MECA&D Grants & Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are "gift aid" as they are financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.

Scholarships & Grants for First-Year Students

Merit-Based Scholarships for First-Year Students

Our merit-based scholarships are available to all incoming first-year students upon acceptance to Maine College of Art & Design. These scholarships, which range from $10,000–$21,000, are awarded based upon previous high school academic achievement, the strength of the submitted portfolio and application, and non-cognitive elements like community engagement and leadership and demonstrated work ethic. These merit-based scholarships are renewable for four years of study at MECA&D with good academic standing.

Graduates of any Maine high school who are accepted to MECA&D qualify instead for merit-based scholarships which range from $12,000–$21,000 based on the same criteria. These merit-based scholarships are renewable for four years of study at MECA&D with good academic standing.

2023 BFA Full Tuition Scholarship for First-Year Students

We’re looking for a student who will have a positive impact on the MECA&D community — it might be you!

Each year MECA&D offers one renewable full tuition scholarship for a first-time freshman coming directly from high school to attend the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program. To be considered for this scholarship competition each applicant must:

  • Be a high school senior applying for Fall 2023 admission
  • Complete a full BFA application for Fall 2023 by February 1, 2023
  • Submit a portfolio through SlideRoom

The Full Tuition Scholarship recipient will be informed in March 2023.

Full Tuition Scholarship Competition & Honors Placement details:

Each year, the Dean of Maine College of Art & Design reviews applications to identify the top tier of first-year students intending to enroll at MECA&D. From this group of applicants, a select number of students are offered placement in MECA&D’s Honors Drawing course, taught by the Chair of Foundation.

Along with consideration for placement in the Honors Drawing course, this application also qualifies high school students to be considered for the Full Tuition Scholarship that MECA&D awards to one applicant each year. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in high school at the time of their completed application and enroll in the college as a first-time, first-year student in the fall term. To qualify, students must complete the application process by February 1 and submit their portfolio for review in SlideRoom. There is no additional application form.

Winners of the Full Tuition Scholarship demonstrate academic rigor in their high school academic career, exhibit technical skill and personal voice in their application portfolio, and a strong commitment to community engagement. The selection of our Full Tuition Scholar is made by a committee comprised of the Dean of the College, the Associate Dean of the College, the Director of Admissions, and the Executive Vice President of the College.

BFA Racial Justice Scholarships

As part of Maine College of Art & Design’s commitment to educating the next generation of artists, we are pleased to offer BFA Racial Justice Scholarships for applicants to the Bachelor of Fine Arts at MECA&D. These Scholarships focus on supporting the work of students from communities of color who have been accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program at MECA&D. BFA Racial Justice Scholarships will be offered each year in the Spring and Fall terms to first-year and transfer students.

MECA&D is committed to educating artists in ways that are equitable and inclusive. We recognize inequities present in our societies and we are committed to transforming this field so that it reflects and amplifies a diversity of experiences, identities, and voices. Ideal applicants will have submitted a portfolio and application that embody and reinforce the core values of our Diversity Compact. This award specifically aims to promote and celebrate racial and ethnic diversity within the BFA program at MECA&D.

BFA Racial Justice Scholarships range between $1,500–$5,000 based on the criteria below and are renewable each year. The Scholarship Review Committee will award Racial Justice Scholarships to new incoming BFA students of color; both first-year students and transfer students are eligible to apply. These funds are allocated at the discretion of the committee and are to be awarded in addition to merit-based scholarships awarded from the Admissions department at the time of admission. Evaluation will be based on the criteria listed below, which focus on the student’s application, portfolio, and the alignment of their work with the values of MECA&D’s Diversity Compact.

Application Process
Interested applicants are required to complete and submit the following to be eligible for a BFA Racial Justice Scholarship:

  • the standard BFA application on Common App (which includes a 500-word essay, a portfolio of 12–20 pieces, one letter of recommendation, and official transcripts) completed by December 1 for Spring 2023 admission or February 1 for Fall 2023 admission;
  • a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
  • should self-identify as a student of color.

Applicants may choose to shape their Common App essay around ideas and commitment to racial justice, engagement with MECA&D’s Diversity Statement and Compact, and/or around their experiences and identity. Applicants are welcome to submit an optional resume.

The deadline for Spring 2023 is November 1, 2022, and the deadline for Fall 2023 is February 1, 2023.

Criteria for Consideration

  • Alignment with MECA&D’s Diversity Statement and Compact
  • Identification as a student of color
  • Leadership and/or engagement in support of racial justice
  • Concepts of racial justice demonstrated through the portfolio
  • Diversity of background and lived experiences
  • Demonstrated financial need

MECA&D’s Diversity Statement and Compact

To give further definition and distinction to Maine College of Art & Design’s institutional mission and to advance the goal of diversity in the strategic plan, the following set of principles were created to strengthen our learning community and cultivate an environment that prepares its students to thrive in a diverse and global world. Maine College of Art & Design recognizes that diversity is integral to the academic experience and strives to foster an inclusive culture defined by respect, equity and social responsibility. These principles serve as another catalyst for MECA&D students, faculty, staff and trustees to become the critically engaged citizens upon whom our world depends.

