Graduate Scholarships + Financial Aid
We give over $14 million to students in scholarships each year. These institutionally funded need and/or merit-based awards are given to students based on the results of their application and FAFSA. Apply for scholarships and other financial aid opportunities. If you have any questions, call an AMDA Financial Aid Counselor 323-603-5900.
Financial Aid Checklist
Financial aid is assistance provided to the student and the family to help pay for the student's education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work). We work with each student to help get you into the door. Every person's situation is unique. Call an AMDA counselor and let us help guide you through the financial aid process!
Apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
In order to be considered for financial aid, AMDA requires that all U.S. citizens and permanent residents complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You will need to enter AMDA'S SCHOOL CODE - 016082.
Note: The school code for AMDA College of the Performing Arts and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy are the same, even though only the The American Musical and Dramatic Academy comes up on FAFSA.
Apply For FAFSA
Apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan
Stafford loans are educational loans that need to be paid back. Loans are guaranteed by the federal government and funded through the United States Department of Education. Students must file a FAFSA form to participate in federal loan programs. View All Stafford Loan Options.
Options for Covering the Remaining Balance
These are merit- and/or need-based awards that do not need to be repaid.
AMDA's financial aid programs include institutional scholarships.
AMDA Scholarships +−
Institutionally funded need and/or merit-based awards given to students.
Criteria: Application and undergraduate transcripts.
Federal Direct Loan Programs
Loans are guaranteed by the federal government and funded through the United States Department of Education. Students must file a FAFSA form to participate in federal loan programs.
Direct Unsubsidized Loan +−
You are not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Like subsidized loans, your school will determine the amount you can borrow. Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the time it's first paid out. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount.
Note: Before July 1, 2010, Stafford, PLUS and Consolidation Loans were also made by private lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. As a result of recent legislation, no further loans will be made under the FFEL Program beginning July 1, 2010. All new Stafford, PLUS and Consolidation Loans will come directly from the lender under the Direct Loan Program.
How do I apply for a Stafford Loan? +−
As with all federal student aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most students use FAFSA on the Web to complete their application. Schools use the information from your FAFSA to determine how much student aid you will receive.
Master Promissory Note: When you receive a Stafford Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to the lender. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that you receive over several years of study. If you previously signed an MPN to receive a FFEL Program loan, you will need to sign a new MPN for a Direct Loan.
Entrance Counseling: All students are also required to complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling. The Entrance Counseling makes sure that you are fully aware of your responsibilities and obligations concerning the loan funds you choose to borrow.
You may complete your MPN and required Entrance Counseling online.
Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA): Beginning with academic year 2021-22, all students borrowing Federal Stafford loans must complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA) prior to borrowing a new academic year’s Stafford loans. The ASLA will require students to acknowledge their current total student loan debt, as well as several other important details regarding their borrowing of federal student loans. The 2021-22 will become available for completion in March 2021. It can be completed online at https://studentaid.gov/asla/.
How much can I borrow? +−
There are limits on the maximum amount you are eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limit) and in total (aggregate loan limits). These limits are shown in the chart in the next section. A student’s eligible amount may be less than the maximum amounts shown in the loan limit chart. Your school will determine what types of loans and how much you may borrow.
Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits + +−
Each Year:$20,500 in Unsubsidized Stafford loans.
Maximum Total Debt from Stafford Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits): $138,500
Current Interest Rates +−
The interest rates for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans disbursed between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021 is 4.30%. More information can be found at Federal Student Aid.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
Through this government program, a graduate student enrolled in a Masters degree program can apply for a non-need-based, low-interest loan. These funds can be applied toward the student's tuition, supplies, housing and other eligible school expenses.
Graduate students may apply for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan to help pay their education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met.
To be eligible for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: +−
The graduate student borrower must be enrolled at least half-time in a Masters degree program at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program.
The graduate student borrower must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). If the graduate student borrower does not pass the credit check, they may still receive a loan if someone (such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check) agrees to endorse the loan. The endorser promises to repay the loan if the student fails to do so.
The graduate student must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the federal student aid programs.
How does a Graduate student get a loan? +−
For a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, the graduate student must complete a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the lender. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan. In most cases, one MPN can be used for loans that a student receives over multiple academic years, although a separate Loan Request must be filed for each school year. If the graduate student previously signed an MPN to receive a Graduate PLUS loan at a previous school, he or she will need to sign a new MPN for a Direct Graduate PLUS Loan at AMDA.
How much can a student borrow? +−
The annual limit on a PLUS loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives.
