Bachelor of Fine Arts Program
The Entrance Scholarship is a merit-based award offered on an ongoing basis to students accepted to the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. To be considered for an Entrance Scholarship an applicant must be accepted to the BFA program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application process at the earliest possible date to receive acceptance and priority scholarship notification.
The Entrance Scholarship is based on the strength of the portfolio submitted as well as all application steps. The Admissions Office also takes each component of the application into account to determine the scholarship award amount.
- Portfolio Review
- Application Questionnaire Responses
- ACT/SAT Test
- Letter of Recommendation
- High School Transcript
- College Transcript (Transfer Student Only)
- Personal Statement (Optional)
Annual Scholarship Renewal
The Entrance Scholarship is renewable each successive year for up to four academic years as long as a student maintains a GPA of 2.0 or higher in their semester coursework. For example, a first year award for an incoming freshman of $8,000 can potentially be a total of $32,000 over four academic years.
Additional First Year Scholarships
AAC Cincinnati Public Schools Full Ride Scholarship
The Art Academy offers a chance at a full ride scholarship for any Cincinnati Public School student.
What is the Full Ride Scholarship?
Two students will be granted the Full Ride Scholarships, which will cover the cost of tuition and fees over a four-year span.
Who is eligible for the Full Ride Scholarship?
Any high school student currently enrolled in the Cincinnati Public School District. The student must be Pell eligible in order to apply for the scholarship.
What are the guidelines?
Cincinnati Public School students applying for the scholarship must go complete a general Art Academy application process upon to be accepted into the college.
Scholastic winners are awarded scholarships for Gold Key ($3,000), Silver Key ($1,500), and Honorable Mention ($700).
$2,500 awarded to any student that completed a summer with the Cincinnati Artworks Program.
Teacher or Counselor can recommend a student to be awarded a Teacher Award for $2,500.
Portfolio Prep Award
$1,000 awarded to any student that attended Art Academy of Cincinnati Portfolio Preparation program.
$1,000 awarded to any student currently residing Indiana or Kentucky.
$10,000 award, in addition to the AAC Entrance Scholarship.
Additional AAC Opportunities
AAC Alumni Association Scholarship Award
This award was first established in 2000 through the fundraising efforts of the Alumni Association. Full-time faculty members select the winners of this tuition scholarship. The recipients must be full-time sophomore students entering his or her junior year.
AAC Faculty Awards
At the end of the academic year, freshman, sophomores, and juniors who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 qualify for consideration for Faculty Portfolio Awards respective to their year levels. Full-time faculty members select the winners by majority vote.
John E. and Mary Ann Butkovich Tuition Scholarship
Established by Art Academy Alumna Mary Ann Roach Butkovich, class of 1975, this scholarship is awarded to the highest scoring Bertha Langhorst Werner Scholarship applicant. The Director of Financial Aid and the Scholarship Committee select the recipient of this tuition scholarship.
Cincinnati Art Club Scholarship
The Cincinnati Art Club was formed in 1890 to advance the knowledge and love of art through education. The second oldest continually operating organization of its kind west of the Allegheny Mountains, the Cincinnati Art Club is proud of over 125 years of service to the community. This tuition scholarship goes to a sophomore or junior majoring in either Painting and Drawing or Sculpture. The full-time faculty members select the recipient.
John Fischer/Leonard Sive Traditional Painting Scholarship
This scholarship was established in 2005 in honor of Art Academy alumni John Fischer and Leonard Sive and is awarded to a student who paints in a realistic or representational style. The Painting and Drawing faculty members choose the recipient.
Folgers Memorial Trust Purchase Award
This award was established in memory of Art Academy alumnus Franklin Folger, Class of 1940. Mr. Folger studied Commercial Art, Painting, and Cartooning and went on to have a successful career in cartoons. His comic panel The Girls originally appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, and then was syndicated nationally by the Sun-Times-Daily News Syndicate. The Folger Memorial Trust Purchase Award permits the Art Academy of Cincinnati to acquire student art for its collection, while giving students the opportunity to compete for cash awards during the annual Student Juried Exhibition.
Gary Gaffney & Jacqueline Wollman Award
The Gary Gaffney & Jacqueline Wollman Scholarship Fund is nimble and responsive to the immediate needs and merits of students. This year it was awarded for performance art and public engagement.
Omer T. Glenn Scholarship
The Omer T. Glenn Endowment was established in 1976 to advance the artistic education of talented, financially disadvantaged students of the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Young Artist’s Award
Founded in 2002, the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society encourages the creation of watercolor at all skill levels and promotes interest, appreciation, and enjoyment of watercolor and water media. The Society’s Scholarship Committee chooses the scholarship winner.
The Charley and Edie Harper Scholarship
Charley Harper and Edie McKee met on the first day of school, in 1940, at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. As a senior, Charley won the prestigious Stephen H. Wilder Scholarship. In 1947, shortly after graduation, they married and spent their honeymoon traveling the country, using funds from the Wilder. Charley returned to the Art Academy of Cincinnati as an instructor and went on to illustrate numerous books, prints, and posters. He created works for many nature-based organizations including the National Park Service, Cincinnati Zoo, and the Cincinnati Nature Center. Edie experimented in a variety of media and in 1961, the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center exhibited her highly acclaimed abstract photographs. Later, with their son Brett Harper, they formed Harper Studios. They collaborated with each other throughout their careers. Edie was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award from the Art Academy in 2017. The Charley and Edie Harper Scholarship is awarded by faculty to an upperclassman in good standing demonstrating talent, collaboration, and fresh perspective in drawing, painting, and/or illustration.
