Archive for the ‘Admissions Content’ Category

F/A Calculator

Posted on: January 17th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Financial Aid Calculator – For Planning Purposes Only

The financial aid calculator can be used to determine potential aid options for which you qualify, based on the information you provide.  The aid information listed in this calculator is based on the prior year’s data and does not reflect the current levels of aid that we offer at Watkins.  It should be used for planning purposes only.

Any questions regarding the use of this tool should be addressed to

Use the Financial Aid Calculator

F/A Process

Posted on: January 17th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

How to Apply:

1. Apply for a PIN at

    • If you are DEPENDENT- the student and the parent whose information is listed on the FAFSA will need a PIN—only one parent need to sign the FAFSA with their PIN.
    • If you are INDEPENDENT- the student is required, spouse is optional)

2. COMPLETE the FAFSA online at . Completing the FAFSA online is safe, free and easy to do. If you need help filling out the FAFSA, be sure to read the “Help and Hints” located on the right side of any page you are entering information. Note: the “help and hints” changes depending on the question(s) you are being asked.

3. LIST our school code 031276

4. Be ADMITTED to an eligible degree or certificate program

5. READ and RESPOND to all correspondence received from the Financial Aid Office. Sometimes, a student may be selected for a process called VERIFICATION-see section below for details

6. WAIT for your Financial Aid Offer. This will provide you and your family with the types of student aid programs you are eligible to use to assist in funding your educational goals at Watkins. Remember, the choice is yours and/or your family to decide which student aid programs you want to use for funding your education.

7. READ the Financial Aid Offer and all the information included to make sure you understand each program that is being offered.

8. ASK questions, if you don’t understand. We are here to help you understand the financial aid process.

9. SIGN and RETURN one copy of the Offer and all documents required for your student aid to be processed.

10. COMPLETE all required loan documents, online, if you and/or your family plan to utilize federal loans to help fund your education.



Your FAFSA may be selected for a process call “Verification” either randomly or due to conflicting data reported on your FAFSA. Students selected for verification will be sent a request and/or steps required to clear this process. It is very important for you to comply with this request immediately as this step will delay your financial aid processing.

Other requirements:

Loan entrance interviews are required for all first time borrowers of the student loan program. Its purpose is to inform students of their rights and responsibilities with borrowing from the federal loan program. Loan exit interviews are required for student who graduate, transfer, withdraw, or drop below half-time status at the college. Its purpose is to inform students of their loan obligations and to provide information relevant to successful loan repayment. Both entrance and exit interviews are federal requirements.

To recap:

• Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible beginning January 1st of each year that you want to be considered for student aid assistance.

• Respond to all requests for additional information as quickly as possible – especially if selected for Verification.

• Make sure you are accepted into the college in a degree or certificate program.

• Review your Award Offer letter and choose the aid programs you would like to utilize for that enrollment period.

• Complete any additional requirements needed for certain aid programs, such as student and/or parent loans.

• Sign and return one copy of the Award Offer letter.

• Complete, sign and date the Institutional Application for Financial Aid and return it with the copy of the Award Offer letter

• ASK QUESTIONS! Contact the financial aid office if you need additional assistance or have special circumstances that may affect your eligibility or it you are unsure about any of the aid program requirements or the process.

Types of Aid

Posted on: January 17th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Types of Student Aid Assistance Offered

Watkins offers aid assistance from the following programs listed below:

  • Federal Grants, Loans and Work Program:  PELL Grant, Supplemental Educations Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students and the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • State Grant and Scholarship Programs: Available for eligible residents of TN. TN Student Assistance Awards (TSAA), Tennessee HOPE Scholarship, Aspire Award, HOPE Access Grant, HOPE Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students, HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant
  • Other State Grants and Scholarships Programs: requires additional information and/or application. Dual Enrollment and Helping Heroes Grants, Ned McWherter and Dependent Children Scholarships. Detailed information can be found at
  • Institutional Grant, Scholarship and Work Programs: Watkins Grants and various Institutional Merit and Departmental Scholarships
  • Other Aid Programs: Veterans Educational Benefits, Yellow Ribbon Matching, Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits and non-federal Private Alternative loans

Note: Certain Institutional scholarships and student employment require additional information and/or separate applications. Please contact the financial aid office at for more information.

