Are you a fine arts student aiming to get a graduate degree and looking for the best Master of Fine Arts (MFA) scholarships? In this article, you will find several fine arts scholarships, one of which might be just what you’re looking for.
If you’re pursuing a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, you should check out the MFA scholarship programs that can pay for your higher education tuition. You can apply for many scholarships to enhance your skills and pursue the career you have always wanted. One of the scholarship programs listed here may be able to provide you with a fully financed MFA scholarship.
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What Is a Master of Fine Arts?
A Master of Fine Arts is a postgraduate degree program where you study visual arts, graphic design, photography, creative writing, or filmmaking. It could also involve arts administration or theater management. Though the study duration varies by country or university, it is predominantly focused on creating or performing.
How Much Does a Master of Fine Arts Cost?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition required for an MFA is $6,900 per semester at public universities and $18,150 per semester at private universities.
If you attend a two-year master’s degree course, tuition rates are between $27,600-$72,600. A three-year course will cost approximately $41,300-$108,900. The fee varies depending on the subject of study you choose for your MFA and the university you attend.
Master of Fine Arts Salary: How Much Can You Earn?
According to Payscale, the average salary of an MFA graduate is $63,000 per year, but it can vary greatly. There is a wide range of jobs available for an MFA graduate and some jobs can pay much higher than the average salary. For example, a packaging design manager’s salary is around $112,878 per year.
Is a Master of Fine Arts Worth It?
If fine arts is your true passion, an MFA is more than worth it. Just make sure that you choose the right program because MFA specifics vary. Ensure that the program you choose matches your goals and consider the costs of an MFA program in terms of time and money.
Do not fret about financing because there are many MFA scholarships available. You just have to put some effort into finding the right scholarship for you and apply for it.
How to Pay for Your Fine Arts Graduate Degree with Master of Fine Arts Scholarships
A Master of Fine Arts scholarship is provided to MFA students to cover the cost of their fees, either in full or partially. Unlike a loan, you do not repay a scholarship. MFA scholarships typically require a decent GPA and a portfolio in your field.
You can find MFA scholarships in scholarship search engines, such as scholarships.com, Fastweb, and Cappex. Some universities also have scholarship programs, and you can find those by going to the university’s official website and checking its list of scholarships. Full scholarships are usually easier to find.
Best Master of Fine Arts Scholarships: Overview
|Organization||Scholarship Name||How Much It Covers|
|Against the Grain Productions||Against the Grain Production Artistic Scholarship||$1,000|
|Columbia University||Columbia University School of the Arts Scholarship||Varies|
|The Community Foundation||Cyndy and Al Baran Fine Arts and Music Scholarship||Varies|
|Lyric Music Theater||Lyric Music Theater Scholarship||Varies|
|NSHSS Foundation||NSHSS STEAM Scholarship||Varies|
|Support Creativity||Support Creativity World Scholarship||$1,000|
|Taliesin Nexus||TalNexus MFA Scholarship||Up to $4,000|
|University of Georgia||Lamar Dodd School of Art Scholarship||Varies|
|Walt Disney Imagineering||Walt Disney Imaginations Design Competition Project Challenge||Varies|
|Waverly Community House||F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship||Up to $10,000|
Best Master of Fine Arts Scholarships: In Detail
Against the Grain Production Artistic Scholarship | Against the Grain
The Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship is for Asian American college students. It gives financial assistance to students majoring in the performing arts, journalism, and mass communications. Some of the criteria are the applicant’s GPA, community involvement and leadership, personal essay, portfolio and video submission, and personal interview.
The scholarship awards $1,000 to cover school tuition and fees. To apply, you must be a US resident and at least 25 percent Asian/Pacific Islander with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Additionally, the student must be enrolling in an MFA program and be majoring in visual or performing arts such as film, theater, fashion, photography, graphic design, dance, music, journalism, and mass communications.
School of the Arts Scholarship | Columbia University
Columbia University’s School of the Arts offers a variety of scholarships to incoming MFA students who meet the program’s qualifying criteria. Applications are submitted at the end of the school year to cover the next year. Students may also apply for the paid service program to get teaching positions at the school. This scholarship prioritizes full-time students in the first or second year of their MFA program.
Cyndy and Al Baran Fine Arts and Music Scholarship | The Community Foundation
Cynthia and Alan Baran’s great passion for the arts led them to establish this scholarship. The scholarship aims to provide an opportunity for young people to pursue their passion for visual arts and music. Qualified applicants are college sophomores, juniors, or seniors, and graduate students from any accredited college or university with at least six credit hours.
A student enrolled in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), a BA in Studio Arts, or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) can only receive one scholarship grant. A second scholarship is for a music degree program, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, for students pursuing a course in acoustic mandolin or acoustic guitar.
Lyric Music Theater Scholarship | Lyric Music Theater
The Lyric Music Theater Scholarship Program is funded by the Nissen-Jackson Scholarship, in honor of its two founders, Sadie Nissen and Helena Jackson. Other funds for this scholarship program come from the Linwood Dyer Foundation and admissions charges from the theater preview performances.
Qualified recipients of this scholarship are those actively pursuing the study of arts and there is no age limit. Your scholarship application should be in writing, stating your qualifications and proposed use of the scholarship award. The scholar can receive this scholarship award up to four times.
NSHSS STEAM Scholarships | NSHSS Foundation
NSHSS and its partners offer various scholarships and provide over $2,000,000 in financial assistance to their scholars yearly. The program aims to help students attain their full potential and pay for college, international study, summer programs, and graduate school.
