Many young people have the dream of becoming famous actors. While some actors choose to get their education on the job, it can be easier to find parts and build a professional network if you go to acting school. Acting school is highly rewarding, but also expensive. There are many scholarship opportunities available to students who qualify. When students receive these scholarships, they will be able to defray the cost of education and reduce the number of student loans that they would have to take out.
Finding reputable scholarship opportunities can be challenging in any field, but it is especially hard in acting. Nancy Etz has found these 11 acting scholarships to help students find the opportunities they need.
1. Nancy Etz Scholarship
This is a $1,000 award intended for students at the undergraduate or graduate level. The scholarship recognizes excellence in academic achievement as well as skill and talent. Students must write a 500-word essay detailing a special accomplishment or attribute that sets them apart. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is February 1, 2021.
2. Princess Grace Foundation Awards for Film
The Princess Grace Foundation scholarship is available for students who are interested in theater, dance, or film. This prestigious award is only available to students who have been nominated by their college dean or department chair. Artistic directors may also nominate students. The application period for this academic year began on September 1, 2020.
3. Barbizon College Tuition Scholarship
This scholarship is available to a broad range of students, including acting students. The scholarship is awarded in the amount of $10,000 to cover a four-year education. Students need to be seniors in high school and to have an acceptance to a four-year, full-time accredited institution. This year’s deadline is December 1, 2020.
4. Donna Reed Foundation Scholarships
This scholarship is available to students graduating from a high school in Iowa. Applicants need to be studying drama, and they need to have performed in school productions. Students must have an acceptance to an accredited college or university, maintain a 3.0 grade point average, and share a high-quality example of their acting via video. The deadline for this year is May 31, 2021.
5. Heroes and Legends Scholarship
Minority or at-risk youth have a special need for scholarships to pursue a college education. This scholarship rewards students with persistence and drive. Scholarship applicants are required to study in performing art disciplines like acting. Students who receive this award must live or study in Southern California. They need to be able to demonstrate that they are positive role models in their community. The deadline for this scholarship has not been set forth.
6. Elaine Sirkin Forbes Scholarship
The Pittsburgh Foundation awards this scholarship to rising first-year college students from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The award will be between $500 and $2,000 per year. These students must be planning to pursue degrees in media, visual, or performance art. Students need to maintain a 2.5 GPA and write a personal essay to be considered for the scholarship.
7. George Heller Memorial Scholarship
The Screen Actors Guild Foundation awards an annual $2,500 scholarship. It is intended for members of SAG-AFTRA and their eligible legal dependents. The scholarship can be used for tuition expenses in the performing arts. This year’s scholarship applications begin on December 4, 2020. Eligible members of SAG-AFTRA and their legal dependents can use this funding for tuition and fees in performing arts schools, including acting school. The scholarship application process begins on December 4, 2020.
8. CBC Spouses Performing/Visual Arts Scholarship
For constituents of members of the Congressional Black Caucus, this scholarship is intended to help African American students achieve careers in the performing arts including acting. 10 awards are made each year in the amount of $3,000. Students may reapply for consideration each year.
9. DePaul University Theatre Performance Scholarship
This $15,000 to $30,000 award is highly competitive. Admitted students in the theater school receive awards that are renewable for up to four years. The criteria include academic excellence and an outstanding audition or interview.
10. Chicago Drama League Retention Scholarship
Students enrolled in Columbia College Chicago may apply for this award in the amount of $1,500. Full-time undergraduate students majoring in acting may apply. They must display academic excellence and financial need. Contact the college for more information.
11. Donal Harrington Memorial Scholarship
The University of Washington School of Drama awards a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Donal Harrington’s 30-year tenure as a Directing professor. The scholarship is available to Washington State residents enrolled as full-time students in the B.A. in Drama or MFA in Acting programs at the university. Students must have a 3.5 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and show that they have outstanding artistic entrepreneurship. Students should contact the drama school for more information.
Finding Theater and Acting Opportunities
While it can be difficult to find scholarship opportunities for acting school, these 11 reputable awards will help students achieve their dreams. Acting is a highly rewarding career, and it is hoped that acting students will recoup their investment when they receive prominent parts in stage, film, and television performances.