Financial Aid

Student Working at Nina's park

Financial Aid Overview

The purpose of financial aid is to assist students whose personal and family resources are insufficient to meet the total cost of education at Laguna College of Art + Design. Financial aid is available from one or more of the following sources: scholarships, grants, part-time employment, and loans. LCAD is also eligible to participate in the Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Assistance programs. Eligibility for most forms of financial aid is based on demonstrated financial need. Financial need is the difference between the Cost of Education (a standard budget) and the Estimated Family Contribution (the amount the student, and if applicable, the student’s spouse and/or parents can be expected to contribute). Cost of Education components include tuition and fees, an allowance for books and supplies, housing, food, transportation, and personal expenses. Family contributions are based on the Federal Methodology analysis of the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and supplemental documents. Students who believe they will need financial assistance to attend LCAD and who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for aid. Financial aid awards are made for one academic year and must be reapplied for each subsequent year. To receive need-based financial aid from LCAD, the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be accepted for enrollment as a matriculating student.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Maintain measurable satisfactory academic progress according to the standards and practices established by LCAD while enrolled.
  • Not owe a refund on or be in default of any Title IV loan previously received for attendance at any postsecondary institution. Be in compliance with Selective Service regulations.

Application Procedures

To be considered for any type of need-based aid at LCAD, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at If you cannot complete the application online, please contact the Financial Aid office. Processing time may vary depending on the type of application and the date of submission. Generally, the processor needs three to six weeks to process the application.Plotkin Memorial Foundation; Roger Armstrong Scholarship Fund; and the Robert and Jean Schrimmer Endowment Fund.

Qualitative Evaluation 1: Minimum Cumulative GPA

Minimum cumulative GPA2.02.02.753.0

Quantitative Evaluation 1: Minimum Completion of Attempted Units per Academic Year

Minimum % of total units successfully completed each academic year (units earned divided by units attempted)67%

Quantitative Evaluation 2: Maximum Total Units That Can Be Attempted to Complete a Program

Units needed to complete the program791223060
Maximum total units that can be attempted to complete a program1181834590

SAP Evaluation

SAP is first calculated at the end of the spring semester following the student’s first term of enrollment as a regular degree-seeking student and annually at the end of the spring semester thereafter. SAP is also calculated at the point when a continuing student applies for aid for the first time. Both qualitative (cumulative GPA) AND quantitative (units attempted and earned) progress is measured regardless of enrollment status. These measurements apply to ALL hours attempted and recognized by LCAD for degree consideration from all institutions.

  • Students meeting the standards above at the time of calculation will be considered in good SAP standing.
  • Students who do not meet the requirements shown above will be put on SAP probation and are notified that they are not making satisfactory progress toward their degree and are given one academic year to become compliant. If, after the next academic year, the student is once again not making progress or has not graduated, his/her financial aid will be suspended.
  • Rules are applied uniformly to all students for all periods of enrollment whether or not aid has been received previously.
  • Students who are returning to the college after being on SAP suspension will have their record reviewed by the Financial Aid Office upon re-entry. A student must meet SAP requirements to get financial aid.
  • Eligibility for financial aid is re-established after a student improves his/ her academic record to meet the minimum standards, or an appeal due to unusual and/or mitigating circumstances is approved.
  • Students are responsible for knowing the SAP eligibility criteria and their status at the end of each term. They may contact the Financial Aid Office if questions arise.

Units Attempted and Units Earned

  • To successfully complete units in general education courses, the student must receive a grade of “D” or better, or “P” in a pass/fail course. To success- fully complete units in Art Studio courses, as well as English Composition and Critical Reasoning courses, the student must receive a grade of “C” or better. Grades “NP,” “I,” and “RD” do not count as successful completion of units until replaced by a passing grade.
  • Courses transferred from other institutions will be counted toward the maximum total units attempted to complete degree requirements.
  • If the student registers for a class but drops it by the Add/Drop Deadline, it does not count as units attempted. Any classes which are dropped after the Add/Drop Deadline but before the Withdrawal deadline will result in the grade of “W” and will count as units attempted and not completed. Grades of “W” do not affect the student’s GPA.
  • Repeated courses are counted as both units attempted and units completed for SAP purposes and the GPA will only reflect the highest grade.
  • Remedial courses are not counted as units attempted or units completed, and they have no affect on GPA.
  • Audited Courses are not counted as units attempted or units completed, and they have no affect on GPA. They are also not counted for enrollment purposes.
  • If it becomes mathematically impossible for a student to complete his program before he reaches the maximum allowable number of units attempted, then he will be disqualified from receiving financial aid.
  • Failed courses will count as units attempted and not as units earned.

Changes In Major

A change in your major does not extend eligibility for financial assistance.

Study Abroad

All credit hours applicable to the current degree program attempted during Study Abroad terms will count as both units attempted and units earned.

Students Seeking Additional LCAD Degrees in Different Programs at the Same Level

If a student has already earned a degree from LCAD and returns to earn another degree in a different major, the SAP requirements will be exactly the same as for any transfer student (units transferred in will count as units completed and units attempted).

Entering Students

Students with no enrollment history in a degree program at LCAD will enter on SAP good standing and will qualify for aid if otherwise eligible. All work accepted for transfer by LCAD will be included in the SAP calculation.

Returning Students

All returning students will re-enter at the SAP status earned at the end of their last LCAD enrollment. Students cannot reestablish eligibility simply by taking terms off from LCAD.

