No Debt for Dancers

The No Debt for Dancers initiative strives to eliminate college debt and eradicate the notion of the "starving artist": by raising funds for alumni projects, summer study, and tuition scholarships. No Debt for Dancers supports our mission to "cultivate imaginative, innovative, and sustainable artistic lives."

Tuition Scholarships



Through their interest in and love for the arts, the late Ahmad D. Issa and Dulce Issa are giving back to their alma mater by creating perpetual scholarships in the Department of Dance and the School of Music at the College of Fine and Applied Arts in support of exceptionally talented students.



Fernandina Chan received her MA in dance from the University of Illinois and was the founding artistic dean and chair of the dance department of Boston Arts Academy. This fund has been established in order to help make education more affordable for student dancers.



The Courtney B. Kellogg Memorial Scholarship for Undergraduate in Dance has been established in honor of Courtney B. Kellogg Wojcik, a 2000 BFA graduate from Dance at Ilinois. This award will be given to an outstanding undergraduate dance student.


This award will be given to an outstanding undergraduate dance student.

A. Raheim White Scholarship


The A. Raheim White Scholarship is named in honor of alumnus A. Raheim White (BFA 2011), who has cultivated an imaginative, innovative, and sustainable artistic life. This is a merit-based award for an underrepresented/minority first-year student.



The William McClellan Scholarship for an Undergraduate in Dance has been established in honor of William McClellan, a 2000 BFA graduate from Dance at Illinois. This award will be given to an outstanding undergraduate dance student.

Alumni Award

Beverly Blossom and Carey Erickson Alumni Dance Award

Carey EricksonThis award enables alumni to return to the campus to teach, perform, choreograph, and otherwise enhance Dance at Illinois.

Summer Study Awards

These awards provide funds to undergraduate and graduate students for travel and summer study.

Lisa Carducci Memorial Scholarship

Lisa Marie CarducciThe Carducci family gives this scholarship for out-of-town summer dance study in memory of their daughter, Lisa (BFA 1984). Priority consideration is given to BFA students, although MFA students are considered as well. This scholarship is given annually. No application required.


Moe Family Dance Award


Marilyn Moe FiedlerThis endowed scholarship was established in 1996 through the generosity of alumna Marilyn Moe Fiedler (MA 1972) of Butte, North Dakota, as a tribute to her father, Donald Owen Moe, who supported all of her dance studies and most recently her training for a degree in counseling, which she received in 1994. It provides an award to a dance major with potential for unique contributions to the profession, which may lie outside the realm of performance in the traditional sense. Donations are currently being accepted to enhance the endowment for this award. No application required.


The Wanda M. Nettl Prize for Student Choreography


An endowed fund for this prize was established by the late Professor Bruno Nettl in honor of his wife, Wanda, because of her lifelong interest in and support of the art of dance. This annual award is designated for the best choreography by an undergraduate or graduate student. The prize fund can be augmented by new contributions. No application required.

Vannie L. Sheiry Memorial Dance Scholarship


Vannie SheiryAn endowed scholarship fund, established through the generosity of Vannie L. Sheiry's friends and family members, provides an annual award to a dance major who has demonstrated exceptional performing talent. Priority is given to MFA students. Dance at Illinois extends a special thank you to the individuals whose gifts established the Vannie L. Sheiry Memorial Dance Fund: Vannie Raps Henderson, Barbara Horne, Karen Keener, and Nancey Raps La Framboise. We welcome new donations toward this scholarship fund. No application required.

The Dance Partners Undergraduate Project Award

To support the emerging performing and choreographic voices in our department, we have established the Dance Partners Undergraduate Project Award to support dance research and/or study over the course of the summer for BFA students seeking to further their creative, performance, and/or scholarly work. The fund will support a diverse range of aesthetics within projects that demonstrate rigorous inquiry, individual voice, and curiosity. We intend to award projects on the strength of the proposal and the number of submissions received each year, supporting freshmen through seniors. Graduate students should apply for the Patricia Knowles Graduate Travel Award or the Mary Elizabeth Hamstrom Award. Application required.

Senior Magnolia Award

This award is given by the previous senior class for the senior who has shown the most growth and development. No application required.

Patricia Knowles Graduate Travel Award


Patricia KnowlesThis annual award honoring Patricia Knowles is designated for an outstanding MFA candidate to be used for travel and study that deepen his or her artistic life. Application required.

Mary Elizabeth Hamstrom Award

This award for graduate student summer study was made possible by a donation from Professor Mary Elizabeth Hamstrom. Application required.


*The three travel grants (Undergraduate Project Award, Mary Elizabeth Hamstrom Award, and Patricia Knowles Graduate Travel Grant) are not issued through the university's Office of Financial Aid. The recipient must submit a proposal and budget prior to traveling, and all receipts must be turned into the Department of Dance within a timely manner.

All other departmental awards are applied for through the Office of Financial Aid. If the recipient of an award does not have any student loans and is up to date with their tuition, the award money will be issued as a reimbursement check from the university. If the award recipient has taken out student loans, or is not up to date with their tuition payments, the money will be applied to the student's account and will go toward any outstanding balances.


We thank friends and family of Dance at Illinois deeply for honoring dance lovers and artists with these memorial gifts. See the many recipients who have benefitted from these awards.