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The Best Art Scholarships For 2019

Hoping to apply for college or university art scholarships? We’ve rounded up the best scholarships for art students in fine art, visual art, and performing art programs.

Ready to dive headfirst into a degree or diploma in art? While you’re busy filling out college applications, getting your application portfolio looking top-notch, and trying to bump that GPA up just a little higher, don’t forget to apply for a few art scholarships.

There’s tons of scholarships for art students available from schools, private companies, professional associations, community groups, and even individuals. In addition to the financial reward, having a scholarship or award on your resume can be a nice feather in your cap when pursuing a career in the art world.

What Art Scholarships Should I Apply For?

Most art scholarships will accept applications from students from a variety of disciplines. But there are also photography scholarships, dance scholarships, graphic design scholarships, film scholarships, drawing scholarships, animation scholarships, performing arts scholarships, fashion design scholarships, and interior design scholarships. Lots to choose from!

Here are a few tips to get your search started:

  • In addition to the art scholarships we’ve rounded up below, there are many others geared toward a specific area. Some are only open to students from specific counties, cities, or even high schools. Many youth and community groups also offer scholarships exclusively for their members.
  • There are also plenty of art school scholarships offered to students at specific colleges or universities, and the institution(s) you’re hoping to attend will likely have some available as well. Check on your school’s website to see what’s available.
  • Additionally, you could also apply for art contests, illustration contests and photography or design contests that aren’t necessarily student-specific, but could still help you gain exposure, win some cash, and start your career off on the right foot.

Don’t Forget to Create an Online Portfolio

Since you’ll be collecting samples of your best work for art scholarship applications, you should create an online art portfolio for them while you’re at it. A great website builder will make that process quick and easy.

Here are some online portfolio creation tips to keep in mind:

  • Choosing an online portfolio builder with attractive, customizable themes will keep your work looking organized and professional with minimal effort, while still giving you enough flexibility to control the way your work is presented.
  • A portfolio builder that lets you embed video is a particularly smart choice for those applying for film scholarships or performing arts scholarships.
  • If you’re always creating new work you’d like to show off, a platform that lets you edit your portfolio via an iPhone app makes things super-convenient.
  • A well-written About Me page featuring your artist statement, achievements, and goals can be a great complement to those scholarship essays. (And if/when you get awarded the scholarship of your dreams, remember to add it to your bio!)

Having a tough time choosing what images to use? Check out these tips for curating an amazing portfolio.

Want a head-turning art portfolio website? Curate your work and design your website exactly the way you want it. Start your free trial with Format today!

Now that you’ve got your online portfolio all ready to go, it’s time to delve into those art scholarship options!

Art Scholarships

These general scholarships for artists are open to students in a wide variety of disciplines, including performing art, visual art, and design.

Archibald Rutledge Scholarship Program

Deadline: Feburary 4, 2019
Amount: $2,000
This art scholarship is open to South Carolina high school seniors who have attended a South Carolina public high school for at least two years, and will be remaining in the state for college or university. There are five categories (creative writing, dance, music, theater and visual art scholarships), each requiring an original submission.

Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship

Deadline: May 7, 2019
Amount: $1,000
This communications and art scholarship is open to Asian-American college students (at least 50% Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity) pursuing a major in performing arts, visual arts, journalism, or mass communications. Must be either a high school senior or a full-time college student at a U.S. vocational school, junior college, or college/university and must be a full-time, degree-seeking student by the upcoming academic calendar year.

AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships

Deadline: TBD
Amount: Up to $6,000
These art scholarships go to students studying fine art, graphic design, illustration, or photography who have at least a 2.0 GPA. Applicants must display financial need and submit a portfolio of original work. Minority status is a significant factor in award decisions.

Catherine W. Pierce Scholarship

Deadline: Late September 2019
Amount: Up to $5,000
Open to college students majoring in art or art history. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.5 or over. The application includes a one-page essay.

CBC Spouses Visual Art and Performing Art Scholarships

Deadline: April 15, 2019
Amount: Varies
This broad arts scholarship is open to African-American or black students majoring in the visual arts (architecture, ceramics, drawing, fashion, graphic design, illustration, interior design, painting, photography, sketching, video production, etc.), or in the performing arts (theater, drama, comedy, music, dance, opera, marching bands, etc.). Students must be or plan to be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program.

Cynthia and Alan Baran Fine Arts Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 15, 2019
Amount: Varies
Open to undergraduate or graduate students in a BFA, BA in Studio Art, MFA, or BA/MA in Music program at an accredited college or university. The art scholarship portion of the fund is limited to those studying painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, or printmaking. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required.

