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Admission Admission > Scholarships

Writing and Visual and Performing Arts Scholarships


Office of Admission

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999




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Academically qualified Knox applicants with special ability in writing, music, theatre, dance, and visual art may receive scholarships up to $8,000 per year. Awards are based on an audition or portfolio presentation in up to two separate areas of performance.

Arranging Interviews or Auditions

To arrange an interview or audition for any of the visual or performing arts scholarships, please contact the Office of Admission at 800-678-KNOX at least a week in advance of your visit.

If you are unable to visit campus, you can submit materials electronically at or via mail to:

Office of Admission Knox College
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401

Mail submissions will not be returned.

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of a manuscript, their academic record, and any other evidence of special ability.

Auditions and portfolios are due by the deadline under which a student applies for admission.

Writing Portfolios

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of a manuscript, their academic record, and any other evidence of special ability. Manuscripts can be submitted in one (or more*) of the following categories:

  • Poetry (5-8 pages)
  • Fiction (one short story)
  • Creative non-fiction (one essay on any topic)
  • Journalism (2 articles of investigative reporting)
  • Playwriting (one-act play)
  • Critical writing (one analytical paper on literature, film or dramatic performance)

Manuscripts should be representative of the applicant's best work and not exceed 20 pages.

Your manuscript should be typed, numbered, and include your name on each page. Your submission may include works previously submitted for a class or published in a newspaper or journal.

*Students may choose to submit in multiple genres. In such cases, preference will be given to manuscripts that show an even range of talent and potential in all represented genres.

Art Portfolios
Most successful candidates have taken two years of art in high school and present portfolios of 12 to 15 pieces of work in at least two media, including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and other art forms. Works submitted should not be reproductions from photographs.

If you present your work on campus, an art professor will discuss your portfolio with you.

If you submit your work via mail or electronically, submissions should consist of photographs or slides of each individual work and a list of each piece's title, dimensions, and medium. Please do not submit original pieces.

Dance Performance
Present two short dance pieces representing a range of styles.

If you present your work on campus, faculty members are likely to provide feedback and direction to re-work portions of your presentation. If your performance requires music, please bring your own CD.

If you submit your work via mail or electronically, a recorded dance audition should follow the guidelines specified above and include oral responses to the following questions/prompts: How long have you been studying dance? What forms/dance styles have you studied? Who choreographed the work you are auditioning? How do you see dance fitting into your college experience? Our dance minor is a well-rounded program in that our course work includes: dance technique, dance history, dance theory, improvisation, anatomy, choreography & production. Do you have any experience in any of these fields of dance? What would you be interested in learning more about at the college level? Videos containing segments of recent performances will not be considered.

Music Auditions
Prepare a work suitable for performance, as noted below.

Students should prepare either a standard solo piece, concerto movement, or an appropriate technical etude. String players can request accompaniment from the auditioning faculty member. Students are welcome to bring their own accompanist for brass and woodwind auditions, but the music department does not supply an accompanist for these auditions. Memorization is not required. Jazz instrumentalists with improvisation experience will be asked to solo over a 12-bar blues with piano accompaniment (provided by the auditioning faculty member).


Students should prepare a solo work from the classical repertoire (i.e. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th/21st Century). Memorization is preferred but not required.

Students are asked to perform, preferably from memory, a selection from the standard classical repertoire that showcases the voices to its best advantage. Show tunes, rock, and pop selections are not advised. You do not need to bring an accompanist with you to the audition.

If you present your work on campus, you'll also be asked to sight-read an appropriate musical piece and discuss your background and aspirations with a music professor.

If you submit your work via mail or electronically, include the required performance piece and a sight-reading piece that is supervised by a current instructor (this should be one piece of music chosen by an instructor and not shown to the applicant until the recorded audition; vocal students should be given the first note) in your recording. Enclose a copy of the sight reading sheet music and a statement regarding your musical training, background, and experience. Videos containing segments of recent performances will not be considered

Theatre Performance
Prepare two pieces, one serious and the other comic. One should be from the classical repertoire (Greek, Shakespeare, Moliere, etc.), and the other should be modern (post-1875). Each should be approximately two minutes in length or less. Each piece should consist of one character. While it is acceptable to assume the presence of another character or to edit and combine speeches, do not attempt to play more than one role per piece.

Select pieces within your range and avoid the "big moment" speeches, such as Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy or Emily's (Our Town)"Oh world, you are too beautiful." Selections should show range, and there should be contrasts both between the selections and within each selection. The pieces should be fully memorized and staged to include movement.

If you present your work on campus, you'll discuss your acting process with a member of the theatre faculty, and you may be asked to re-do sections of your audition piece to incorporate a new intention, a different emphasis, or other directorial suggestions.

If you submit your work via mail or electronically, in addition to your audition, include oral responses to the following questions/prompts: What is it you enjoy about doing theatre? Describe your approach to rehearsal and performance. You might want to talk about specific roles you have played or other experiences you've had. Video containing footage of other performances will not be considered.

Theatre Design
Scholarship applicants in theatre design, stage management and technical theatre should submit a portfolio of designs, photographs, working drawings, prompt books, etc.

If you present your work on campus, an interview with a member of the theatre faculty will coincide with your audition.

Candidates are notified of their scholarship awards at the time of admission.

General Scholarship Guidelines
Writing and visual and performing arts scholarships are renewable annually as long as recipients remain in good academic standing. Scholarships must be applied toward the cost of tuition and the combination of Knox scholarships and grants and federal and state grants cannot exceed the cost of tuition. Scholarship recipients often qualify for additional need-based financial assistance, including grants, work-study programs, and loans.

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Printed on Wednesday, October 22, 2014