Academy of Art University Cost: A Detailed Guide

The Academy of Art University is a privately-owned art school located in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1929 and currently has over 17,000 students from all over the world, making it one of the largest art schools in the country. If you’re considering attending AAU, you’re likely wondering about its cost. In this detailed guide, we’ll break down what you can expect to pay to attend AAU.

Academy of Art University Cost: A Detailed Guide

Tuition and Fees

First and foremost, let’s discuss tuition and fees at AAU. The cost varies depending on what program you’re interested in pursuing. For example, undergraduate tuition for the 2021-22 academic year is $28,656 per year for full-time students taking between 12-18 credit hours per semester. Graduate tuition is $32,382 per academic year (based on a nine-month academic calendar) for full-time students.

In addition to tuition costs, there are also fees that students must pay. These include:

  • Application Fee: $50
  • Enrollment Fee: $250
  • Student Services Fee: $420 per semester
  • Technology Fee: $100 per semester

These fees are typically charged each semester and must be paid by a certain deadline to avoid late fees.

Room and Board

If you plan on living on campus at AAU or in university-sponsored housing off-campus, you’ll need to factor in room and board costs as well. For the 2021-22 academic year, the room and board rates at AAU are as follows:

  • Standard Double Room: $14,820 per academic year
  • One-Bedroom Apartment: Starts at $19,260 per academic year
  • Two-Bedroom Apartment: Starts at $25,260 per academic year

These costs include all utilities (electricity, water, gas, and trash) and internet service. However, meal plans are not included in these costs.

Books and Supplies

In addition to tuition, fees, and room and board costs, you’ll also need to budget for books and supplies. The cost of these materials can vary significantly depending on your major. For example, art majors may need to purchase expensive supplies like paints and canvases. On average, students at AAU spend about $1,500 per year on books and supplies.

Additional Costs

There are also some additional costs that you should be aware of if you’re considering attending AAU. These include:

  • Transportation: Depending on where you live off-campus or whether you plan to drive your car while attending the school.
  • Health Insurance: All full-time undergraduate students are required to have health insurance.
  • Personal Expenses: This covers anything from clothing to entertainment expenses.

It’s important to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for the total cost of attendance at AAU.

Financial Aid

Thankfully, there are many financial aid options available for those who want to attend AAU but cannot afford the full cost of tuition. Some examples include:

  • Scholarships: There are a variety of scholarships available based on academic merit as well as talent in specific areas (e.g., fine arts).
  • Grants: Students may be eligible for federal Pell grants or other need-based grants.
  • Loans: Students may be eligible for government-backed student loans.

Students who wish to apply for financial aid can do so by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It’s important to note that some scholarships require separate applications.


Attending the Academy of Art University is a worthwhile investment if you’re interested in pursuing a career in the arts. While it may seem daunting at first glance, there are many options available to help make the cost of attendance more manageable. By budgeting carefully, applying for scholarships and financial aid, and taking advantage of work-study programs or other part-time job opportunities, you can make AAU a reality.


How much does it cost to enroll at Academy of Art University?

The cost of enrollment at Academy of Art University varies depending on the program and whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, or online student. Undergraduates can expect to pay $24,664 per year for tuition and fees, while graduate students will pay $27,955 per year. Online students will pay a flat rate of $881 per credit hour for all programs

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