Types of Financial Aid

Three types of financial aid help to make a MIAD education - and the lifelong benefits it provides - accessible.

In this section, we explain the three types of financial aid and how to apply for them once you have applied to MIAD and filed your FAFSA.

(click on any bar to expand)

Aid You Don't Pay Back - Scholarships and grants


  • MIAD Scholarships for First-Time Students
    (Freshmen & Transfer Students)
  • National & Local Scholarships (outside scholarships) for All Students

MIAD Scholarships for First-Time Students
(Freshmen & Transfer Students)

MIAD recognizes the merit of artistic achievement, academic performance, and community and leadership involvement through a vibrant array of scholarships. All students accepted for admission to MIAD are considered for these merit scholarships.

Thanks to the generosity of the college's donors, MIAD has significantly increased merit scholarships for all Fall 2015 students. Scholarships are renewable annually for a maximum of four years as long as you maintain a 2.0 grade-point average and continuous full-time enrollment.

Admissions and MIAD merit scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis. All students accepted for admission are automatically considered for MIAD merit scholarships.

If you are planning on entering MIAD in the fall semester, please apply for admission now and begin applying for financial aid after January 1. That way we can consider you for a scholarship and help you understand, and receive, the other types of financial aid for which you may qualify.

We are committed to working with you and providing you the information you need to make an informed decision about your MIAD education as early as possible.

To learn more about MIAD's increased merit scholarships and important dates for first-time freshmen and transfer students, complete a request for information form. A MIAD catalog and Scholarship and Financial Aid brochure will be mailed to you.

National & Local Scholarships (outside scholarships) for All Students

Many scholarship opportunities are available from non-MIAD sources, including national, regional and local businesses and individuals. You may qualify based on special skills, community activities, ethnic or racial heritage, or other criteria. Good sources of information about these scholarships are high school guidance offices, libraries, your parent's place of employment, religious organizations and civic organizations.

Many good and free scholarship sources are available online. We have compiled a list of scholarship websites to help you start your scholarship search. Please be aware of scholarship scams or any group or individual that guarantees you a scholarship if you pay a fee. (FinAid provides information about scholarship scams.) And be sure to inform us in the Financial Aid Office if you receive non-MIAD scholarships.


Like scholarships, grants do not have to be paid back. They are awarded to you based on financial need as determined by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

Federal Pell Grant
The Pell Grant is a need based grant calculated using the results of the FAFSA application. The maximum Pell Grant for 2016-2017 is $5,815.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
SEOG grants are awarded to students with exceptional financial need, with preference given to Pell Grant recipients. The amount varies yearly.

Wisconsin Minority Retention Grant
This grant is awarded to eligible Wisconsin minority students entering their sophomore, junior or senior years. The amount varies yearly.

Wisconsin Talent Incentive Program Grant
The Talent Incentive Program (TIP) Grant is awarded to the most financially and educationally disadvantaged Wisconsin students attending MIAD. The amount varies yearly.

Wisconsin Tuition Grant
The Wisconsin Tuition Grant Program provides grant assistance to undergraduate Wisconsin residents. The maximum award amount for the 2016-17 academic year is $2,900.

MIAD Grants
Thanks to the college's dedicated donors, who care deeply about helping MIAD students realize their personal and professional dreams, each year MIAD awards generous grants to students. These need-based grants are in addition to MIAD merit scholarships.

How do I apply for grants?

1. Apply for admission to MIAD!

2. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

3. Use MIAD's FAFSA school code 014203 so that we receive the results and can process your financial aid award letter.
You can read more about this in Let's Get Started.


Aid You Do Pay Back - Student loans

Student loans

Financial aid at MIAD is about a sound investment that begins with your first year and continues for a lifetime of personal and professional success. So the loans you may take out, whether federal or private, are an investment in your future.

At MIAD, we work individually with every student to help ensure that you and your parents maximize all your options for funding your MIAD education. We're also here to ensure that you are fully aware of your responsibilities as a student loan borrower, which means that the quality of your life is important to us both when you are a student, and when you graduate.


The Federal Direct Loan Program is the main source of loans used by MIAD students. It consists of three types of loans.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility is based on financial need. Being subsidized means that you, the student, pay no interest on the loan as long as you are enrolled at least half time.

