If you’re currently a university student studying art or a high school graduate interested in a degree in art, you may be aware of the wide range of learning paths available. Some of these include majors like graphic design, dance, visual arts, art history, and illustration. Although some students can afford bachelor’s programs, art scholarships are important for students who can’t.
This article is dedicated to walking you through how to get an art scholarship. In addition to tips, we’ve detailed some of the best art scholarships for high school students to apply for. If you want to learn about eligibility requirements, scholarship amounts, and tips for finding the right scholarship for your art education, continue reading.
What Is an Art Scholarship?
Art scholarships are a form of financial aid awarded to students who are currently completing an arts degree or interested in pursuing one. Institutions that award scholarships look for academic merit, artistic talent, and financial need.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) mentions that the average cost of attending college is $25,281 per year, including tuition, fees, room, and board. While some students can afford this amount, many can’t. Art scholarships help the students who can’t afford tuition for art programs.
Common Art Scholarship Requirements
- A minimum grade point average (GPA. The minimum GPA requirement varies between each scholarship program. Some Scholarships have a minimum GPA requirement to be an eligible applicant, so aim for a good GPA between 3.0 and 4.0.
- Prepare a portfolio of your artistic work. Many scholarship programs require applicants to submit an artistic portfolio to show their best work and creative abilities. The content of your physical or digital portfolio depends on which field of art you study.
- Provide two to three letters of recommendation. When applying for a scholarship, you will need to ask for a letter of recommendation from colleagues, counselors, or employers familiar with your work.
- Provide high school or college transcripts. Schools and foundations give merit-based scholarships on a competitive basis, and academic achievement plays a role in the selection process. Scholarship committees will look at your high school or college transcripts before deciding on a winner.
- Complete the scholarship application forms. This includes the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). The most important part of the process is an in-person or online application form. You will either have to fill in a scholarship application form or a FAFSA during your application for admissions.
How to Find Art Scholarships
There are a wide variety of art scholarships for students. Some of these are applicable to certain types of art, while others apply to the broad field of art. Below are some tips that will help you throughout your search for art scholarships.
Research Available Scholarships on the Internet
The Internet is a great resource to find specific information. Many reliable websites can help you find undergraduate and graduate scholarships for art majors. Searching for the art scholarships in the search tab will yield many results.
Find Scholarships in Local Publications
Local publications include magazines, newspapers, TV programs, and other resources for the public. All of these resources can make you aware of art scholarship opportunities. In addition, you should check your local library and contact relevant colleges for further assistance.
Contact Federal Agencies
Federal agencies are agencies set up by the government to fulfill a specific purpose. Many federal agencies offer scholarships to students who are in financial need or have excelled in their field of study. Contact your local federal agencies to find out about the scholarships they offer.
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Tips to Find Art Scholarships for High School Students
Speak to Your High School Guidance Counselor
If you are unsure how to find art scholarships, you can approach your high school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors are responsible for assisting students with making career and academic plans. They should have inside information about local art scholarships.
Reach out to the Financial Aid Office of Your Top Universities
The easiest way to find a scholarship is through the college you will attend. Most colleges and universities award scholarships to students. You can find out about those scholarships by contacting the financial aid office of your potential college or university.
Start Your Search Early
The US News & World Report states that most high school students apply for a scholarship during their senior year. However, you can apply for a freshman scholarship well before that. Applying for a scholarship earlier will increase your chances of winning one.
10 Best Art Scholarships in 2022: Overview
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Eight-credit course: $7,000
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Top 10 Art Scholarships: In Detail
1. Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship
- Awarded by: Against The Grain Productions
- Deadline: May 31, 2022
The Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship supplies Asian American students in college with financial assistance. They also promote the study of performing arts, journalism, and visual arts in the Asian American community. They consider five criteria during the selection process. These include quality of submission content, academic performance, community service experience and contribution, and committee interview.
2. AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships
- Awarded by: AIGA
- Deadline: April 13, 2022
The AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships help underprivileged and underrepresented students studying illustration, photography, or design programs. This scholarship awards students $2,000 to $3,000 to help with their tuition fees, and they pay this amount directly to the school.
