Interior Design Scholarships

Combine Your Talent with People Skills and Project Management

Interior designers are responsible for making spaces like rooms or offices both convenient for human use and aesthetically pleasing. That includes not only floor plans and choices for furnishings, but also some knowledge of how best to integrate features like lighting and climate control while building. To that end, many designers work with architects.

As an interior design major, you’ll learn the history of Western design, technical illustration, graphic design, lighting, and how to choose materials. You’ll master project management and become expert at working with the other professionals like manufacturers and contractors who will supply the goods and do the construction needed to complete your projects successfully.

Scholarships From Private Organizationsinterior design scholarships

ASID Foundation

The ASID Foundation is the philanthropic offshoot of the American Society of Interior Designers, and it sponsors both scholarships and student design competitions with cash prizes. Here are some examples of the scholarships:

  • The David Barrett Memorial Scholarship for $12,000, given every two years to an undergraduate or a graduate student, is a reward for excellent work that can be described as both classical (that is, using balance and harmony according to the principles of Graeco-Roman art) and traditional (using nothing conspicuously modern or trendy), in design and material.
  • The Legacy Scholarships, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students, go to students who excel in creative work. Undergraduates must submit a portfolio with their applications, and the academic records of graduate students are considered in addition to creative ability.
  • The Daltile Interior Design Scholarship ($10,000 in the 2012-2013 year) is awarded to the winner of a design competition, most recently to design a bathroom with a view to making its use easy for persons of any age or size, including the handicapped. The competition requires you to be familiar with all applicable building codes.

The annual ASID Student Design Award Competition most recently bestowed $2,000 for the most effective design that dedicates an existing building to a new purpose, for example turning a container designed for shipping into housing.

International Furnishings and Design Association Educational Foundation

The International Furnishings and Design Association Educational Foundation (IFDA/EF) currently sponsors six scholarships for interior design majors (related majors in design and furnishings are also acceptable). Applicants must attend accredited schools and have completed at least four design courses. You must submit a reference letter from a teacher and samples of your designs.

These scholarships include:

  • The IFDA Student Member Scholarship ($2,000) and the IFDA Leaders Commemorative Scholarship ($1,500) both go to full-time undergraduates. The IFDA Leaders award gives consideration to students involved in volunteer work.
  • The Part-Time Student Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 is provided for those attending school part-time.
  • The Vercille Voss IFDA Graduate Student Scholarship for $2,000 and the Ruth Clark Furniture Design Scholarship for $3,000 can go to either undergraduates or graduate students. Neither requires any specific number of courses.

Scholarships From Colleges

Iowa State University

The College of Design at Iowa State University offers four scholarships exclusively for its design majors:

  • The Chi and Pam Chiu Design Scholarship provides $1,250 each year to two new undergraduates. The award is nonrenewable.
  • The DAC Scholarship, also nonrenewable and for incoming undergraduates, is in the amount of $1,000.
  • The College of Design Diversity Scholarship for First-Year Undergraduate Students ($2,500) intends to encourage minority students to choose a major in the college, such as graphic design, architecture, or studio arts. You must demonstrate financial need.
  • The Clair B. Watson Design Scholarship for $1,000 is given to freshmen based on essays submitted, rank in high school graduating class, and score on the ACT. It may be renewable if funding permits.

Meredith College

Meredith College’s interior design program is approved by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, and it provides one scholarship specifically for interior design majors, as well as other awards for which design majors can apply. The Sandra Graham Shelton Talent Scholarship goes to a new first-year interior design major, and may be renewable for all four years for full-time students maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

Indiana University Bloomington

The Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design (AMID) at Indiana University Bloomington has posted a page with a download link for scholarship information. The Dorothy G. Helmer scholarship goes to a junior majoring in interior design whose portfolio has been selected by an independent jury. GPAs of 3.0 in major courses and 2.3 overall are required.

There are also four other scholarships available for AMID majors in general.

Montgomery College

Montgomery College’s Interior Design Program offers the Bhramara Heid & Ann Stillwell Interior Design Scholarship to interior design majors. You must have finished 12 credits in major courses, be able to demonstrate financial need, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and you must be a U. S. citizen.

Mount Mary College

The Interior Design Department at Mount Mary College urges students to compete for the Frederick R. Layton Art Scholarship, which provides as much as $3,000 in tuition aid for new majors in arts and design, including interior design. There is a similar award for current students, and to apply you must have a 3.0 GPA and attend school full-time.

Most colleges that include interior design programs offer some type of scholarship aid, so check with your school’s financial aid office to see what assistance is available in your department.


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