Scholarship FAQs

What is the new scholarship program?

The Loft has traditionally offered a 30% discount on tuition to low-income students via the honor system, plus scholarship discounts of 95% for select classes to households enrolled in a public assistance program. However, we have been listening to constituent feedback and understand that the 30% discount was often insufficient to make our classes affordable to low-income families and that income thresholds for public assistance are so low, they often leave out low-income and historically marginalized people. Additionally, financial barriers are not the only barriers to participation, and the Loft seeks to support students experiencing various barriers to participation in our writing classes. With this new scholarship program, we hope to offer a more flexible and holistic application process and broaden our Loft community! 

 

I was enrolled in the old scholarship pool at the Loft. Do I have to reapply to this new scholarship program?

Yes, the previous scholarship pool has been dissolved, and we ask that any student seeking financial support for Loft classes apply to our new scholarship program. 

 

Who can apply for the scholarship program?

This new program has no strict eligibility requirements. We welcome any and all individuals who seek financial assistance to apply for this opportunity! Additionally, we understand financial barriers are not the only barriers to participation and that financial barriers often intersect with other barriers. We encourage individuals from historically marginalized communities to apply, including, but not limited to, Black and Indigenous people and people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities. 

*Please note this scholarship program is for adult students and classes only. The Loft is partnering with community organizations to provide scholarships for youth students. For more information visit our youth programs page at loft.org/youth-programs.

 

How are applications reviewed? 

Applications are reviewed by a committee. Each application is evaluated holistically based on three central factors:

1. A demonstrated interest in the craft of writing and commitment to Loft class participation

Do you have specific genres or types of classes at the Loft you're passionate about? What skills do you seek to gain from a writing class? Are you excited about a specific project you're working on? What is your writing journey? What drives your commitment to taking a class at the Loft? 

2. Expressed need for financial support

Are you enrolled in a public assistance program, such as: TANF; MFIP; General Assistance; WIC; Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or Minnesota Care; SSI (Disability, Not Retirement); Food Stamps; Section 8 Housing; Free or Reduced Price School Meals? If not, what factors impact your need for financial assistance to take a Loft class?

3. Experienced barriers to participation in artistic career development

The Loft understands that financial barriers are not the only barriers to participation in writing development opportunities. Have other factors impacted your ability to take a writing class? Do you identify as part of a historically marginalized community? 

 

When will I hear back on the status of my application?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis at the beginning of each month by a scholarship review committee. Please be patient when waiting to hear back on the status of your application, as this process may take up to four to five weeks. If your application is approved, you will receive further communication detailing how to register for two scholarship classes of your choice. These two scholarship classes must be claimed by the end of 2021. 

 

Are scholarship classes free?

No, but the scholarship provides a significant 95% reduction in class tuition. The scholarship recipient pays the remaining 5% cost, which will vary depending on the regular price of the class. If the student cancels before the class begins, the Loft will not be able to provide a refund, as the 5% fee covers the administrative costs required to run the scholarship program. 

 

How many classes can I take with this scholarship?

Two classes. If your application is approved, you will receive further communication detailing how to register for two scholarship classes of your choice. These two scholarship classes must be claimed by the end of 2021. 

 

What level of commitment does this scholarship program require?

Loft classes flourish when all students remain committed to attending all class sessions, participating in class discussions, and participating in class activities. We ask that any individual applying for a scholarship understand you are committing to participating in two Loft classes to the best of your ability. If you are unable to attend a class session, please communicate with your teaching artist to stay on track. If your scholarship application is accepted and you find you are no longer able to participate in the program, please contact the Loft as soon as possible. 

 

I’ve finished my two scholarship classes and want to take more! Can I reapply? 

Previous recipients are welcome to reapply after their two scholarship classes have been completed. Each application will be reviewed holistically through the same process. However, please note reapproval is not guaranteed. With this new program, the Loft aims to provide financial aid for as many students as possible, so previous recipients will be provided additional scholarships if/as funding allows on a first-come, first-served basis. Thank you for your understanding as we seek to support as many applicants as possible!

 

Why was my application rejected? 

We are so grateful to receive funding to the Minnesota State Arts Board to implement this scholarship program; however, this funding is limited, and therefore available on a first-come, first-served basis. We anticipate far more applications from highly qualified candidates than we can possibly accept. Unfortunately, this means some deserving applicants may be declined. 

Additionally, some applications may be declined if the committee determines the application does not sufficiently address the main criteria. You’re welcome to reapply if you feel you’d like to improve upon your approach to these factors in your application. Each application is evaluated holistically based on three central factors:

1. A demonstrated interest in the craft of writing and commitment to Loft class participation

Do you have specific genres or types of classes at the Loft you're passionate about? What skills do you seek to gain from a writing class? Are you excited about a specific project you're working on? What is your writing journey? What drives your commitment to taking a class at the Loft? 

2. Expressed need for financial support

Are you enrolled in a public assistance program, such as: TANF; MFIP; General Assistance; WIC; Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or Minnesota Care; SSI (Disability, Not Retirement); Food Stamps; Section 8 Housing; Free or Reduced Price School Meals? If not, what factors impact your need for financial assistance to take a Loft class?

3. Experienced barriers to participation in artistic career development

The Loft understands that financial barriers are not the only barriers to participation in writing development opportunities. Have other factors impacted your ability to take a writing class? Do you identify as part of a historically marginalized community? 

 

Does the Loft offer any other options for financial support? 

For class tuition, we offer payment plans through Sezzle during checkout. This option is available to everyone. 

We offer separate scholarship applications for other Loft programs such as Wordsmith and the Year-Long Writing Projects. Wordsmith scholarship applications typically open in the summer, while Year-Long Writing Project scholarship applications typically open in the fall. 

The Loft is partnering with community organizations to provide scholarships for youth students. For more information visit our youth programs page at loft.org/youth-programs.

 

Questions? 

Please contact Emma Saks at 612-215-2587 or esaks@loft.org for any questions about the scholarship program or application process.