Obligation for Payment

Enrollment constitutes a financial contract between a student and the San Francisco Art Institute. The student’s rights to services and benefits are contingent upon making all payments as agreed upon. If payments of amounts owed to SFAI are not made when they become due, SFAI has the right to cancel the student’s registration and/or administratively withdraw them from the current term; withhold their grades, transcripts, diplomas, scholastic certificates, and degrees; and impound their final exams. Failure to maintain good financial standing with SFAI will result in denied participation in any deferred payment plans and/or some forms of financial aid. In addition, balances due to SFAI are reported by our collection agencies, which may impact the student’s credit ratings.

Holds on Student Accounts

Prior to registering for a new term, a student must pay any outstanding balances from any preceding terms. If the student does not pay their outstanding balances or make payment arrangements satisfactory to SFAI, they will not be permitted to register.

Tuition and Fees

For more information on current tuition and fees, please visit the Tuition + Fees page.


New and Continuing Degree-Seeking Students

Tuition and fees for the Summer 2018 semester are due May 31, 2018.

Tuition and fees for the Fall 2018 semester are due August 1, 2018.

Your semester balance must be paid in full by this date unless covered by financial aid, or unless you have set up a payment plan with the Student Accounts Office.


Non-Degree Students

Tuition and fees are due in full at the time of registration. Payment may be made in the Student Accounts Office by cash, check, or credit card.

Tuition and fees for any class that is scheduled outside the first day of the regular semester session (i.e., travel classes such as Faculty-Led Programs) will be due according to specified due dates.


Faculty-Led Programs

The cost of off-campus Faculty-Led Programs is three units (more where applicable) of per-unit tuition costs, along with program course fees that vary by program.

Program course fees are charged to a student’s account at the time of registration and are due in full by the date noted on the individual program’s literature. All fees must be paid before departure. All deposits and fees for Faculty-Led Programs are nonrefundable.

Payment Plans

We offer alternative options for payment that must be chosen prior to the tuition due date. Tuition payment plans are only in effect for the current term, and must be renewed each semester.


Full Payment Option
Requires one payment after deducting financial aid.


Monthly Payment Option

Divides tuition, after deducting financial aid, into four monthly installments. Monthly payment plans are only available to students enrolled in six units or more per semester that are in good financial standing. Students who enroll in less than six units must pay in full at registration.


Methods of Payment

  • Tuition payments may be made by cash, check, credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express), debit card, ACH, wire transfer, or bank draft payable to “San Francisco Art Institute.”
  • Monthly payments may also be charged to a debit card, VISA, MasterCard, or American Express by installment plan and will be automatically charged on the first of each month.



  • An administrative fee of $25 will be charged for students selecting the monthly payment plan.
  • A $50 fee will be charged for returned checks.
  • Late fees of $25 per month will be charged for all delinquent payments received after the 15th of the month.



  • Interest will be charged at the rate of 0.83% per month on the outstanding balance after the published tuition payment due date.

Financial Aid Appeal

Financial Appeals Committee Process + Guidelines

A student who can document that extenuating life circumstances or changes adversely affected the ability to pay tuition for a specific academic year can file a financial appeal with the Financial Appeals Committee.

Students may only submit one appeal per academic year. No appeals will be reviewed from students who have submitted appeals within the current academic year. Currently enrolled students may not submit an appeal for a semester prior to the current academic year. Appeals are based on the following extenuating / unforeseen circumstances:

  • Death of an immediate family member which demonstrably impacts a student’s ability to pay tuition
  • Student required to take care of ill or disabled family member (student must provide documentation of illness or disability and need for continuing care)
  • Medical conditions that prevent the student from meeting financial obligation to the school
  • Involuntary change in employment or income beyond the student’s control

Tuition appeals will NOT be approved in the following instances:

  • Lack of knowledge or misinterpretation of SFAI policies and procedures as published in the Catalogue and on the SFAI website
  • Student’s errors in judgment or irresponsibility involving availability of finances, academic ability, or time management
  • Dissatisfaction with course content or delivery of instruction
  • Dissatisfaction with academic progress in course
  • Appeals of non-refundable fees
  • Loss of financial aid, grants or scholarships due to lack of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Please refer to the SAP guidelines for appeal.
  • Non-receipt of mail or email due to obsolete address on file with the registrar or financial aid
  • Student errors resulting in the delay of administrative processes relative to registration or delivery of financial aid funds
  • If you are awarded up to Financial Aid cost of attendance (please check with the financial aid office if you are unsure)

Process to Submit an Appeal

Students must submit the following information via email to

  1. Appeal letter outlining your circumstances
  2. Appeal Form
  3. Appropriate additional documentation

If no supporting documentation is provided or the form is incomplete, an appeal will not be reviewed.

Upon receiving an appeal, the Financial Appeals Committee conducts a review. A response will be provided to the student within 15 business days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Financial Appeals Committee is final in all cases.


Dropped Classes by Degree and Non-degree Students

Full tuition refunds for dropped classes are given only during the add/drop period in the first two weeks of each semester, or during the stated add/drop period for courses that occur outside of the regular semester schedule. (View the academic calendar.) The add/drop date for intensive courses is the first day of class.

No refund is given for withdrawals after the add/drop period. It is the student’s responsibility to complete a Withdrawal Form on a timely basis.


Complete Withdrawals by Degree and Non-degree Students

Full tuition refunds for students who completely withdraw from the term by withdrawing from SFAI, or by taking a hiatus, are given only during the add/drop period in the first two weeks of the semester. No refund is given for withdrawals after the add/drop period.

Withdrawals must be filed in writing with the Office of Registration and Record by obtaining a Withdrawal Form and following SFAI’s withdrawal procedures in the Student Handbook. It is the student’s responsibility to complete a Withdrawal Form on a timely basis.


Repayment Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

The Higher Education Act Amendments of 2008 require SFAI and a withdrawing student to return any unearned federal aid funds (grants or loans). The Financial Aid Office will calculate earned financial aid upon receipt of a completed Withdrawal Form. Students may be required to repay some or all of aid refunds received prior to withdrawal. The Financial Aid Office will answer questions about the impact of withdrawing on financial aid eligibility.

Students who are awarded financial aid and receive a refund because their aid exceeds their tuition charges, and who then subsequently drop classes, may be required to repay some or all of the refund back to SFAI. It is strongly advised that financial aid recipients considering a reduction in course load consult with the Financial Aid Office before dropping classes.


Canceled Classes

SFAI will provide full tuition refunds and refunds of any related fees, if applicable, for classes that are canceled.

International Payments