FUNDING YOUR EDUCATION
At The Art Institutes, financial aid is available to those who qualify. We’re here to help you understand what you need to know to fund your creative education. We want you to succeed, so we offer a number of financial aid options to assist you in meeting your financial needs.
Growing up with autism, Alex Olinkiewicz spent a lot of time in his own world. His imagination was constantly active. One day, he thought, he’d be a writer or a cartoonist or a producer for tv or film. He wasn’t far off. Today, Alex is preparing for a career in the entertainment industry, but instead of movies or shows, he’s focused on gaming.
Christopher DeWitt had long been interested in photography, and when given the opportunity to apply for a position as a military photojournalist in 2007, he took the leap.
Learn about five ways for you to finance your education and prepare for a career doing what you love.
Meet Our Alumni
Julian VankimDigital Photography , 2013
“Prior to being a student, I had some knowledge about photography but taking classes helped me to [rekindle] my passion.”Read More
Julian VankimPrimary Assistant to Editor in Chief and Creative Director at D.C. Weekly Publication
Julian Vankin is a production assistant and senior photographer for Metro Weekly, a Washington, D.C. LGBT publication. He’s the primary assistant to the editor in chief and creative director. Julian works behind the scenes, editing photographs from other staff photographers. He also completes shoots that he’s been assigned. “Metro Weekly is an LGBT news magazine. That itself brings an impact to a certain audience by [providing] breaking news, focusing on local heroes and communities, and reporting any hate crimes. If my photography can bring a certain level of impact in the community, I’m happy and proud to be a part of it,” he says.
Julian admits to experiencing creative blocks in his career. “There was a time I didn’t want to do any photography because I was uninspired and unmotivated. My photography was losing quality because I was only doing my jobs for the money—and it showed. Over time, I reevaluated my passion and began to rebuild my portfolio. Starting fresh certainly helps.”
Finding his creative passion allowed Julian to demonstrate a high level of commitment to his current job. He says that his education provided the knowledge he needed to succeed—and proved to his employer that Julian had the dedication to obtain his four-year degree.
He adds that school helped him to understand how to work the camera, edit, archive, network, and be creative. “Prior to being a student, I had some knowledge about photography but taking classes helped me to [rekindle] my passion.”
Julian, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Divison, says that current students should understand that there are many types of photography—wedding, fashion, journalism, and wildlife, among others. “Don’t limit yourself to one aspect of photography. Open your mind and try many opportunities.”
Karen WojcikGraphic & Web Design , 2016
“I was 50 years old and starting college. I was on a new journey.”Read More
Karen WojcikBegan Her Creative Studies at the age of 50, Fulfilled Lifelong Ambition for a Creative Career
Karen Wojcik says that she’s been an artist since the age of five. “In second grade, our music teacher would play songs of famous children’s stories on a record player and the class would have to draw a picture of how we would visualize the story. That is when I first heard [Sergei Prokofiev’s] Peter and the Wolf and I knew art meant more to me than anything in the world.” Today, Karen fuels her creativity through her work as a self-employed visual and multimedia artist and animator, fiction writer, and web designer and developer.
Her path to a creative career continued in junior high school when she created a large mosaic out of old magazines. In high school, she took courses in calligraphy, ceramics, jewelry making, advanced illustration, and commercial art. “I learned package designing and letter making. Following this process, I also learned how to draw out and measure a layout for a cereal box package, create creative lettering, hold an air brushing gun.”
But soon her creative path was halted. It was 1974 and after returning from a high school career night with brochures from local colleges, Karen’s mom told her that college was only for women looking to find a husband. [Her mom later said that she wished she’d encouraged Karen to follow her creative path]. Karen threw away the brochures and started drawing as a hobby. She dropped out of high school but later earned her diploma through an adult education program. During that time, she made posters for musicians and created signs for local restaurants. Then, in her second marriage, she found the creative support she needed to return to school for an advanced degree.
“Before I had signed up at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, I was sitting at [a bookstore] and overheard two art teachers talking about a young college student’s experience in graphics. The teachers were worried that they were going to lose their jobs because their skills were outdated. [I got home and looked up] The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division.” She enrolled in courses despite questioning herself. “I was 50 years old and starting college. I was on a new journey.” She completed a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design in 2016. Read More...
You and other High School juniors and seniors can challenge yourself in an online course designed specifically to help you develop a portfolio that can be used to request proficiency credit* toward a degree at an Art Institutes school, which can save time and money.
* Students who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate of completion. College Bound courses are non-credit bearing and do not transfer into our academic program offerings or the offerings of any other institution. However as part of the course you will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio that you are able to request proficiency credit. Proficiency credit is awarded based on the proficiency credit policy defined in an institution’s academic catalog. The cost of the College Bound courses varies between $325 and $350. This cost is waived for any student that has an application and completed essay on file with the school. Check with the school you are interested in attending for exceptions and details, as not all programs are offered at all locations. Individual location participation is subject to change. Online College Bound courses are not available to residents of District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Oregon.