Funding Your Creativity: How To Pay For Art & Design School

By OCAD University Modified on January 15, 2016

Some tips and tricks to exploring your options for scholarships and other ways to support yourself financially through your creative education.

OCAD University is committed to supporting our students as emerging artists, designers and entrepreneurs. This might include paid internships, field studies, research positions, on-campus work and other unique creative opportunities. But funding is often the first step. Here are some tips and tricks to being financially successful while studying art and design.

  1. 1. Plan for your Finances. Build a budget and use OCAD University’s Cost-Calculator to help sort out the details.
  2. 2. Start scholarship research early. This will help you manage your time, as many scholarships will require essays or application forms. Be sure to document your research and stay organized!
  3. 3. Look in unexpected places. Many companies will offer scholarships, as well as local and federal governments. Don’t just stop on the universities website!
  4. 4. Don’t forget about Bursaries and Grants. While Scholarships are often given based on merit, bursaries and grants are given out on the basis of financial need.
  5. 5. Consider a part-time job or creative contract work. Artists and designers need to develop work for their professional portfolio and build connections in the creative industry. Picking up small creative contracts through our Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers and Talent Network can be a great way to make money, work on fun and interesting projects and build a professional resume and portfolio. You might even consider starting your own business or selling your artwork!
  6. 6. Don’t let finances be a barrier. If money is what is holding you back, get in touch - we’re here to help!
  7. Learn more about OCAD University’s scholarships or get in touch with us at