Tuition & Scholarships

MFA-IA Exhibition Space Winter 2017

Direct Costs 2021-2022

The following is an approximate Fall and Spring semester cost projection for a full-time graduate student:

August Residency & Fall Semester 2021
Tuition and Fees $10,364.00
January Residency & Spring Semester 2022
Tuition and Fees $10,364.00
Total Yearly Cost $20,728


Further tuition and fee information can be found in the current SNU Graduate Catalog.

Sierra Nevada University recognizes the importance of financial assistance plays in helping students meet the goals of their artistic education.

Our MFA-IA program provides a variety of merit, need, and material-based scholarships as well as teaching assistantships and travel stipends to support students while they study. In addition, we keep an active listing of external resources for funding and encourage students to creatively engage the specific resources of their home community in sustaining their practice.
Graduate Financial Aid at Sierra Nevada University

Available Scholarships

For questions, please call (775) 881-7525 or email Anza at

Starland Portfolio Tuition Scholarship

The Starland Portfolio Tuition Scholarship is the MFA-IA’s most prestigious student award. By submitting your application to the MFA-IA program, you are automatically placed in consideration for this award.

Based on the quality of an incoming student’s portfolio, he or she may be awarded a scholarship to be used towards tuition. Once awarded, this scholarship will be automatically granted to the student for four consecutive terms.

Streamline Travel and Residency Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to selected students each term to offset residency and travel costs. Student financial need will be a significant factor in eligibility for this award.

DBC Creative Problem-Solving Award

This award supports projects that span the duration of one or more terms. It is awarded based on the quality of project proposals and honors creative solutions to the challenges of the contemporary artist working today.

J. Jewel Material-based Award

This award is granted to selected students for materials for short-term projects and is designed to promote innovative thinking, specifically in the creation of the art object.

Other SNU MFA-IA Opportunities

“You are Here” Teaching Assistant Award

This award offers regional artists who demonstrate an ability to mentor to be considered for a teaching assistantship within undergraduate programming at SNU.

Ygor Lab Assistantship

This award offers regional artists with good organizational and problem-solving skills to be considered for lab manager positions on campus, which will vary in the funding amounts available.

Perspectives on Design Award

The SNU Perspectives On Design Award for Outstanding Student Artist of the Year is an annual award that showcases the work of graduating Sierra Nevada University student artist(s). It has been funded by anonymous donors who have a deep love for higher education and are committed to supporting emerging artists as they continue their artistic endeavors. The award, presented at Sierra Nevada University Commencement in May of each year, recognizes extraordinary graduating artist(s) with a stipend of $2,500 to offset the costs of art supplies and incidentals related to art-making during the year following graduation. For more information, please click here.

