The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is supported by the Department of Education. You can apply for Grants, Work Study, and Student Loans through the Department of Education.

Students in Cafe

Priority Deadlines

October 1:

File the FAFSA online as early as possible beginning October 1. Financial Aid packages will continue to be awarded to qualifying students throughout the winter and spring. Financial aid and scholarships are available to all who apply and qualify, but some funds are distributed on a first-come first-serve basis.


December 15:
Early Admit Scholarship Deadline (Fall)

Cornish applications will be accepted until August 15 (fall semester) and December 15 (spring semester) as long as space is available in your major. At this time, space is available in all majors and we are accepting applications.


February 15
FAFSA Deadline

While the FAFSA deadline is February 15th, Cornish practice rolling admissions. However, you must have your application in by the deadline for the best Scholarship consideration. Please contact the Office of Admission if you have questions about the timing and process for admission. All incoming freshmen and transfer applicants must be admitted to the college in order to receive an offer of financial aid.



Getting Started: The Financial Aid Process

Note: the 2024-25 FAFSA will be delayed this year. It is estimated to open sometime in December, though no specific date has been released yet.

Incoming Students

Complete the FAFSA

  • Complete the FAFSA using Cornish College of the Arts school code 012315.
  • Student and parent contributor will create a new FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically.

Contributors (2024–25)

On the 2024–25 FAFSA form, a contributor refers to anyone (student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adoptive parent, or the parent’s spouse) who’s required to provide information on the FAFSA form. A student’s or parent’s answers on the FAFSA form will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information. Students or parents will invite a contributor to complete their portion of the FAFSA form by entering the contributor’s name, date of birth, SSN, and email address.

Note: If a contributor doesn’t have an SSN, they can still be invited to complete their portion of the FAFSA form. To invite a contributor who doesn’t have an SSN, the student or parent will indicate that the contributor doesn’t have an SSN and will instead provide the contributor’s address.

To complete the contributor’s portion of the FAFSA form, the contributor will

  • Receive an email informing them that they’ve been identified as a contributor
  • Create a account if they don’t already have one
  • Review information about completing their section of the FAFSA form
  • Provide the required personal and financial information and consent and approval on the student’s FAFSA form.

IMPORTANT: A parent or spouse contributor is not financially responsible for the student’s education costs. However, if a required contributor refuses to provide their information and consent and approval, the FAFSA form will be incomplete, and the student will be ineligible for federal student aid.

Completing the WASFA

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.   To apply, complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). Funds are limited, so apply as soon as possible. Completing the WASFA also allows you to be considered for Cornish institutional aid. Need help completing the WASFA? You can find instructions here.  

Additional Clarification or Missing Information

If the Office of Financial Aid needs additional or clarifying information from you based on your FAFSA, you will receive an email directly from a financial aid counselor. Please make sure you are responding with the appropriate information as soon as possible. This will ensure that your financial aid file is processed in a timely manner. Also on your provisional offer letter posted on your Admissions Portal, it will list the specific document missing or a note detailing to Call the Financial Aid Office, again please make sure you are following up on these requests. Delayed responses will result in a delay of processing of your Official Financial Aid Offer.

Verification Documents

The Department of Education can select your FAFSA for a review process called Verification. Verification requires the college to collect additional documentation in order to review the information you reported on the FAFSA and confirm its accuracy (34 CFR, Part 668). Examples of additional documentation include: income information, number of people in the household, or citizenship status, to name a few. Any differences we resolve will be reported to the Department of Education as a correction to your FAFSA. Should this cause a change in your eligibility after you’ve been awarded, you will be notified by your advisor. We require Verification to be completed before aid is officially offered.

Cornish College of the Arts partners with a company called Inceptia in order to complete the Verification process. Inceptia will contact you and ask you to set up a profile on their website. Please follow their instructions and turn in any documents to them as soon as you can – we will work with them to make sure your file is complete, so let us know if you have any questions.

Inceptia will contact students within 48 hours of your file being reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid so you can set up an account with them, and they will ask you to use your student ID when logging in. If you have any other questions about Inceptia, please set up an appointment for Verification help here.

What to Report on the FAFSA

DO NOT report your scholarships or grants from Cornish on the FAFSA.

DO report your Work Study earnings on the FAFSA under “Taxable earnings from need-based employment programs, such as Federal Work Study…”

Offers for Financial Aid

This letter will detail the costs of attending Cornish College of the Arts for an academic year, as well as any grants, scholarships, work-study, or loans you are eligible to receive.  

After you have been admitted to Cornish and we have received your FAFSA and need no clarifications, the Office of Financial Aid will provide you with an Official Offer Award via your Admissions Portal.