Dorian De Long Arts & Music Scholarship

Deadline: March 1, 2018
Amount: $1,500 to $2,000
This art scholarship is open to graduating high school students who intend to pursue advanced education in the study of arts, and will be majoring or minoring in either the visual or performing arts.

Esther Kanagawa Memorial Art Scholarship

Deadline: February 15, 2019
Amount: Varies
Open to current high school seniors living in Hawaii who plan to major in the fine arts at an accredited college or university. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.7 or higher and demonstrate financial need.

Florence Lemcke Memorial Scholarship in Fine Arts

Deadline: March 1, 2019
Amount: $1,000
Open to graduating high school seniors in Washington State who are studying the fine arts (painting, drawing, photography, literature, architecture, sculpture, poetry, music, dance, or drama). Applicants must also be the child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of a veteran.

Gold Grant Scholarship Award

Deadline: March 31, 2019
Amount: $2,000
This art scholarship is open to full-time undergrad art majors, including graduating college seniors, enrolled in a community college or university in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. Students must submit an application that includes five examples of their best work in non-digital 2D media, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, an artist’s statement, and a biography.

Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

Deadline: March 1, 2019
Amount: $1,500
This fine arts scholarship is open to high school seniors residing in Iowa. Students must also be accepted to an Iowa college or university, and plan to major in the fine arts.

Jay Franke Scholarship

Deadline: April 15, 2019
Amount: $5,000
Incoming freshmen with Type 1 diabetes who are pursuing a degree in music, theater, or dance can apply for this art scholarship.

Lois Livingston McMillen Fund

Deadline: March 1, 2019
Amount: $500 to $4,000
Open to women from Connecticut studying fine arts, with preference given to those studying painting or design.

Lyly Koenig Mendez Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: May 7, 2019
Amount: $1,000
This arts scholarship is open to Asian-American (at least 50% Asian and/or Pacific Islander) students pursuing a major in fashion and/or graphic design. Students must be a full-time high school senior or college student and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also demonstrate community and extracurricular involvement.

Ritchie M. Gregory Fund

Deadline: February 15, 2019
Amount: Varies
Open to college or university students and current Hawaii residents who are majoring in art and have a GPA of at least 2.7. Awards are given based on academic achievement, character, and financial need.

Sub Pop Loser Scholarship

Deadline: TBD
Amount: $3,000 to $7,000
Arguably the hippest art scholarship on this list, the Loser Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors living in Washington and Oregon who are on their way to full-time enrollment in university or college (though they need not necessarily be studying art). Applicants must write an essay about their involvement in their local art or music scene. Copies of their artwork, photos of community involvement, videos, etc. are also encouraged.

Zinggia Art Scholarship

Deadline: March 3, 2019
Amount: $2,000
Open to Ohio high school students interested in pursuing a career in art-related fields (including painting, illustration, design, photography, printmaking, sculpture, etc.).

Photography Scholarships

James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Photojournalists

Deadline: November 15, 2019
Amount: $2,500
Aspiring Peter Parkers should consider this photography scholarship, which is open to undergraduate or graduate students who are driven to tell a story through video or still photography.

Lucie Foundation Emerging Scholarships

Deadline: June 15, 2019
Amount: $1,000-$2,500
This photography scholarship is open to photographers 18 years and older worldwide who are enrolled as a student; in the first five years of their photography career; or do not earn the majority of their income from photography. Applicants must submit a project outline detailing how the scholarship money will be spent, as well as a selection of digital images.

National Press Photographers Foundation Scholarships

Deadline: TBD
Amount: $2,000
Open to students enrolled full-time in an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. or Canada who show an aptitude for photojournalism. Students must demonstrate financial need and be able to use the scholarship at the beginning of the following semester.

Dance Scholarships

Caroline H. Newhouse Scholarship Fund

Deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year
Amount: $2,000
Open to dancers who have had a performing dance career for at least seven years (does not have to be consecutive), have gained 100 weeks or more of paid dance employment in the US, and have garnered total gross earnings of $56,000 or more over the course of the previous seven years.

Mary Benevento/CTAHPERD Scholarship

Deadline: June 15, 2019
Amount: $1,000
Open to high school seniors from Connecticut who plan to major in dance (or another physical/health education field) at a Connecticut college or university. Students will be judged based on academic ability, professional competence, and future career potential.

NYCDA Foundation College Scholarship Program

Deadline: TBD
Amount: $5,000 to $160,000 (most awards are between $5,000 and $25,000)
This dance scholarship is open to applicants who have recently completed their junior or senior year of high school. Applicants must attend an audition and submit a letter of recommendation from a dance instructor. Scholarships last for four years of college.

