25 Scholarships for Music History and Literature Major

Finding scholarships for music history and literature majors is really not as difficult as it may seem. Music history allows college students to explore the composers who have made great strides in developing amazing songs for centuries. Literature majors study brilliant authors and their works throughout history. These two majors are often considered humanities programs, and there is a wide range of scholarships available to those who study in these two majors, in spite of their many differences.

1. The AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship

Deadline: March 1
This scholarship is designated for minority students seeking a summer internship from June to August. Though the program emphasizes the role of science, it also provides a great experience for all journalism and literature students. Students applying for the 10-week internship will work in Washington, D.C. at the headquarters for “Science” magazine. Applying students must be undergraduates in college and submit an application. Phone interviews will help narrow down the semi-finalists.

The AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship
1200 New York Ave. NW, Room 639
Washington, D.C. 20005

2. ALBA George Watt Memorial Essay Contest

Deadline: August 1
As part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, this essay contest is offered every year to graduate and undergraduate students. Students are asked to submit an essay based on one of three topics. The topics include the Spanish Civil War, struggles against fascism between 1920 and 1940 and contributions of Americans to the Spanish Republic in the 1930s. The organization awards two prizes, each amounting to $250. Essays may contain between 3,500 and 7,500 words. Candidates should send essays via email.

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
799 Broadway
Suite 341
New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-5398

3. Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Deadline: October 24
This essay contest, based on Ayn Rand’s novel, is open to high school seniors in addition to college undergraduate and graduate students. The scholarship is given to 84 students, with first prize being $10,000. Semifinalists may receive between $50 and $2,000. Students are given three topics to choose from, all prompted by the novel. Winners are judged by the Ayn Rand Institute based not only on content but also on style. No application is required, but essays must contain between 800 and 1,600 words.

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
The Ayn Rand Institute
P.O. Box 57044
Irvine, CA 92619-7044

4. Bache Renshaw Fellowship

Deadline: January 16
The Bache Renshaw Fellowship is geared toward students who hope to work in a field promoting education, pursuing careers as superintendents, writers and teachers. Each recipient of this grant will receive $12,000. Eligible students are doctoral candidates or students who are members of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. The application must include a headshot, transcript, recommendation letters, academic writing sample and five to 10-page essay regarding the role of educators in a free society.

Intercollegiate Studies Institute
3901 Centerville Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19807
(800) 526-7022

5. Bev Sellers Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: January 31
The Bev Sellers Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year by the Young Singers Foundation. Bev Sellers was an arranger and choral director whose contributions to music education were significant. Each memorial scholarship recipient is awarded $2,000 to promote an education in vocal music. Students must attend college full-time at an accredited institution. Students must request an application via email, be entering sophomore year and maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Young Singers Foundation
P.O. Box 470168
Tulsa, OK 74147-0168
(800) 992-7464

6. CBC Spouses Heineken USA Performing Arts Scholarship

Deadline: May 1
Established in 2000, this competitive scholarship honors Curtis Mayfield, a performing artist. This scholarship is intended for students pursuing education in music, art and drama. Each year, 10 students receive $3,000 each. Eligible students are attending school full-time, or intend to in the next year. Students must major in performing arts, such as dance or opera singing, and demonstrate talent in this field. In addition, students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.5 and demonstrate leadership through community service.

CBC Spouses Heineken USA Performing Arts Scholarship
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.
1720 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 263-2800

7. Davidson Fellows Scholarship

Deadline: February 12
Each year, this scholarship awards three minors with either $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000. The main requirement for candidates is the ability to compete a significant piece of work in literature, music, philosophy, science or another academic field. Scholarship recipients are honored each year in Washington, D.C. While students must be under the age of 18, there is no minimum age requirement. Students must demonstrate college graduate level of knowledge in the project.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development
9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B
Reno, NV 89521
(775) 852-3483 ext. 435

8. George McCandlish Fellowship in American Literature

Deadline: TBD
George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences awards several scholarships to its graduate students. Each year, students apply for this American Literature award, which is based on merit. Each student must demonstrate proficiency in the field of literature. The award includes a stipend. Students must obtain an application from the school’s English department.

George Washington University
Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships
2121 Eye St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20052
(202) 994-6822

9. GFWC of Massachusetts Music Scholarships

Deadline: February 1
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts awards two Massachusetts students $500 each year. Eligible students are high school seniors planning to attend college and study music. This scholarship is intended for tuition and is sent directly to the institution. The application is available on the GWEC of Massachusetts website, and students must also submit a personal statement. Additional requirements include a letter of recommendation.

