Photography Scholarships

scholarships for photography

Photographers who use their talents professionally spend a great deal of time behind their lens. There are plenty of opportunities in the industry that will help you pursue a higher education in photography.

The technology of photography is studied at the level of associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees. In addition, advanced instruction serves you, helping you to become a high-level professional. Whatever area in photography is your main interest, there are photography scholarships that will assist you in the realization of your higher educational goals.

Photography programs draw interest in scholarships from numerous sources that are committed to the advance of creative education. Professional advocacy groups, career associations and foundations offer unique opportunities for college funding in the field of photography.

Below you will find photography scholarships for students. If you meet their requirements, you may be able to secure financial aid for college from one or more.

The Top Photography Scholarships

Rich Clarkson Founders Photography Scholarships – $2,000

The founder of these scholarships, Rich Clark, was for 25 years the director of news photography at the Topeka Capital-Journal. In addition, he led the art and photo department as the Assistant Managing Editor at the Denver Post. In the 1980s, he was the Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine.

Clarkson is just one of four people who founded the National Press Photographers Foundation in 1975. The scholarships are open to undergrad and grad students alike.  The full story of Rich Clarkson and more scholarship information can be found at this website.


YoungArts Program

This program provides up to $10,000 from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. You must be a senior in high school and a US citizen or permanent resident. Disciplines that are included are photography, writing, visual arts and theater. Applications for these photography scholarships are available online, and additional information is on the official website.


The Art Awards

These scholarships are offered by Scholastic. To qualify, you must be in grades 7 through senior in high school at an American or Canadian school. You must submit samples of your work in animation, photography, computer art, mixed media, film or video, among other areas. You may qualify at the regional or national level. Deadlines for each state are found online.


Arthur J. Ellis Scholarships

These $10,600 photography scholarships are offered by the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Scholarships are for incoming students at the freshman level, who are enrolling full-time at the college. Your major must be in photojournalism. You should show a good record of academic achievement.

These scholarships are renewable, and you will want to be sure to send along a portfolio of your work with your application. More information is available on the website for Corcoran School of the Arts & Design.


Lammont Belin Arts Scholarship

This scholarship awards $10,000 annually to Pocono or Abingtons residents in Pennsylvania who pursue a career in areas that include photography, sculpture, painting and architecture, among other fields of study.

You must be a citizen of the United States and demonstrate outstanding abilities in your chosen field. You do not need to have professional or academic training prior to entering this program.

When you send your application for these photography scholarships, include a detailed proposal for how the funds will be used, including a budget for your project and several letters of recommendation. If you are a finalist, you will need to attend an in-depth personal interview. Visit the official website for additional information.


Lydia Siedschlag Scholarships

Special scholarships are awarded for photography students who live on-campus in Siedschlag Residence Hall for women at Western Michigan University. Recipients will be notified of their awards before the annual photography and art awards ceremony.

The amount of these photography scholarships varies and they are given for use at Western Michigan University. They last for the next full academic year.

To qualify, you must:

  • Maintain a GPA of 3.3 or better
  • Be enrolled full-time
  • Be a resident of Siedschlag Hall
  • Be an undergraduate art or photography major

If you meet these qualifications, you will only have to complete your application at SlideRoom. Additional information is found there, as well.


Olson Photography Scholarships

These scholarships were generously endowed by Ruth B Olson and Dr. Irving J. Olsen. They are intended only for those majoring in photography at the University of Akron. These are among the most valuable and prestigious scholarships offered at the Myers School of Art.

One or two of these scholarships are given out each academic year, and the process for application is very selective. You may apply if you are any year except a freshman, and if you are majoring in photography. Check out their website for more information.


Portfolio Gold Award for Art or Photography

This Pratt Institute scholarship is worth $1,500 per year for four academic years. It is part of the Young Writers and Artists program to help students who are interested in photography, design and art to develop proper portfolios for their admission to college.

The Pratt Institute reserves some photography scholarships for recipients of national awards who apply independently to Pratt. These art scholarships are awarded in addition to other merit scholarships students may receive from Pratt. Their website has additional information.


Minneapolis College of Art & Design NOW Scholarships

Some students face an uphill struggle to cover the costs of college education, even with loans and scholarships. Students in their junior or senior year are especially at risk – they may fall behind due to the additional expenses of exhibitions and projects.

The NOW Scholarships are $3,000 awards that enable hard-working students to attend school without defaulting on student loans, to achieve their photographic dreams. Check for eligibility requirements at their website.


John Gutmann Photography Scholarships

These $5,000 annual scholarships are for art and photography students. To qualify, you should demonstrate commitment to your work, and a sense of professional accomplishment in creative photography. You must be nominated in order to win this award.

John Gutmann impacted art and photography for more than 60 years, creating an art form from creative photography. Through his generosity, $5,000 and $10,000 annual awards are given to emerging creative photographers.

To be qualified, you must exhibit artistic commitment and professional accomplishment. Since these scholarships are awarded only by nomination, the professional jurors do not accept materials that are unsolicited. Gutmann chose his jurors for these prestigious awards personally, to ensure that his goals and intentions are carried out as he outlined them in his fellowship and scholarship trust. Their website has lots more information.