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How PAFA can help you realize your dream of becoming an artist

Cutting-edge classroom facilities, private studios, museum exhibition opportunities — and easy financial aid.

The annual student exhibition is an academic capstone event offering PAFA's emerging artists the opportunity to curate, install, and sell work in the nation's first art museum

The annual student exhibition is an academic capstone event offering PAFA's emerging artists the opportunity to curate, install, and sell work in the nation's first art museum

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Note: This article is a paid placement and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Billy Penn at WHYY.


To everyone who needs to hear this: It’s not too late to pursue your dream of being an artist. But finding a college that fits both your desires and wallet can be challenging. An art school experience that combines a highly-mentored education, art business training, and access to a world-class museum sounds like a unicorn. Adding financial support and flexibility to the list makes it seem impossible.

Good news: Making the impossible possible for student-artists is the mission of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA).

Art degrees are widely available, but this is your future, and basically your next (or maybe your first) serious relationship. PAFA brings to the table a serious curriculum that prepares you with the foundational skills, intellectual context, discipline, and creativity needed for a lifelong pursuit of making art.

Founded in 1805, PAFA educates artists worldwide to be innovative makers and critical thinkers, to cultivate a deep understanding of traditions, and the ability to engage with and to challenge contemporary trends. Classes will be back in person Fall 2021, and rolling admissions means you still have time to pursue your dream of being an artist.

There are several programs and degrees to choose from, including the Penn BFA, a coordinated Bachelor of Fine Arts with the University of Pennsylvania that pairs PAFA’s studio training with a distinguished Ivy League degree.

Headquartered in the center of Philadelphia, across from City Hall and close to dozens of cultural institutions, this specialized and unique art college educates the most committed and promising students from around the world. PAFA students study animation, drawing, illustration, painting, printmaking, and sculpture with a distinguished faculty of working artists.

When you get to PAFA, you’ll have access to cutting-edge classroom facilities, private studios, a historic cast collection, and the opportunity to exhibit and study in the museum. Think of it as an incubator for the next generation of artists. There’s a 7-to-1 student-faculty ratio, helping create the close-knit community that’s evident upon meeting Admissions counselors and throughout the enrollment process.

Financial consideration is an essential factor, and here’s where PAFA makes the impossible possible. 100% of students can receive merit scholarships up to $20,000, determined by the quality of a prospective student’s application and portfolio. In addition to the reasonable tuition rates, PAFA offers financial aid and assistance options for eligible students.

You are hereby invited to picture yourself at PAFA!

Learn more about the admissions process, request more information, schedule a one-on-one info session or start your application today.

Contact the office of admissions at 215-972-7625 or admissions@pafa.edu.

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