Art scholarships are highly competitive and often hard to come by. But if you have the right resources and academic record, earning money for school isn’t impossible. We’ve chosen a handful of awards for art students across America to help you begin the application process.
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The Dream Pool Foundation provides $1,000 scholarships (subject to change with availability of funds) to students pursuing a post-secondary education in visual arts. Along with the application, candidates must submit a 1-2 page autobiography and two letters of recommendation.
In honor of P. Buckley Moss, the Moss Society awards a $1,500 scholarship (renewable up to 3 years) to students with a language-specific learning disability. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with a talent for visual arts and intent to pursue a career in visual arts. Candidates should also show sufficient financial need and have been accepted to an accredited 4-year university.
The Ladies Auxiliary conducts a patriotic art competition open to students across the United States. Entries may use water color, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen-and-ink or oil on a paper canvas. Digital art is not accepted. Work is judged on concept, presentation and patriotism. First place wins a $10,000 scholarship, second wins $5,000, third wins $2,500, fourth $1,000 and fifth $500.
Every year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers 25 scholarships to provide young musicians with money for new instruments/equipment and/or enrollment in a summer music program. The scholarship is open to students ages 8-18 who have not yet enrolled in college. In addition to a financial award of up to $10,000, winners will perform on a live taping on From the Top and design and implement an Arts Leadership program in their community.
This scholarship is available to women who have participated in a Miss America Pageant on the local, state or national level (regardless of whether a title was won). Applicants must be pursing a degree in performing arts at the undergraduate, master’s or higher level. Candidates are assessed by academic achievement, extra-circular participation, financial need and participation in Miss America.
The Japanese American Citizen’s League offers a creative and performing arts scholarships to its youth members. Recipients are chosen based on academic merit, artistic ability and involvement in JACL and the Asian American community. Along with your application, you must submit sample artwork, a letter of recommendation and a 2-page personal statement.
Berrien Fragos Thorn awards $500 grants without deadlines (application assessed on a case-by-case basis) and $2,500 semi-annual sums to migrant farm workers. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in developing their skills in visual, performing, media, literary or traditional art. Enrollment in school is not necessary, but history of movement to obtain agricultural work must be evident.
The American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Washington awards $300 scholarships to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of veterans in the state of Washington. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with plans to pursue an education in fine arts. Along with the application, students must submit 3 letters of recommendation, a high school transcript and a short essay.
The Connecticut Community Foundation offers annual awards ranging from $500 – $4,000 to Connecticut women pursuing an artistic career. Preference is given to students in the visual arts of painting and design. Awards can be used for tuition at an accredited college or qualifying artist-in-residence program. Applicants must reside in the Foundation’s service area.
The Community Fund of Middle Tennessee issues annual scholarships to college sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Art, a BA in Studio Art or a Masters of Fine Arts. A scholarship is also awarded to a student studying music with preference given to acoustic mandolin or acoustic guitar. Candidates must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours and have a 3.0 minimum GPA.
The Melton Art Reference Library in Oklahoma City awards one-time $1,500 scholarships to students participating in an Art Abroad Program. At least one class in the program must be an art class. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide proof of participation.
The Pittsburgh Foundation issues financial awards to graduating high school seniors in Pittsburgh who will attend a 2- or 4-year college or technical school. Applicants should be interested in pursuing a career in the arts and must submit 4 original artistic works to the Eleanor Friedberg Art Scholarship Awards Competition.
More ways to pay
The scholarships on this list are all great ways to help pay for college. But be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid so you get other sources of financial aid, too. The FAFSA is the key to unlocking grants, work-study opportunities and even additional private scholarships. Learn more about the FAFSA.