Photography Education Grants and Scholarships

Updated April 23, 2018

Photography students can find scholarships and grants available through professional associations, private foundations and universities that offer photography degree programs. Guidelines for photography scholarships typically require students to submit samples of their work as part of the selection process, and certain programs award funding to winners of photography competitions. Funding rules vary, depending on the grant or scholarship program, and can offer money to pay for photography projects, tuition and school fees.

Photography Associations

Photography associations often sponsor grant and scholarship programs to support students planning careers in journalism or photography. The Dallas and Chicago chapters of the Association for Women Journalists both offer funding programs for photography students. The Chicago chapter awards the Joy Darrow Memorial Scholarship to female students planning careers in journalism. The Dallas chapter's scholarship program extends eligibility to students with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 who plan to pursue careers in photojournalism. The Dallas program pays up to £650, as of March, 2011.


Private foundations offer scholarships and grants for photography students at various levels of their education or photography career. For instance, the North American Nature Photography Association Foundation Grants program awards the Janie Moore Green Grant. As of March, 2011, the program pays up to £650 to photography students enrolled at two- and four-year colleges or art schools. The McKnight Foundation offers the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Photographers award to support Minnesota photographers at a mid-career level in their work. As of March, 2011, the McKnight Fellowship pays £16,250, which recipients can use for their studies or continuation of their work. The Aaron Siskind Foundation awards the Individual Photographer's Fellowship, which offers up to £4,550 in funding, as of March, 2011, to photography students enrolled in degree programs. Candidates must be at least 21 years old and hold permanent residency or citizenship in the U.S.

Competition Scholarships

Certain organisations award scholarships to winners of photography competitions. For example, The Art Institutes International awards student scholarships to The Art Institute schools to winners of the Storytellers Photography Competition. Sigma Corporation of America offers scholarships for students planning careers in photography through its annual contest. Sigma competition winners can receive a cash award up to £3,250, as of March, 2011, and a gift card valued at £650 that awardees can redeem for Sigma products. The Sigma program extends eligibility to high school seniors who hold residency in the U.S.

School-Based Scholarships

Colleges and universities that offer photography programs often have scholarships and grants for their students. The Tisch School of Photography and Imaging at New York University awards scholarships through multiple programs, including that Alumni Creative Assistance Fund, which provides funding to help students pay for photography projects. The College of Communication and Fine Arts at the University of Memphis offers scholarships through the Elizabeth and Harold Robinson Scholars and Fellows Fund. As of March, 2011, the Robinson program pays up to £1,950 per school year to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs within the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

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About the Author

Michael Evans graduated from The University of Memphis, where he studied photography and film production. His writings have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including International Living, USA Today, The Guardian, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance and Bankrate.