Probation and Suspension

All students who fail to maintain SAP will be placed on SAP probation for the following academic year. During this time, they will remain eligible for financial aid. If good SAP status is not achieved by the end of the academic year, they will be placed on SAP suspension and no financial aid will be awarded. The student must either achieve good SAP status or file a successful appeal to regain eligibility.

Appeals and Reinstatement

  • SAP Suspension may be appealed if unusual and/or mitigating circumstances affected academic progress. Such circumstances may include a severe illness or injury to the student or an immediate family member; the death of a student’s relative; student activation for military service; or other circumstances as deemed appropriate for consideration by the Academic Standing Committee consisting of two Deans, the Registrar, and the Director of Financial Aid and Student Services.
  • The student must submit an appeal on the official LCAD Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office by July 1. Appeal forms are available on the LCAD web site or in the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must explain the special circumstances that led to the student not meeting SAP requirements. The Academic Standing Committee will review the appeal and the student will receive a response within two weeks from the date of submission.
  •  The Academic Standing Committee’s decision result will be sent to the student by postal mail and by electronic mail.
  • Students that have their appeal approved have one semester to meet SAP requirements or they will be suspended from financial aid. During their approved appeal semester, they will be eligible to receive financial aid.
  • Appeal approvals will not result in retroactive funding.
  • Academic Standing Committee decisions are final and cannot be appealed to another source.
  • At the end of each semester, the Financial Aid Office will evaluate students who have been suspended from financial aid. Once a student again meets SAP requirements, their financial aid will be reinstated. The student will be eligible for Pell and SEOG for the payment period in which the student resumes SAP. The student will be eligible for federal loans for the entire period of enrollment in which the student resumes SAP.

Return of Title IV Funds

According to federal guidelines (Section 668.22 of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998), withdrawing students who have received Title IV financial aid will have their financial aid recalculated according to the following guidelines:

Only the amount of financial aid that has been earned (disbursed or could have been disbursed) based on the prorated amount of time the student has been in school for the semester will be retained on the student’s behalf. Any aid that is not earned (based on the prorated amount of time) must be returned to the appropriate federal account/lender.

For example, if a student receiving $10,141 in federal aid completes 20% of the semester, they would have earned that percentage and the approved federal aid ($2,028) therefore, 80% ($8,113) of the disbursed aid remains “unearned” and must be returned to the federal programs. The college would refund 80% of the tuition charges (i.e if tuition charges of $4,200, the refund would be $3,360) to the appropriate federal program. No tuition refund would be disbursed to the student until Title IV (federal loans/grants) funds are repaid. A student withdrawing after the 60% point has earned 100% of the disbursed federal aid. Any unearned funds disbursed to the student in the federal loan programs would be repaid based on the terms of the borrower’s promissory note.

The date of withdrawal is the date the College receives notification (e.g., submitting a withdrawal request form or any other form of communication such as email or telephone call) from the student on their intent to withdrawal. In cases of an unofficial withdrawal, meaning the student has not notified the college of their intent to withdrawal, the Bursar’s Office will work with the Registrar’s Office and the student’s faculty to determine the last date of attendance and retroactively process a pro rata tuition calculation and R2T4 as needed.

The amount of refundable institutional charges (tuition and fees) will be set by school policy. The College’s treatment of tuition and other fees related to student withdrawal may be found in the student handbook. If there is a balance due resulting from the calculation of unearned aid, the student may be responsible for payment.

For students who have received federal financial aid, any refundable portion of tuition and fee costs that have been covered by a Federal Direct Loan will be refunded directly to the lender, who will credit it against the student’s outstanding balance.

The Financial Aid Office determines specific amounts according to applicable federal regulations. If the calculation shows that the student had eligibility for aid that had not yet been disbursed, the student will be given the option of receiving those funds. The applicable tuition and fees are listed in the student handbook. Non-mandatory fees are not included in the refund calculation.

Study Abroad Policy

Students may use their aid to study abroad for a maximum of one year. Students who study abroad are not eligible to receive any institutional funds (LCAD Institutional Grant, LCAD Grant, and any other funds awarded by the LCAD Scholarship Committee) during their time abroad. Here is a summary of additional study abroad policies.

  • A 30-unit residency must be completed at LCAD before going abroad.
  • Mandatory senior year in residence at LCAD.
  • No institutional grant will be awarded during residency abroad.
  • Student may use their federal and state aid while abroad.
  • Student must complete the Study Abroad Expense Budget Form in the Financial Aid Office to get their aid approved.
  • Student must have their classes to be taken abroad approved by the appropriate program chair before going abroad.


Class Standing

  • Freshmen – 0–27 units completed
  • Sophmore – 28–60 units completed
  • Junior – 61–93 units completed
  • Senior – 94–122 units completed


Annual Loan Limits

Direct Stafford Subsidized Loans

  • Freshmen – $3,500
  • Sophmore – $4,500
  • Junior/Senior – $5,500

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
(Less Any Direct Stafford Subsidized Loans Awarded)

  • Freshmen – $5,500
  • Sophmore – $6,500
  • Junior/Senior – $7,500


Additional Unsubsidized Funding

(For Independent Students and Students whose parents are denied a PLUS loan)

  • Freshmen/Sophmore – $4,000
  • Junior/Senior – $5,000