Acting scholarships are specially designed financial aid packages intended for individuals who aspire for a career as actors and actresses but cannot afford to pay for formal acting courses and classes. Studying in an acting or drama school can be very expensive especially when training with prestigious acting coaches and teachers. It is precisely in these circumstances that can be supported by scholarships and grants. Acting scholarships also add to one’s credentials since they are fiercely competitive and the winner of an acting scholarship can legitimately claim to have real talent or potential.

Types of Acting Scholarships

Acting scholarships are available all year round. This is in contrast to other types of scholarship and grants that are available for other majors or fields of study.

Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships

This scholarship has been present since 1972 after the establishment of the Irene Ryan Foundation of Encino California. Named after Irene Ryan, the actress who became a household name for her role as “Granny Clampett” in The Beverly Hillbillies, this scholarship has been awarded to outstanding student performers in any KCATF entry. Nineteen scholarships are awarded to student actors each year; 16 awards are given to regional representatives and are worth $500, while two scholarships of $2,500 each are given to the winners of the national festival held in Washington, D.C. A $250 cash prize meanwhile is given to the student actor who wins the Kingsley Colton Award for Best Partner in the national festival. The scholarship money given by the foundation can be used to pay for tuition and other education fees depending on the winner’s needs.

Donna Reed Performing Arts Scholarships

This scholarship is named after actress Donna Reed. This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who enter and perform at the Donna Reed Festival in Denison, Iowa. Scholarship money is awarded to winning participants, which they can use to pay for college education.

Evelyn Anderson Theatre and Dance Scholarships

The Evelyn Anderson Theatre and Dance Scholarships provides grant money ranging between $500 and $2,000 annually to students who have demonstrated talent in the performing arts. This scholarship is available to incoming and currently enrolled students at the Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

NYCDA Scholarships

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts offers scholarship awards to aspiring student actors, such as the Sanford Meisner Merit Award, which can be coveted by means of auditions, and can be renewed each year as long as the student maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA. The Mary Doyle Memorial Scholarship meanwhile is based both on talent and financial need, and ranges between $500 and $10,000 each academic year.

John L. Dales Scholarship Fund

This scholarship grant is available to members, or children of members of the Screen Actors Guild. Among the benefits of this scholarship grant include coverage of tuition and other education dues in the drama school or college winners intend to go to.

Acting scholarships entail not just financial comfort while in college or drama school but they also provide add prestige and better career opportunities. Through these scholarships, students will gain a slight edge when it comes to grabbing better acting roles and jobs and not to mention the advantage of gaining faster recognition from their mentors, coaches and critics while in acting school and in their careers later on.


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