Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are available for professional advancement programs only: Contemporary Ballet, Street & Club Dances, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre Dance programs. Program fees for Choreography Fellows are underwritten by the Ann & Weston Hicks Endowment. The modest fee charged for photography covers tuition, mentoring, Festival ticketed event admittance, and meals; photographers are responsible for their own housing arrangements.

Completing a Scholarship Application in no way impacts acceptance determinations as dancers are first selected for admittance, and only then are scholarship applications reviewed.

Jacob’s Pillow Scholarship Awards

Annually, up to 80% of The School’s professional advancement dancers receive a Jacob’s Pillow Scholarship, thanks to the generosity of School Sponsors and supporters. To help as many dancers as possible, most Jacob’s Pillow Scholarships are partial awards. Full scholarships require especially strong evidence of financial need. 

Each Scholarship recipient is expected to be an exemplary Pillow community member and join us in letting supporters of Jacob’s Pillow know how grateful we are for their support.

Apply before a Recruitment Tour Master Class for this Scholarship Award

Three $1000 Jacob’s Pillow Scholarship Awards are being reserved for dancers who submit a program application prior to attending a Master Class: one each for Contemporary, Musical Theatre Dance, and Street & Club Dances. You will automatically be considered for this Jacob’s Pillow Scholarship during the selection process.

Named Scholarship Awards

These scholarships are awarded to dancers who meet the criteria specified. 

The Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence

One dancer accepted to attend the Contemporary Ballet, Street & Club Dances, Contemporary, or Musical Theatre Dance program will receive the 2020 Lorna Strassler Award for Student Excellence. The award provides material support and career encouragement in the form of a full program scholarship, plus a $2,500 cash gift. Established in 2004 by former Pillow board member Lorna Strassler and her husband, recipients must be able to demonstrate performance excellence and exemplary dedication to the field.

To be considered, submit your best application. After all dancers have been selected for 2020 programs, eligible candidates are determined during a separate review process. The awardee is notified by The School Director in late June/early July. See previous awardees.

“It is our hope that this award will make a difference in the lives of those who receive it.”

The Marcia Simon Kaplan Scholarship

One full scholarship to attend the Contemporary Program will be awarded to a current New World School of the Arts student. Jacob’s Pillow will consider all eligible applicants for this award during the application review process.


The American Dance Guild/Jacob’s Pillow Scholarship

One full scholarship will be awarded to a dancer accepted to the Street & Club Dances: Styles, Culture, History program. Jacob’s Pillow will consider all eligible applicants for this award during the application review process. American Dance Guild membership required;

Scholarship Application Instructions

For Contemporary Ballet, Street & Club Dances, Contemporary, & Musical Theatre Dance programs

  • Scholarship Applications are accessed within the Program Applications. Select “YES” to the prompt, “Do you need to apply for a Scholarship?” when completing the Program Application.
  • Financial information must be for the parent/guardian(s) if applicant is a dependent.

Scholarship Application Materials


1. Amount of Program Tuition Fee you can contribute
Be prepared to insert the amount you can contribute toward the Program Tuition Fee from each of the categories below when requested

  • Personal Savings/Employment Income
  • Gifts/School Award/Other Sources (if applicable)
  • Amount Requested from Granting Institutions (if applicable)


2. Documentation of Current Support
Collect and have available to enter into Scholarship Application

  • Know the following for yourself: Primary Support name(s), address, own or rent housing status, monthly housing payment, occupation(s), current employer name(s) and phone number(s), and previous employer’s name and phone number
  •  Know the same for Secondary Support, if applicable


3. Written Statement of Need – 500 word maximum
Prepare and scan as one PDF document into the Scholarship Application

  • Describe your current financial situation and why financial aid is necessary
  • Provide clear and accurate information about current employment and financial obligations, such as monthly bills and debt
  • Excluding the Jacob’s Pillow Scholarship request, list all additional funding source(s) available towards the program fee:
    • For each gift, award, or other source, list proper name, amount, and note if confirmed or pending. If pending, identify expected notification date.
    • For each grant, loan, or other funding source(s), list name of grantor or granting institution, amount of request, and note if confirmed or pending. If pending, identify expected notification date.
  • Work Experience: List company Name, supervisor Name, title, address, phone number, position you held, and earnings for current and past two employers
  • List previous aid/prizes/grants/scholarship awards: Include granting institution, name of aid/award, amount, and year received


4. Support Materials
Collect, prepare, and scan as one PDF document into Scholarship Application

  • Evidence that substantiates your Written Statement of need. Examples are: child care invoices, debt counseling statements, financial aid records, food stamp registration, hospital invoices, rental agreements, scholarship award copies, tuition payment record, etc. If you are uploading multiple materials, please combine them into one PDF.


5. Proof of Annual Income
Prepare and scan as one PDF document into Scholarship Application

  • U.S. residents: Only the first page of your most recent IRS 1040/1020A form.
  • If exempt from filing, or a non-U.S. resident: Copy of earning statements for July, October and December 2018