4 Scholarships for Halloween

In keeping with the season, it seemed appropriate to talk about college scholarships for Halloween. The current semester is half-over, but these unusual private scholarships will give some creative, artistic students a jump on next year’s scholarship applications.

Houdini_LibOfCongressHarry Houdini, who died on Halloween, 1926, was a longtime president of the Society of American Magicians — at 107, the oldest formally organized magical society in the world. Houdini was an escape artist, fraud-buster, and movie star, but along with all of that, he was a lifelong learner. The Society of American Magicians today funds a number of education programs, including scholarships for fulltime college students. To be eligible for the college scholarship, you must be an experienced magician with the potential to perform magic professionally. (You’ll need to provide letters of recommendation from 2 magicians who can attest to your expertise in magic.) You must also be enrolled in a curriculum that supports a career related to magic, including drama/theater and business and/or marketing, and you must demonstrate academic achievement as well as financial need. The scholarship application is not magically retrievable, but you can download it from the S.A.M. website. The deadline is March 31st.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) was formed more than a century ago and is now the largest labor union in the entertainment industry. As a service to its members, IATSE’s Scholarship Foundation provides financial aid for 2 high school seniors applying for admission to a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university. (To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be the son or daughter of an IATSE member in good standing.) Each scholarship provides $1,750 per year for a total of $7,000 over a 4-year period. You can download the application from the IATSE website, which will provide all the application criteria. The deadline is December 31st.

A long time ago, my mother made me a beautiful Halloween costume by hand out of tissue paper, Elmer’s Glue, a green sweatshirt, and brown tights: I was a leafy summertime tree. Today, the deep-rooted National Costumers Association, still going strong after 85 years, provides scholarships to students who want to go into the costume industry. Your application criteria include an essay describing how your college studies relate to and will support your career in costuming. You have to be 17 or older, maintaining a 2.75 minimum GPA, and either enrolled or enrolling in an accredited university, college, or career school. The scholarship amounts vary depending on the number of applicants and the amount of funding available. This is definitely an “early bird has the best chance at the worm” Halloween scholarship opportunity. See the NCA website for full details and the application. The deadline is April 1, 2010.

Promoting costume education, research, preservation, and design, the Costume Society of America works to “advance the global understanding of all aspects of dress and appearance” and to “encourage study in the rich and diverse field of costume.” The Society’s $2,000 – $2500 Student Research Grant (named for a Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute curator and CSA founding member) was created to support a current undergraduate or graduate student doing research in North American costume. You must be a member of the Society to be eligible for the grant, but you’ll find everything you need for both membership and the grant’s thorough application on the CSA Grants website. The deadline is May 1.

Scholarships and grants may not seem like a Halloween-friendly subject, but financial aid should not be scary. The trick is to find the trade organizations related to your career path, as these scholarships for Halloween show.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.

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