Tennessee Lottery Scholarship Program (HOPE)

For complete information, please visit

Helpful Links

Below is a list of helpful links that have been deemed safe and reliable websites for researching scholarship opportunities and to prevent you from becoming a victim of various scholarship scams.

Financial Aid Planning Tools

U.S. Armed Forces

Scholarship Search

State Higher Education Agencies


Veterans Affairs Education Benefits

The Veterans Affairs Education Benefits are coordinated with certifying officials in the Office of the Registrar.  Watkins degree and certificate programs are approved for veteran’s education  by the Tennessee State Approving Agency for the training of veterans and their eligible dependents. Watkins certifies enrollment and changes in enrollment of eligible students to the Veterans Administration (VA).  The process begins by completing and submitting an application online.  Go to, select “Educational Benefits”, click on “How to Apply for Benefits”.  The second stop is to apply for reimbursement.  For questions, call (888) 442-4551.  The VA will mail a Certificate of, Eligibility (COE) disclosing the Chapter and level of benefits.  The Certifying Official requires a copy of the COE along with the Certificate of Other Colleges Attended form and the VA Enrollment Verification Form.  The forms allow Watkins to release student records for certification and are available in the Registrar’s Office.  It is mandatory for veterans to disclose all enrollments in other post-secondary institutions prior to the first semester of enrollment at Watkins.  Certification of enrollment is processed after the receipt of completed forms and after the college drop/add period ends.

Post 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon Program

Watkins offers Yellow Ribbon benefits to five qualified students annually on a first-come/first-served basis, either full-time or part-time.

Yellow Ribbon FAQ


Posted on: January 17th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

At Watkins, we strive to help meet the financial needs of our students by offering financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Over 80 percent of our students receive some form of student financial assistance.

Student financial assistance consist of grants, scholarships, loans and work programs that are funded through federal, state and institutional aid programs and awarded based on financial need, non-need and merit. Students interested in applying for federal financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at and list our school code 031276. For Tennessee residents, the FAFSA is required in order to be considered for the TN HOPE Scholarships and the TN State Grant programs. You must be admitted to the College in a degree-seeking undergraduate or eligible certificate program, in good academic standing and meet all the eligibility requirements outlined in the FAFSA to qualify for student financial assistance.

NOTE: Non-degree, special status and students who are do not meet the eligibility and/or citizenship status on the FAFSA may not be eligible for federal student financial assistance. Please visit for additional eligibility information.

Once a valid and processed FAFSA is received in our financial aid database, this information will be reviewed to determine if additional information and updates are required (a process called VERIFICATION). If no additional information or updates are required, the FAFSA will be used to determine a student’s eligibility for various aid programs. Your eligibility will depend on the following items:

  • Cost of attendance (COA)
  • Expected Family Contribution(EFC)
  • Year in school; and
  • Enrollment status ( i.e., full-time, quarter-time, etc.)

 For more information about the FAFSA and how the information is used to determine student aid eligibility, amounts and other detailed information, please visit Who Gets Federal Aid 


Financial Aid Deadlines

Semester Priority Late
Fall April 1 July 1
Spring April 1 October 1
Summer April 1 May 1


Posted on: January 17th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

We’re not hard to find – located just 3 miles from downtown Nashville or less than one mile off exit 85 of Interstate 65.

Plug us into your GPS and enjoy the ride or give us a call and we’ll be glad to direct you to our front door.


2298 Rosa L Parks Blvd

Nashville, TN 3722



Enjoy Nashville

Posted on: January 17th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Nashville has a lot to offer.  Here is a list of just a few favorites of the students, faculty, and staff to enjoy during your visit to Watkins!

Local Food:

Burger Up

Noshville Delicatessen

Baja Burrito

Nashville Farmer’s Market

Las Paletas


Silly Goose

Five Points Pizza

For more, check out Nashville Originals, a list of locally owned and operated eateries.


Coffee Shops:

JJ’s Market & Cafe

Bongo Java and Bongo Java East

Dose Coffee & Tea

Portland Brew



See Art:

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

The Arcade (including WAG- Watkins Arcade Gallery, and Co-op- run by Watkins faculty)

Cheekwood Museum of Art

Fort Houston

Zeitgist Gallery

First Saturday of the Month – Art Crawl

Art and Invention Gallery


Historical Places:

Hatch Show Print

The Parthenon

Belle Meade Plantation

The Hermitage

Traveller’s Rest Plantation

Ryman Auditorium

Carnton Plantation


Live Music:


The End

Mercy Lounge

Cannery Ballroom

Robert’s Western World

The Basement

This music list could go on and on so check out the Nashville Scene’s Calendar to see what is going on during your visit.

