The world of fashion has mesmerized humanity for years. Forget the glory and glamor of beauty pageants and shows, trends are everywhere for all to see. They influence how, when and what we wear, leaving little room for guesswork. While it can be a dream come true to many students, venturing into the world of fashion can be quite complicated. Here, your skills may not be enough, especially given the high cost of completing a course in fashion and design. Many learners have fallen by the wayside due to financial constraints.
However, all is not doom and gloom. There are many fashion merchandising scholarships for needy and talented students. Unfortunately, many learners fail to pursue these avenues for a lack of knowledge. This short article will provide you with valuable insights and resources to help you secure funding for your education. We’ll show you where to look, what to expect, and how to apply for these opportunities in government agencies, prestigious fashion institutes, and some industry-specific organizations. Read on to learn more!
The Importance of Fashion Merchandising Scholarships
But first things first. How important are fashion merchandising scholarships? These opportunities have many benefits, including:
- Encourage diversity: The world is quite unequal. Many bright students from needy families drop out of college due to high tuition fees and upkeep. Still, many learners struggle to buy the materials needed for fashion courses. Without any help, such students may fail, call off semesters, or simply abandon their programs. It’s disheartening that most victims in this category are the minority and the disadvantaged, e.g., women, people of color, and Native Americans. These scholarships encourage diversity and inclusivity by providing opportunities for these individuals. In so doing, they bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in the world of fashion.
- Fulfill students’ dreams: Lupita Nyong’o, in her Emmy Awards acceptance speech, stated, “No matter where you come from, your dream is valid.” Nothing is truer than this. Yet, so many children from economically disadvantaged families fail to achieve their dreams due to the ‘burden of poverty.’ And in the present world, most dreams are locked behind college gates. Scholarships for fashion merchandising majors empower students to follow their dreams and make a meaningful impact in the industry.
- Industry growth: The success of the fashion industry is important to all stakeholders. But how do you ensure the sector grows and prospers today and in the future? Introduce new more talented and passionate persons into it. Therefore, by investing in the education of aspiring fashionistas, these scholarships contribute to the growth and innovation of the entire industry. Stakeholders must occasionally bring in new blood to freshen up things.
6 Top Scholarships for Fashion Merchandising Majors
Now that we’ve explored the importance of scholarships for fashion merchandising students, let’s explore some great options you can apply for. While there are so many similar opportunities, we’ve limited our list to 6 scholarships based on the ease of acceptance, few application roadblocks, high reward amounts, and open-door policy for international students. We’ve updated the list for the 2023 and 2024 calendar years. Find below the institutions to consider:
- YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund
This is one of the oldest scholarship kitties in the USA. Launched in 1971, it has helped thousands of students achieve their dreams. In the early years, YMA awarded each student $500 as part of tuition. Today, however, they’re issuing grants ranging from $7,500 to $25,000 – totaling over $1 million annually. This goes towards supporting approximately 125 undergraduates drawn from over 71 institutions of higher learning.
- National Retail Federation (NRF)
NRF has multiple scholarships targeting disadvantaged students in the retail sector. There is hardly any program that awards as much money as they do. Instead of supporting many learners, NRF’s model is based on selecting the best prospects and awarding them huge sums. In 2022, for instance, they gave five students $65,000 each to pursue their degrees. NRF’s strict application policies often defeat many students. If you’re not confident about your writing skills, seek professional help. There’s so much at stake to gamble with. Reliable scholarship essay writing services such as CustomWritings can come through for you. They write solid customized scholarship papers that can set you apart from the competition.
- Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)
This is a college-based scholarship. The intuition designed it specifically for their struggling students. You can send your applications upon acceptance or while already pursuing a course in the college. Unfortunately, as a private college, its tuition can be as high as 33k, making it unaffordable to many students on a budget. You can also win this opportunity by participating and winning the FIDM National Scholarship Competition.
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
SAIC is one of the largest sponsors in the USA. They award “a variety of merit and need-based scholarships and grants to students to help attract a talented group from diverse economic backgrounds to the school” (SAIC). In 2022 alone, the institute awarded over $51 to needy and deserving students. SAIC targets top high school students interested in arts and design, fashion included.
- The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
While the CFDA scholarship isn’t as robust as the ones already discussed, its focus on inclusivity has earned it a spot on the list. Between 1996 and 2022, they’ve issued over 352 grants to deserving students, most of them being women and people of color. Their total spend stands at $3.3 million so far. That’s an average of 126,000 per year. While the amount is low, it has been quite impactful.
- The International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA)
ITAA scholarships are industry specific. The organization liaises with several institutions offering degrees in textile or apparel-related fields to award students full or partial tuition grants. Unlike other programs, ITAA can advance a fashion merchandising scholarship to students across all levels of study, from undergraduate to PhD. At the same time, it sponsors experts in the field to advance their knowledge and skills.
Get a Fashion Merchandising Scholarship and Achieve Your Greatest Dreams!
As discussed above, a career in fashion and design can be quite fulfilling. Unfortunately, the high costs of pursuing a degree in the field can be prohibitive, especially to students from low-income families. The economic downturn experienced in the country today has made joining any fashion institute of design a nightmare. Many students can hardly afford tuition, cost of study materials, and upkeep. However, there’s a silver lining. The US has many reliable fashion merchandising scholarships for able and deserving learners. The examples provided above can be a great starting point in your pursuit of an elusive degree in fashion and design. Try them out and you might just be lucky!