Graphic Design Scholarships

Andy and Julie Plata Honorary Scholarship

Deadline: May 1, 2019
Amount: $2,000
Open to students pursuing a career within the document management and graphic communication industry. Applicants for the graphic design scholarship must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be a full-time student attending an accredited college or university for the upcoming fall semester.

Cheryl Lynn Rutledge Northern Indigenous Student Award

Deadline: May 1, 2019
Amount: $1,000
This graphic design scholarship is open to Indigenous students (with preference given to those from Yukon, Nunavut or NWT) pursuing full-time education in graphic or communication design at a Canadian college or university. Applicants must be a member of Graphic Designers of Canada, and must provide portfolio samples and a brief essay.

GDC Foundation Ray Hrynkow Scholarship

Deadline: May 1, 2019
Amount: $1,000
Another offering from Graphic Designers of Canada, this design scholarship is open to students entering the third or fourth year of a four-year undergraduate communication/graphic design program in Canada. Applicants must be a member of Graphic Designers of Canada. Applications must include a design project demonstrating problem-solving through communication design.

TLMI Four Year College Degree Scholarship

Deadline: March 31, 2019
Amount: $5,000
Open to college juniors and seniors who are majoring in graphic arts, graphic design, or a different major, and who are interested in a career in the tag and label industry. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA, supply three personal references, and submit an essay.

Film Scholarships

Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships

Deadline: April 15, 2019
Amount: $7,000 to $10,000
Open to students majoring in film and broadcasting. Available scholarship categories include: college juniors and seniors majoring in film, television, and related fields; senior students at NYU majoring in film or video; senior students majoring in film or video at USC; grad students studying film or video at UCLA; and grad students studying in the film or video MFA program at NYU.

Francis D. Lyon Scholarship

Deadline: March 15, 2019
Amount: $3,000
This film scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students who have completed two full years of college by June 30 of the year the scholarship is being awarded. Awards are given based on evidence of talent (work samples are encouraged), academic excellence, and financial need.

UFVF/KODAK Student Scholarship Program

Deadline: TBD
Amount: $2,000 to $5,000
This film scholarship, sponsored by film giant Kodak, is open to graduate or undegratuate university/college students in a number of countries worldwide. Prizes are awarded in filmmaking and cinematography.

Drawing Scholarships

The John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship Fund

Deadline: February 1, 2019
Amount: $500 to $5,000
Students dedicated to “classical or conservative” painting and drawing may want to apply for this art scholarship. Applicants must submit a portfolio of original art (including landscapes and figure drawing) with their application.

Animation Scholarships

Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: January 31, 2019
Amount: $5,000
Yep, that Mister Rogers. This scholarship, created in honour of TV personality Fred Rogers, is open to graduate students (Masters or Ph.D), or those about to enter graduate school, who are pursuing a career in children’s media, including animation. (This scholarship is based on project proposals, and may not be used for tuition.)

Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund

Deadline: June 30, 2019
Amount: $2,500
Open to students pursuing careers specializing in interactive entertainment, including art, animation, programming, engineering, game direction, game design, sound design, and music composition. Students must have a minimum 3.3 GPA and be either a full-time undergraduate student starting their second year, or a graduate student.

Women In Animation Scholarship

Deadline: TBD
Amount: $1,000
Open to female-identified, full-time students at an accredited school within North America that offers courses in animation. Students must be a member of Women In Animation, have a GPA of 2.85 or higher, and submit a portfolio of original work.

Performing Arts Scholarships

Aiko Susanna Tashiro Hiratsuka Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 1, 2019 (for incoming college freshmen) and April 1, 2019 (for all other students)
Amount: Varies
This performing arts scholarship is open to active student/individual members of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) studying performing arts. Up to 30 scholarships are awarded annually.

Donna Reed Performing Arts Scholarship

Deadline: TBD
Amount: Up to $1,000
Open to performing arts students in Iowa. Applicants must submit a video audition, headshot, and a letter of recommendation from a drama educator to apply.

Educational Theatre Association Thespian Scholarships

Deadline: April to May 2019, depending on scholarship
Amount: $500 to $4,000
This group of performing art scholarships is open to students at various levels of theater study (from graduating high school senior to college senior).

Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship

Deadline: TBD
Amount: $500 to $3,000
Open to student performers wishing to pursue further education and professional development. This theater scholarship offers roughly 16 regional awards ($500 each); select recipients are invited to take week-long, expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C. for courses, and to present their scholarship audition to a panel. The top two will receive $2,500 scholarships.

Fashion Design Scholarships

National Costumers Association Creative Event Scholarship

Deadline: April 1, 2019
Amount: $500 to $1,500
Open to U.S. high school seniors and currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students with a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Applicants must present an original costume design from any genre.

