholarship decisions are made in mid-March; the student will receive an award letter listing any financial aid received. Award letters must be signed and returned before financial aid awards will appear on the student's account.
Federal Direct Loan
Students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and who file a FAFSA are eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Loan program, which provides unsubsidized loans. Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500 annually through a Federal Direct Loan, provided the total amount of assistance does not exceed the graduate program's annual cost.
The student begins paying interest charges on the loan while enrolled in school; repayment on the loan principal begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Federal Grad PLUS Loan
Graduate students can now access the Federal PLUS Loan Program to pay for the cost of education not covered by other financial aid. This loan is guaranteed by the federal government and may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time. A credit check is required. These loans are disbursed in the same way as the Federal Direct Loan.