Student Financial Assistance & Scholarship Overview

Financial Assistance

GIA is pleased to offer a number of financial assistance options to help you finance your education. Each program has specific eligibility requirements and not all students will qualify. Please see below for additional information about these funding options.

Federal Student Aid (FSA)

Federal financial aid is available for the following six-month, on-campus programs for those who qualify: Graduate Gemologist (GG), Graduate Jeweler (GJ), and Jewelry Design & Technology (JDT). Federal aid includes Pell and SEOG Grants and Direct Student Loans through the U.S. government, and is available to those eligible full-time on-campus students who are U.S. Citizens or hold U.S. permanent resident status. Federal financial aid is not available for Distance Education or lab class students. View more detailed information.

FSA Citizenship Requirements

A student must be one of the following to be eligible federal student aid:

  • U.S. citizen or national;
  • U.S. permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen; or
  • Citizen of the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau and the Marshall Islands. These students can only receive aid from some of the FSA programs.

If you do not meet the citizenship requirements listed above, you are not eligible to apply for federal financial assistance.

FSA Application Deadlines

In order to ensure timely processing of your materials, it is recommended that you submit all required documents to GIA’s financial aid office at least two months prior to your anticipated start date. View more information on how to apply for FSA.

Federal Grant Information

  • Federal Pell Grant – This Federal grant is available to qualified students who have not yet received a bachelor’s degree. Award based upon need and Congressional appropriation.
  • Federal SEOG Grant – This Federal grant is available to qualified students who have not yet received a bachelor’s degree. Award based upon need and available funds.

Federal Loan Information

Due to limited grant funding, most students who need financial assistance also apply for student loans to help finance their education at GIA. Several loan programs are available to help students pay the costs of attending GIA on-campus programs. These loans come from the U.S. Department of Education. Loan funds are based on financial need with the exception of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan or the Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Federal Direct loans are available to most students regardless of income. If you or your parents borrow more funds than tuition, you will receive the excess proceeds of these funds in the form of a paper check three weeks after the funds have been received by GIA. The Office of Student Accounts Payable will issue and release excess funds to you or your parent(s). View more Financial Assistance information.

Federal student loans provide a range of repayment options including, but not limited to, income-based and income-contingent repayment plans. It is essential that you understand your commitment and responsibility to repay your loans according to the stipulated repayment schedules. Prior to applying for or accepting a loan, you need to assess your current financial commitments and your future ability to repay loans following completion of your education. A loan can be a great help in paying for your education, but serious problems and consequences can result if you become past due or delinquent in your payments. GIA services, including future enrollment, can be withheld due to delinquent loan payments. Additionally, your loan accounts can be referred to collection agencies and information will be reported to credit bureaus, which can affect your ability to receive credit in the future. View more information on Federal Loan terms and conditions.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan - This federally subsidized student loan is available to qualified students. These loans are awarded up to $3,033 per six-month program depending upon eligibility, educational program, grade level and previous loan indebtedness under this program.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan - This federally unsubsidized student loan is available to qualified students. These loans are awarded up to $8,233 per six-month program depending upon eligibility, educational program, grade level and previous loan indebtedness under this program.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) – Direct PLUS Loans are loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. Check with the GIA Office of Student Financial Assistance for directions on how to complete a Direct PLUS Loan Request and Master Promissory Note. Approval is based on parent’s credit rating.

Cost of Attendance/Student Budget, and Family Contribution

The GIA Office of Student Financial Assistance establishes student budgets to be used in determining your financial need. These budgets include an amount for the cost of living (rent, food, utilities, transportation, and personal expenses) at a moderate level, depending on your living arrangements, as well as the tuition, fees, and books and materials charges for your program of enrollment. We derive the living allowance portion of your budget utilizing several sources: rental surveys of local housing situations, student expense surveys, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. The student budget utilized for your individual circumstance will be reflected in your final Financial Aid Award Letter.

The process of determining your eligibility for financial aid, commonly referred to as need analysis, has been legislated by the U.S. Congress using the information you and/or your parents supplied on your FAFSA.

In order to qualify for financial aid, the Federal Government requires that each student’s financial need be measured by the need analysis process called Federal Methodology. This process utilizes the income and asset information provided by you and/or your parents to determine the amount of family contribution you and/or your parents should be able to provide towards your education.

One of the ground rules to financial aid is that parents of dependent students, to the extent that they can contribute, have primary responsibility for financing the cost of your education. If it is determined that you are an independent student, your financial circumstances (and if married, your spouse’s) are analyzed rather than those of your parents. If you are a dependent student, we will calculate an expected family contribution based on the income and asset information furnished by you and your parents on the FAFSA. This amount of expected family contribution is deducted from the student budget in determining your financial need.

If you are classified as an independent student, we will determine a family contribution based on the income and asset information you furnish on the FAFSA. The amount determined will be deducted from the student budget in determining your financial need.

View more information.

Financial Aid Academic Requirements

Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to receive student financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed, in general, at the end of each payment period. A student’s continued eligibility for financial aid in a subsequent payment period shall be dependent upon his/her academic record as of the end of the previous payment period. Federal regulations require that all institutions participating in Title IV federal student aid programs establish academic standards to ensure students make satisfactory progress. GIA’s SAP Policy is found on page 62 of the GIA Education Catalog.

