Talent Scholarships

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Whittier College is pleased to offer special scholarships to entering first-years and transfers who demonstrate promise in art, music, or theatre.

Talent scholarships are renewable for up to four years of continuous study at Whittier College provided that the recipient meets their scholarship's unique requirements. CCC Advantage and International students are not eligible to receive Talent Scholarships.

Deadline

There are two deadlines to consider when applying for a Talent Scholarship:

  • Early Action: January
  • Regular Decision: March

You must be a Whittier College applicant to be eligible for these Scholarships. Visit our First-Year or Transfer admission pages for more details about how to apply if you have not done so already.

Participation Requirements

  • must be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 units per semester)
  • enroll in at least one art course per year;
  • actively participate in the operation and management of the student art gallery;
  • participate in one student art exhibition each year;
  • attend all art scholarship meetings;
  • maintain a 3.00 GPA in studio courses, and maintain a 2.75 overall GPA.

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in loss of scholarship.

Application Process

The Talent Scholarship is based on a separate online application process from the Whittier College application. We will match your Talent Scholarship application with your Whittier College record using your email address, so you and your instructor must both input the same email address you used in your application for admission.

  • Art portfolio: See directions below
  • Art Essay: In 600 words or less, express the importance of art in your life presently and the place you believe it will hold in your future. Please write and save this essay in a format like Word, then be ready to copy and paste its contents into the application form when prompted. 
  • Art Instructor Recommendation: Ask an art teacher or private studio art instructor to agree to submit the online Talent Scholarship Instructor Recommendation. The Instructor Recommendation is due on the same date as your Talent Scholarship Application, so it is critical that you start this process early to provide your instructor with sufficient lead time.

Art Portfolio

Prior to completing the Talent Scholarship Application, you must assemble a portfolio using the following guidelines:

  • Select 10-20 pieces of art, with at least two drawings if possible
  • Create a DropBox account
  • Create a new folder in DropBox, titled “[First and Last Name] Portfolio”
  • Copy .jpg image files of each portfolio submission into this DropBox folder

Participation Requirements

  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 units per semester)
  • Enroll in Music 70, Introduction to Music Theory and Musicianship during their first year, or transfers in comparable coursework (requires course enrollment; Music 70 is only offered in the Fall Semester, so plan accordingly)
  • Participates in a leadership capacity each semester in at least one Music Department-approved musical ensemble (requires course enrollment; course numbers vary per ensemble)
  • Maintains a cumulative GPA of 2.5

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in loss of scholarship. 

Application Process

The Talent Scholarship is based on a separate online application process from the Whittier College application. We will match your Talent Scholarship application with your Whittier College record using your email address, so you and your instructor must both input the same email address you used in your application for admission.

  • Music audition: See directions below
  • Music Essay: In 600 words or less, express the importance of music in your life presently and the place you believe it will hold in your future. Please write and save this essay in a format like Word, then be ready to copy and paste its contents into the application form when prompted. 
  • Music Instructor Recommendation: Ask a music teacher, band/orchestra/choir director, or private music instructor to agree to submit the online Talent Scholarship Instructor Recommendation. The Instructor Recommendation is due on the same date as your Talent Scholarship Application, so it is critical that you start this process early to provide your instructor with sufficient lead time.

YouTube Auditions

For the current year, all music auditions will be conducted online via YouTube.

To submit your video audition, you will copy its link into your application form. Therefore, you must be prepared to submit this video by the application date.

  • Make sure that your YouTube video is not set to Private
  • You may set the video to Unlisted to prevent unauthorized viewers
  • Title your video “Whittier Music Audition: [First and Last Name]”
  • Include the titles and composers of the work(s) performed in your video description
  • You may submit one YouTube video that includes both audition pieces, or two separate YouTube videos that each contain a single audition piece

Videos of live public performances or group performances will not be accepted. Treat this exactly as you would a live audition, performing solo or with one accompanist in a private room as though you were performing in front of the audition committee.

Participation Requirements

  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student (at least 12 units per semester)
  • Participate in at least two Theatre Arts Department main season productions as an actor or a technician
  • Complete at least three credits in Theatre per year
  • Remain in good academic standing with the College, minimum 2.0 GPA

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in loss of scholarship.

Although not required, most Talent Scholarship recipients will opt to declare and fulfill a Theatre major or minor.

Application Process

  • Audition (Actors Only): see directions below
  • Headshot (Actors Only): in JPG format
  • Theatre Instructor Recommendation: Ask a theatre teacher, director, or private theatre instructor to agree to submit the online Talent Scholarship Instructor Recommendation. The Instructor Recommendation is due on the same date as your Talent Scholarship Application, so it is critical that you start this process early to provide your instructor with sufficient lead time.
  • Tech Portfolio (Tech Only): After submitting the Talent Application, you must get in contact with Theatre Professor Brian Reed at breed@whittier.edu to discuss how to prepare and submit this portfolio.

