Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to Get Scholarships for Photography Degrees

Anyone going to college these days has one thing on their minds- how in the world am I going to pay for this? Tuition rates are skyrocketing. Between the cost of classes, books, supplies, housing and food, it is almost cost prohibitive to attend an institution of higher education without some kind of help. This is uniquely true if you’re attending some form of arts school. Photography students are especially interested in scholarships. If you’re looking for scholarships, there are a couple of guidelines you should practice.

First, do your research. There are hundreds of scholarships out there for students interested in the arts, and in particular, for photography students. Start out by looking around locally. Art galleries and photography studios may offer scholarships for deserving residents who are interested in pursuing a degree in photography. If you can’t find something close to home, then check with the school you’re applying to. Many of them have departmental or talent based scholarships for arts students. If you have good grades and test scores, you may even qualify for an academic scholarship. Finally, get online and get searching. Websites like www.fastweb.com will compile your personal information and develop a profile for you, matching you with scholarship opportunities you may qualify for.

Second, apply early and often. New scholarships are constantly being offered. Doing your research once and then giving up is not an option if you want to get school paid for. Make sure you check back to see what new scholarships are offered on a daily basis. Sometimes scholarship opportunities are offered with very short deadlines for application, so it’s important to constantly monitor what kind of funds may be available to you.

Finally, make yourself a desirable candidate. Your application should reflect any and all activities you’ve participated in that are related to your field of study, or your eligibility for the scholarship you’re applying to. Did you win a photography contest in fifth grade? Make mention of it. You never know what might pique the interest of those reviewing your application. Spend a good amount of time crafting your personal statement, as well. It should never be generic. Do not say you want to study photography because you love taking people’s pictures. Tell a story about what inspired you to pursue your field. Let the reviewers know who you are, so they can feel good about giving you money. If you don’t have anything notable to put down on the application, then get to work! Volunteer your services as a photographer for special events nearby and you’ll find you now have some credible achievements to brag about as you search for scholarships.

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