  • First-year students are eligible for $3,500 annually.
  • Sophomores are eligible for $4,500 annually.
  • Juniors and seniors are eligible for $5,500 annually.
  • There is an estimated 1.073% origination fee for the loan, so the fee for a $3,500 loan for a first-year student would be $38.
  • Repayment begins six months after graduation with an estimated maximum interest rate of 6.8%.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Eligibility for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on financial need or family income. Unsubsidized means interest accrues on the loan while you are enrolled.

  • Dependent students are eligible for $2,000 in addition to the Subsidized Direct Loan amount.
  • Independent students are eligible for amounts depending on their year in college.
  • The interest rate for 2015-2016 was 4.66%, there is an estimated loan origination fee of 1.073%, so the fee for a $2,000 loan is $21.
  • We encourage you to pay the interest while you are enrolled. 
  • Repayment also begins six months after graduation or six months after you are no longer attending the college at least half time.

How do I apply for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans? The loan application process requires the following steps:

1. Apply for admission to MIAD!

2. Both you and a parent must apply for a FSA ID online at studentloans.gov to electronically sign the FAFSA application.

3. All students: File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

4. Use MIAD's FAFSA school code 014203 so that we receive the results and can process your financial aid award letter.

5. First-time borrowers in the Federal Direct Student Loan program must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Entrance Counseling Session, which helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Both the Master Promissory Note and the Entrance Counseling Session can be completed online at studentloans.gov. You can use your FSA ID to log in, the same one you used for completing the FAFSA online. You can read more about this in Let's Get Started.

Federal Direct Plus (Parent) Loan

PLUS stands for Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students. PLUS loans are federally guaranteed loans that allow parents to assist in the coverage of educational expenses for dependent students. They are not based on need or family income, but require a credit check. Unlike other loans, parents must apply directly for these loans.

  • The amount a parent can apply for each year is the cost of attending MIAD minus all other aid awarded.
  • The interest rate for 2015-2016 was 7.21%, with a 4.292% origination fee. For example, if a parent is accepted for a Plus Loan of $10,000, the origination fee is $429, and MIAD receives $9,571 to apply to the student's account.
  • Repayment begins 60 days after graduation or six months after your student is no longer attending the college at least half time.


How Does a Parent Apply for a Direct Plus Loan?

1. Parents can apply for a Direct Plus (Parent) Loan at www.studentloans.gov.

2. You'll be asked to complete the Federal Direct Plus Loan Request and a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note.

3. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions. We're here to help you and your student.

Private Alternative Loans

MIAD partners with private lenders to provide students additional loan options that should be considered after all possibilities for scholarships, grants and employment have been researched. These lenders have been selected based on positive past student and institutional experience. You can borrow what it costs to attend MIAD minus any other financial aid you are receiving.

Alternative loans can be a good choice for students who have a good credit-worthy co-signer. In some cases, they may be a better option than a Parent Plus loan. Some lenders do not have origination fees and offer both fixed and variable interest rates.

Financial Aid staff must approve the amount you borrow. We'll also help you determine the amount of an alternative loan.

You can apply for a private loan through FASTChoice

Please contact us for further information.


Money You Earn - Student employment

Student employment

One in five MIAD students works on campus.

Students find on-campus employment in two ways: through the Federal Work Study Program and through MIAD's on-campus employment program.

Federal Work Study is a need-based form of financial aid determined through the FAFSA process. The work study award listed on your MIAD financial aid award letter (Potential Federal Work Study) is the amount you could earn if employed on campus. You will be paid, like other MIAD employees, through the MIAD payroll process. You must work to earn these funds.

How Do I Find an On-Campus Job?

Campus jobs for both Federal Work Study and MIAD's on-campus employment program are posted through MIAD's Career Services Office. In addition to on-campus jobs, Career Services posts all available off-campus job and internship opportunities.

Examples of on-campus jobs:

  • Designer, Photographer, Videographer
  • Mentor, Resident Hall Advisor, Tutor, Student Services Assistant
  • Webmaster Assistant, Gallery Assistant, Career Services Assistant, Admissions Telecounselor, Pre-College Teaching Assistant, Communications/Development Assistant
  • Maintenance staff, Student Union and MIAD Café staff, Receptionist

Click here for more information about on-campus employment.