For Parents

What are the costs for the upcoming year?

For the 2017-18 Academic Year, there is flat-rate tuition of $21750  for full-time students taking 12 to 18 credits a semester. Part time students (under 12 credit hours per semester) will be charged $725 per credit hour, plus $65 per credit hour in student fees. The film students pay an additional $250/semester. This fee goes towards renting and buying additional film equipment. On-campus housing is $3300/semester for 2017/18.

What about a meal plan?

We do not currently offer a meal plan but our cafe is open Monday through Thursday for breakfast, lunch and dinner and on Friday for breakfast and lunch. In addition, all of the resident apartments have a fully equipped kitchen.

What are the minimum ACT, SAT and GPA requirements for an applicant?

We look for a GPA of 2.6 or above. However, a strong portfolio can help a scholastically weaker applicant to be considered for entry. There is no minimum ACT or SAT but the scores are used to fully understand the applicant’s academic strengths and weaknesses in conjunction with the transcript.

What about scholarships and financial aid?

In order to be considered for a scholarship, applicants must have the entire application finished by March 1st. After that date there is no guarantee that scholarship monies will be available. All financial aid, with the exception of institutional scholarships, is based on information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid program. You must file at and enter our school code of 031276 in order for us to calculate aid.


Does Watkins accept the Tennessee Hope Scholarships, the GI Bill and other veterans’ benefits?

Yes. We also match the Georgia HOPE scholarship, the South Carolina first-year award and the Kentucky KEES award up to $2500 a year.

What deadlines should I know about?

Application Deadlines:

Fall Entry

  • March 1st  – Priority scholarship consideration deadline
  • July 15th – Application deadline

Spring Entry

  • October 25th – Scholarship consideration deadline
  • November 15th – Application deadline (if you have not completed by this date, contact the Admissions Office.

Financial Aid:

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

What if my student misses the March 1st deadline?

We will continue to accept applications until July 15th. Although it is possible that some scholarship monies may be available after March 1st, those finished by that date take preference.

Will my student get a full, well-rounded education besides studying the arts?

Yes, each degree has a curriculum of general education classes that are required for the bachelor’s degree. In addition to those offered by Watkins, students with a GPA of 3.0 and above can, after their freshman year, supplement the selections by taking classes at Belmont University at Watkins tuition.

What about their future career?

Every degree has an internship program attached to it that allows the student to obtain real-world experiences and develop their resume. In addition, our Career Services office assists students on preparing to become professional, working artists. Since we are fully accredited, students can go on to graduate school if they chose to do so, assured that their degree will be honored.

To see what sorts of rewarding careers Watkins alums are enjoying, check out Alumni page.  There you can see the results of a 12 year survey of our graduates and the percentage of those tracked who are working in their degree field.

A great website to check is It is an annual study done by Indiana University regarding visual and performing arts graduates.


How can I get on your email list?

It’s easy! Just sign up for our newsletter here!

What if my student elects to utilize the Tennessee Promise first and then transfer to Watkins?

We welcome transfer students and work with the Tennessee Community College system through the Pathways.  You can check those on the  However, please understand that can be difficult to complete a BFA program within two years after completing an associate’s at a community college.  BFA programs rely on building blocks of studio classes, the second of which is completed in the sophomore year.   Most students do not receive the second block in a community college program.  Therefore, students entering without those second blocks will be behind in studio and will need to take those missed classes upon entering.  This may result in extending graduation into a fifth year.  If the student comes in seeking our BA in Art, it can be completed in two years.