What is Pre-College Art Experience?

The Pre-College Art Experience (PCAE) is a dual-scholarship program available to only current high school students. The program provides classes for students to take at no tuition charge as well as scholarship dollars towards undergraduate studies at Academy of Art University. Each year, the Academy provides over 2,000 High School students this opportunity to not only explore their creativity by taking these classes, but provide scholarship dollars when they enroll. This scholarship will also cover the Pre-admissions application and enrollment fees. As part of the program, you will:

  • Get to take classes at no tuition charge
  • Earn up to a maximum of $4,000 towards your undergraduate studies at Academy of Art University
  • Choose up to 2 classes to study online or onsite in the Fall/Spring, and up to 3 classes in the Summer.
  • Build a solid pre-professional portfolio of your work to take into your college career.
  • Discover career opportunities in various fields of art and design before enrolling as an undergraduate student.

Award Information

  • Beginning Summer 2018, Pre-College Art Experience classes will be graded on a PASS/FAIL basis, rather than a letter grade basis.
  • For every one class in which a student receives a PASS, the student will earn $1,000 toward their undergraduate studies at Academy of Art University. A student can earn up to a maximum of $4,000 towards their undergraduate studies, though they may enroll in as many Pre-College classes as they want.
  • The scholarship will be disbursed across the first year following successful completion of the student's first semester. It will disburse at up to $250 per class during Fall and Spring, with the remaining amount to be disbursed during the following Summer term.
  • Student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units Fall and Spring, and also be enrolled in the Summer term.
  • Student may use the PCAE scholarship on top of other grants or scholarships that may be awarded up to cost of attendance.
  • The PCAE scholarship only applies to undergraduate courses taken at Academy of Art University.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Student must have taken and received a PASS in a PCAE class.
  • Student must be enrolled in one of the Academy's undergraduate programs.
  • Student must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or greater and remain continuously enrolled.
  • Academy of Art University will retroactively approve any student who has previously participated in PCAE but has not yet attended Academy of Art University as an undergraduate student.

How to Apply For PCAE

  • PCAE classes may be taken on-site or online. To register for a PCAE class, students must be currently enrolled in high school. High school seniors graduating in 2018 are not eligible for the Summer 2018 PCAE program, but they are welcome to apply to the Academy's undergraduate programs. While international high school students cannot take on-site PCAE classes, they can participate in the Academy's online PCAE courses.
  • To attend on-site PCAE classes, high school students must be at least 15 years old by February 2018.
  • Campus housing is offered to PCAE students only in the Summer program. PCAE students staying on-campus must take three on-site classes.


  • All submissions of student portfolio work is subject to the use of publication and marketing based on the discretion of Academy of Art University.

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