The Nicholas Endowment TFT Summer Institute Scholarship


The Nicholas Endowment TFT Summer Institute Scholarship for Film & Television is a need and merit-based scholarship opportunity for underserved/ underrepresented high school students enrolled in grades 9-12 who would benefit significantly from a Summer Institute experience. Both partial and full scholarships are available for high school students enrolled in UCLA Film and Television Summer Institutes including Digital Filmmaking, Cinematography, Writing for TV: Big Ideas for the Small Screen, Traditional Animation, and Stop-Motion Animation.


Important Dates

  • February 2021 – Applications Open 
  • Application period has closed


Nicholas Endowment Award

The Nicholas Endowment Award will be awarded based on academic ability and financial need for those who and would benefit significantly from a Summer Institute experience.

Awards vary but will not exceed the total amount for a single Summer Institute. Awards are not intended to cover travel costs and may not cover accommodations or textbooks and other course materials.

Both partial and full scholarships will be awarded.

If selected, scholarship recipients will write a thank-you letter and contribute to a book of images and messages documenting their experience in the program for our generous donors.



To apply for the Nicholas Endowment TFT Summer Institute Scholarship for Film & Television, you must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:

  • You will be a high school student in Fall 2021 (seniors graduating in 2021 are eligible)
  • You have not received any UCLA Summer Sessions support or scholarship in the past
  • You have a family annual adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less
  • You are a high school student enrolled in one of the following UCLA Film and Television Summer Institutes: Digital Filmmaking, Writing for TV: Big Ideas for the Small Screen, Cinematography, Traditional Animation or Stop-Motion Animation. Deferred payment of the deposit required for enrollment is available to those who meet additional need-based criteria. See Deferred Deposit below for more information.

    Application Requirements

    All requirements below should be acquired and prepared prior to starting the Nicholas Endowment TFT Summer Institute Scholarship Online Form:

  • Unofficial transcript showing all grades from 9th to present and a cumulative G.P.A.
  • Student Resume
  • Personal Statement (see below for specifications)
  • W-2 tax form (if eligible for one)
  • 1040 tax form

    Questions? Please email


    Personal Statement

    Applicants must answer two essay prompts. Please choose two essay prompts from the six options available. Each answer should be between 250-300 words. Personal Statements should be prepared ahead of application and saved in one singular Word or PDF document to upload into the online form. Please include the prompt at the top of each answer.

    Essay Prompts (please choose two from the following six questions):

  • Submit a creative writing piece set during the COVID-19 outbreak that focuses on a fictional character and includes an act of kindness or heroism. Feel free to use your imagination.
  • Why is filmmaking a passion for you?
  • How do you hope to incorporate filmmaking/storytelling into your academic or career goals after the program?
  • Describe how a specific film or TV show has influenced you as a storyteller and filmmaker.
  • Tell us about a time you were challenged to do something out of your comfort zone. How did you face this challenge and what lesson(s) did you take away from the experience?
  • If you were a character in a film about your life, what would the opening scene be?
  • Optional: Share a link to a reel, short film or sample of your work. Make sure to include all passwords (if applicable) and work should not exceed 10 minutes.

    How to Apply

    Register for a Pre-College Summer Institute starting Feb. 15. Payment of the non-refundable deposit is required (with the exception of those applying for Deferred Deposit. For information on Deferred Deposit, see “Deferred Deposit” below)




    Deferred Deposit

    Registration for UCLA Summer Sessions requires a deposit of $150; however, the deposit amount may be deferred for students who meet all eligibility requirements for the Nicholas Endowment TFT Summer Institute Scholarship, complete the application prior to the deadline, AND you or your parent/guardian meet one of the following qualifications:

  • Current recipient of the State of California (CalFresh) or U.S. Public Assistance (including food stamps, cash, and/or medical assistance). Documentation Required: Copy of EBT Card and photo ID (please black out your driver’s license number if using license as photo ID).
  • Participant in the free and reduced lunch program. Documentation Required: Photo of lunch tickets or official letter from your high school.
  • Family Annual Gross Income is below $50,000. Documentation Required: Page 1 of parent/guardian(s) 1040 EZ (please black out social security numbers and/or driver's license numbers)
  • Those applying for Deferred Deposit can attach the required documentation during the Nicholas Endowment Scholarship Online Form and will be contacted after successful submission of the Online Form with further steps.

    NOTE: Receiving a Deferred Deposit does NOT indicate the student will receive a Summer Scholarship, as the scholarship is very competitive. In the event you apply for a scholarship and are not granted one, you will have 24 business hours to pay the $150 deposit; otherwise, you will be dropped from your program.