For a walk (and a listen) through the history of country music, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum


Sports Nashville

Nashville Sounds

Tennessee Titans

Nashville Predators

Atlas Football Club (soccer)


Nashville With Children

Feed the ducks, check out vintage trains, and visit the food trucks at Centennial Park

Get creative at  ArtQuest at the Frist

Walk through the botanical gardens at Opryland Hotel

Catch a show at the Nashville Children’s Theater

Climb into tree houses at Cheekwood

Get wet and wild at Nashville Shores

Explore science and look at stars at the Adventure Science Center

Talk to the animals at the Nashville Zoo

Listen to a story during Nashville Main Library’s Story Time

Upcoming Events

Posted on: January 16th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison


College Preview Day

Saturday, Nov 14, 2015



Schedule of Events:

11am  Registration and Campus Tours

Chat with reps from financial aid, student life, career services, and current student groups to get all of your questions answered.

12:00  Information Presentation: College Programs, Financial Aid, Application Process

Learn  about Nashville, the programs offered at Watkins as well as see examples of student work from a presentation given by our Admissions Reps. Then stick around to learn about Financial Aid and Career Services here at Watkins.

1:00  Meet the Faculty

Split into groups based on what you want to study at Watkins and have an in-depth meeting with faculty from that department.

1:30  Information Fair
Portfolio Reviews (optional until 3)
Campus Housing Tours (optional until 3)



Call 615.277.7418 or email

Watkins will participate in the following National Portfolio Days:

  • Denver, CO – Sat, Sept 26
    Atlanta, GA – Sun, Sept 27
    Cincinnati, OH – Sat, Oct 3
    Austin, TX – Sat, Oct 10
    Dallas, TX – Sun, Oct 11
    Memphis, TN – Sat, Oct 17
    Chicago, IL – Sun, Oct 18
    Kansas City, MO – Sat, Oct 24
    St. Louis, MO – Sun, Oct 25
    Philadelphia, PA – Sun, Nov 8
    Washington, DC – Sat, Nov 21
    Baltimore, MD – Sun, Nov 22
    Charlotte, NC – Sun, Nov 22
    New Orleans, LA – Sat, Jan 16
    Miami, FL – Sat, Jan 23
    For more info about these events go to

What is National Portfolio Day?

National Portfolio Days are educational events for young artists held at host colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada. Portfolio Days bring together students and experienced college representatives, who review artwork, offer critique, discuss college plans, and share information about their schools.

These events are not an examination or a competition. The reviewers are interested in your development, look forward to seeing your work, and providing you with helpful information for this next important step in your education. So stop by our table and show us your stuff!

Who Should Attend?

Any student interested in studying art and / or design at the college level should attend a National Portfolio Day. Participating in a Portfolio Day will give you a taste of what it would be like to attend a professional art program. Keep in mind you may hear many different opinions about your work. This is your chance to explain your thought process and show us where you want to go with your work.

What Should You Bring?

We want to see your sketch books, works in progress and what you consider your best finished pieces. Always bring original artwork when possible (15 to 20 pieces is fine.) If your work is large, 3-dimensional or otherwise hard to carry, you can bring photographs of the work instead. You may bring your own laptop if you wish but Watkins will have a laptop available to look at work that needs to be viewed on a computer.  A portfolio review usually takes approximately 15 minutes.

Got questions? Email

For more information about National Portfolio Days and to view the 2014-2015 schedule, visit

How to Prepare and What to Bring Video


For more information, please visit the National Portfolio Day page




Plan Your Visit

Posted on: January 16th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Schedule A Visit

Weekday Tours

Monday – Friday at 11am*

There’s no better way to experience Watkins then by taking a tour of the school with one of our Admissions Representatives. All of our reps are artists and understand the importance of finding the right creative environment to learn, explore and grow. Our tours last approximately 45 – 60 minutes and encompass views of each of the five departments – Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography and Film. Tours of the residential apartments are offered at the end for those that are interested in on campus housing. During the tour you will learn about our foundation / studio classes, general education and the various ways Watkins prepares students to be professional artists.

