30 Top Photography Scholarships

Image of camera for our ranking of best photography scholarships

If you are a current or prospective college student interested in studying photography, there are many photography scholarships available to financially assist you with your tuition costs. Scholarships are awards provided by organizations, businesses, and colleges and universities to help college students pay for their tuition and accomplish their educational and career goals. With college tuition on the rise around the world, researching and finding scholarships for photography students is an excellent idea. Even though it may seem like a time-consuming process, it will pay off in the long run. To help get you started, the list below briefly describes 30 scholarships for photography. To see more of our scholarships, click here.

1. The Inge Morath Award

The members of Magnum Photos created the Inge Morath Award. It has received its funding by several photographers over the years. The purpose of this award is to assist one female photographer under the age of 30 with completing her documentary project. Each applicant will be assessed by the photographer members of Magnum Photos as well as a representative of the Morath Estate. After each applicant’s submission is evaluated, a winner of the award and several finalists will be selected.

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2. The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film Grant

The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation offers a grant award to individuals throughout the world who are interested in documentary photography. All documentary photographers are encouraged to submit a project consisting of 15 images showing human suffering, forgotten communities, poverty, exploited people and land, unrest, disease, and more. This grant is available to both professional and emerging photographers. Each applicant must be dedicated to reporting and documentary photography, and any work that is submitted must be only non-fiction. The winner will be chosen based on the strength of their project and will receive a 3,000 EUR grant.

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3. Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant

The Janie Moore Greene Scholarship Grant is awarded to one student each year by the NANPA Foundation. This scholarship was created by Janie Moore Greene, a successful photographer, and writer. Applicants must be a current college student studying photography or accepted to a college in which they plan to study photography. This can be a two-year, four-year, or a graduate institution. The winner of this scholarship grant will receive $1,000 directly toward their tuition.

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4. NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program

The NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program was formed by the NANPA Foundation. The objective of this scholarship is to offer college students the opportunity to take part in a field-based storytelling project that utilizes nature photography, marketing, and videography. Twelve students are selected to participate in this project, and each will be required to spend a week taking pictures, recording videos, and editing to create a marketing piece that a nature center or program may use. Applicants must be at least 19 years old and be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a two-year, four-year, or technical college. All majors are welcome to apply.

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5. Anchell International Documentary Photography Scholarship

In 2016, Anchell Photography, Inc. established the Anchell International Documentary Photography Scholarship. The goal of this scholarship is to promote individuals to become involved in social issues and create socially conscious documentary photography. All undergraduate and graduate college students are encouraged to apply, and all majors are accepted. Submissions must tell a story of what is being photographed and must clearly document a place, event, group of people, a person, environmental issues, etc. In addition, each applicant must fully demonstrate their feelings about the subject that they are documenting through their photographs.

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6. The Dow Jones News Fund Workshop

Since 1968, the Dow Jones News Fund has been featuring a summer workshop annually. The purpose of this workshop is to encourage and inspire students in high school who are interested in journalism to chase after their dreams. The Dow Jones News Fund is aware of the many barriers and hurdles standing in the way of some students who wish to become journalists, so they created the workshop to financially assist aspiring journalists. Each individual participating in this workshop will write and report on specific topics related to health and wellness as well as take photos, record videos, and edit.

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7. The Ian Parry Scholarship

Over three decades ago, the Ian Parry Scholarship was developed in honor of Ian Parry, a photojournalist who passed away in 1989 while reporting for The Sunday Times. Parry’s picture editor, Aidan Sullivan, along with friends and family created the Ian Parry Scholarship to bring positivity to his death. The scholarship consists of an international photographic competition for individuals studying photography full-time or are under the age of 24. The competition is divided into two different categories, which are The Sunday Times Award for Achievement and The Canon Award for Potential. Both competitions have the same requirements, and winners will be chosen based on the strength of their submissions. All applicants must submit a portfolio along with a proposal of a project that they would like to take part in if they were to win the scholarship. Each winner will be awarded $3,500 toward their project.

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8. The James Alan Cox Foundation Scholarship

Each year, The James Alan Cox Foundation provides a scholarship to financially assist student photojournalists and photographers. This scholarship is for talented student photographers or students interested in and passionate about photography. Applicants must be in high school preparing to attend college or already enrolled in a college or technical school. The award will be determined based on the applicant’s demonstrated need for financial assistance.

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9. Bob Lynn Grant

The Bob Lynn Grant was formed by the National Press Photographers Foundation. It is a grant for student and professional photojournalists who are interested in creating projects to make a difference. This is important to the National Press Photographers Foundation because the foundation has a tremendous amount of experience with helping and fully supports the responsibility of making a difference. Applicants are required to create stories that show the sad parts of America, whether local or national. The goal of doing this is to use your photographs and words to make a difference. The winner will receive a $4,000 grant.

