More Performing Arts Scholarships than Athletic Scholarships?

NCAA Rules Apply to Athletes Only

If you look at a football stadium on a Saturday afternoon, it’s hard to believe that there are more performing arts scholarships than athletic scholarships. How can it even be possible? It’s because of the rules. Student athletes have a restriction that performing arts students do not: student athletes are bound by NCAA rules:

  • NCAA rules determine how much scholarship money a student athlete can get. The amount is based on the college’s NCAA division and the student’s sport.
  • Student athletes can only accept scholarships from their school. If they take scholarship money from anywhere else, they can be disqualified.
  • The NCAA allows general academic scholarships for student athletes. About 32% of student athletes are eligible to receive these.

Non-Institutional (third-party) scholarships are key

Performing Arts students don’t have a governing body. That means they can receive scholarships from their school and from non-school sources. A non-school source is also called a non-institutional (third-party) source. It is a group that is not part of a college or university. Some examples are The American Viola Society and the Nashville Opera Guild.

Some other examples of non-institutional (third-party) scholarships are:

Unlike student athletes, performing arts students can get scholarships through all levels of their education, even if they decide to get a doctoral degree.

Performing arts students get more scholarship money

There are six performing arts students for each athletic student on U.S. college campuses. In addition, when performing arts students use all the resources available to them they receive $7 in scholarship money for every $1 student athletes receive from their institutional scholarships. That means there is more than $5 billion in scholarship money available to performing arts students every year!

Unlike their restricted athletic friends, performing arts students have a lot of freedom to find and accept scholarships from many sources. That freedom makes their college education more affordable and (because they are making music) more fun.

Create an account on Use your performance profile to get organized for your scholarship search.

Keep Practicing,

Dr. Randall Bayne, CEO