The sudden closure of the Art Institute of Seattle on Friday has put many students’ futures in question, including those who were close to graduating at the end of this quarter.

In response, Seattle Pacific University is offering a $3,000 transfer scholarship to eligible AI students who want to continue pursuing their degrees.

“For some of them, they’re really going to want to keep moving pretty quickly,” said Nate Mouttet, SPU vice president of enrollment management and marketing. “We made some quick calculations, because we assumed some AI students were going to have some need between the Seattle Pacific and the AI tuition.”

Tuition at AI was around $20,000 a year, which is much lower than the $42,480 per year in tuition a student pays at SPU, but Mouttet said there are other forms of financial aid students could apply for, not including updating their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some AI students were also close to graduation, and it could be just a few credits they have left.

“This is just a very unusual situation,” Mouttet said.

While SPU wants to help displaced AI students, there is a difference in credit hours between the two institutions, Mouttet said, so the university will have to balance its standards while also being compassionate to each AI student’s case.

He said SPU offers many programs comparable to AI, including interior design, apparel, merchandising, computer science and visual communications (graphic design).

SPU representatives will be at the AI campus on March 12-13 to speak with students about their options with SPU, which starts its spring quarter on March 25. Academic advisors and faculty will also be available for tours and a lunch in SPU’s Gwinn Commons Dining Hall mid-morning to early afternoon on Friday, March 15.

Mouttet said SPU had 10 international students from AI reach out last week, the art institute’s sudden closure causing them concern about losing their education visas. Getting transcripts and other records hadn’t been a problem, Mouttet said, but AI had still been operating then.

If AI students don’t want to make a commitment for the spring semester, they could still use the SPU-AI Transfer Scholarship the following autumn quarter that starts in September.

Mouttet said he expects a number of local students to consider SPU, Seattle University or another higher education institution in the area while those living outside Seattle may return home. SPU expects to be able to accommodate additional AI students, he said, and will use the summer to assess whether more programming is needed.