Auditions

Applicants are asked to perform one monologue, 2 to 2.5 minutes in length, from a theatrical play of their choice. Film monologues are not accepted. Applicants are recommended to avoid extreme characterizations so that their personal essence may be conveyed. Simple hand props are encouraged, however, costumes and elaborate props are not appropriate.

YouTube Auditions

To submit your video audition, you will copy its link into your application form. Therefore, you must be prepared to submit this by the application deadline - not the live audition date.

  • Make sure that your video is not set to Private
  • You may set the video to Unlisted to prevent unauthorized viewers
  • Title your video “Whittier Theatre Audition: [First and Last Name]”
  • Indicate the play your monologue comes from in the video description

Submissions of reels, footage from production work, live public performances, etc., will not be accepted. Videos must be monologues adhering to the same guidelines as in-person auditions.

We want to get to know each candidate, so please take a few minutes after your video monologue to tell the Scholarship Committee about yourself--your theatre background, what you like about it, your future life and/or career plans, etc. Be direct and informal. 

What amounts are talent scholarships valued at and are they renewable from year to year?

Talent Scholarships can range from $1,000 to $12,000 per year for entering first-year students, or from $1,000 to $6,000 per year for entering transfer students. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years of continuous study. There is no separate application process to renew this scholarship from year to year—as long as you meet the required Talent involvement as stipulated in your application and award letter, it will renew automatically. 

Can I receive and accept both a merit scholarship and a talent scholarship?

Absolutely! Your Talent Scholarship will be awarded in addition to your academic merit award.

How will my Talent Scholarship be used?

Your Talent Scholarship will be applied to your financial aid package as a discount to your cost of tuition. 

Do I have to major or minor in art, music, or theatre to receive a scholarship?

No. Your intended major is not considered in Talent Scholarship decisions and recipients may choose any major or minor. However, recipients must fulfill minimum participation requirements determined by the respective departments in order to retain their Talent Scholarships, and many Talent Scholarship awardees will opt to at least minor in their Talent areas. 

Can I apply and accept Talent Scholarships from multiple departments?

You can apply for Talent Scholarships from multiple departments. However, if offered multiple awards, you can only accept an award from one department and must decline all other offers. To apply for multiple different talent scholarships, simply submit the form once for each Talent area that you are interested in.

Can I apply and accept both a Talent Scholarship and a Leadership Scholarship?

You may apply for both a Talent Scholarship and a Leadership Scholarship however, these scholarships are not stackable; students may only choose to receive one.

Are Talent Scholarships available for Photography?

Yes! You may apply for an Art Talent Scholarship.

Athletics, Creative Writing, Dance, Film, or Circus Skills (e.g. Acrobatics, Trapeze Acts, and other stunt-oriented skills)?

Unfortunately, no.

Any other areas?

Contact us at admissionscholarships@whittier.edu to discuss your specific case. 

I’m interested in this scholarship, but I haven’t applied to Whittier College. What should I do?

You must be a Whittier College applicant to be eligible to apply for a Talent Scholarship. Visit the First-Year or Transfer Student admission pages for more details about how to apply.

I am having technical difficulties submitting my application; what should I do?

If you are having technical difficulties, we suggest using another device or browser. The application works best on Chrome and is accessible on desktop and mobile. If all else fails, email admissionscholarships@whittier.edu for assistance.

For my instructor recommendation, can I use a pre-existing letter, such as from my Whittier College Common Application?

No. The instructor recommendation form asks specific questions about your talent abilities and potential, so we cannot accept generic letters of recommendation. Your instructor must complete and submit the online Talent Scholarship Instructor Recommendation.

I have already successfully submitted my application, but I need to change something. How do I do so?

Email us at admissionscholarships@whittier.edu for assistance. 

I missed the Talent Scholarship application deadline. What should I do?

Talent departments may be willing to review late applications from incoming students on a case-by-case basis. Please email us at admissionscholarships@whittier.edu as soon as possible to initiate the process. In your email, please explain why you missed the Talent Scholarship deadline.

Who is eligible for a Talent Scholarship?

Talent Scholarships are available to incoming first-year and transfer students. CCC Advantage and International students are not eligible to receive Talent Scholarships. Current or returning students should speak to your department head about scholarship opportunities available to them.

If I have questions, whom should I contact?

Please direct all questions and concerns directly to admissionscholarships@whittier.edu.