The fortunes of interior designers typically rise and fall with the economy. Working with architects, interior designers play an important role in the design of a new building, lending their expertise to the project by helping lay out the interior of the building, suggesting the best placement of walls, stairwells, rooms, etc. Other interior designers find work designing the interiors of upscale restaurants, department stores, banks or wherever else their services are needed.
For students pursuing a degree in Interior Design, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) supports the claim that demand for designers is on the rise. As our nation pulls out of its current recession, new building construction and renovation is expected to boom thanks to pent up demand. For those students expecting to complete their studies between 2013-2015, the job outlook for them looks quite good.
While several state and private universities such as Southern Illinois University, SUNY and the University of Wisconsin offer interior design programs, schools whose strong suit for interior design include Brown College, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Design Institute of San Diego. At some schools, tuition, room and board and related fees can run in the tens of thousands of dollars for each academic year. To help prospective students afford these costs, we’ve tracked down some of the top scholarship opportunities for Interior Design majors and have listed them here:
1. American Society of Interior Designers Foundation (ASID) — Open to any undergraduate student of interior design enrolled at a degree granting academic institution.
2. College of Design Scholarships, Iowa State University (IAU) — Working with various foundations, Iowa State University offers several scholarships to design majors each year in the form of tuition credits ranging from $1000-$2000 per academic year.
3. Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) — The Keith Hooks Scholarship is a new award commemorating the life of an accomplished San Francisco interior designer. Junior level CIDA students may apply; $2500 or more is awarded to recipients.
4. Georg Andersen Interior Design Scholarship — Interior design majors enrolled at Central Arkansas University in Conway can apply for a scholarship sponsored by a local business.
5. Indiana University, Bloomington Campus — The Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design awards nearly $70,000 in scholarships annually. Available to enrolled students who are pursuing Bachelor or Master degrees in the appropriate program.
6. International Furnishings and Design Association Educational Foundation (IFDA) — Open to full and part-time enrolled Interior Design majors or a closely related field. Requires recommendation from active IFDA member.
7. International Interior Design Association (IIDA) — The Kimball Office Scholarship fund awards $5,000 to a senior year student pursuing a degree in interior design. Eligible minority applicants are nominated by their schools; additional scholarship opportunities are available through local IIDA chapters.
8. New York School For Interior Design (NYSID) — One of the top schools for Interior Design offers dozens of scholarships, graduate fellowships and assistantships each year.
9. Sandra Graham Shelton Scholarship in Interior Design (Meredith College) — Meredith College, which is a small, private school located in Raleigh, NC awards scholarships to entering freshman majoring in interior design each year. The scholarship recipient is determined on the basis of scholarship and potential for success in the field of interior design.
10. The School of Design at Westwood College — Online school Westwood College has an established Interior Design program which means that students who are enrolled in their program can apply for scholarships worth $2500.
Interior design majors should apply for as many college scholarships as possible to increase their chances of receiving one or more awards. Some scholarships are awarded annually while others are a one-time gift. When applying, make certain you follow application instructions precisely and submit your application in advance of the deadline date.