We understand the differences and diversity of our experiences include, but are not limited to, race, class, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, faith, religion, veteran status, mental, and physical ability.

I am responsible as a member of the MECA&D community:

  1. For recognizing, validating and thinking critically about the diversity of experience within our community
  2. To move beyond cultural stereotypes and assumptions in order to open up an authentic (and inclusive) culture of critique
  3. To embrace the principles of a small caring community that supports the authentic expression of self and others
  4. To see beyond assumptions in order to build authentic relationships across differences
  5. To learn and be aware of how larger cultural inequalities and inequities influence our daily interactions
  6. To participate with willingness and openness in opportunities which address current social events and to think critically about the impact on our college community and larger world
  7. For respecting and supporting all members of our community
  8. For engaging in action and dialogue when there is injustice driven by privilege and oppression.

Scholarships for Winning Regional Scholastic Award Entries

Maine College of Art & Design is pleased to award scholarships to winning student artists at the Regional and National levels for the Scholastic Art Awards for all states. All scholarships are renewable every year and are applied toward the cost of attendance at MECA&D.

National Scholastic winners: $2,500 per year
Regional Gold Key winners: $1,500 per year
Regional Silver Key winners: $1,000 per year
Regional Honorable Mention winners: $500 per year

Accepted BFA students must submit proof of award in order to receive scholarship funding toward the cost of attendance at MECA&D's Bachelor of Fine Arts program. MECA&D will award the scholarship level based on the highest award a student has achieved while in high school.

Scholarships for Winning Maine Congressional Art Awards Entries

Maine College of Art & Design award scholarships to student artists who receive Maine Congressional Art Awards. All scholarships are renewable every year and are applied toward the cost of attendance at MECA&D. Congressional awards are award in addition to Scholastic Award scholarships.

Congressional First Place winners: $1,000 per year
Congressional Second Place winners: $500 per year
Congressional Third Place winners: $500 per year
Congressional Honorable Mention winners: $500 per year

Accepted BFA students must submit proof of award in order to receive scholarship funding toward the cost of attendance at MECA&D's Bachelor of Fine Arts program.

Private Grants & Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office strongly suggests that students research and apply for any private funding sources for which they may be eligible. There are a number of organizations which will provide scholarship search services free or for a nominal fee. Check with your state department of education, your high school guidance office, or the public library in your area. You may also find scholarship information online, for example FinAid.org. We recommend using extreme caution when using search services that require a fee or when releasing personal information via the Internet.

Scholarships & Grants for Transfer Students

Merit-Based Scholarships for Transfer Students

Our merit-based scholarships are available to all incoming transfer students upon acceptance to Maine College of Art & Design. These scholarships, which range from $10,000–$16,000, are awarded based upon previous high school and college academic achievement, the strength of the submitted portfolio and application, and non-cognitive elements like community engagement and leadership and demonstrated work ethic. These merit-based scholarships are renewable for four years of study at MECA&D with good academic standing.

Graduates of any Maine high school who are accepted to MECA&D qualify instead for merit-based scholarships which range from $12,000–$16,000 based on the same criteria. These merit-based scholarships are renewable for four years of study at MECA&D with good academic standing.

BFA Racial Justice Scholarships

As part of Maine College of Art & Design’s commitment to educating the next generation of artists, we are pleased to offer BFA Racial Justice Scholarships for applicants to the Bachelor of Fine Arts at MECA&D. These Scholarships focus on supporting the work of students from communities of color who have been accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program at MECA&D. BFA Racial Justice Scholarships will be offered each year in the Spring and Fall terms to first-year and transfer students.

MECA&D is committed to educating artists in ways that are equitable and inclusive. We recognize inequities present in our societies and we are committed to transforming this field so that it reflects and amplifies a diversity of experiences, identities, and voices. Ideal applicants will have submitted a portfolio and application that embody and reinforce the core values of our Diversity Compact. This award specifically aims to promote and celebrate racial and ethnic diversity within the BFA program at MECA&D.

BFA Racial Justice Scholarships range between $1,500–$5,000 based on the criteria below and are renewable each year. The Scholarship Review Committee will award Racial Justice Scholarships to new incoming BFA students of color; both first-year students and transfer students are eligible to apply. These funds are allocated at the discretion of the committee and are to be awarded in addition to merit-based scholarships awarded from the Admissions department at the time of admission. Evaluation will be based on the criteria listed below, which focus on the student’s application, portfolio, and the alignment of their work with the values of MECA&D’s Diversity Compact.

Application Process
Interested applicants are required to complete and submit the following to be eligible for a BFA Racial Justice Scholarship:

  • the standard BFA application on Common App (which includes a 500-word essay, a portfolio of 12–20 pieces, one letter of recommendation, and official transcripts) completed by December 1 for Spring 2023 admission or February 1 for Fall 2023 admission;
  • a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
  • should self-identify as a student of color.

Applicants may choose to shape their Common App essay around ideas and commitment to racial justice, engagement with MECA&D’s Diversity Statement and Compact, and/or around their experiences and identity. Applicants are welcome to submit an optional resume.