If you have received a provisional offer, then the Office of Financial Aid is missing documentation to finalize your awards.  Until you receive an Official Offer award, you will be unable to accept your Federal Direct Loans or have any type of aid applied to your account.    

Federal Direct Loan Application Process

If you qualify for Federal Direct on your offer letter and you would like to accept them, you will need to complete the following steps:  

  • Entrance counseling ensures you understand the terms and conditions of your loan and your rights and responsibilities. You’ll learn what a loan is, how interest works, your options for repayment, and how to avoid delinquency and default.Complete the Online Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling at
  • Complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Undergraduates online at  
  • Complete and submit an Acceptance of Loans Form (Available on your Official Offer for Financial Aid.  It is located on the first page of the letter.)  This form needs to be submitted via Adobe Sign.  If you have any questions, please contact .

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

Important information regarding Loan Eligibility and Disbursements

  • You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits that apply to the degree you are pursuing at Cornish College of the Arts.
  • You must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements to qualify and remain eligible for loan funds. Please review the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Requirements available under the FAQs.  

Exit Counseling Requirements

All students who borrowed a federal loan are required to complete an exit counseling session upon completion of studies. Additionally, exit counseling is required for all students who meet the following criteria:

  • Students who have applied for graduation at Cornish. 
  • Students who complete less than 6 credits at the end of a quarter.  
  • Students who have registered for less than 6 credits for the quarter.  
  • Students who have had their aid canceled due to unsatisfactory academic progress

Exit counseling is available online at Exit counseling provides important information you will need as you prepare to repay your federal student loans.  Individual sessions can be scheduled with your counselor in the Office of Financial Aid. 

Parent PLUS Loans

This loan is available to the parent contributors of undergraduate students who have filed a FAFSA for the current academic year. The parent contributor borrower may borrow up to the amount of the total cost of education less the financial aid their student has been awarded.  

To Apply: Parent contributor borrowers apply for this loan online at The application opens on/after April 1st for each upcoming academic year. Parent contributors must use their own FSA ID to log in to the loan application.

Parent contributor borrowers must complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) before loan(s) will be processed and disbursed. Complete this step online at All loans must be processed and disbursed prior to the end of each academic semester.

Parent contributor borrowers who do not pass the credit check, can pursue an endorser or a credit override by calling the Direct Loan Applicant Services Center at 1-800-557-7394.  Or in the event that a Parent PLUS Loan is denied, the student is eligible for increased Unsubsidized Loan.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.  

After a Parent PLUS Loan has been disbursed, the Federal Department of Education assigns it to one of their loan servicers. That loan servicer will be responsible for answering questions about the parent contributor borrower’s loan account, processing deferments and forbearances and for sending out bills and processing loan payments. Parent contributor borrowers can go to and log in to find out which loan servicer is responsible for servicing their loans. 

Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed for the academic year. For instance, for an academic year that is two semesters, repayment begins 60 days after the Spring Semester disbursement in January.  However, the parent contributor borrower may request that payments be deferred while their student is enrolled by calling the loan servicer. Parent contributor borrowers can find the loan servicer contact information at

Private Educational Loans

If you do not have alternative funding options, you could consider a Private Loan. Private loans are non-federal loans issued by a private lender such as a bank or credit union. They require a credit check, and normally require the student borrower to have a cosigner.  Interest rates are generally variable and interest accrues while the student is in school. Generally, repayment of the loan can be deferred until the student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

ALWAYS exercise caution when selecting private lenders, and read the fine print. We are unable to recommend private lenders, but if you have questions about terminology or terms, please feel free to ask us.

You may access a list of lenders selected by Cornish students in the last three years at ELMSelect. Click on Program Type in the left margin and select Undergraduate.

Refund Information

If your financial aid is greater than the amount of your charges, we will issue you a refund via direct deposit – the earliest refunds available, depending on the completion of your financial aid, are by the end of the second week of classes. You will be asked to set up your account when you look at your bill.
If you withdraw from Cornish after the first week of class, you will be eligible to receive a prorated refund.  We may also be obligated to return a portion of your federal and state funding, depending on what time of the semester you drop your classes. The full refund schedule and more information on the return of government financial aid and is available in our Student Financial Services Handbook, located in Compass.


Current Students if you have any questions regarding financial aid, please view the FAQs page

Also you can view additional information you may have regarding financial aid via your Compass account under the Financial Aid tab.  As always if you have any questions, please make sure you are reaching out to your advisor or using the form below

Need More Info?

Check Out Our Financial Aid FAQs

Sometimes you’ll have a lot of questions about Financial Aid and everything that come with it. We put together this FAQ to help.

Cornish Students in Cafe joking around