*

1556 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007
202-333-2202

Dependent Students Independent Students
Direct Subsidized
Loan Amount
Direct Unsubsidized
Loan Amount
Direct Subsidized
Loan Amount
Direct Unsubsidized
Loan Amount
Year 1 $3,500/year
($1,750/semester)
$2,000/year
($1,000/semester)
$3,500/year
($1,750/semester)
$6,000/year
($2,000/semester)
Year 2 $4,500/year
($2,250/semester)
$2,000/year
($1,000/semester)
$4,500/year
($2,250/semester)
$6,000/year
($2,000/semester)
Extra options... Preview

File for Financial Aid with an Expert

Filling out federal financial aid forms can seem like a  daunting task. Why not fill yours out with an experienced financial-aid representative?   Set up a time to visit the school, speak with an financial-aid representative and submit your FAFSA application online at the Conservatory by calling 202-333-2202 or clicking here.

*The FAFSA application process includes several questions that determine a student’s dependency, the first of which involves the student’s date of birth.  For the current application year, 2012-2013, if the student was born before January 1, 1990, the student is automatically considered independent.  Students are also considered independent (regardless of their date of birth) if they:  have a dependent child of their own, or a child for whom they provide more than half of the financial support; are married; are on active duty in, or a veteran of, the US Armed Forces; have parents who were deceased before they turned 13; were in foster care before they turned 13; were emancipated as a minor or were in legal guardianship; or are currently homeless.  Students who meet none of the above criteria are considered dependent upon a parent until they are either 24 or 25 years old, regardless of whether the parent claims the student as a dependent on tax returns, and regardless of whether the student lives with or receives financial assistance from a parent.**Approximately 45% of the Conservatory’s students have been eligible for federal financial aid in the form of grants and/or loans.  Eligibility is based on need, as determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application.

Paying for School

The costs of attending the Conservatory are comparable to the costs of attending unaccredited, less-intensive acting schools and studios in DC.  Students pay $13/hour for instruction here, compared to $20 to $24/hour at other local schools.   Our tuition is substantially less than accredited acting studios in NYC.  Students pay under $9,500/year here, compared to around $35,000/year for an accredited school in NYC.  Tuition at the Conservatory is $4,700 per semester; books cost an additional $50.

Because we’re fully accredited, our students can submit a Free Application for Federal Financial Assistance (FAFSA) to see if they’re eligible to receive federal student loans and grants.  The US Department of Education awards these loans and grants based on need.  Most students are eligible for between $2,750 and $4,750 in loans per semester.   Students with extreme financial need may also qualify for grants.  Approximately 45%** of the Conservatory’s students have been awarded federal student loans and grants. 

The US Department of Education determines which grants and loans you’re eligible for, based on an official form you submit to the government called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If the Department determines you have extreme financial need, you may be eligible for grants, which do not have to be repaid.  The two grants you may be eligible for are:

  • Pell Grants, which range from $400 to $2,600 per semester, depending on eligibility.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, which range from $100 to $600 per semester, depending on eligibility.

If the Department determines you have financial need but that need is not extreme, you may be eligible for student loans.  Student loans have to be repaid after your education is completed.  Credit checks are not required for these loans; however, to be eligible, you cannot be in default on an existing student loan.  The two types of loans you may be eligible for are:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans, which are loans where the federal government pays the interest on your loans while you are in school and for six months after you leave school.   The only amount waiting to be paid off when you graduate is the principal.  The interest which you have to pay on the principal begins to accrue six months after you complete your education.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans, which are loans where the interest begins to accrue immediately upon your receipt of the loans.   You can, however, elect to pay off this interest while you are still in school to keep the ultimate loan-repayment costs down.

The table below shows the amounts of loans that Conservatory students have typically qualified for, based on whether they are determined to be dependent* or independent*, as defined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process.







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To find out what kinds of loans and grants you may be eligible for, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

Learn more here:  Applying for Financial Aid.


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