Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Scholarships and Financial Assistance


Generous individual and organizational donors have made it possible for us to offer both competitive talent-based scholarships and financial assistance grants for study in the Lawson Academy. Competitive scholarships for music are awarded on the basis of auditions.  Financial aid is based on applications and recommendations.

Competitive Scholarships

Auditions for talent-based scholarships are held each spring.  Qualified judges award scholarships in each area (voice, piano, strings, winds/brass, guitar). Scholarship amounts vary–most are partial scholarships that will reduce the cost of lessons. The scholarships may be used only for tuition at the Lawson Academy of the Arts in the appropriate area for the following school year. Half of the scholarship will be allocated for the fall semester, with the remainder given for the spring semester. *Exception: Lawson Band students who are not studying privately may receive their entire scholarship amount for the annual tuition paid in the fall.

Scholarship Deadline

April 16: Applications due

Audition dates

April 30: Scholarship audition videos due

Students must be in 6th grade or older in order to audition.  Auditions are open to all students, even those not currently enrolled in the Lawson Academy.   Most scholarships are for students who will be in 7th-12th grade at the time of enrollment, but there are a few scholarships specifically for adult students.  Some scholarships are restricted to residents of Spartanburg County.

Students who have held Lawson Academy Scholarships for two consecutive years are not eligible to audition for the subsequent year.  (Exception:  Strings students may audition for the Gignilliat Scholarship regardless of previous Lawson Academy scholarship awards.  The Gignilliat Scholarship may only be awarded once to any student.)

Completed application and $5 application fee are due by April 16, 2021.

Students should prepare a 3-5 minute audition.  The 5-minute maximum time will be enforced.  Complete selections or excerpts are acceptable, as long as they fit within the time frame.  Memorization is recommended.  An accompanist is not required or provided, but recommended where applicable.

Students who are awarded a scholarship will be notified soon after the audition date.  They will be asked to sign an agreement accepting the scholarship and its terms, agreeing to continue study for the entire school year, and acknowledging their obligation to pay all costs not covered by the scholarship.  They will also be asked to write a letter of thanks to the appropriate donor.

All scholarship recipients will perform a short selection for the Head of the Petrie School of Music in December as a condition of receiving the second half of their award.

Groups of 2-10 students may audition for this chamber music scholarship, which will go towards the tuition for coaching sessions with a Lawson Academy faculty member.

The Lawson Academy has finite funds available to provide financial aid to students whose financial circumstances make it difficult to pursue study in the arts. Applications and teacher recommendations are due in early August, after which point all applications are reviewed by a committee to distribute funds for the full academic year.

Recommendations and the application for financial assistance are due Friday, August 9, 2021.

The Paula Sigler Morgan Student Assistance Fund is an endowed fund started by Paula Morgan, former Director of the Lawson Academy. Following her desire to pursue funding to provide need-based financial aid to our students, Paula worked with Converse College to create this Student Assistance Endowment which would become a sustainable source of funds to support Lawson Academy study for students through times of unexpected financial challenge.

Many individuals and organizations continue to support The Paula Sigler Morgan Student Assistance Fund. The Lawson Academy is grateful to everyone who has contributed and honored Paula’s passion for making the arts accessible to all.

How You Can Help

As the Paula Sigler Morgan Student Assistance Fund continues to grow, we will be able to help more and more students. You may contribute to our fund online, or by contacting Janae O’Shields, Director of the Lawson Academy of the Arts.

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