The NSHSS Foundation provides STEAM scholarships to students who want to major in science and technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and any medical field. Application materials include a personal statement, a list of STEAM activities, photos, a transcript, and educator recommendations.
Support Creativity World Scholarship | Support Creativity
Steve Lucinde founded the Support Creativity World Scholarship to provide financial assistance to passionate creatives. There is no GPA requirement to apply for this scholarship because what matters here is your passion for creativity. The scholarship is for designers, animators, editors, photographers, artists, illustrators, and painters who wish to develop their skills at higher education institutions in New York.
Qualified applicants are those undergraduates or graduates in need of financial assistance. You don’t need to be a US citizen to apply. You can complete the application process through this scholarship’s website.
TalNexus MFA Scholarship | Taliesin Nexus
For those pursuing a Master of Fine Arts, the TalNexus Scholarship offers grants of up to $4,000, especially for storytellers (writers and filmmakers). TalNexus scholars are automatically accepted into Taliesin Nexus’ Writers Workshop.
The Taliesin Nexus’ Writers Workshop is free for its scholars, and it includes not just free tuition but also free room and board. Out-of-state scholars also get a travel allowance of up to $400.
Lamar Dodd School of Art Scholarship | University of Georgia
You may apply for the Lamar Dodd School of Art Scholarship through an online application. Eligible applicants are current undergraduate students and graduate students at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. UGA enrollees in art-intended majors are also eligible to apply. You only need to submit one general application for consideration to any scholarship.
Walt Disney Imaginations Design Competition | Walt Disney Imagineering
Marty Sklar, a Disney legend and Imagineering executive, created the program in 1991. Since then, it has evolved into two distinct versions, one sponsored by Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and the other by Shanghai Disney Resort. Its mission is to find and foster the next generation of Imagineers from all walks of life.
To be eligible, a student must be at least 18 years old and enrolled full-time in a college or university in the US as a junior, senior, or equivalent student. They should be a recent college graduate with a major in one of the required fields or disciplines.
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F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship | Waverly Community House
This scholarship provides financial aid to outstanding fine arts students. It aims to help them become professional artists. The scholar can use the financial assistance for a formal or informal study program in their chosen field in arts.
The determination of the Waverly Community House Selection Committee focuses on the talents of a qualified applicant. The scholarship awardee must have also resided in Northeast Pennsylvania at some point. Additionally, they should prove that they intend this chosen field to be their life’s work.
How to Pay for Your Fine Arts Graduate Degree Without Scholarships: Alternative Financial Aid Options
On top of the many scholarships available for your fine arts graduate degree, there are also other financial aid alternatives. The following are alternative financial aid options for paying for your MFA graduate degree.
Teaching or Research Assistantships
Graduate programs can be expensive. But you can always seek financial aid other than scholarships. One of these alternatives is to become a teaching or research assistant. While studying for your graduate degree in fine arts, you can teach a class or conduct research to serve your school in exchange for your total cost of tuition reimbursement and a living allowance.
Apply for Federal Work-Study under FAFSA
The Federal Work-Study Program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial needs. The student works part-time while enrolled in school, rendering service on community activities or doing any work related to their course. This allows them to earn money to pay for their education expenses.
Tuition Reimbursement Programs
Tuition reimbursement is usually available as an employee benefit from many employers. This program may require course eligibility that may differ depending on the company. Talk to your company’s human resources department to know if tuition benefits are available to you and how to apply for them.
Federal grants are available for graduate students, such as the US Department of Education’s direct unsubsidized loans and a Direct PLUS loan. A graduate student can borrow up to $20,500 per academic year and doesn’t need to prove their financial incapacity to qualify for the unsubsidized loan. A credit check is required as part of the Direct PLUS loan process but is less strict than private loans.
Military benefits cover your graduate course costs if you have spent time serving in the US military. Usually, the amount the military will pay will cover all costs, such as your tuition fees, housing, and other expenses. You may also look for Yellow Ribbon schools that will pay for most, if not all, of your tuition if you are a post-9/11 veteran under the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Should You Apply for Master of Fine Arts Scholarships?
Yes. If you need financial assistance to further your fine arts degree program, a scholarship can help cover your cost of tuition. You need not put your career development on hold because you cannot afford it. Utilize all possibilities such as grant opportunities, federal loans, MFA scholarships, and other special scholarship programs to advance your career as soon as possible.
Master of Fine Arts Scholarships FAQ
An MFA specializes in one specific area, such as creative writing, film and media studies, or theater arts. If you wish to have advanced training before becoming an artist, or writer, you need an MFA program. Additionally, If you have a Master of Fine Arts, you can become an art gallery manager or museum director.
Yes, there are graduate studies scholarships for a creative writing program. You can look at various scholarship options, such as Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Slipstream Poetry Contest, Scholastic Art & Writing Award, and many others.
The competitiveness of MFA programs varies based on the program you choose. However, acceptance percentages can be extremely low because of the vast number of students that apply and the small number of colleges that accept them. Many schools only accept a few MFA students per year, so don’t let a few rejections affect your confidence.
Due to the severity of the eligibility standards, you may be in for a highly competitive scholarship process. It’s a good idea to apply to several different MFA grants that are a good fit for you. Assess your situation carefully and connect with programs that meet your requirements. During this process, a positive element to consider is the likelihood of receiving a scholarship award and attending the course you have been longing for.
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