Do you think of yourself as the next Martin Scorsese or Ron Howard? Have you already written your Academy Award acceptance speech? If you have, it seems like film school is in your future. But before the Hollywood dollars start rolling in, how are you going to pay for it? You are probably going to need scholarships for film students to help you.
Keys to getting a great film scholarship:
Prove Yourself: Just like talent and persistence will earn you awards for film, the same is true for winning film school scholarships. Similar to scholarships for the visual and performing arts, scholarship committees for film want to really see how good you are at your craft.
If you are interested in film studies and are looking for a scholarship, you should already have examples of your work at the ready. If not, then get the camera rolling right away!
Get creative: There are tons of scholarship contests on the Internet that ask you to submit creative web videos. While these might not be specifically geared toward film students, those who have a knack for video certainly have an advantage in these types of contests. If you have trouble finding scholarships for film students, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere for financial aid for college.
Choose your school carefully: There are a few universities out there that actually cover full tuition for film students. These are usually the most respected programs in the industry, so film student scholarships are fiercely competitive. To have a shot, you have to have a lot of talent, but it doesn’t hurt to contact the financial aid office, visit the school and get to know what they are looking for in a student. Coveted scholarships take extra leg work, but it will be worth it when you have fewer loans to pay off down the road!
While school-specific scholarships are the standard for film student financial aid, you can still find some national and corporate-sponsored scholarship opportunities to help relieve the burden of college tuition. The Eastman Kodak Scholarship is a renowned award worth up to $5,000. These scholarships are awarded based on the quality of your work, and are very competitive.
In lieu of some more traditional scholarship programs, many film-related aid comes in the form of fellowships and student internships. While these may or may not help you financially, they will certainly give you a career boost early on, that will hopefully lead to a heftier paycheck down the road. Check out the Screen Actors Guild and the American Film Institute for examples of film student fellowships and internships.
Want to learn more about specific film industry scholarships? Check out the student scholarship search pages for film scholarship profiles!