Scholarships

PAFA is deeply grateful to our many donors and friends who have committed significant resources to ensure that emerging artists can access a world-class art education at PAFA.

All students are reviewed for scholarship consideration during the application review process, and any additional requirements are noted in the descriptions.

Unless otherwise noted, the scholarships described below are renewable annually as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic performance.


Undergraduate Scholarships

Alumni Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to students who have received an endorsement of their application from PAFA alumni. This scholarship is intended to recognize talented students who are encouraged to study at PAFA through relationships with our alumni.

Donald R. Caldwell Scholarship

This full-tuition scholarship is for incoming full-time undergraduate students. Based on the merits of their portfolio, students will be nominated by faculty members on the Admissions Committee during the application process. A limited number of Caldwell Scholars are selected each year, based on the artworks submitted. The Caldwell Scholarship is named in honor of Donald R. Caldwell, Chair Emeritus of PAFA’s Board of Trustees and a major supporter of the School of Fine Arts.

Community Connection Scholarship

These scholarships are intended to strengthen PAFA’s relationship with community colleges throughout the country. They are established in conjunction with formalized transfer agreements. PAFA currently supports Connection Scholarships for students who transfer to PAFA from the following institutions:

  • Atlantic Cape Community College (NJ)
  • Camden County Community College (NJ)
  • Montgomery County Community College (PA)
  • Northampton Community College (PA)
  • Community College of Philadelphia (PA)
  • Delaware County Community College (PA)
  • Rowan College, Burlington County (NJ)
  • Delaware College of Art and Design (DE)
  • Northern Virginia Community College (VA)
  • St. Louis Community College (MO)
  • Howard County Community College (MD)
  • Bucks County College (PA)
  • El Centro College (TX)

PAFA also has an articulation agreement with the Memphis College of Art.

If your school is not listed, contact PAFA's Office of Admissions to discuss the formalization of a transfer agreement.

Mary Carroll Curtis Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to an incoming first-year or transfer student who has declared printmaking as a major. The scholarship is made possible by the generosity of the Mary Carroll Curtis Scholarship Fund.

Darling Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to an incoming BFA candidate who is of non-traditional college age and intends to major in painting. This scholarship is made possible through the generosity of a former PAFA trustee.

Karen Davies Scholarship for Artistic Adventure

Karen Davies was a much-admired, active, and engaged PAFA alumna. This scholarship is a tribute by her children to their mother’s love of art and art-making and is awarded, based on need and merit, to an incoming student who works in mixed media and/or printmaking.

Dean's Scholarship

This merit award of up to half tuition is awarded to undergraduate students who exhibit exemplary artistic promise.

Si Friedman Scholarship

Awarded to an incoming undergraduate student based on artistic and academic merit, this scholarship is made possible through the generosity of the Si Friedman Scholarship Fund.

Deborah Morrison Henderson Scholarship

The Deborah Morrison Henderson Scholarship is an award that is available to a transfer student or non-traditional aged student entering the BFA or PAFA-Penn BFA program. To apply for this scholarship, the student must submit a written statement describing their reasons for pursuing a joint studio and liberal arts degree and how they think the combined program will benefit their practice and scholarship.

Frances M. Maguire College Scholars

In honor of the many contributions of Frances M. Maguire to PAFA and of the strong and enduring friendship between Mrs. Maguire and the Academy, this scholarship is awarded based on academic merit and financial need and is made possible by the generosity of the Maguire Foundation.

James J. and Frances M. Maguire Artistic Excellence Scholarship

These full-tuition scholarships are made possible through the generosity of the Maguire Foundation and its commitment to excellence in art education. These scholarships are for incoming, full-time undergraduate students. Based on the merits of their application portfolio, students will be nominated by faculty members on the Admissions Committee during the application process. A limited number of Maguire Artistic Excellence Scholars are selected each year, based on the artworks submitted.

Next Step Summer Academy

These scholarships are available to students entering the BFA program who have completed PAFA’s Summer Academy program.

President's Scholarship

This merit scholarship of up to half tuition recognizes an undergraduate applicant’s overall academic and artistic achievement.

Phi Theta Kappa (Ptk) Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for transfer students.

John and Richanda Rhoden Scholarship

John Rhoden was a prolific African-American sculptor who passed away in 2001 and whose work was exhibited in major art museums during his lifetime. Although Mr. Rhoden received many of the accolades and awards that mark a distinguished career, his work never attained the level of recognition it deserved. PAFA is honored and grateful to have been designated the steward of this artist’s legacy and the recipient of a gift from the Rhoden estate of many of his sculptures as well as funds to support a scholarship in his and his wife’s name.

The John and Richanda Rhoden Scholarship will be awarded every four years, beginning in the fall of 2019, to an incoming first-year student of color, especially a student who intends to major in sculpture. The scholarship covers full tuition and fees. This scholarship offers PAFA’s School of Fine Arts the unique opportunity to honor and further Mr. Rhoden’s legacy and life-long dedication to fine art-making.

Gilroy & Lillian Roberts Scholarship

This scholarship supports an incoming undergraduate and is made possible through the generosity of the Gilroy and Lillian Roberts Foundation.

Scholastic Art Scholarship

Winners of a Scholastic National Medal in Art are eligible for this scholarship.

W.W. Smith Scholarship

Made possible through the generosity and commitment of the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, this scholarship is awarded to select incoming freshmen or transfer students who live in one of these Pennsylvania counties—Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia—or in the City of Camden, NJ.


Graduate Scholarships

Artistic Excellence Scholarship

This merit scholarship of up to half tuition is awarded to incoming MFA students who demonstrate outstanding artistic and intellectual promise. The Faculty Admissions Committee awards these scholarships at the time of admission.

Crosscurrents Scholarship

Students selected to show their work in the annual Crosscurrents exhibition at PAFA are eligible for scholarships ranging from full to half tuition. The scholarship recipients are selected by the exhibition jury.

Gilroy Roberts Scholarship

This scholarship supports an incoming MFA student and is made possible through the generosity of the Gilroy and Lillian Roberts Foundation.

Trustee Scholarship

This full-tuition scholarship is awarded to one incoming, traditional MFA student each year in recognition of superior, demonstrated artistic and intellectual ability. The recipient is selected by the Faculty Admissions Committee at the time of application and portfolio review.


Post-Baccalaureate Scholarships

Faculty Recognition Scholarship

This merit scholarship of up to half tuition recognizes the applicant’s motivation, ability, and skill in undertaking Certificate studies.