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Art and Design Incoming Freshman Scholarships

Art and Design Scholarship Quick Information

Incoming Freshman Scholarships due December 1

Artwork PDF Instructions | FAQ’s | Review Rubric
How to Photograph Artwork

Art and Design in the School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University is pleased to offer art scholarship opportunities for our incoming freshman students. Students who are majoring in Art and Design and have officially applied at NKU may apply for this scholarship support. At least two Art and Design Freshman Scholarships are awarded every year for one semester of in-state tuition. Several alternates will also be chosen.

To apply for one of these portfolio-based freshman scholarships, please fill out the NKU Art and Design Incoming Freshman Scholarship Application through the link provided below. As part of the application, the student must upload a PDF document containing digital images of 10-15 pieces of artwork. Each image must be labeled as directed in the ‘Artwork PDF Instructions’ document (see above). Applicants will be judged on the quality and originality of their artwork, as well as their grade point average, letter of intent, letter of recommendation (preferably from their high school art teacher), and high school transcripts.

Once the deadline passes, the Art and Design scholarship committee, consisting of art and design faculty, will review each qualifying application (see Review Rubric above). Immediate notification will be sent from the chair of the scholarship committee to those that did not meet all the qualifications, along with an explanation of why. After the committee determines the scholarship recipient(s), the Program Head of Art and Design will send a letter of notification to all qualifying applicants. 

Applications must be submitted by December 1 each year. Late (and/or incomplete) submissions will not be considered. Please click on the blue button below to begin your application.

Materials you will need for this application:

  1. Letter of Intent
    Please write a short essay that will serve as a letter of intent, sometimes called a “personal statement” or “statement of purpose.” The scholarship committee would like to get to know you as a person and creative individual. Please highlight some of the most important moments in your creative and academic life – those moments that will give the reviewing committee a strong sense of who you are and your commitment to art or design. (Maximum 750 words)

  2. Your High School Unofficial Transcript.
    Before uploading, save it as a single document in a PDF.
    Label it as follows: your last name_your first name_transcript

  3. Your Artwork
    Before uploading, save your 10-15 artworks as a single document in a PDF.
    Label it as follows: your last name_your first name_artwork
    * Please make sure to properly label your artwork.

  4. Letter of Recommendation (preferably from your high school art teacher).
    This may be submitted as PDF. 

All PDF documents must be openable and viewable in the most current version of Adobe Reader.


For questions regarding the scholarship application process,
Brad McCombs
Art & Design Program Head 
phone: (859) 572-5562


Students that participated in Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts (GSA), Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program (GSP), or Kentucky Governor's School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) are also eligible for substantial scholarships with NKU's Kentucky Governor's Scholarships.  

In order to qualify for a full tuition scholarship you must:

  • Apply for admission to NKU by December 1 at
  • Submit high school transcript(s)
  • Submit any ACT or SAT scores

Other Institutional Scholarships can be found under the Freshman Scholarship Listing.

Complete list of Scholarships and Awards

Merit-Based Scholarships

Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information.
Toll-Free 1-888-225-4499

Artwork Requirements

Ten (10) to Fifteen (15) individual artworks must be submitted for scholarship consideration. Work may be in a single discipline or a combination of work from 2D, 3D, and 4D areas. If a student is working in a series, each work counts as one individual work of art. For more clarification, refer to the FAQ’s for assistance.

For 2-D and 3-D work, please provide

  • A minimum of one (1) full view of each individual artwork.
  • Remaining images are details of the submitted individual artworks.
  • Do not exceed the maximum of 20 images total in the document.

For Time-Based work, please provide

  • URL link to your video (YouTube or Vimeo) with a maximum of ten (10) minutes of video.
  • This video can be one clip from a single video or it can be a compilation of clips from multiple videos.
  • Each video included in the compilation counts as one work of art.
  • One (1) still from each of the selected videos must be submitted in the remaining image allotment. Please put the image in order as they will be seen in the submission.

Labeling of Artwork

Please review the "Artwork PDF Instructions" document above for proper layout. Any embellishment on this layout will result in disqualification. Each image must be labeled as follows:

Label Example
Your Full Name Joe Smith
Title of the Artwork Conversations
Medium Steel, fabric, and wood
Dimensions *(see specifics below) 31” x 24” x 12”
Completed for **(see specifics below) Completed for Art 317


Labels for "Detail" views of your artwork (or alternate views of a 3-D/Installation) should be as follows:

Label Example
Your Full Name Joe Smith
Title of the Artwork Conversations
Detail Detail


* Dimensions are required for all artworks submitted, whether photographs, digital art, drawings, etc. The committee understands that photographs and digital art can be printed or exist in multiple sizes/dimensions. In these cases, please submit the image dimensions in which the work was originally created.

Dimensions should follow this format

  • 2-Dimensional – width x height (designate if inches, feet, or centimeters, etc.)
  • 3-Dimensional – width x height x depth (designate if inches, feet, or centimeters, etc.)
  • Digital Art – width x height (designate in inches, centimeters, or pixels, etc.)
  • Time-Based work – time duration of work (hours : minutes : seconds) 00:03:00 or simply list hour, minutes, or however long your work is, such as 3 minutes.