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The Complete Guide to Poetry Scholarships

The Complete Guide to Poetry Scholarships

Poetry scholarships lessen the financial burden required for students to further their study of poetry. These monetary awards may exist as the result of fundraising efforts and private donations to fellowships and organizations or endowments distributed by colleges and universities. If you or someone you know is a student interested in applying for one-time or renewable awards, use this complete guide to poetry scholarships.

Scholarships from Contests & Organizations

  • Poetry Out Loud: The National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation joined forces to create a national poetry recitation contest with a pyramid awards structure designed to ensure students at the school, regional, state and national level can receive educational funding. Poetry Out Loud’s national winner receives $20,000 toward their education and the winner’s school receives a $500 stipend allotted for the purchase of poetry books.
  • Live Poets Society of New Jersey: Any U.S. high school student can enter this organization’s poetry contest and have a chance at earning cumulative scholarship awards of $2,500 and a publishing offer to American High School Poets Just Poetry quarterly.

Scholarships from Colleges & Universities

  • Ambrose D. Pattullo Endowed Scholarship: This scholarship from Michigan State University is intended for the continued study, writing and teaching of poetry by an undergraduate, master’s or doctoral student. The Ambrose D. Pattullo Endowed Scholarship is a renewable award assigned to an undergraduate English major who maintains a 3.5 GPA or a graduate English major who maintains a 3.0 GPA. Applicants of the renewable scholarship will be required to submit a critical essay analyzing a specific poem or some aspect of poetry. 
  • Columbia College Chicago Poetry Scholarship: The Poetry Scholarship from Columbia College Chicago is an award given to either an incoming freshman or a transfer student who will be a Poetry Program student. This scholarship, which is intended to aid in the payment of tuition and fees associated with enrollment, pays $1500 for the year—distributed as two $750 installments. In order to receive the scholarship, a candidate must demonstrate talent or achievement in poetry and enroll in a Poetry Workshop during his or her first year at Columbia College Chicago.
  • William Morgan Poetry Award: Each year, the Illinois State University’s Department of English awards this scholarship one undergraduate student and one master’s or doctoral student to honor the career of ISU professor William W. Morgan, who retired in 2000. In order to receive the scholarship, students must be in good standing and demonstrate both skill in original poetry writing and scholarly writing in the study of poetry.

Scholarship Scams

Whenever someone has a need or want for money, criminals will seize the opportunity to prey on the vulnerabilities of the financial aid seeker. Scam artists take advantage of students’ desire for education and create phony poetry scholarships with required application submittal fees. Scammers pocket the fee and never award scholarship funds. Keep in mind that some legitimate poetry scholarships may require an application submittal fee. Before submitting any applications to poetry scholarships—whether or not they require application fees—always conduct your own research to verify the reputation and legitimacy of the scholarship source.

Photo courtesy of brewbooks.

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