Helms Trust Purchase Award
The Helms Trust Purchase Award was established in 2007 by the William G. and Mary Jane Helms Charitable Foundation. The Helms Trust permits the Art Academy of Cincinnati to acquire student art for its collection, while giving students the opportunity to compete for cash awards. The Helms Trust awards four cash prizes for realistic or representational two- and three-dimensional works.
Carolyn and Julian Magnus Family Award Tuition Scholarship
This need-based award goes to an independent student who is working his or her way through college. The Scholarship Committee and the Director of Financial Aid select the recipient of this scholarship.
Albert Pels Drawing/Painting Scholarship
Albert Pels was born on May 7, 1910, in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati where he won several scholarships. Pels’ work is an example of the Social Realist movement in American painting which flourished in the 1930s and focused on the working class, urban life, social issues, and the hardships of the era. This scholarship is awarded by faculty to a student of merit with exceptional talent in drawing and/or painting.
John and Judy Ruthven Fund Scholarship
This scholarship was established by Art Academy alumnus John Ruthven, Class of 1947, and his wife Judy Ruthven. John Ruthven is nationally known for his wildlife paintings and has received numerous awards throughout his long career, including the National Medal of Arts in 2004. This tuition scholarship is awarded to a student for representational or realistic painting, preferably of nature.
Carson E. Smith Endowed Scholarship
This endowed scholarship was established in 2017 by the Carson E. Smith Trust to benefit an Art Academy student majoring in drawing and/or design. Mr. Smith was an Art Academy alumnus, Class of 1937, who attended AAC on the Nowottny-Meakin-Rowe Scholarship and graduated with a degree in Design and Portraiture. Mr. Smith served with distinction in World War II receiving the Purple Heart. During his career, he worked at Rookwood Pottery and is well-known for his design work at Wadsworth Watch Company, Helena Rubinstein Cosmetics, and most notably for the early design of the Cadillac emblem. He also had a long career in Cincinnati at Greiwe Interiors.
J. K. Smith Risk Taker Award
J.K. Smith was nothing if not a risk taker. As an artist, a traveler, a student of life and the Art Academy of Cincinnati's former woodshop instructor, he strived to push his talents and the talents of others around him to new heights. His encouraging and courageous nature is the impetus of this scholarship. It is an award for a student who has spread his or her wings, aimed high and perhaps ventured out of his or her comfort zone. This student took a risk with her or his art, took a chance on a new elevated direction. This person turned heads with perseverance or found a new way to collaborate with her or his community. This person was brave or bold or both; stretched herself or himself into a new dimension. We can all learn to appreciate the importance of taking risks, as JK did. As one student put it, "When I think of JK, I think of how he always welcomed a question or lack of understanding, not by making me feel small, but for making me feel smart for wanting to know more."
William E. Villa Endowed Scholarship
This endowed scholarship was established in 2017 in memory of Art Academy alumnus William E. Villa, Class of 1965. The knowledge Mr. Villa gained through his education at the Art Academy remained with him throughout his life. He supported the works of other artists through his positions as Commissioner of the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Film and Video Arts Commission. The Scholarship Committee will determine the recipient of this tuition scholarship.
Bertha Langhorst Werner Tuition Scholarship
Education was important to Bertha Langhorst, a school teacher who inherited a small amount of money from her parents and saved throughout her lifetime. After the death of her second husband Al Werner, she established this tuition scholarship to help young college students who need financial assistance secure an education at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Winners are chosen based on financial need, a written essay, faculty recommendation, and GPA.
Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship
The Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship, one of the most coveted awards given to graduating AAC seniors, was first awarded in 1947. In 1941 Edith Carson Wilder endowed the scholarship in memory of her husband, specifying that the scholarship be given to deserving students for travel. The money serves as a stipend and travel alliance for special research in fine art or design in the United States or abroad. Each applicant must submit a proposal that includes a budget, itinerary, senior thesis, visual documentation of his or her work, and a description of how the proposed travel experience will benefit their art/design goals. Full-time faculty members, the Academic Dean, and the President vote to select the winners.
If you are interested in applying for a scholarship or award, see your faculty advisor or someone in the Office of Financial Aid. 513-562-8751
If you are interested is investing in an existing or new scholarship, see someone in the Office of Institutional Advancement. firstname.lastname@example.org
Students are also encouraged to apply for various community scholarships and awards, including:
AAF Cincinnati Student ADDY
AIGA Best Design Award
Cincinnati Art Club
GC Watercolor Society
Lightroom Presets Scholarship
Lucid Press Scholarship
John L. Magro Fdn. Art Show & Scholarship
Photoshop Actions Scholarship
Three Arts Scholarship Fund
Women's Art Club
Scholarships are extremely important, even if your family has been saving for college. Scholarships can help reduce loan debt and out of pocket cost!! It is recommended nationwide that students apply for no less than two dozen scholarships each year, which is why we suggest applying for not only the AAC community scholarship but for private as well. To support you, we have listed some of the most popular scholarships sites in which you can create a profile and search for private scholarships that might appeal to you personally. Current AAC students can also find the scholarship binder located in the Commons where the Financial Aid Office Work-study student has completed the search for you. Simply pull a copy out of the bind and apply!
You can't win if you don't apply!
Current students can log into the Art Academy of Cincinnati Financial Aid Resource page at fafsa.artacademy.edu to view information about outside (non AAC) associated scholarships, as well as our featured scholarship from organizations we partner with every year.
Incoming students please use the below links to search for outside (non AAC) scholarships.