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10. Bodie McDowell Scholarship

The Bodie McDowell Scholarship is offered by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Applicants must submit letters of recommendation, examples of work, and possess specific goals in outdoor communications. Only students studying an outdoor communications field are considered, which includes photography, film, print, art, or broadcasting. Three winners are typically selected for this scholarship. The scholarship award may vary based on each recipient’s submission, but it generally will be between $1,000 and $5,000.

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11. Quill & Scroll Student Scholarship

Quill & Scroll is offering three different scholarships, which are the George and Ophelia Gallup Award, the Edward J. Nell Scholarship, and the Richard P. Johns Scholarship. These scholarships are available to Quill & Scroll members and national winners of the International Writing, Photography, and Multimedia Contest as well as the Yearbook Excellence Contest and Blogging Competition. All applicants must be freshman college students pursuing a degree in journalism or a closely related field. Recipients of the scholarship may use it toward tuition or room and board at any university or college. The amount will be determined based on each applicant’s qualifications, but it typically ranges from $500 to $1,500. Scholarship awards will be paid in two installments, one payment in the fall and the other payment in the spring.

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12. Project Launch Grant

The Project Launch Grant was implemented by the Center, which is an organization dedicated to advancing the photographic arts. This grant is directed toward exceptional photographers working on a documentary project or a series of fine art. Recipients of this grant will receive a cash award to help them complete their projects. One winner and two runners-up will be selected. The winner will be awarded $5,000, and the two runners-up will receive $1,000 each. Preference will be given to individuals who have already completed their projects or are near completion.

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13. Ivan Burnham Scholarship

The Ivan Burnham Scholarship was developed by the Vermont Professional Photographers Association. It is only available for professional members of the Vermont Professional Photographers Association. All members interested in this scholarship must be in good standing and have paid their dues. The selected winner will need to determine and state what they will use the scholarship award for within one year and must use it within 18 months.

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14. Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship

Getty Images is featuring the Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship to promote diversity and inclusion within the photography and photojournalism field. Getty Images is partnering with minority journalism and photography associations around the world to offer this unique scholarship program. The goal is to support emerging talent within minority groups by offering aspiring photojournalists financial support to pursue their education, which will lead to successful careers in the industry. Five winners will be chosen, and each will receive $10,000 toward their college tuition.

Scholarship Website

15. AIGA Worldstudio Scholarship

Since 1995, AIGA has been offering scholarships for college students studying art and design. The scholarships are directed toward underrepresented and economically disadvantaged college students who are pursuing a degree in photography, illustration, and other design fields. The goal of the scholarships is to increase diversity in the creative fields. The recipients are chosen based on their talent, financial need, and their dedication to giving back to the community through their art. Around 20 winners are selected and will typically receive $2,500 each toward their tuition.

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16. Brown/Folwell Storytelling Scholarship

James and Rebecca Brown, a professor interested in photography and a photojournalist, established the Brown/Folwell Storytelling Scholarship. This scholarship is offered by the National Press Photographer Foundation. Undergraduate and graduate college students studying photojournalism are encouraged to apply. To successfully apply for this scholarship, each applicant must submit a portfolio that focuses on storytelling in video and still pictures.

Scholarship Website

17. The Alexia Grant Competition

The Alexia Foundation is sponsoring the Alexia Grant Competition, which is a competition for visual storytellers. The objective of this competition is to create more understanding and expose the social injustices that have been going on for more than three decades. Student and professional photographers are welcome to apply and will be given financial support to produce stories that create change. Each story should aim to make the world a better place.

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18. Future Designer Scholarship

Each year, the Future Designer Scholarship is awarded by CardsDirect Inc. This consists of choosing one person to be the designer of CardsDirect Inc.’s next top-selling holiday card. The winner of this scholarship will receive $2,500 toward their college tuition and will have their card design featured on CardsDirect’s website. To apply for this scholarship, you must create an exceptional design for a holiday card and send it in. Applicants must be at least 17 years old and accepted or enrolled in a college institution.

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19. CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship

Since 2006, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has been offering the CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship. This scholarship provides financial assistance to Black or African American students pursuing an education in the visual arts. The following majors are welcome to apply: photography, architecture, ceramics, fashion, drawing, graphic design, painting, illustration, sketching, interior design, video production, etc. Ten students are selected to receive this scholarship, and each will be awarded $3,000 toward their college tuition.

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20. Kodak Professional Photography Endowed Scholarship

The Columbia College Chicago launched the Kodak Professional Photography Endowed Scholarship in hopes of financially assisting undergraduate photography majors. Individuals applying for this scholarship must have completed at least one year of college and have at least one full year of college remaining. Applicants must also possess a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), submit a portfolio of 15 to 20 photos, and provide a statement of work explaining the photos submitted. The winner of this scholarship will receive $5,400 toward their college tuition. Half of the award will be provided in the fall semester, and the other half will be provided in the spring semester.

Scholarship Website

21. Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest

The Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest is funded by the National Corn Growers Association. It encourages amateur and professional photographers to participate in telling a story about farming field corn in the United States. To join this contest, individuals must submit high-resolution photos showing corn growth from seed to harvest along with the families who grow it. All participants must live in the United States, and the winner will be chosen based on how many Facebook likes received on the organization’s website.

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22. Fujifilm Scholarship

The Fujifilm Scholarship was formed by the National Press Photographers Foundation. The purpose of this scholarship is to financially assist one undergraduate college student with their tuition. The selected awardee will receive $2,000 toward their tuition as well as X-T3 silver kits with a XF18-55mm lens. Preference will be given to a student who is attending a historical black college or university with a portfolio emphasis in multi-media or visual storytelling.

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23. Pretty Lightroom Presets Annual Scholarship

Pretty Presets for Lightroom features the Pretty Lightroom Presents Annual Scholarship to acknowledge the importance of attending college and the role it plays in each person’s professional and personal life. This scholarship was created to help assist college students with their tuition. To apply for this scholarship, applicants must write an essay of 800 to 1,000 words and provide screenshots and photos to visually explain their written points. All submissions will be reviewed by judges at Lightroompresets.com, and the selected winner will receive $500 toward their college tuition. Only high school seniors or college students in the United States or Canada will be considered.

Scholarship Website

24. Chromaluxe X Lucie Foundation Fine Art Scholarship

The Lucie Foundation is partnering with ChromoLuxe to offer an outstanding scholarship opportunity for fine art photographers. This Fine Art Scholarship is available for new and established artists who are interested in helping with a fine art project that has already been started or developing a project proposal consisting of fine art. The winner of this scholarship will be awarded an amount of $3,000.

Scholarship Website

25. The National Geographic Student Expeditions Scholarship Program

The National Geographic Society has launched the National Geographic Student Expeditions Scholarship Program to provide students with a unique educational experience in the summer months. The purpose of this scholarship is to offer learning opportunities and diverse experiences for selected students. Applicants must be enrolled in middle school or high school (grades 7-12) and be legal residents of the United States or Canada. Preference is given to students whose parents’ combined annual income is $50,000 or less.

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26. W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography

The W. Eugene Smith Grant is offered by the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, a not-for-profit corporation that helps photographers. Each year, this grant is presented to one photographer in honor of W. Eugene Smith, an individual who spent 45 years as a photographic essayist. This grant was created to assist a photographer with starting or completing a photographic project. The judges will decide who will receive this grant by assessing project proposals and determining who will most likely use captivating photojournalism to address social change, humanitarian concerns, the human condition, political significance, and more. To apply for this grant, applicants must submit a 600-word project proposal describing their project, provide a biography and CV, and send in provisional or ongoing work from a project that could use the grant to be completed.

Scholarship Website

27. Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Annually, the Smithsonian Magazine provides a photo contest. There is one winner chosen along with 60 finalists. The finalists and winner are determined by online votes on the Smithsonian Magazine website. Each applicant entering this contest may submit up to 15 photos for each category (total of 90 photos). The six categories are natural world, travel, people, the American experience, altered images, and mobile. Ten finalists will be chosen per category, and a winner will be chosen for each category. Out of all 60 finalists, a grand prize winner is selected. The grand prize winner will be awarded $2,500, and the category winners and the readers’ choice winner will receive $500 each.

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28. Marion Barr Stanfield Art Scholarship

The Marion Barr Stanfield Art Scholarship is featured by the Unitarian Universalist Association. This scholarship is open to Unitarian Universalist undergraduate and graduate students preparing to begin a career in fine arts. The following majors are welcome to apply for this scholarship: photography, painting, sculpture, and drawing. The recipient will be selected based on financial need, relationship with Unitarian Universalist, and enrollment in an accredited college. In addition, the selected recipient will be an individual that the Unitarian Universalist Association believes will promote their values.

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29. The Stephanie Amster Design Scholarship

The Stephanie Amster Design Scholarship is awarded by Illinois State University School of Art to students possessing significant artistic potential and talent. This scholarship is typically provided to undergraduate art students specializing in photography, visual communications, or three-dimensional design. Only individuals currently enrolled or planning to enroll at Illinois State University will be considered. Applicants must fill out an application form, submit a portfolio, and provide supporting evidence to their application. The awardee will be selected based on their overall artistic performance and ability.

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30. Leslie P. Greenhill Photography Award

The Leslie P. Greenhill Photography Award is funded by the Penn State School of Visual Arts in remembrance of Leslie Greenhill Hannum, a retired professor at Penn State. The objective of this award is to provide financial assistance to a third-year student who is involved, devoted, and passionate about the field of photography. Each year, this award gives out $1,000, which may be put toward the tuition of one student or divided between more than one student.

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Going to college may seem unaffordable, but scholarships are a good way to reduce tuition costs. As you can see, there are many scholarships available for high school students, students currently enrolled in college, and graduate students interested in the field of photography. By doing your research and applying to as many photography scholarships as possible each year, you may be able to receive help financially to pursue your passion and, at last, become a professional photographer.

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