Outside Scholarship/Financial Aid Links

  • College Affordability Guide: How to Pay for Grad School

    Please note
    : deadlines are based on information available at the time of research. Please check the website for exact deadlines
  • AIGA
    Focus:  Illustration and Photography
    Amt available:  $2 – $5K
    Deadline:  end of April
    Notes:  More design focused than fine arts focused. Minority candiates with financial need preferred. Their mission is to “Encourage social and environmental responsibility and cultural awareness in the next generation of artists and designers.”
  • AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships
    Focus:  Photography, Ilustration, & Graphic Design. Minority and economically disadvantaged students
    Amt available:  $2,000 – $3,000
    Deadline:  mid-April each year for following school year
    Notes:  “AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships benefit minority and economically disadvantaged students who are studying photography, illustration, and design disciplines in colleges and universities in the United States. Scholarships are awarded annually to encourage social and environmental responsibility and cultural awareness in the next generation of artists and designers. Our primary aims are to increase diversity in the creative professions, and to foster social and environmental responsibility in the artists, designers, and studios of tomorrow. Scholarship recipients are selected not only for their talent and their need, but also for their demonstrated commitment to giving back to the larger community through their work.”
  • Alfred G. and Elma M. Milotte Scholarship
    Focus (if any):  US Citizens who are fascinated by nature and are expressing it artistically
    Amt available:  up to $4,000
    Deadline:  March 31
    Notes:  “U.S, citizens, who are profoundly fascinated by nature, and have successfully expressed their observations in an artistic mode that engages the everyday person.” Applicants must have been a resident of the state of Washington for at least five years prior to applying.
  • American Indian Graduation Center
    Focus (if any):  ONE program for Native American women pursing a degree in Fine Arts
    Amt available:  $500 – $5,000
    Deadline:  June 1
  • American Indian Graudate Center: The Elizabeth Furger Fellowship
    Focus (if any):  Native women student the creative fine arts
    Amt available:  Varies
    Deadline: June 1
    Notes:  Must be from an American Indian tribe or Alaska Native group OR provide documentation of ancestry to possession of one-fourth degree Indian blood of a federally recognized tribe. There may be other opportunities on the AIGC website as well.
  • Awesome Foundation
    Focus (if any):  Project based
    Amt available:  $1,000
    Deadline:  Monthly
    Notes:  Several chapters all over the country, each of whom gives $1,000 each month for projects that they think are awesome. Funding for a final project? Alumni opportunity?
  • Bill Raskob Foundation
    Focus (if any):  No interest loans
    Amt available:  See website
    Deadline:  Jan 1 – May 15 annually
  • Cobell Scholarships
    Focus (if any):  Native Ameriacn Students
    Amt available:  varies
    Deadline:  varies
    Notes:  Cobell Scholarships for Native American students. Both merit and need based. See website for more info and deadlines
  • College Art Association Development Fellowship in Visual Arts
    Focus (if any):  MFA students
    Amt available:  $10,000
    Deadline:  October 15
    Notes:  “CAA’s Professional Development Fellowship in visual arts supports graduate students who are completing the MFA degree or other terminal degree programs. Fellows are honored with a one-time, unrestricted grant to help them with various aspects of their work, as an artist, designer and/or craftsperson, whether it be for job-search expenses or purchasing materials for their studio art/design practice. Fellows also receive a free one-year CAA membership and complimentary registration to the next Annual Conference. Honorable Mentions, given at the discretion of the jury, receive a free one-year CAA membership and complimentary registration for the next Annual Conference.”
  • College Fund
    Focus (if any):  Native American students
    Amt available:  $1,000
    Deadline:  May 31
    Notes:  $1,000 for enrolled tribe members.
  • Dedalus Foundation
    Focus (if any):  Painting and Sculpture, Final year of MFA
    Amt available:  $15,000
    Deadline:  Jan 15 (opens in October)
    Notes:  The Dedalus Foundation Master of Fine Arts Fellowship in Painting and Sculpture is awarded annually to final-year students who are graduating from an M.F.A. degree program in the US. Candidacy for the fellowship is by nomination only. Each fall, department chairpersons from M.F.A. programs in painting and sculpture are invited to submit nominations. Each institution may nominate two candidates. Nominees should be graduating in the spring semester that directly follows the fall nominating cycle. Once nominations are submitted to the Foundation, nominees will receive application guidelines from us via e-mail. Nominees are asked to submit JPGs of eight work samples, a description of the work, and a biographical statement.
  • Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation
    Focus (if any):  Figurative Artists. Ages 18 – 41. Student or emerging artists
    Amt available:  Canadian $15K (but anyone can apply)
    Deadline:  see website
    Notes:  Fine arts or studio arts. See details on the website about fit. This is not only a scholarship program; alumni could also apply.