Contact the Admissions Office to reserve your place on the tour:
Phone: toll free 844.219.2131

* If this tour time does not fit your schedule, please contact the Admissions Office and we will be glad to arrange a time that works for you.

Where to Stay

Watkins has established special rates at the hotels listed below. Please call the hotel directly and ask for the “Watkins College Rate” when making reservations.

Distance to Watkins Hotel Rate Phone
0.1 miles SpringHill Suites by Marriott $135 615-244-5474
0.8 miles Millennium Maxwell House Single or Double $108 615-259-4343

Financial Aid

Posted on: January 16th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Consider the Big Picture

First-rate quality doesn’t always have to mean the highest cost.  Watkins has a long history of keeping tuition low.  We were founded 125 years ago on the idea of making education affordable.  We pride ourselves on being able to offer a first-rate visual arts education at the lowest possible tuition for a regionally and nationally accredited four year BFA college, while never sacrificing the quality of the instruction, the qualifications of the faculty and the excellence of the facility.

The chart below may help you make your decision because it lays out the cost factor quite clearly. Remember that a large scholarship doesn’t always off-set a high tuition.  Watkins scholarships tend to be lower than many other art, design and film colleges because our tuition is lower and we build in less cushion.  Be sure to look at the big picture as you consider the economic factors of earning your degree.

For example, below is a list comparing Watkins with tuition at three similar colleges, all of which, including Watkins, are regionally and nationally accredited.:

Special Status

Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Special Status Application



Special Status Applicants

Application may be made to the college for entry as a Special Status Student (non-degree seeking), either for credit or non-credit. All Special Status students are limited to a total of 12 credit hours.

There are four Special Status categories:

Special Status/Credit
Special Status/Credit students receive academic credit for classes satisfactorily completed. These credits are available for transfer or may be used toward the requirements for any of the degree programs at Watkins, provided the student applies and is accepted as a degree-seeking student into the program. Students are required to complete the same attendance and class work requirements as degree-seeking students and will receive a grade.

Special Status/Non-Credit (audit)
Students wishing to audit a class must apply under the Special Status/Non-Credit category.  Non-credit students are required to complete the same attendance and class work requirements as credit students to receive a grade of P. Students not meeting these requirements will receive a grade of F.

Special Status/Transient
Students who are currently enrolled at another college or university and who wish to take a course at Watkins College and transfer back the credits to their primary institution may apply for admission as a Special Status/Transient student.  Applicants in this category are required to provide an official transcript or letter of good standing from their college or university as well as proof of prerequisite fulfillment. Transfer credit evaluation remains with the institution where the student is enrolled. Students are advised to contact their primary college prior to pursuing this status as acceptance of credit is at the will of the receiving institution.

Special Status/Dual Enrollment
Watkins offers  certain fundamental college-level courses to secondary school (high school) students in excellent academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or better). Secondary school students who have not yet received their high school diploma must provide their high school transcript and have the recommendation from their high school counselor. Secondary school students who enroll in credit courses at Watkins College with the intention of transferring those course credits to other institutions must understand before they enroll at Watkins that each institution determines on its own what credits it will accept from other institutions. Secondary school students who enroll in courses for credit at Watkins will be governed by the same academic rules and regulations that apply to regular undergraduate students at Watkins. They will be charged the same tuition and fees as regular undergraduate students. Additional information concerning Dual Enrollment, including a list of courses available under this program, may be obtained from the Admissions Office.  Please note that currently the State of Tennessee does provide some monetary assistance for dual-credit enrollment.  For more information please contact

All Special Status Applicants must:

  • Complete the Special Status Application available for download below.
  • Pay a $50 application fee by check, card or at
  • If the requested class(es) have prerequisites, submit an official transcript from a college showing the required class has been completed.
  • If the Special Status application is for transient credit, students must provide an official transcript or letter of good standing from their current institution.
  • Submit a brief statement of purpose explaining their goal in taking the class(es).

Once the application has been completed it will be submitted to the chair of the program in which the class resides.  If approved, the applicant will register for the class on a space-available basis once all degree seeking students have completed registration.  No payment for the class will be required until registration.

Important: Special status are not eligible to receive financial aid.


Special Status Application