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 the California and New York campus are the same, even though only the New York campus 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
Grants + Scholarships
These are merit- and/or need-based awards that do not need to be repaid.
AMDA's financial aid programs include many institutional scholarships and government awards, which are given to students based on the results of the audition, application and/or FAFSA. Below you will find a complete list of the available grants and scholarships, including the eligibility criteria for each one. You can also learn more about the financial aid process and loan programs.
AMDA Scholarships +
Institutionally funded need and/or merit-based awards given to students based on the results of the audition and application process.
Criteria: Audition and application for first-year admission.
National Scholarship Nominations +
AMDA is accepting nominations for students who plan to pursue their post-secondary education. Please recommend students who you think will benefit from our intensive training in one of our Bachelor of Fine Arts or Conservatory Programs. Nominate a student.
AMDA Grant +
Institutionally funded, need-based awards given to students based on the FAFSA.
Criteria: Financial need based on results from the FAFSA.
AMDA First-Year Summer Grant +
Institutionally funded, need-based awards given to students who begin study during the summer term.
Criteria: Results of FAFSA and financial need.
Federal Pell Grant +
Federally funded, need-based grant program.
Criteria: Financial need as determined by filing the FAFSA.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant +
Federal and institution-funded, school-administered, limited need-based grant program.
Criteria: Available to Pell-eligible students.
Federal Work Study +
Federal and institution-funded, school-administered student employment program.
Criteria: Financial need; student interest; U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Must file FAFSA form.
International Scholarships +
Institutionally funded, merit-based awards given to outstanding, International students based on the results of the audition and application process.
Criteria: Audition and application for first-year admission.
International Grant +
Institutionally funded, need-based awards given to International students based on their voluntarily submitted International Financial Application.
Criteria: Financial need based on results of International Financial Application.
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 Subsidized Loan +
Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with financial need. Your school will review the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine the amount you can borrow. You are not charged interest while you're in school at least half-time and during grace periods and deferment periods.
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.
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. The actual amount you can borrow each year depends on your year in school, whether you are a dependent or independent student, and other factors, and 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.
Depending on your financial need, you may be eligible to receive a subsidized loan for an amount up to the annual subsidized loan borrowing limit for your level of study. If you have education expenses that have not been met by subsidized loans and other aid, you may also receive an unsubsidized loan so long as you don't exceed the combined subsidized and unsubsidized annual loan limits.
Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits +
The following provides maximum annual and aggregate (total) loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans.
Dependent Undergraduate Student (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First Year: $5,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second Year: $6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Each Additional Year: $7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Maximum Total Debt from Stafford Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits): $31,000 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Independent Undergraduate Student (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First Year: $9,500 - No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second Year: $10,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Each Additional Year: $12,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Maximum Total Debt from Stafford Loans When You Graduate (aggregate loan limits): $57,500 - No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Current Interest Rates +
The interest rates for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans disbursed between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018 is 4.45%. More information can be found at Federal Student Aid.
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.
Federal Parent PLUS Loan
Through this government program, a parent or guardian 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.
Parents of dependent students may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan to help pay their child's education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met.
To be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan for Parents: +
The parent borrower must be the student's biological or adoptive parent. In some cases, the student's stepparent may be eligible.
The student must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. Generally, a student is considered dependent if he or she is under 24 years of age, has no dependents, and is not married, a veteran, a graduate or professional degree student, or a ward of the court.
The parent borrower must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). If the parent does not pass the credit check, the parent 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 parent fails to do so.
The student and parent 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 parent get a loan? +
For a Direct PLUS Loan, the parent must complete a Direct 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 parent receives over multiple academic years, although a separate Loan Request must be filed for each school year. If the parent previously signed an MPN to receive an FFEL PLUS loan, he or she will need to sign a new MPN for a Direct PLUS Loan.
How much can a parent 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 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018 is 7%. More information may be found at Federal Student Aid .
When does the parent begin repaying the loan? +
The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan begins when the loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due 60 days after the final disbursement. However, for Direct PLUS Loans with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2008, the parent may defer repayment while the student on whose behalf the parent borrowed the loan is enrolled on at least a half-time basis, and for an additional six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Alternative Loan Programs
Parents and 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!
Loan Programs +
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.
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.
Net Price Calculator
AMDA provides prospective students and families with a Net Price Calculator. This calculator will help you generate an ESTIMATED cost of attendance and financial aid package, based on your own personalized data.
Note: The results of this calculator are only estimates and nothing is final until you receive an official award letter or notification of award from the school directly. Specifically, AMDA scholarships are based on merit through the strength of applicant's audition and application. Thus, we cannot accurately estimate these awards. Therefore, the AMDA scholarship amounts used in this calculator are only "sample" award amounts.
Net Price Calculator
Alternative/Private Education Loan Programs** +
Established by private lenders to supplement the student and parent education 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.
State funded; California offers a grant to eligible students who are California residents and attending the Los Angeles campus. The state determines the criteria for eligibility and award amounts. Must file the FAFSA prior to March 1.
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 or parent borrower 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
Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan** +
With a subsidized loan the government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school, during the six-month grace period and during any deferment periods. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need.
Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan** +
A loan for which the government does not pay the interest. The borrower is responsible for the interest on an unsubsidized loan from the date the loan is disbursed, even while the student is still in school. Students may avoid paying the interest while they are in school by capitalizing the interest, which increases the loan amount. Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant* +
Federal and institution-funded, school-administered, need-based grant program available to Pell-eligible students.
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. If you are a parent and need to electronically sign your child’s FAFSA, you need your own FSA ID.
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. A parent refusing to provide support for their child’s education is not sufficient for the child to be declared independent.
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.
Parent PLUS Loan** +
Federal loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help finance the child’s education. Parents may borrow up to the full cost of their children’s education, less the amount of any other financial aid received. There is a minimal credit check required for the PLUS loan, so a good credit history is required. If your application for a PLUS loan is turned down, your child may be eligible to borrow additional money under the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program.
Pell Grant* +
A federal grant that provides funds based on the student’s financial need.
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 and parent 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) and your parents; 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.
* Grant – Free money, does NOT have to be repaid
** Loan – Borrowed money, DOES have to be repaid