Academy of Art University Helping High School Students Explore Art Education Through PCAE Program


High school students face increasing pressure concerning their plans for the future. In fact, in most states, part of eighth grade school counseling deals with choosing high school courses with a view of one’s career already in mind. As students complete each year of high school classes, the pressure to make choices for the future mounts.

  • “What are you going to do with your life?”
  • “Shouldn’t you be thinking about the future?”
  • Are you preparing for college?”
  • “When I was your age……” (as if anything is the same now as it was in previous years)

Fortunately, for those students who enjoy creativity and artistic expression, Academy of Art University offers college-level art and design courses at no tuition charge. These classes also earn scholarship dollars toward future undergraduate studies at the university.

Setting the Pace with PCAE

The Pre-College Art Experience (PCAE) is a dual-scholarship program only offered to students who are currently enrolled in high school. The program offers a variety of art classes for students at no tuition charge. Moreover, students enrolled in these classes earn scholarship money to be used toward their future undergraduate studies at Academy of Art University.

Each year, over 2,000 high school students from across the United States enjoy this incredible opportunity to explore their creativity while earning scholarship funds for their future. These funds can also be used to pay pre-admissions application and enrollment fees. In the program, students will:

  • Take classes at no tuition charge
  • Earn up to $4,000 toward 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 portfolio of work to take into a college career
  • Discover career opportunities in various fields of art and design before enrolling as an undergraduate student

How Can PCAE Help Me?

PCAE courses are designed to prepare high school students for both college and a professional career in art and design. Many students who were unsure of their future plans leave the program with a clear idea of their career path. PCAE is a great way to discover and develop your artistic flair and begin building a solid path to your future.

Just like undergraduate and graduate courses at Academy of Art University, your PCAE courses are led by actively working creatives who not only teach, but are involved in current artistic projects for a number of world-class companies. You have the opportunity to develop your skills and learn from award-winning creatives in a number of art and design fields. In addition, those who attend classes on the school’s beautiful downtown San Francisco campus will enjoy access to industry-based facilities with all the latest tech and equipment.

Students in each class will have the opportunity to build a solid portfolio of work before entering their undergraduate studies. Having examples of your work available is always a bonus when you’re striving to become a professional artist or designer.

How Can High School Students Enroll?

To register for the PCAE classes, students must be currently enrolled in high school. High school seniors graduating in 2018 are not eligible for the PCAE program, but they are welcome to apply to Academy of Art University’s undergraduate programs. PCAE classes may be taken on-site or online. To attend on-site PCAE classes, high school students must have reached 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.

Scholarship funds will be disbursed in the first year following a student’s successful completion of the first semester. Students will earn up to $250 per class during Fall and Spring, with the remaining amount to be disbursed during the following Summer term. Students may use the PCAE scholarship on top of other grants or scholarships that may be awarded up to the total cost of attendance. The PCAE scholarship only applies to undergraduate courses taken at Academy of Art University.

For more details and to complete a PCAE application, visit the Pre-College Art Experience Program site.

What is Academy of Art University?

Since its founding in 1929, Academy of Art University has always existed on the vanguard of innovation and creativity. For three generations, the Stephens family and a host of working creatives on the leading edge of industry trends have continued to provide a solid education in design, communication, and the arts, including innovative online arts education since 2002. Today, students thrive in 17 housing facilities throughout San Francisco and compete in 16 NCAA intercollegiate athletic teams. Degrees ranging from Associates through Masters are offered in over 40 disciplines through 22 departments.

Creatives from around the world have realized their dream of a career in fashion or the arts with the help of Academy of Art University. And the PCAE Program gives high school students an early start. Creativity and the arts play a part in almost every professional discipline, from gaming and architecture to fashion design and the internet.



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