DEI Bridge Grant Awardees Receive Financial Support to Champion Diversity in their Work

November 22, 2023

2024 UPDATE: New York Film Academy is excited to announce our new partnership with ArmyIgnitED. NYFA prospective students who are Soldiers, DOD Civilians, and Cadets can utilize Tuition Assistance (TA) to pay for their education in media, visual, and performing arts.

To learn more about NYFA’s partnership with ArmyIgnitED and Tuition Assistance, please visit our Veterans and Military Dependent Students page.

As many college students and rising high school seniors understand, navigating financial aid for college can be complex. This makes securing financial assistance for one’s work through a grant or a scholarship an even greater accomplishment worth celebrating. NYFA offers a number of grant and scholarship opportunities that give NYFA students and applicants the chance to support their educational endeavors through potential financial assistance. 

NYFA is proud to announce and congratulate two recipients of NYFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Bridge, Lauren Alden Willard and Saanya Borah for the Fall 2023. 

NYFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Bridge Grant provides financial assistance to candidates for our Master’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate’s Degrees, and One- and Two-Year Programs.

The DEI Bridge Grant is offered to students interested in assisting NYFA in adding to its diversity across all campuses. The purpose of the grant is to build a bridge toward NYFA’s mission of creating ethnic and socio-economic diversity by supporting visual storytellers with DEI initiatives. If you’re interested in learning more about the DEI Bridge Grant, you can email

Celebrating NYFA’s Fall 2023 DEI Bridge Grant Recipients

Laura Alden Willard, a student of the Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting program at the Los Angeles campus, received the Bridge grant for her graduate studies at NYFA. A creator with a penchant for helping others, Willard served as an organizer for the Screenwriters and Actors of Hollywood organization, a group of over one hundred writers who assist other members in developing and improving their scripts. 

You can take a look at Willard’s latest work on her professional website.

DEI Bridge Grant Awardees Receive Financial Support to Champion Diversity in their Work
MFA in Screenwriting student Laura Alden Willard (above)

Fellow graduate student Saanya Borah received the Bridge Grant for her studies in NYFA’s Master of Fine Arts in Producing program at the Los Angeles campus. A writer, editor, and rising filmmaker even before attending NYFA, Borah has a list of videos and media curated for online publishers and clients.

Her works include The New Education Policy-2020, a news story published in the Times of Bennett, written, filmed, starring, and edited by Borah. Similarly, the Bridge Grant recipient co-wrote, edited, and voiced the news feature about the Placement Preparedness Program for BUTV (Bennett University). Borah’s audio work includes an interview with Regine L. Sawyer, an American comic writer, editor, and founder of Women in Comics Collective International

You can follow Borah on her Instagram account (saanya_borah).

DEI Bridge Grant Awardees Receive Financial Support to Champion Diversity in their Work
MFA in Producing student Saanya Borah (above)

What Financial Assistance is Available at NYFA? 

In addition to the DEI Bridge Grant, applicants to NYFA’s undergraduate, graduate, associate degrees, and 1 & 2-year programs have a few options. First, consider the types of aid available: 

Federal Loans and Federal Financial Aid

Domestic students from the United States can apply for financial aid through the Federal Student Aid Office. Students are required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (a.k.a. FAFSA). 

Based on eligibility, students may qualify for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, and Parent and Graduate PLUS loans. The FAFSA form is also used to determine State Grant eligibility for residents attending colleges in their home states of California, New York, and Florida.

Scholarships and Grants Awarded by NYFA

Through NYFA, applicants may qualify for a scholarship or grant based on need, merit, or talent. These scholarships and grants include the DEI Bridge Grant and the Matthew Modine Masters Scholarship, which is granted to applicants of NYFA’s MFA programs. Additional private scholarships may be researched on our website

Check out this story about two MFA students and recipients of the Matthew Modine Masters Scholarship whose short documentary went on to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. Domestic applicants are also encouraged to search for state grants which are offered to qualified residents. These grants typically require attendance or permanent residency in the state. 

There are also many, many search engines that house scholarships available to both domestic and international students. 

Credit-Based Private Student Loans

Another avenue applicants can take is the private student loan route. We recommend applicants take a read through our private student loans page with helpful questions to ask providers including interest rates, fees, repayment methods, and fund disbursement.

Military Benefits for Veterans 

NYFA participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Some servicemembers can also transfer their unused GI Bill benefits to their dependents. Approved programs provide up to 36 months of education benefits. NYFA may make additional funding available to servicemembers’ education program for housing allowances, books and supplies, and a one-time rural benefit payment. Be sure to review the veterans and military dependent students page for more information. 

A Whole Lot of Information. Let’s Summarize. 

As part of NYFA’s airing of its episode on The College Tour, host Alex Boylan sat down with Acting Director of Financial Aid, Chance Welch, to discuss some of the financial aid options available to domestic and international students in this 6-minute video.