General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts
Karen O’Donnell
PO Box 540218
Waltham, MA 02454
(781) 891-1326

10. GRCF Ladies Literary Club Scholarship

Deadline: April 1
Each year, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation provides hundreds of scholarship to incoming college students. Eligible students live in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, Montcalm or Barry County and submit an online application, available at the GRCF website. Students must intend to major in Literary Arts at an accredited institution in Michigan. These students must also demonstrate financial need and possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 The foundation offers 70 additional scholarships as well.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation
185 Oakes St. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 454-1751

11. Heidelberg College Music Scholarship

Deadline: March 1
This music scholarship is awarded to multiple students each year, with varying amounts. Awards up to $8,000 are available, and they do cover private lessons. There is no limit to the number of scholarships available. Eligible students attend Heidelberg College and intend to major in music. Students must possess a 2.5 GPA from high school courses and audition for the program by March. Any student majoring in the School of Music is welcome to audition.

Heidelberg University
School of Music
310 E. Market St.
Tiffin, OH 44883-2462
1 (800) 434-3352


12. Hope College Distinguished Artist Awards – Creative Writing

Deadline: TBD
Hope College offers 60 awards to students each year. Eligibility rests on strong academic records and creative abilities. Students with an interest creative writing are considered for this award, which is renewable every four years. Each winner must take one creative writing class per year. Students may receive up to $2,500 each year. The application includes a writing sample, 500-word essay and recommendation letter.

Sarah Baar, Coordinator, DAA in Creative Writing
Department of English
Hope College
141 East 12th Street
Holland, Michigan
(616) 395-7620

13. Iowa Scholarships for the Arts

Deadline: February 3
This award is given to high school seniors who show promise in the arts and will attend an accredited institution in the following academic year. Students may receive up to $1,500 to put toward tuition at a school in Iowa. Students must have graduated from a high school in Iowa and have intentions to major in dance, literature, music, theater or visual arts. Each application is judged for eligibility, completion and ability to follow directions.

Iowa Arts Council
Veronica O’Hern
Grants & Programs Specialist
600 East Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50319-0290
(515) 281-3293

14. Ladies of the Podium Scholarship

Deadline: December 1
The Women Band Directors International offers this scholarship each year. Women who intend to study band music education as undergraduate or graduate students have the opportunity to receive up to $500. Four applicants win each year. This is a renewable scholarship for students who re-apply. Eligible candidates are women pursuing instrumental music and who have sent in a completed education. Applicants must submit their information through the Women Band Directors International website.

Karen Williams
Scholarship Chair
3994 White Oak Rd.
Waynesville, NC 28785


15. Lee A. Lyman Memorial Music Scholarship

Deadline: March 1
The Lee A. Lyman Memorial Music Scholarship is available to students in Vermont who show an interest in college-level music education. The award may be used for part or full-time study on the undergraduate or graduate level. Students must submit letters of recommendation and an essay. Students must also demonstrate financial need, academic achievement and participation in music-related activities. Recipients of the scholarship may earn up to $1,000, and four students are given the prize each year.

VSAC Scholarships Program
10 East Allen Street, P.O. Box 2000
Winooski, VT 05404
(888) 253-4819

16. Lycoming College Creative Writing Scholarships

Deadline: May 1
Students at Lycoming College who major in Creative Writing are eligible to receive up to $3,000. Six candidates may receive the award. Candidates must submit five poems or a short story, not exceeding 10 pages. This scholarship is merit-based, meaning it is intended for students who show promise in the field of writing. To apply, students must send in an application and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by May 1st.

Jim Spencer, Vice President of Admissions & Financial Aid
Lycoming College
700 College Place
Williamsport, PA 17701
(570) 321-4000

17. Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 1
Since the 1940s, the Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship has provided Washington’s high school seniors with scholarship awards. Graduating seniors in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties are eligible to apply. Students must obtain applications at their high schools, and each school selects one candidate to apply. The minimum eligible GPA is 3.0. Prizes range from $500 to $2,000 for the school year, and they are renewable for four years. The foundation presents the award to up to 40 seniors each year.

