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 assistance grants for music and dance are 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.

Application Deadline
March 12, 2018

Audition Dates
April 12-13, 2018

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 March 12, 2018.  Use the link below to submit the application and pay online, or bring the application and fee to the Lawson Academy office.  Paper copies of the application are available on the bookcase by the office.

Scholarship Application

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.

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.

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.

The Lawson Academy has some funds available to provide financial assistance grants to students whose financial circumstances make it difficult to pursue study in the arts.

The deadline for applications has passed for 2017. Please check back for 2018 financial assistance grant information.

Mail the completed forms to:

Lawson Academy
580 East Main St.
Spartanburg, SC 29302

One significant source of these grants is the Paula Sigler Morgan Student Assistance Fund.  The vision for this endowed fund came from Paula Morgan, the Director of the Lawson Academy for many years. Following her desire to pursue funding to provide need-based financial aid to our students, she worked with Converse College to create a Student Assistance Endowment which would become a sustainable source of funds to support Lawson Academy study for students through times of unexpected financial challenge.

The fund achieved its full status soon after Paula Morgan retired from her position as Director in May of 2015.   Many of the contributions that put us over the top were made to honor her 22 successful years with the Lawson Academy and her passion for making the arts accessible to all. The Lawson Academy faculty renamed this endowment fund in her honor.

Many other individuals and organizations also dedicate some portion of their contributions to need-based financial assistance. We are grateful to everyone who has given money to keep the arts alive and growing through our students and programs.

In order to apply for financial assistance for music study, we will need a completed application and a recommendation from a music teacher. A committee of Lawson Academy faculty will make decisions about distributing the available funds and will notify each applicant of the results by August 15. Funds will typically be awarded for both semesters of study, provided that the mid-year evaluation ensures the funds are being well used. In December, the student’s Lawson Academy teacher will provide a brief statement concerning the student’s attendance and work, and each recipient will perform a short selection for the Director of the Lawson Academy.

Recommendation Form

The Lawson Academy of the Arts has launched a new World Dance program. We have been given a grant by Converse College to help establish this exciting new direction for our dance program. Included are some funds for financial assistance grants to make the dance classes accessible to more potential students. Complete and submit the application to be considered for a partial tuition grant. The deadline for applications has passed for 2017. Please check back for 2018 grant information.

If there are funds remaining after classes begin, applications may still be accepted after the start of the semester to be applied towards a pro-rated class tuition.

Dance Grant Application