All singers are granted full-tuition scholarships. These scholarships are awarded for a three-month probationary period, and thereafter on a yearly basis. The Student Aid Fund was established to provide interest-free loans to artists during their residency. In addition, several merit-based $5000 fellowship grants are awarded each year to offset the cost of living expenses while attending AVA.
Financial Aid Application Materials
AVA is now approved for participation in Title IV Federal Program. This allows current domestic students to defer payments on outstanding student loans, and to apply for Federal Loans under the Ford Direct Loans Program and the Graduate PLUS Program while attending AVA. Foreign students are not eligible for Title IV support, and they are unable to work in the United States except in limited cases of "practical study," whereby they may accept singing jobs such as the Santa Fe Apprentice Artist Program.
If you are accepted to AVA and wish to apply for financial aid you may obtain and complete a 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.433.3243, or by visiting the FAFSA Web site. You may also obtain this form from your current college or university Financial Aid Office.
To apply for Federal Student Aid, you must provide financial aid transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended, whether or not you received financial assistance. When completing the FAFSA, applicants will need to include the Title IV code for The Academy of Vocal Arts, which is 0033533 (00) or G33533 , whichever is applicable.
In order to complete the application process for federal loans, the applicants must visit the Federal Loan website (https://StudentLoans.gov) and submit a Master Promissory Note. First-time applicants must also complete the Entrance Counseling found in the same web site. Any student selected for the Verification Process will have his/her loan placed on hold until the process is completed. The Business Manager provides all the necessary assistance with this, as well as with all other steps in the loan application and maintenance process. Students who have received Federal Loans under AVA’s program are also responsible for completing the Exit Counseling found in the same web site.
AVA abides by all applicable provisions of the law pertaining to the Title IV loans. Loan counseling and assistance with loans deferrals are available to all students by calling the Business Manager. The records of attendance, participation and academic performance are monitored in order to assure that all participants in the Federal Loan Program meet the requirements of the law. Loan disbursements during the school year are made pursuant to the ongoing completion of the programmed hours of instruction. Failure to complete the required hours of instruction will result in the postponement of disbursement, or cancellation of the Federal loan.
Although AVA resident artists do not pay tuition, they are responsible for their own daily living expenses and for securing their own living arrangements. The Academy is located one block south of Rittenhouse Square, a historic residential area in Center City Philadelphia. Grocery and convenience stores, laundromats, pharmacies, bookshops, hardware stores, restaurants, health clubs, and clothing stores can all be found within a few blocks of The Academy. Most students live alone or with roommates in numerous apartment and boarding houses in the immediate vicinity as there are no dormitories at AVA. Every effort is made on the part of AVA to assist in finding suitable housing. Estimated monthly costs of living in Philadelphia for a single student are:
The budget for living expenses for married students is determined upon consultation with the Business Manager. We are flexible in our approach to this matter because of the varying needs and requirements encountered by our students. Our goal is to assure the necessary financial aid for the student while avoiding the need for excessive borrowing.
The Academy of Vocal Arts does not provide either medical or personal property insurance. It is strongly recommended that each student subscribe to a health plan. Personal belongings should be kept in lockers (provided by AVA) for security. Contact your local insurance agent to see if losses are covered by personal or family policies.
Singers are encouraged to seek outside professional solo engagements, and are also permitted to augment their income by filling positions as soloists in church and synagogue choirs. However, it is the firm belief of The Academy's faculty, that extensive singing in professional choirs is not conducive to creating the correct presence of a solo vocal artist, and further, that such singing may be injurious to the voice and adversely affect the singer's work and progress at The Academy. In most cases, foreign students will not be eligible for employment in the U.S. Exceptions are sometimes made when the employment is within the student's field of study. A Form I-538 must be submitted to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for approval of such work, including apprentice programs with opera companies in the U.S.