Financial Aid Warning Status: FSA and VA benefit recipients who fail to meet the standards defined above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning Status for the following payment period. Students in Financial Aid Warning Status remain eligible for federal student and/or Veterans benefits. If a student has not returned to “satisfactory” academic standing (as stated in the SAP Policy) by the end of the Financial Aid Warning Status payment period, the student will lose eligibility for federal student aid and/or Veterans Benefits.

Scholarship recipients who are dismissed due to failure of meeting SAP standards are liable for any outstanding tuition balance at the time of dismissal.

VA – Veterans Administration Education Benefits

Students with eligible GI Bill Education Benefits may use them for all on-campus programs but not for individual Distance Education courses or lab classes. The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for educational and housing expenses to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2011, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Check eligibility status and the amount for which you qualify prior to enrolling. If you are the spouse or child of a service member who is serving on active duty you may be eligible for financial assistance from the DOD for education, training, and/or the occupational license and credentials necessary for a portable career. If you are the spouse or child of a service member, you may be eligible for transfer of the service member’s Post- 9/11 GI Bill benefits to you. For more information, contact

Vocational Rehabilitation Education Benefits

Vocational rehabilitation assistance programs administered by the Veterans Administration (VA), individual state agencies or private agencies authorize students to enroll and study at GIA, either on campus or through the Distance Education programs. View for more information or contact us.

Private Loans

Private student loans offer variable rates that can increase or decrease over time depending on market conditions. Students should determine the interest rate, fees, and repayment terms of any private student loan they are considering before accepting a private student loan. You may not borrow more than your cost of education less any financial aid received.

Award Notification

Students who apply for financial aid and submit the required forms and documents will be sent an Estimated Award Letter by email. This notification will indicate the approximate amount of financial aid eligibility for the on-campus educational program you indicated. This notification will provide information needed to help you decide if the aid being offered is sufficient to allow you to attend GIA.

Financial Aid Entrance and Exit Counseling

All recipients of Federal Student Aid must participate in Entrance and Exit Counseling. Within a few days prior to your start date, you will meet with the Office of Financial Assistance staff for your financial aid entrance counseling where your official award will be reviewed. The official award notification will list the types of aid available to you, the student budget and family contributions used to determine your eligibility, and other pertinent information. At your required financial aid entrance counseling you must accept or decline any aid offered and sign the award notification before we can disburse any financial aid.

Entrance counseling is designed to acquaint you with your responsibilities, rights, and obligations. If you fail to attend entrance counseling, you will be prohibited from starting classes. All students receiving loans are required to attend exit counseling with a staff member of the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Exit counseling is designed to remind you of your loan obligations, repayment schedule, and deferment rights under the various loan programs. Failure to attend exit counseling will result in your diploma being withheld.

How Financial Aid is Disbursed

All financial aid funds are disbursed electronically directly to your GIA tuition account. Federal regulations require financial aid awards be disbursed at least twice during the term of a student’s enrollment. Consequently, all aid will be divided in half and disbursed twice during your program. The first half of grant funds and Direct Loan and Parent PLUS Loan funds will be issued no sooner than 30 days into your program. The second half of funds will be disbursed after the mid-point of your program, usually during the fourth month. If you are enrolled in more than one six-month program, you will receive more than one financial aid award. Financial aid for each award period will be disbursed in multiple increments as outlined above.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from any refund policy that GIA may have. A student may still owe funds to GIA to cover unpaid institutional charges. Please see the Federal Student Aid Refund Policy/Return to Title IV Policy for additional details.

If your aid has been utilized for living expenses rather than tuition, we will pro-rate the amount of aid you are entitled to keep based on the percentage of your program that you have completed. If the aid you received exceeds your cost of living for prorated amount of class time completed, you will be billed for the excess. GIA academic services will be refused until your account is brought current.


An over-award can occur when your financial need is exceeded by your own resources or other outside awards, such as scholarships, or VA benefits. You must inform the Office of Student Financial Assistance if you receive any additional resources that you did not originally report on your financial aid application forms. If your financial aid need is reduced, it may result in an over-payment of financial aid. If this occurs, we will bill you for the financial aid received that you are no longer entitled to. In some cases, it may be taken from your tuition account. In either case, you will have a financial obligation that must be resolved before you can receive your diploma. To avoid this situation, please report any changes in your financial situation immediately to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

A conviction for any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs, during a period of enrollment when receiving federal aid, will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work study assistance. A conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed does not count, nor does one received as a juvenile, unless tried as an adult. View more information.

Net Price Calculator

The Net Price Calculator is a tool to help you estimate the cost of the program in which you choose to enroll.

Consumer Information

View additional Student Consumer Information


GIA-administered scholarships are available for on-campus and distance education (eLearning and lab class) students. Applicants will be considered for all available scholarships for the program they indicate on their application. Applications must be submitted online during the following application periods:

  • Apply between August 1 and September 30 for a scholarship to be used for new enrollments that start the following year.
  • Additional scholarships may be available for programs that begin the second half of the current year. Apply between March 1 and April 30 for a scholarship to be used for new enrollments. View additional details on eligibility, how to apply, and required documents.