How do I pay for film or acting school?

June 21, 2010

We get a lot of questions at the New York Film Academy about paying for your film and acting education. Our friends in the Financial Aid Department gave us some advice to share that will hopefully set you in the right direction when figuring out your financial options.

Attending film school is an excellent investment in your future career in cinema. However, it is also an investment that requires careful planning. When you are developing a financial strategy for your education, a great way to start is by talking to whichever family members or friends are involved economically. A prospective student should know what amount of funds they have available to them as well as the tuition costs and other fees for the program they will be taking. Don’t forget to factor in living costs, (rent, food, etc.), and try to come up with a realistic budget that you feel you will be able to maintain. The more informed you are about your own financial situation, the better equipped you will be to know what forms and what amounts of financial aid you will require.

For many students, the rate-determining step in funding their education is applying for a student loan. Student loans can be used to cover tuition as well as living expenses for most film school programs. Most students will need a co-signer in order to be approved for a loan; generally a parent or other family member with a good credit score. It is very important to make sure you understand the terms of the loans, and if you have questions always feels free to ask the New York Film Academy Financial Aid Department!

Additionally, there are many other forms of financial aid available to film students in the form of grants and scholarships. First apply for school-specific grants, and then broaden your search to include awards from outside organizations. There are many different organizations that grant funds to students, and here are two good websites to help begin your search: and Finding outside monies takes a lot of research and a lot of advanced planing, but can also be a great way to lower your personal tuition expenses. Remember, every little bit helps!