Office of Financial Aid

Applying to Art School

Increasing opportunities for student access and success in higher education.

The mission of the Office of Financial Aid is to foster the educational goals of Cornish students by focusing on increasing opportunities for student access and success in higher education. We seek to assist students by providing information on student eligibility, types of aid available, cost of attendance, and policies and guidelines for federal, state, and institutional programs. We understand that your education is a big investment, which is why Cornish offers a full range of funding options, including Merit and Need-Based aid.

The Office of Financial Aid is located in the Main Campus Center on the third floor. We are located behind the Cashier’s Window.

Gold medallion with the text "College Cost Transparency Initiative partner"Cornish College of the Arts is committed to using the Principles & Standards of the College Cost Transparency Initiative in its student financial aid offer. The Official Aid Offer will be available on Compass for current students to view. Once a student’s offer has been generated, an e-mail will be sent to the student’s Cornish email, stating the offer is available to be viewed. For new admits, your offers will be available to view via your Admissions Portal.

Financial Assistance

Cornish offers financial assistance to undergraduate students using both merit-based and need-based aid. Admitted students are automatically considered with no extra steps to apply. Each year, Cornish awards over 3.5 million in scholarships to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. 98% of admitted students receive funding assistance. Both United States Citizens and International students are eligible for Cornish scholarships

At Cornish, we take pride in the level of individual attention and support we give to each applicant. We partner with students and their parents/guardians to help make the Cornish education affordable for all families. If you are concerned about the cost of a college degree, we encourage you to contact us. Financial aid counseling is an important step in determining where you will attend college.

Getting Started: The Financial Aid Process

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), supported by the Department of Education, to apply for Federal Grants, Work Study and Stafford Loans. You can locate the FAFSA on  Students who are US citizens/eligible non-citizens only need to complete the FAFSA.  

Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA), supported by the State of Washington, to apply for State Grants or Work Study. You can find the WASFA here.  

An individual should complete the WASFA if: you are an undocumented students living in Washington state, do not have a SSN, or do not qualify for federal financial aid due to immigration status.  By completing this form, you are eligible to receive Washington State Aid.

FAFSA: Getting Started

Updates on 2024-25 FAFSA

The Department of Education (DOE) made an announcement this week that there would be further delays regarding the 2024-25 FAFSA process.  The DOE officially announced that all colleges will not be receiving FAFSA applicant data until the first half of March (at the earliest).  This is not a Cornish delay; it is a delay impacting all higher education institutions in the US.

What does this mean to you? Unfortunately, due to this recent delay, the Office of Financial Aid is unable to view your individual FAFSA data to be able to assist with specific questions related to your specific eligibility and funding.  Also, because of this missing information we are unable to provide Official Offers for financial aid until colleges can receive and process this information.

What can you do? In the meantime, if you haven’t already, please complete the 2024-25 FAFSA. Students as well as contributors are required to be signed up for an FSA ID.

Lastly, there are some known issues that are preventing students from completing the FAFSA successfully.  If this is happening to you, please email so we can assist with next steps, if a workaround is available.

We understand this news from the DOE is unfortunate but please know the Cornish College or the Arts’ Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to providing timely updates to students, families, and our community.  Due to the significant amount of changes that are occurring, we know there might be questions and we will continue to update information that is received from the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid.  We are here to help you and we appreciate and thank you for your patience as we work to implement the changes brought by the FAFSA Simplification Act.

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Types of Financial Aid

Scholarships Grants and Work Study Loans + Payment Plans


Click here if you’re looking for information on Student Accounts.

The Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is a critical piece of determining financial need as it sets a limit on total aid a student may receive for federal, state and most institutional aid. COA is an estimate of the expenses you might encounter while attending Cornish College of the Arts. Your COA includes more than just tuition and fees, which are considered direct costs.

Books, supplies, personal expenses and transportation costs are estimates of your actual expenses and included for the purpose of determining the full cost of attendance and eligibility for aid. They are not part of your bill. These are indirect costs. The amounts are based on a survey of current students. If your actual expenses are significantly higher than the allowances, you can submit documentation of your costs to the Financial Aid Office; we may be able to adjust your budget and increase your financial aid eligibility.

Your student budget is the amount of money we estimate you will need for tuition, books and living expenses for the nine-month academic year (September–May).

Below are the components that are listed on your offer for financial aid that make up the Cost of Attendance:

This is the average amount of tuition based on a full time undergraduate student. Tuition rates are the same for in-state residents and out of state students.

Required fees are ones that all students at Cornish are charged based on the campus attending.

Housing and Meals
An allowance for housing and meals (formerly referred to as room and board) are related expenses included in your cost of attendance. They are commonly referred to as living expenses. Housing refers to the average billed housing charge per student. The meal plan is based on receiving 3 meals per day for a full 7-day week. Remember this is not your actual charge for housing and meals, please contact Student Accounts for the actual amount due.

Books & supplies
Books and supplies include required items needed for your classes.

Miscellaneous expenses
Miscellaneous expenses include items such as clothing, entertainment, recreation, and miscellaneous personal items.

Transportation costs assume that students are primarily using their bus pass commute to campus. The allowance does include costs for travel home a few times per semester, ride shares, and shared fuel expenses.

Loan fees
For students who take out any portion of their Federal Stafford loan, this is the average origination fee per student.

Computer Allowance
The computer allowance and additional Housing and Meals for students with dependents is for certain students and means that students can borrow more in private loans or Parent Plus loans by $3,000 for the first year. This is not a charge the students pay for out of pocket.

The computer allowance is based on past history from departments and only certain departments require updated laptops for classes based on the class schedule.

2024-25 Cost of Attendance

Expense Category
All Undergraduate Students
Expense Category:
Tuition & Fees
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
Housing & Meals
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
Books & Supplies
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
Loan Fees
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
All Undergraduate Students:
Expense Category:
All Undergraduate Students:
*First Year Students in Film + Media, Design, and Art will have their Cost of Attendance increased by $3,000 to allow for additional computer expenses.
Expense Category:
All Undergraduate Students:
*Students with Dependents final Cost of Attendance will be $65,964. An additional $3,000 will be added to Housing and Meals.


Tuition at Cornish College of the Arts is $41,684 for the 2024-2025 Academic Year.

Click below for information about tuition payments, refunds, and other matters related to Student Accounts:

View Tuition Breakdown

Student Financial Services Handbook

This handbook displays all Financial Aid and Student Accounts policies, including information on keeping your financial aid, information on refunds and financial aid returns, and important deadlines.

2024/25 Handbook is now available:

Student Financial Services Handbook 2024-25

Previous Handbooks:

2023 – 2024

2022 – 2023

Frequently Asked Questions: Financial Aid

Need more Info?

We understand that navigating Financial Aid has a lot of moving parts, therefore we put together this FAQ to assist. If you have any questions not answered by this FAQ, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via the form below.

Find Our Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions not answered by this FAQ, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with the form below.



In Person Office Hours
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Virtual Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Telephone: 206-726-5035