Financing Your Education

Need-based and merit-based scholarships are available from the College of Fine and Applied Arts, through the university, from private organizations, and through public groups and competitions.

Scholarships and Other Support

Needs-Based Scholarships

Financial guidelines are used to award many scholarships at the university. To be considered, a student must complete a FAFSA (free application for federal student aid). The Office of Student Financial Aid has links to specific need-based programs, requirements, and applications.

Merit-Based Scholarships

All students are screened for their eligibility for academic scholarships by the Office of Admissions when they apply to the university. No additional application is needed to be considered for these awards. In addition, merit scholarships are given by FAA to students in specific degree programs. Suitable candidates are selected for talent-based awards during their audition, interview, and/or portfolio review. For programs that require an application and essay only, a student’s academic record and demonstrated passion for their major will be assessed. No additional application is required for FAA merit and talent scholarships. Eligible students will be contacted directly about these awards. For additional information about scholarships offered in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, contact the FAA Office of Undergraduate Affairs at 217-333-6061 or

Private and independent Assistance

For information about national and independently administered awards, consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid. Links to many private scholarships and tips on where to find other opportunities are available.

Outside Scholarships

These scholarships and competitions are not associated with the University of Illinois or the College of Fine and Applied Arts and are gathered here for your information only. Educate yourself with FinAid’s scholarship scam guide before sending any fees. Keep in mind that scholarship rules, requirements, and deadlines can change, so check to be certain that you have the most recent information before you apply.

Annual Create-a-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest
Submit original artwork for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship and $1,000 for your school plus a card featuring your design may be available for sale.

BMI Foundation John Lennon Scholarships
Three original songs are chosen each year to share a total of $20,000 in scholarships.

CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship
Each applicant must be an African American or black student currently enrolled in or will be applying to a full-time degree program in the performing arts.

Collegiate Inventors Competition
Entrants must be enrolled in a full-time degree program for at least part of the year prior to submission.

Donna Reed Scholarships and Merit Awards
The Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts bestows merit awards and scholarships for Iowa students seeking educations or careers in the performing arts.

Doodle 4 Google
Open to students in grades K–12, the contest offers awards for state and territory winners and a grand prize that includes a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 school technology grant, Google hardware and merchandise, and millions of pageviews.

Equitable Excellence Scholarship
Students who show potential can receive awards of $2,500 or $20,000.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Seniors and recent college graduates, candidates for advanced degrees, young professionals, and artists may apply for this program that offers personal development and international experience.

Glenn Miller Scholarship Competition
Instrumentalists and vocalists who plan to pursue a career in music may apply for scholarships that range from $1,000 to $3,000. Semifinalists are selected to perform and compete for the awards at the Glenn Miller Festival.

Illustrators of the Future Contest
Amateur science fiction and fantasy artists submit three original works illustrating a science fiction or fantasy story for awards ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships
The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships are given in conjunction with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival to outstanding student performers interested in additional education in the arts.

Krylon Clear Choice Art Scholarship
Four promising art students receive a $1,000 scholarship and the best applicant earns a $2,500 scholarship.

$1,000 Cappex Easy College Money Scholarship
Currently enrolled high school or college students or those with plans to enroll within 12 months are eligible.

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
Teens submit artwork, entire portfolios, or writing for chances to earn college scholarships, cash prizes, or tuition for summer programs.

Support is offered for students pursuing classical music, dance, design arts, film, jazz, photography, theatre, visual arts, voice, and writing.

Youth Free Expression Film Contest
Students must be 19 years old or younger to enter for a chance to win cash prizes and a scholarship to the New York Film Academy.

Tuition and fees are direct costs charged by the university. The cost of attendance also includes indirect cost allowances for food, housing, books, supplies and other expenses. You will not be billed by the university for these costs unless you live in university housing.  Use the Illinois Cost Calculator for an estimated cost of attendance.

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