Secretary of the Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship Committee
PO Box 60052
Shoreline, WA 98160-0052


18. The Sharon Olds Fellowship for Poetry

Deadline: September 12
This scholarship is sponsored each year by Lee Hope and the Solstice Institute for students of Pine Manor College’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. The scholarship is typically awarded to a student who shows promise in poetry writing. Four first-semester students may win up to $1,000 to put toward tuition. Students should submit an application form with a writing sample.

Lex J. Jacques
Senior Financial Aid Counselor
Financial Aid Office
Pine Manor College
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 731-7129

19. R.L. Gillette Scholarships

Deadline: May 31
This scholarship is designated for students who are legally blind. Each year, AAFB offers two scholarships of $1,000 each to undergraduate women studying literature or music. The R.L. Gillette Scholarship requires students to write an essay and submit it with the application. Students should turn the essay in with all three sections. Official transcripts, two letters of recommendation and proof of legal blindness are expected from all eligible students. In addition, students must submit a writing sample or music performance.

American Foundation for the Blind
Attn: Tara Annis
1000 Fifth Ave., Suite 350
Huntington, WV 25701
(800) 232-5463

20. RTNDA Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship

Deadline: May 2
The RTNDA established a scholarship in honor of Louis F. Prato, a former news director and journalism professor. In recognition of excellent journalism, the organization now awards students $1,000 in scholarships if they demonstrate a passion for sports reporting. Students must be enrolled in an accredited institution with any major; however, the student must intend to pursue electronic journalism. Requirements include a completed application, cover letter, work samples and letter of recommendation.

RTDNA Headquarters
The National Press Building
Katie Switchenko
529 14th Street, NW, Suite 1240
Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 725-8318

21. Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships

Deadline: April 30
This poetry scholarship awards a total of $25,800 to young poets pursuing college education. Sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, the scholarship intends to encourage the writing of poetry. Applicants must be US citizens between the ages of 21 and 31. Applications are to be submitted through the organization’s website, not sent via email or snail mail. Application materials include an introduction, 10 pages of poems and a publication list, all of which must be submitted in one Word document.

Holly Amos
Poetry Magazine
61 West Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60654

22. Salvatori Fellowship

Deadline: January 16
The ISI Salvatori Fellowship award dedicates itself to upholding the values imposed by America’s “founding fathers.” Each recipient of the award may receive $10,000. Students must be graduate students studying a field that relates to America’s roots, and they must also be members of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Required application materials include an essay, a headshot, an academic resume, a short autobiography, letters of recommendation and an academic writing sample. Students must also show intention to teach upon completing school.

Intercollegiate Studies Institute
3901 Centerville Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19807
(800) 526-7022

23. Thomas G. Labrecque Smart Start Scholarship Program

Deadline: January 17
This scholarship program picks out 10 New York City high school seniors to receive money toward tuition. In fact, recipients of the award receive funding for the total cost of tuition at one of the eligible colleges, which include Brooklyn College, New York University and St. John’s University. In addition, students are offered a paid internship for four years. Qualifications include financial need, academic achievement, flexibility and leadership. Students are selected based on their school records, academic recommendations and test scores. Applications must be submitted online.

(866) 520-2976

24. The ASCAP Foundation Scholarships

Deadline: TBD
The ASCAP offers several scholarships for students interested in studying music. Students must examine the specific requirements of each award to apply, as each is different. For example, the Leiber & Stoller Music Scholarship provides assistance to young songwriters and musicians through a nomination and audition process in Los Angeles. The Livingston & Evans Music Scholarship pulls candidates from the Young Musicians Foundation in Los Angeles. The Charlotte V. Bergen Scholarship awards a student under 18 a scholarship to study music via an application process.

The ASCAP Foundation
One Lincoln Plaza
New York, NY 10023-7142
(212) 621-6219

25. The Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent

Deadline: September 12
This fellowship is awarded to students of Pine Manor College who intend to study writing. Eligible students may receive $1,000 to put toward their first-semester’s tuition. Four students are given the honor each year. Students must simply provide an application and a writing sample that demonstrates his or her best quality. The scholarship is sponsored by Lee Hope and the Solstice Institute and is intended for students who wish to study in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.

Lex J. Jacques
Senior Financial Aid Counselor
Financial Aid Office
Pine Manor College
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 731-7129

With so many options to choose from, it is no wonder so many literature and music history students are able to fund their educations. Scholarships for music history and literature majors are readily available.