How Do I Pay for a Graphic Design Degree?

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pay for graphic design degreeEarning a graphic design degree appeals to a wide variety of prospective students who enjoy expressing themselves through art, communication, technology, and multimedia presentations. As testament to this, the American Institute of Graphic Arts states that degree choices in the graphic design field have expanded significantly over the past two decades. It also notes that due to the numerous types of programs in the field, aspiring graphic designers should be aware of variability factors that can affect degree options such as program types and related costs. Nevertheless, interested future graphic designers can still pursue their dreams with careful consideration of financial assistance opportunities.

Costs for Graphic Design Degrees

Expenses for a graphic design degree mostly depend on whether a student pursues an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral level program. Costs per credit increase with each degree level as do total expenses associated with longer degree completion times. Other cost-related factors center around program delivery models. For example, degrees acquired in traditional on-campus settings may run higher than online programs. Residency status also affects tuition, with out-of-state assessments usually being more expensive than in-state rates. Students can expect to pay between $6,000 to $10,000 for two-year associate’s programs at community colleges while four-year baccalaureate programs at accredited schools can range from $10,000 to $40,000 per year.

Government Tuition Assistance Programs

Graphic design students can apply for all forms of federal and state financial aid available to cooperating schools that meet eligibility requirements for government programs. Criteria for financial assistance may be based on economic or demographic status, achievement levels, or membership in certain groups like the military. Financial assistance programs can be geared towards undergraduate or graduate programs and benefit qualifying students across multiple programs of study. Following are examples of federal or state programs that graphic design students can consider:

-Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA
-Federal Work Study Program
-Federal Pell Grants
-Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
-Federal PLUS parent or graduate loans
-Federal Stafford or Perkins subsidized loans
-William D. Ford Direct Loans
-Tuition assistance for active duty personnel
-GI Bill programs and scholarships through the Veterans Benefits Administration
-State programs like the Maine Graphic Arts Association Scholarship
-Tuition assistance programs through regional and local agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce

Non-Governmental Financial Assistance Opportunities

Additional avenues of tuition assistance come from educational institutions where students enroll or private sources such as employers or local businesses. Graphic design students should check out the following tuition assistant possibilities:

-Employer tuition reimbursement plans for completing coursework required for the job
-University or department sponsored work study programs
-University or department sponsored grants, scholarships or loans
-The Announcement Converters Graphic Design Scholarship
-Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship
-Woodward Communications Inc. Scholarship
-Frame My Future Scholarship Contest
-DAZ 3D Graphic Design Scholarship
Graphic Design Degree Hub Creativity Scholarship
-Design Sponge Scholarship Program
-Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute Four-Year College Scholarship Program
-Graphic Communications and Career Advancement Foundation Student Scholarship
WorldStudio AIGA Scholarships
-MVP Visuals Design Scholarship

These financing options allow aspiring graphic designers to make this dynamic career path a reality. The only considerations left are to investigate which accredited institutions offer the right formats and programs to earn a graphic design degree that delivers on personal career goals.

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