  • Handweavers Guild of America
    Focus (if any):  Fiber Arts
    Amt available:  $4,000 or more
    Deadline:  February 1
  • Herb Society
    Focus (if any):  Art related to herbs.
    Amt available:  Up to $5,000
    Deadline:  January 31 (decision in May)
    Notes:  For an artistic approach for the study of herbs.
  • Indian Affairs
    Focus (if any):  Native American Stenes
    Amt available:  varies
    Deadline:  varies
    Notes:  Scholarships for enrolled tribe members.
  • Intl Furnishings and Design Assocation
    Focus (if any):  Furntture Design
    Amt available:  Varies
    Deadline:  March (varies depending on opportunity)
    Notes:  Furniture Design (see website for options)
    Focus (if any):  Unitarians who are pursuing a fine art degree
    Amt available:  see website
    Deadline:  February 15
    Notes:  The Marion Barr Stanfield Art Scholarship is for graduate or undergraduate Unitarian Universalist students preparing for a career in fine arts (painting, drawing, photography, and/ or sculpture). Scholarships are awarded for one year; however students may reapply each year if they wish to continue receiving financial assistance. Scholarship winners are notifed in May for the academic year that begins the following September.
  • Milotte Scholarship Fund
    Focus (if any):  To individuals who share their enthusiasm for exploring, chronicling and spreading the magnificence of the wilderness through artistic communication
    Amt available:  $4,000
    Deadline:  March 31
    Notes:  “Have been a resident of Washington for at least 5 years at the time of applying.”
  • Native Partners
    Focus (if any):  Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian students
    Amt available:  $2,500
    Deadline:  varies
    Notes:  For Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian students who are accepted into an accredited U.S. graduate school.
  • Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Aid Assistance
    Focus (if any):  Students of Navajo Descent
    Amt available:  $5K – $10K
    Deadline:  varies
    Notes:  Several different grant opportunity for students of Navajo descent
  • Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
    Focus (if any):  “immigrants and children of immigrants who are pursuing graduate school in the United States.”
    Amt available:  $90,000
    Deadline:  Spring each year
    Notes:  “The rigorous selection process is focused on identifying the most promising New Americans who are poised to make significant contributions to the nation through their work. In addition, the selection team looks for a commitment to the United States’ fundamental principles and ideals. The Fellows can study in any degree-granting program. Selection is based on merit – the specific selection criteria emphasize creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishment. Neither financial need nor distributive considerations are taken into account in the selection process. Each Fellows attends two weekend conferences of Fellows.”
  • Point Foundation
    Focus (if any):  LBGTQ grad student (no specific area)
    Deadline:  late January (for following school year)
    Notes:  A person active in the LBGTQ community “proven track record of leadership and community involvement” who is “working for betterment of the LGBTQ community.” The person should also have financial need.
  • Pride Foundation
    Focus (if any):   LGBTQ+ students
    Amt available:  $1,000 – $2,000
    Deadline:  January general (but check for details)
    Notes:  Must be an LGBTQ+ student from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Various opportunities at this website.
  • Princess Grace Foundation
    Focus (if any):  Film (thesis project, etc)
    Amt available:  $15K – $30K
    Deadline:  June each year (for work beginning in August of the same year)
    Notes:  Must have a letter of recommendation from someone at the University.
  • Princess Grace Foundation: Stephen Hillenburg Animation Scholarship
    Focus (if any):  Animation (thesis project, etc)
    Amt available:  $15K – $30K
    Deadline:  June each year (for work beginning in August of the same year)
    Notes:  Must have a letter of recommendation from someone at the University
  • Stacey Scholarship Fund
    Focus (if any):  Arts
    Amt available:  $500 – $5,000
    Deadline:  February 1
    Notes:  “The scholarship, known as The John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship Fund, is open to United States citizens only, both men and women, single or married, irrespective of race creed or color. The age limit is between 18 and 35 years.”
  • TalNexus Scholarship
    Focus (if any):  Writing or Film
    Amt available:  $4,000
    Deadline:  May – September
    Notes:  “You are also automatically accepted into Taliesin Nexus’ Writers Workshop (or the Film Lab, if more applicable).  Our workshops are free, including tuition and room and board.  We also provide travel stipends of up to around $400 for those coming from out of state.”
  • University Film & Video Association: Carol Fielding Student Grant
    Focus (if any):  Film/Video
    Amt available:  Unclear
    Deadline:  December 15
    Notes:  A faculty member who is an active UFVA member must sponsor the applicant. Categories are narrative, documentary, experimental, animation, new media, and research. 


Structure & Courses
Tuition & Scholarships

Sierra Nevada University
Interdisciplinary Arts
Low-Residency MFA


A small campus on the north shore of Lake Tahoe and online, wherever you are.


Anza Jarschke
Assistant Program Director
P: (775) 831-1314 ext. 7492


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