3. Antonio Cirino Memorial Scholarship
- Awarded by: Rhode Island Foundation
- Deadline: April 25, 2022
The Antonio Cirino Memorial Scholarship benefits graduate students undertaking a graduate degree to obtain a master’s or doctorate in arts to pursue a teaching career. This scholarship gives an annual award from $2,000 to $12,000. The Rhode Island Foundation awards this renewable scholarship to students who need financial aid.
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4. ArtCenter Scholarships
- Awarded by: Art Center College of Design
- Deadline: October 1, 2022
The ArtCenter scholarships are for students in financial need and enrolled in a part-time or full-time program. All students that apply to this university get considered for a scholarship, although the award amount varies. The scholarship committee decides on the award amount based on financial need and how many units you will complete.
5. Educational Theater Association Board of Directors Scholarship
- Awarded by: Educational Theater Association
- Deadline: April 1, 2022
The Educational Theater Association Board of Directors Scholarship is for full-time students at college and interested in a theater education career. This annual scholarship awards $1,000 to one applicant and provides financial aid for tuition and fees. Incoming freshman and graduating students are not eligible for this scholarship.
6. Honors GradU Multimedia Scholarship
- Awarded by: HonorsGradU
- Deadline: May 28, 2022
The Honors GradU Multimedia Scholarship is for high school students in their senior year and graduating. Eligible students must be serious about helping the community because this application includes a community improvement project. Winners will receive $10,000 towards college tuition and fees and $5,000 toward their community project.
7. Iowa Scholarship for the Arts
- Awarded by: Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
- Deadline: April 1, 2022
The Iowa Scholarship for the Arts provides funding to high school senior students for their college education. Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awards this scholarship of $2,500 to people who excel at art and show commitment to undertaking an art major at an Iowa university. Scholarship award recipients must show confirmation of acceptance into a university or college in Iowa.
8. NYCDA Foundation College Scholarship Program
- Awarded by: New York Dance Alliance (NYCDA) Foundation
- Deadline: June 28, 2022 and July 16, 2022
The NYCDA Foundation College Scholarship Program is for students who have just completed their junior or senior year in high school and want to pursue a performance-based program such as musical theater or dance. There are two application deadlines for this musical theater and dance scholarship. You will need one scholarship application and one audition application.
9. Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship
- Awarded by: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
- Deadline: March 15, 2022 and November 1, 2022
The Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship provides financial aid of $2,000 to art major students. This merit-based scholarship is renewable each semester if students complete 75 to 100 percent of their credits. You are eligible for a scholarship if you have completed the college application process before the scholarship deadline.
10. Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship
- Awarded by: Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE)
- Deadline: October 15, 2022
The Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship financially helps current college students with tuition and fees. SHAPE chooses scholarship winners according to their academic achievements, leadership skills, and character attributes. SHAPE awards scholarship funds of $1,250 to undergraduate students and $1,750 to graduate students. Each year there are two graduate and three undergraduate winners.
Should I Apply for an Art Scholarship?
Yes, you should apply for a scholarship for art because it can help you pay for your art degree program. College and university tuition is costly, so any help can make a difference. Scholarships for art students help them achieve their dream of pursuing a career in the art field without the added stress of paying off their tuition after graduating.
More Art Scholarships: Performing Arts Scholarships
As a student going into the performing arts, you will have many scholarships to apply for. The following subjects fall under this category: dancing, singing, theatre, music, and broadcasting. Below are some of the scholarships in these fields.
Alan D. Engelsman and Penny Lu Engelsman Scholarship
The Alan D. Engelsman and Penny Lu Engelsman Scholarship is awarded to students majoring in theatre or English. This $500 scholarship is renewable each year for up to four years. There is no audition required, but students must work part-time throughout their entire time in college to qualify.
The Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students studying performing arts. This scholarship is provided by the Japanese American Citizens League, and you must be a member to apply. You do not have to be of Japanese descent to be a member.
