Applying for Financial Aid

Make sure to complete the following steps to complete your financial aid process.

1. Determine Your Financial Aid Eligibility

In order to be eligible for financial aid, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or an eligible non-citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Enroll in an eligible degree program with at least six or more credits
  • Not owe a repayment on a grant or be in default on a student loan
  • Have financial need as determined by the Federal Need Analysis after submitting your FAFSA
  • Register with Selective Service, if required and if male
  • Attend a Title IV-approved institution
  • Work toward a degree or a certification program
  • Meet DigiPen's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy requirements

2. Submit the FAFSA

To apply for financial aid, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must submit a FAFSA each year for which you are seeking financial aid.

If you are a dependent student, you will need to provide some of your parents’ information on the FAFSA.

You can submit your FAFSA online as early as October 1 the year before you plan to attend.

Instructions for filling out the FAFSA can be found on the FAFSA website or on the Federal Student Aid website. Please note that the Federal School Code for DigiPen Institute of Technology is 037243.

After submitting your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in your mail or email. Once you receive your SAR, ensure all the information is correct. By providing the DigiPen school code on your FAFSA, a copy of your SAR will automatically be sent to DigiPen's Office of Financial Aid.

3. Search for Scholarships

Throughout the financial aid process, search for private scholarships you are eligible for that are relevant to your skills and interests. For suggested scholarship search engines to aid your search, see the Scholarships page.

4. Accept Your Financial Aid Award

Once your FAFSA has been submitted and processed by the Department of Education and DigiPen’s Office of Financial Aid, you will receive a financial aid award letter notification via email around the same time that you receive your letter of acceptance to DigiPen. You must accept or decline the award letter on SRS. See Disbursement of Loans for more information.

Financial Aid Tips

Read and review the following financial aid checklist and timeline to assist your financial aid process and keep tabs on the progress of your financial aid application.

We recommend you submit your FAFSA as early as possible after January 1 — at least three months prior to when you expect to enter school. You may begin the process at any time; however, financial aid will not be awarded until you have been accepted to your school of choice.

Physical FAFSA forms are available upon request only. If you need a physical FAFSA form, call 1-800-4-FEDAID or ask your high school counselor for a copy.

If you want to estimate your financial aid before beginning the full process, feel free to use the DigiPen Net Price Calculator or the Department of Education's FAFSA4caster, either of which can estimate the amount of aid you and your family may be eligible for.

We’re happy to assist you with the FAFSA at any time in the process. If you’re not sure what to do next, there are circumstances surrounding your FAFSA, or your circumstances have changed since filing your FAFSA, simply contact a financial aid administrator and we’ll help as much as we can.

Terms and Definitions

It is important to know and understand the following terms and definitions while applying for financial aid.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

The cost of attendance (COA) includes both direct expenses and indirect expenses related to your education at DigiPen.

Direct expenses include tuition, fees, and student housing. These expenses appear on your DigiPen billing statement.

Indirect expenses include textbooks and supplies, personal equipment (such as a computer), travel, and other personal expenses. These expenses do not appear on your billing statement.

Dependent vs. Independent Students

Most students applying to DigiPen right after high school are dependent students, and must submit their parents’ financial information with the FAFSA.

If you meet any of the following criteria, you are considered an independent student and do not need to provide your parents' information on the FAFSA:

  • you were born before Jan. 1, 1993,
  • you are married,
  • you are a veteran,
  • you are a ward of the court,
  • you are a graduate or professional student,
  • or you have children or legal dependents other than a spouse.

Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)

Your estimated family contribution (EFC) is the amount the government expects your family to contribute toward your higher education costs based on the information you provided on your FAFSA.

Financial Need

Your financial need is determined by subtracting your expected family contribution (EFC) listed on your FAFSA from the school’s estimated cost of attendance (COA). The difference is your financial need. Based on this formula, families with the highest financial need are expected to contribute less to the COA and are eligible for a greater percentage of grant assistance and other need-based financial aid.

If your EFC exceeds the COA or you have been considered for all need-based financial aid but still cannot fully fund the entire COA, you will be eligible for non-need-based loans like the Unsubsidized Direct Loan and/or PLUS Loan.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time Financial Aid

To receive your full financial aid package, you must be enrolled on a full-time basis (12 credit hours per semester for undergraduates, nine credit hours per semester for graduates). In order for an undergraduate student to complete his or her degree program in the typical four years, the student must take an average of 16–20 credits per semester.

Part-time students may also receive financial aid, but your award amount will be adjusted based on the number of credits in which you are enrolled. If you enroll on a part-time basis you must notify the Office of Financial Aid of your expected enrollment before the beginning of each term.

Most financial aid programs will not approve aid for less than half-time enrollment (less than six credits per term for either undergraduates or graduates).

Multiple Degree Programs

Generally, students can receive financial aid for only one degree program at DigiPen Institute of Technology. To request funding for a second degree, a student must submit an appeal along with an Educational Plan, including credit evaluation and transferability of credits from the first degree to the second degree. If the appeal is denied, a student is not eligible for financial aid, but may be able to apply for alternative loans.

Transfer Students

Credits from prior schools that are accepted and applied toward a degree at DigiPen Institute of Technology will be counted in the total maximum time frame limits of eligibility for aid at DigiPen. Until an official Transfer Credit Evaluation is completed by DigiPen’s Registrar’s Office, all prior credits will be assumed to be transferable for financial aid purposes.

Contact Financial Aid

Phone: (425) 629-5002
Fax: (425) 558-0378

Financial Aid questions:

Scholarship questions:

Veteran Benefits questions:

Federal School Code:

FAFSA Online:

Application Tools and Resources