Financial Aid & Scholarships

The Office of Financial Aid works with families to identify the best strategies to combine family and financial aid resources.

Cornish offers merit and need-based institutional scholarships and grants, need-based federal and state grants, work-study, federal loans for parents and students and private educational loans for students.

Priority Application Deadline

As of October 1, 2019, all students have access to complete their 2020-2021 FAFSA at with Cornish school code 012315. All students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

New Student

The application for Admission priority deadline is February 1. New students should file a FAFSA by February 15. 

Current Student

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) priority deadline is February 15. Federal and State aid is available to all who complete the FAFSA and are eligible based upon the FAFSA need analysis and residency requirements. Federal and state funding is awarded up to the time of enrollment as long as funds are available. More information is available in the Office of Financial Aid at 206.726.5063.

Verification Process & Packaging

Every year, the Department of Education selects approximately one-third of all submitted FAFSAs nationally for review in a process called verification. If a Cornish student is selected for verification, the Office of Financial Aid will reach out to notify that student that Inceptia will be requesting additional documentation on behalf of Cornish College of the Arts to complete the process.

A financial aid package may include one or more of the following types of funds: grants and/or scholarships based on need and/or merit, work-study eligibility and low-interest deferred student loans. In addition, a dependent student’s parent(s) may qualify to borrow a credit-based federal parent loan for undergraduate students (PLUS). The dollar amount of each fund in the award is distributed equally between fall and spring semesters. A student’s eligibility is determined annually by the institution when the student completes the FAFSA. Funding eligibility may vary from year to year depending on need as determined by FAFSA need analysis or merit as determined by the College. Institutional awards are renewable as long as the student remains a full-time student and maintains a 2.00 cumulative grade point average and 67% pace of progression (cumulative earned divided by cumulative attempted credits) at the end of every semester.

Merit-Based Assistance

New students are considered automatically for institutional scholarships based on their audition or portfolio review. In subsequent years, students may apply for additional funding through the funding review process.  Student awards are based upon artistic and academic merit.

Need-Based Assistance

To be eligible to complete the FAFSA and receive need-based federal and/or state financial aid, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
  • Demonstrate financial need based on the U.S. Department of Education need analysis.
  • Not be in default on any government loan.
  • Not owe a repayment to a federal or state grant program.

Disbursement of Funds

The Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Stafford Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans, Parent Loan (PLUS), institutional scholarships and grants are applied first to the student tuition account to pay direct costs to Cornish. A credit balance after payment of direct costs is credited to the student as a refund for other college expenses.

Washington College Grant

The Washington College Grant (formerly known as State Need Grant) is received at Cornish by electronic funds transfer (EFT) and disbursed to students according to their signed and dated Student Directive forms. Students may elect a deposit of the semester proceeds into their tuition accounts or into a designated personal bank account. Students electing the latter must be enrolled in E-Refund at Cornish.

Federal and State Work-Study Programs

The Federal Work-Study Program and the State Work-Study Program for Washington State residents are need-based aid programs that provide financial assistance to eligible students through part-time employment opportunities on and off-campus. Students receive valuable experience and employers provide some scheduling flexibility to enable students to work while pursuing their course of study. It is the student’s responsibility to find work once awarded. Job postings can be viewed at

Earnings are paid directly to the student according to the employer payroll timeline, at least monthly. Students are limited to 19 work hours per week. Hourly wages vary by position and must meet the current State of Washington minimum wage requirement. For more information, you may contact the Office of Financial Aid at 206.726.5014.

Keeping Your Aid – Making Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. Students must make satisfactory academic progress toward graduation within a maximum of six years based on full-time enrollment to continue to receive financial aid at Cornish College of the Arts. Progress is monitored by the Office of Financial Aid at the end of each semester based on 2.0 career grade point average and a 66.67% pace of progression requirements. A copy of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy may be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid.