Awards, Scholarships & Assistantships
Scholarships and awards in the School of Theatre and Dance serve two purposes.
- We use scholarships to recruit talented new students.
- Scholarships also allow us to recognize the contributions our current students make to the School of Theatre and Dance.
Scholarship students are expected to maintain a high profile in the School of Theatre and Dance, setting an example of leadership and accomplishment for other students. Academic excellence, participation in the production program, and active service to the School are important factors in the evaluation process.
Scholarships and awards are administered through the Recruitment, Admissions and Scholarship Committee (RAS), which acts in advisement to the Director of the School of Theatre and Dance. All scholarships are awarded in compliance with affirmative action policies of the University.
All prospective students who audition or are interviewed in the acting, dance performance, dance education or design-production areas are in consideration for potential scholarships. However, if you are a theatre teacher education or theatre studies student, you must attend a scholarship interview on one of our audition dates. See Admission & Auditions for dates.
Shakespeare Festival Internship and Scholarship
Incoming freshmen are eligible for the Sutter Family Shakespeare Scholarship. This newly endowed scholarship provides the recipient with monetary support ($1,000 a year for four years) as well as a one-time summer internship with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Current Scholarship Students
If you are a current School of Theatre and Dance major, please see :
Forms of scholarships:
- Tuition Scholarship: These scholarships cover partial costs of tuition. Generally, new students—whether first-year or transfers—receive priority in the awarding of tuition scholarships by the School of Theatre and Dance. For incoming students these scholarships are based on evaluations of your performance auditions, your academic potential, your previous achievement and your potential for success. These scholarships are renewable, on a semester-by-semester basis, for up to four years so long as the student continues to meet the scholarship criteria and policies of the School of Theatre and Dance.
- Talent Grant-in-Aid: These scholarships cover partial costs of tuition or fees. Generally, they are granted to continuing theatre majors and are based upon academic achievement, production work and service to the School. They are granted for one semester, although students may reapply every semester.
- Friends of the Arts: These scholarships are made available through the efforts of the Friends of the Arts organization. They are generally granted to continuing theatre majors, who are evaluated on their academic achievement, production work and service to the School. They are granted for one semester, although students may reapply every semester.
- Theatre Teacher Education: These scholarships are generally granted to continuing theatre teacher education majors, who are evaluated on the basis of academic achievement, production work and service to the School. They are granted for one semester, although students may reapply every semester.
Please note that the number of scholarships offered by the School of Theatre and Dance is limited and is dependent upon outside funding sources.
Friends of the Arts Academic Support Grants
The Friends of the Arts offer grants to support College of Fine Arts artistic projects, events, visiting artists, and student travel. Grants are available of up to $500 for an individual and up to $1,000 for a group. Learn more and find out how you can apply.
Additional Scholarships & Awards
Specially funded scholarships are awarded to continuing students in the School of Theatre and Dance in recognition of their academic achievement, production work and service to the School. These awards may have additional criteria, which can be learned by contacting the School of Theatre and Dance. Students are nominated for these scholarships by the School of Theatre and Dance faculty each spring.
- The Jean Scharfenberg Scholarship is funded by a bequest from Jean Scharfenberg, one of the founding faculty members of the School of Theatre and Dance. The cash award is granted to a graduating acting major who exhibits extraordinary potential.
- The Caroline Gordon Scholarship is funded by a bequest from Caroline Gordon, longtime staff member of the School of Theatre and Dance. The cash award is granted to an upcoming senior who has shown outstanding commitment to the School.
- The Blackfriars Scholarship is funded by the Blackfriars, a social organization that presented entertaining parodies and satires on campus life from 1934 through 1964. The award goes to a continuing undergraduate who demonstrates leadership, service, talent, drive and potential for success.
- The Norman J. Funk, Jr., Scholarship is funded by the Family of Norman J. Funk, Jr., and honors the memory of this Theatre major and his passion for acting.
- The Suzzanne Douglas Scholarship was established by actress Suzzanne Douglas, an ISU graduate with a distinguished stage, screen and television career. The award supports a student majoring in Theatre at ISU, with special consideration given to African American students with financial need.
- The Denny Mays Scholarship is funded by the family and friends of the longtime scene shop supervisor who taught and mentored Theatre production students for more than two decades.
- The Sutter Family Shakespeare Scholarship is made possible by the generous support of Craig Sutter, a longtime patron of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. The scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman for four years and includes a one-time summer internship with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Other scholarships and awards may become available through Illinois State University Foundation grants or other sources. For more information visit the website of the ISU Financial Aid Office.
The Graduate Handbook contains orientation information, procedures, expectations, and information about graduate assistantships for School of Theatre and Dance graduate students.