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The Heroes and Legends Scholarship is a scholarship that is awarded to students who are looking to get into the performing arts in college and have the ambition and drive to further their careers within the field. This scholarship is only good for one term and you must submit an audition tape from a previous performance to receive it.
Hope College awards an annual $3,000 scholarship for students who are interested in dance. You do not need to be a dance major to apply for this scholarship. To qualify, you must audition, join their dance program, and take two dance classes per semester.
Students who are looking to major in photography can qualify for the following scholarships.
The Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant is a $2,000 scholarship awarded biannually for college-level students who are planning to major in photography or are already enrolled in a photography program.
Students must either be enrolled in a two- or four-year college program for this award. To be considered, you must send a video explaining how the scholarship will impact you and why you would like to be considered.
Fine Arts Scholarships
Fine arts scholarships are given to students whose interests lie in writing, painting, and drawing.
The Cyndy and Al Baran Fine Arts and Music Scholarship is awarded to art students who are in their sophomore, junior, senior year of college, or are in graduate school. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and the scholarship amount varies depending on what the foundation chooses to provide.
The Foundation Scholarship Fund is a $2,000 scholarship for art students who specialize in watercolor. To be considered for this scholarship, you must submit an essay and watercolor art that you have done.
The Walt Disney Imaginations Design Competition Project Challenge is for university students at the junior, senior, or graduate level. To apply, a student must submit a beautiful, storytelling piece of art that is inspirational, meaningful, and either honors the past or looks to the future.
This scholarship is unique as it allows students to apply as a team. Your team must submit a letter from your accredited university, talk about the location you chose to feature in your art, and the goals of the piece, and how it relates to the personal experiences of the team. When submitting your design, teams must also create a slideshow showcasing individual work, and explaining each team member’s story.
The finalists for this project have the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to Disney Headquarters to present their project and also get the chance at an internship with Disney.
The National YoungArts Foundation offers scholarships in fine arts and performing arts. It is aimed at young talent who are in dance, music, theatre, and writing.
Fashion Design Scholarships
Two Ten Higher Education Footwear Design Scholarship
The Two Ten Footwear Design Scholarship is a renewable $3,000 scholarship that is awarded to students who are studying fashion design with a focus on footwear. Applicants are selected based on their financial need and the quality of their designs.
The Vectorworks Design Scholarship is awarded to students who are pursuing a major in any design arts, such as architecture, graphic design, fashion design, construction, and other related design fields. This scholarship is worth $3,000.
The Francis D. Lyon Scholarship is given by Phi Delta Theta, but you do not have to be a member of the fraternity to apply. It is intended for graduate students who are studying drama, theatre, or film. This scholarship is worth $2,500 and students must submit proof of strong grades and artwork to apply.
Kodak offers two scholarships, one for graduate students and another for undergraduate students.
The Association of Moving Image Archivists Scholarship is available to graduate students studying film, moving images, or production. The $4,000 award is given based on a student’s commitment to motion image archiving.
The Kodak Scholarship Program is a scholarship awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who are studying film, cinematography, and other related fields. Students must create a film on a story or theme.
The first-place winner will receive a $5,000 Kodak Motion Picture Product Grant and $1,000 in cash. Second place gets a $4,000 grant and third place receives a $3,000 grant.
The Hollywood Animation Educators Forum Student Scholarship is awarded to students who are majoring in any animation program. It is worth between $2,500 and $5,000.
Art Scholarships FAQ
You can increase your chances of winning a scholarship by applying to more than one, compiling a portfolio with your best work, submitting your application before the scholarship deadline, and maintaining a high GPA.
Yes, there are many scholarships in the US for international students. Each scholarship has specific requirements that you should meet to qualify. Read the eligibility criteria carefully to determine if you are an eligible student.
You can get a scholarship for most art disciplines. Art scholarships can include graphic design, performing arts, dance, fine arts, photography, music, and video game design.
The highest-paying art degree job is a game designer, according to ZipRecruiter. Game designers earn a median salary of $130,000, annually. If you want to get a job in game design, you need to acquire a degree in multimedia design, graphic design, or a related field.
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