What's the interest rate? +−
The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans disbursed between 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021 is 5.30%. More information may be found at Federal Student Aid .
When does the student begin repaying the loan? +−
You don't have to start making payments until six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
During any period when you’re not required to make payments, interest will accrue on your loan. You may choose to pay the accrued interest or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) when you have to start making payments. Your loan servicer will notify you when your first payment is due.
Alternative Loan Programs
Graduate students may apply for a range of credit-based, privately funded loans through a bank of their choice. Applicants may borrow up to the cost of the student's attendance less any financial aid as determined by the AMDA financial aid office. We work with each student to help get you into the door. Every person's situation is unique. Call an AMDA counselor and let us help guide you through the financial aid process!
AMDA's Office of Financial Aid does not endorse or promote any specific private lender; we will process a loan with any lender you choose, as long as you are approved for the loan. We advise that this loan option be used as a last resort after all federal loan options have been exhausted. Additionally, we adhere to the code of conduct as established by the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
Note: Federal loans generally have better benefits and lower, fixed interest rates. Again, we encourage you to apply for Federal loans prior to applying for an Alternative loan.
This is a historic list of loans and/or lenders from whom our students have borrowed over the past few years. It includes only those that continue to offer private alternative loans. This list is not meant as an endorsement and is not a preferred lender list.
AMDA Payment Plans
AMDA offers two methods for tuition payment. These include making four scheduled payments or enrolling in an extended payment plan.
Standard 4 Payment Plan +−
AMDA offers a standard payment plan of four scheduled payments at 0% interest. Two payments are collected before your first term begins and two payments are collected before your second term.
Extended Payment Plan +−
AMDA offers this extended payment plan option over an eight-month payment period. This option has a $295 processing fee, which may be waived under certain conditions. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you plan to use this option. International students are not eligible for the extended payment plan.
The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects students whose information needs to be validated. The federal government mandates that colleges verify approximately 30% of the student aid applications submitted each year. The verification worksheet you are required to complete is based on your dependency status and the verification tracking group indicated on your student aid report. You are only required to complete one verification worksheet. Please refer to your student aid report to determine which worksheet you are required to complete. If you need help or clarification determining your verification tracking group or dependency status, please contact the financial aid office at your respective campus. Please note that all Graduate students are Independent students.
Verification of Non-filing Letter
Alternative/Private Education Loan Programs* +−
Established by private lenders to supplement the student loan programs available from federal and state governments.
Award Letter +−
An official document issued by AMDA's Financial Aid Office that lists all of the financial aid awarded to the student. This letter details awards by type, amount and sources. The letter may also include a student payment plan, if applicable.
Cost of Attendance +−
The total amount it should cost a student to attend school. These include not only direct charges like tuition and fees and housing, but also allowances for living expenses such as transportation, books and supplies, and personal incidentals.
The release of grant or loan funds to a student's account. Any monies received in excess of student charges are then paid to the student in the case of loans.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) +−
A number calculated by the U.S. Department of Education based on the processing of a student's financial aid application through a formula as set forth by the U.S. Congress. This number is used to determine a student's eligibility for grants and loans.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) +−
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. For more information visit the Department of Education FERPA page
Financial Aid +−
Assistance provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work).
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) +−
Form used to apply for Pell Grants and all other need-based aid. As the name suggests, no fee is charged to file a FAFSA.
FSA ID +−
An FSA ID is comprised of a username and password and can be used to login to certain Federal Student Aid websites, such as the FAFSA.
An independent student is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of the award year, is married, is a graduate student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or is an orphan or ward of the court in his/her legal state of residence.
Master Promissory Note (MPN) +−
The binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy and cancellations. The student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid.
Statement of Financial Responsibility +−
An internal AMDA form that indicates who would pay any balance due, whether it is remaining after financial aid or should financial aid not come through.
Verification is a review process in which the Financial Aid Office determines the accuracy of the information provided on the student's financial aid application. During the verification process, the student will be required to submit documentation for the amounts listed (or not listed) on the financial aid application. Such documentation may include signed copies of the most recent Federal and State Income Tax Returns for you, your spouse (if any); proof of citizenship; proof of registration with Selective Service; and copies of Social Security benefit statements and W2 and 1099 forms, among other things. If any discrepancies are uncovered during verification, the Financial Aid Office may require additional information to clear up the discrepancies. Such discrepancies may cause your final financial aid package to be different from the initial package described on the award letter you received from the school. If you refuse to submit the required documentation, your financial aid package will be canceled and no aid awarded.
* Loan – Borrowed money, DOES have to be repaid