Scholarships + Grants

Financing your future

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Kansas City Art Institute is dedicated to helping students realize their educational objectives by providing scholarships, grants, loans, student employment, and other financial aid programs. KCAI helps over 99% of our students find the financial aid they need to pursue their B.F.A. degree. We awarded more than $14.1 million dollars of institutional aid in the 2019-20 academic year.

To apply for financial aid, file your FAFSA and enter our school code 002473. KCAI’s priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is February 1.


By applying to KCAI you are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. Scholarship decisions are made based on an applicant’s portfolio and academic achievements. Transcripts are required and standardized test scores are optional. KCAI merit scholarships will only be applied toward tuition and fees.  All other KCAI grants and scholarships are unrestricted.

Priority Scholarship Deadlines

Freshman scholarships:

  • First postmark deadline is December 1.
  • Second postmark deadline is February 1.
  • Third postmark deadline is March 1.

Transfer student scholarships:

  • Postmark deadline is March 1.
  • Second postmark deadline is April 1.

Merit-Based Scholarships

KCAI merit scholarships are renewed in full annually for full-time students with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and who maintain a 75% completion rate of all attempted hours including transfer credits.  KCAI reviews and determines renewal eligibility upon completion of the fall semester of the student’s second year and beyond.

For students who do not qualify for renewal in full, the following amounts will be awarded:

2.0 to 2.49 and/or below 75% completion rate - 85% of original award

Below 2.0 - 75% of original award

Fall Semester Spring Semester
1st Year GPA and completion rate not checked If GPA or completion rate are below the requirements, student will be placed on merit warning for the following semester
2nd Year GPA and completion rate checked at the end of the semester If GPA or completion rate are below the requirements, merit scholarship will be decreased for the 3rd year
3rd Year GPA and completion rate checked at the end of the semester If GPA or completion rate are below the requirements, merit scholarship will be decreased for the 4th year
4th Year GPA and completion rate checked at the end of the semester After the 4th year if GPA or completion rate are below the requirements, merit scholarship may be reviewed on a case by case basis and only awarded at the decreased amount

Procedure for Scholarship Appeal

Scholarship probation hearings will include the student and representatives from Financial Aid and Disability and Academic Support Services.  During the hearing, the student will be asked to present a statement explaining the circumstances that may have impacted their GPA or completion rate, as well as any documentation relevant to those circumstances.  If the appeal is approved, the student and representatives will develop an academic plan the student will be required to follow during the scholarship probation year and the scholarship will be renewed in full.

There are no additional appeal processes following the end of the probation year.  All decisions made for the probation year are final, and will remain until the student’s cumulative GPA returns to a 2.5 or higher and a 75% or higher completion rate of attempted hours are maintained. If the student’s appeal is denied, the student’s merit scholarship will be reduced according to the GPA guidelines above. The student must contact the Financial Aid Office when they regain the minimum scholarship standards to have their merit scholarship amount fully reinstated.

Scholarship Websites

There are a number of other scholarship and financial aid opportunities available for KCAI students. Be sure to visit the following sites to research other funding options that may fit your needs.

KC Scholars
Sallie Mae Free Scholarship Search
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
Citizens Bank

Please be aware that any outside resources received could result in an adjustment to your original KCAI financial aid award.

If you are an individual company wishing to share your scholarship opportunity please email The Financial Aid Office will review your scholarship guidelines and email the information to our students. Please do not email multiple requests.


Grants do not require repayment. A prior bachelor’s degree excludes a student from eligibility for federal and state grant-based awards. To apply for grants, complete the forms at

Federal Pell Grants

  • Renewable grants.
  • Based on financial need.
  • Administered by the federal government.
  • Learn more about Federal Pell Grants by visiting

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

  • Federal government grants.
  • Administered by KCAI.
  • Based on financial need.
  • Preference given to Pell Grant recipients.
  • Learn more about FSEOG Grants here.

Missouri Financial Assistance Grants

Access Missouri

  • Funded by the state of Missouri.
  • Available to Missouri residents only.
  • Based on financial need.
  • February 1 priority deadline by submitting the FAFSA for the Missouri state grant.
  • Renewal students must maintain a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 and not have received an Access Missouri award for a maximum of 10 semesters.

Bright Flight

Funded by the state of Missouri

  • Available to Missouri residents only

Have a composite score on the ACT or SAT in either:

  • The top 3 percent of all Missouri students taking those tests, or
  • The top 4th or 5th percentiles of all Missouri students taking those tests.

Learn more about state scholarships and grants available to Missouri students here.

If you have questions about residency requirements, please contact the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in Jefferson City, Missouri, at 573-751-2361.