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 the audition, application and FAFSA. Apply for scholarships and other financial aid opportunities. If you have any
questions, call an AMDA Financial Aid Counselor 800-367-7908.
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 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.
Please note that institutional, merit-based scholarship require students to
maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA for renewal from one academic year to the next.
GPAs are reviewed at the end of each academic year (two terms). Scholarships
may be removed from an award package if the minimum required GPA standard is
not achieved. This lowered requirement is effective for post-Spring 2022
semester GPA review and forward.
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 AOS or Certificate 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.
AMDA First-Year Spring Grant +−
Institutionally funded, need-based awards given to students who begin study during the spring 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
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
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
Second Year: $6,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized
Each Additional Year: $7,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized
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
Second Year: $10,500 - No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized
Each Additional Year: $12,500 - No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized
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 7/1/2020 and
6/30/2021is 2.75%. More information can be found at Federal Student Aid.
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 7/1/2020 and 6/30/2021 is 5.30%. 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!
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
This option consists 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
This option extends 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.
ACCEPTING YOUR PAYMENT PLAN
Once logged into Student Portal, follow the steps
below to review and accept your payment plan:
- In the menu, click on the “My Financial Aid” tab.
- Click the “Award Letter” link.
- When the screen loads, locate the row in the Awards grid for the upcoming Award Year date range,
then click on the blue “View” link.
- Scroll down to the "Other" Awards section.
- Review the Deposits Amounts for Tuition and Housing. Amounts will be in the status of "Accepted".
- Review the “Cash/Student Payment” amount. Click the “+” to the left of the Description to expand the
details for each specific payment and due date. If you agree with the amounts scheduled, click on
the blank checkbox to the far right which will place a check in the box.
- After you have placed a check in all of the award which you agree with, click the “Accept Payment
Plan” button. If you do not wish to accept your current Payment Plan, contact your Financial Aid
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.
Beginning with the 2022-23 award year, the Financial Aid Verification process must be completed via our AMDA Financial Aid Verification
Portal. Students selected for verification will be emailed login credentials to access this portal and
complete the verification process. Verification Worksheets and any other required documentation must be
submitted via the portal. Provided below are sample verification worksheets.
Verification of Non-filing Letter
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 AMDA
College of the Performing Arts. 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
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
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
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