The deadline for Spring 2023 is November 1, 2023, and the deadline for Fall 2023 is February 1, 2023.

Criteria for Consideration

  • Alignment with MECA&D’s Diversity Statement and Compact
  • Identification as a student of color
  • Leadership and/or engagement in support of racial justice
  • Concepts of racial justice demonstrated through the portfolio
  • Diversity of background and lived experiences
  • Demonstrated financial need

MECA&D’s Diversity Statement and Compact

To give further definition and distinction to Maine College of Art & Design’s institutional mission and to advance the goal of diversity in the strategic plan, the following set of principles were created to strengthen our learning community and cultivate an environment that prepares its students to thrive in a diverse and global world. Maine College of Art & Design recognizes that diversity is integral to the academic experience and strives to foster an inclusive culture defined by respect, equity and social responsibility. These principles serve as another catalyst for MECA&D students, faculty, staff and trustees to become the critically engaged citizens upon whom our world depends.

We understand the differences and diversity of our experiences include, but are not limited to, race, class, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, faith, religion, veteran status, mental, and physical ability.

I am responsible as a member of the MECA&D community:

  1. For recognizing, validating and thinking critically about the diversity of experience within our community
  2. To move beyond cultural stereotypes and assumptions in order to open up an authentic (and inclusive) culture of critique
  3. To embrace the principles of a small caring community that supports the authentic expression of self and others
  4. To see beyond assumptions in order to build authentic relationships across differences
  5. To learn and be aware of how larger cultural inequalities and inequities influence our daily interactions
  6. To participate with willingness and openness in opportunities which address current social events and to think critically about the impact on our college community and larger world
  7. For respecting and supporting all members of our community
  8. For engaging in action and dialogue when there is injustice driven by privilege and oppression.

Private Grants & Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office strongly suggests that students research and apply for any private funding sources for which they may be eligible. There are a number of organizations which will provide scholarship search services free or for a nominal fee. Check with your state department of education, your high school guidance office, or the public library in your area. You may also find scholarship information online, for example FinAid.org. We recommend using extreme caution when using search services that require a fee or when releasing personal information via the Internet.

Scholarships & Grants for Enrolled BFA Students

Merit Exhibition & Scholarship Competition

MECA&D's annual Merit Exhibition & Scholarship Competition is held every Spring. The exhibition is open to current MECA&D students who are in their sophomore and junior years, and students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5. Scholarships awarded are applied to the following year, either the student's junior or senior year, respectively.

Students can win awards in the following categories: Best in Show; 2nd Place, 3rd Place, 4th Place, and Honorable Mentions; Outstanding 2D Work; Outstanding 3D Work; and Jury Select.

Information regarding the competition is mailed to all eligible students at the start of the Spring semester.

BFA Exhibition & Scholarship Competition

MECA&D's annual BFA Exhibition & Scholarship Competition is held every Fall. The exhibition is open to all current MECA&D students. Scholarships awarded are applied to the following semester.

Students can win awards in the following categories: Best in Show; 2nd Place Overall, 3rd Place Overall, and Honorable Mentions; Best Work by a First-Year Student, Best Work by a Sophomore, Best Work by a Junior, and Best Work by a Senior; and the MECA&D Jury Select Award for work that is particularly notable.

Information regarding the competition is mailed to all eligible students at the start of the Fall semester.

Endowed/Restricted Scholarships

Endowed and restricted scholarships are available to students returning to Maine College of Art & Design for their second, third, or fourth years. These are merit-based scholarships for students that are awarded through recommendations of faculty, and are available across disciplines and majors.

Professional Development & Entrepreneurship Grant

The Artists at Work Professional Development & Entrepreneurship Grant grant helps BFA, MFA, and MAT students advance their studio and professional skills by accessing opportunities and experiences beyond the MECA&D classroom. Potential uses include but are not limited to: conferences, travel, exhibition costs, professional association fees, self-promotion, technology, documentation, workshops and costs associated with entrepreneurial efforts. Funds cannot be used on equipment or for academic credit towards the completion of your undergraduate degree. Requests are capped at $500.

Private Grants & Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office strongly suggests that students research and apply for any private funding sources for which they may be eligible. There are a number of organizations which will provide scholarship search services free or for a nominal fee. Check with your state department of education, your high school guidance office, or the public library in your area. You may also find scholarship information online, for example FinAid.org. We recommend using extreme caution when using search services that require a fee or when releasing personal information via the Internet.

Benefits for Veterans

Veterans Benefits

The Veterans Administration (VA), Reserves, and Armed Forces offer a variety of educational benefits primarily in grant form. Proper affiliation with the respective organization is required. Maine College of Art & Design is a participating institution for military personnel, veterans, and their eligible dependents.

To learn more about different programs for veteran education benefits please review the following resources:

More information is available here.

Private Grants & Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office strongly suggests that students research and apply for any private funding sources for which they may be eligible. There are a number of organizations which will provide scholarship search services free or for a nominal fee. Check with your state department of education, your high school guidance office, or the public library in your area. You may also find scholarship information using the Internet; such as FinAid.org. We recommend using extreme caution when using search services that require a fee or when releasing personal information via the Internet.