Architecture Scholarships and Grants

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) at www.aia.org and the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) at www.archfoundation.org are two of the foremost providers of architecture scholarships. The American Architectural Foundation educates the public and promotes awareness of the impact of architecture on where, and how, we live. They offer scholarships through the American Institute of Architects.

A list of scholarships available from the American Institute of Architects follows. Additional application information and forms are available through the AIA website at www.aia.org.

AIA/AAF Minority Disadvantaged Scholarship Program

The AIA/AAF Minority Disadvantaged Scholarship assists high school graduates, college freshmen, and community college students from a minority and/or financially disadvantaged background. Scholarships are awarded to students who intend to pursue an accredited professional degree in architecture.

To be eligible for this scholarship applicants must be legal residents of the United States and either a high school senior entering a NAAB (National Architecture Accrediting Board) professional program in architecture, or a college freshmen attending a NAAB accredited professional program in architecture, or a technical school or community college student that has completed high school or its equivalent and is intending to transfer to a NAAB accredited professional program.

AIA Component Matching Grant Program

The American Institute of Architects is committed to contributing to the preparation of graduates who will meet the current and future challenges in a swiftly evolving profession. The AIA believes that the investment to support the education of future professionals is a crucial part of its mission (AIA website).

The AIA will match another scholarship award to support local and state components, or their affiliated foundations, in providing and developing scholarship programs. They offer matching grants to augment existing programs and to reinforce the significance of the AIA in the lives of architects, aspiring students and their communities.

To be eligible for this scholarship the recipient must have at least one other scholarship valued at $500 or more and must adhere to documentation submission and reporting requirements. The scholarship must be used for a full time professional degree program accredited by NAAB.

The American Institute of Architects ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA

Mr. Lakamp was a founder of a/e ProNet (an insurance company) and a trusted advisor to the profession. He left behind a legacy of professionalism and integrity that set new standards in the field of insurance services (AIA website). This $2,500 annual award is given to a student who best demonstrates strong interest in practice management.

Eligible candidates will have completed three years in a NAAB degree program or, the third year of a four-year pre-professional degree program in architecture accepted for direct entry to a two-year NAAB MArch/DArch program, or one year in an NAAB MArch/DArch degree program for students with undergraduate degrees in another discipline.

2009 Corporate Architects and Facility Management

This scholarship is administered in conjunction with the staff of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, approved programs of architecture in the United States, and the RAIC Canadian schools of architecture.

To be eligible applicants must be enrolled and working toward their first professional degree in architecture. Recipients will be selected on the basis of academic performance, a recommendation letter and an essay.

The number of awards is based on available funds in the given year and amounts range normally between $1000 and $2 500.

Jason Pettigrew ARE Award

NAC Architecture has established this award in honor of Jason Pettigrew. The purpose of the award is to recognize the significant contributions of interns at an early stage of their career, and to help encourage them to complete their licensure by helping with the cost of the exam. Awards are not based on financial need, as much as they are based on contributions the intern has made to their profession and/or their community.

The African American Intern

African-American students, who will begin their final year of a NAAB-accredited architecture program in the fall of 2010, are eligible to apply for the Gensler African American Internship and Scholarship. Two winners are awarded scholarship funds, paid directly to their college or university, toward their final academic year. In addition to academic scholarships, one winner is awarded a paid summer internship in a Gensler regional office. The internship winner is paired with a Gensler mentor, serving as a resource for their internship period and final academic year.

There are other architectural scholarships available through colleges as well as private philanthropists but without a doubt, these are the scholarships aimed at supporting up and coming architects specifically.

A career in architecture can be very lucrative and rewarding on a number of levels. If financial hardship is an obstacle for you then a great many funding providers are happy to assist if you are willing to do the homework. Even if financial hardship isn’t an issue for you or your family, finding some help with education is worth the effort it will afford you to begin your occupation debt free.

Being organized is half the battle when it comes to scholarship applications. Before doing the scholarship rounds prepare yourself. Write a great cover letter and if an essay is required, write a generic one which can be tailored specifically to the funder later. Make it personal and compelling. Get together all the references you can from teachers, employers and anyone else who will attest to your exceptional skills. Put it all together in a folder along with personal and income details and have it handy when opportunities arise. What seems like an onerous task now will make funding applications a breeze later.