Two Ten Footwear Design Scholarship

Deadline: April 5, 2019
Amount: Up to $3,000 (renewable)
This fashion design scholarship is open to students who are studying design with a focus on footwear. Applicants must be enrolled or be about to enroll in an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational/technical school. Applications must include three design drawings, and will be screened based on design potential and financial need.

Interior Design Scholarships

ASID Foundation Legacy Scholarships

Deadline: April 17, 2019
Amount: $4,000
This interior design scholarship features separate prizes for undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants are asked to submit portfolios and letters of recommendation; the graduate scholarship also requires an essay. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic accomplishment and creative achievement.

Bienenstock Furniture and Interior Design Competition

Deadline: TBD
Amount: $1,500 to $5,000
Open to junior, senior, or graduate students enrolled in an accredited college design program in the United States. Separate prizes are awarded for interior design and in furniture design.

David Barrett Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: January 2020
Amount: $12,000
This interior design scholarship, open to undergraduate and graduate students, recognizes those who “demonstrate an interest and ability in utilizing classical designs and traditional materials, including furniture and fabrics”. Applications must feature a portfolio and accompanying portfolio statement, a statement of your career goals, and a letter of recommendation.

IFDA Student Membership Scholarship

Deadline: March 31, 2019
Amount: $2,000
This design scholarship is open to students majoring in interior design or a related design/furnishing program, with extra consideration given to students who have volunteered in their community and shown leadership potential. Applicants must submit requires a letter of recommendation from a current IFDA Professional Member, an essay, and two to three examples of design work.

Joel Polsky Academic Achievement Award

Deadline: April 17, 2019
Amount: Up to $5,000
This design scholarship is open to undergraduate or graduate students. Applicants must submit a research or thesis project that deals with wellness and design. Entries will be judged on quality of content, breadth of material, comprehensive coverage of topic, innovative subject matter, bibliography, and references.

Kansas City IFMA Scholarship

Deadline: April 30, 2019
Amount: $500 and up
Open to students majoring interior design, architecture, or a field related to facility management. Applicants must be enrolled in a Kansas or Missouri college or university, and are asked to include a letter of professional intent, two recommendation letters, evidence of extracurriculars, and proof of GPA with their application.

Robert W. Thunen Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: April 30, 2019
Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
Here’s an illuminating design scholarship: This award is open to full-time students (undergraduate junior, senior, or graduate students) hoping to pursue a career in lighting. Students must be attending an accredited four-year college or university in Northern California, Nevada, Oregon, or Washington. The scholarship covers all fields of lighting, including interior design and theater lighting.

Ruth Clark Furniture Design Scholarship

Deadline: March 31, 2019
Amount: $3,000
Open to students majoring in interior design or a related design/furnishing program. Extra consideration given to students who have volunteered and show leadership potential. Applicants must submit a letter of recommendation, an essay, and five different examples of original furniture designs.

Visual Art Scholarships

American Institute of Graphic Arts Honolulu Chapter Scholarship Fund

Deadline: February 15, 2019
Amount: Varies
This visual art scholarship is open to Hawaii residents who are attending college in the U.S., and majoring in graphic design, visual communication, or commercial arts. Applicants must also show financial need and have a 2.7 GPA or above.

Krylon Clear Choice Art Scholarship

Deadline: May 31, 2019
Amount: $1,000
Open to high school seniors, college freshmen, and college sophomores in the U.S. and Canada with a declared major in a visual arts program, such as painting, drawing, and sketching. Applicants must submit an art portfolio and artist statement. Scholarship recipients will also receive art products from Krylon.

Victor Agnoni Visual Arts Foundation - VAVAF LGBT Arts Scholarship

Deadline: April 18, 2019
Amount: $1,500
Open to LGBTQ high school seniors entering college (though the applicant need not be majoring in arts). Students must submit an essay, letter of recommendation, and visual arts portfolio as part of their application.

Wendy Jackson Hall Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 1, 2019
Amount: $15,000
This one is for graduating high school seniors from a Washington State public high schools who have been accepted into the art program of an accredited four-year U.S. college or university, and intend to enroll as a full-time student the following year. Applicants must demonstrate talent in the visual arts, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and show financial need.

Design Scholarships

Aluminum Extrusion Student Design Competition

Deadline: April 1, 2019
Amount: $1,000 to $3,000
Are you a high school, undergraduate, graduate, trade, and technical school student currently enrolled in school and very into aluminum? Applicants must design a product that incorporates at least one extruded aluminum component.

Vectorworks Design Scholarship

Deadline: August 31, 2019
*Amount: $3,000 to $10,000
Open to U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a design-oriented degree (including interior design, graphic design, lighting design, industrial design, theater design, exhibit design, etc.). Students must submit an original design as part of their application.

Good luck!

Looking for more tips on building an art career?
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