Q: What is the Adobe Design Circle Scholarship program?

A: The Adobe Design Circle Scholarship program is supported by Adobe and administered by the Institute of International Education. These scholarships are intended to help youth continue their education, pursue careers in a design-related field, and find innovative ways to improve their communities.

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Q: What is the Design Circle?

A: The Design Circle is a collaboration of design leaders working together to drive positive impact on business, society, innovation, culture and design careers.

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Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: This scholarship is open to students who will be pursuing any year of their undergraduate college/university studies during the 2020-21 academic year.

Applicants must be planning to enroll in an accredited college/university degree or certificate program in a design-related major or in other majors where they show the potential to enter a career related to product, experience or digital design. Applicants do not need to be accepted into a program at the time of application, but if selected for a scholarship, proof of acceptance will be required before scholarship funds can be sent.

Students pursuing graduate degree programs are not eligible for this scholarship.

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Q: I have already completed secondary school, but have not yet started college/university. Can I still apply?

A: Yes. We understand that some students take time off to study for university entrance exams, work to earn extra money for tuition, etc. In the Educational Background section of the application, you will have a chance to explain any time gaps in your education.

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Q: Is there a minimum grade point average needed to apply?

A: While there is no minimum grade requirement to apply for this scholarship, an applicant’s academic record must show potential to succeed in a college/university program in their intended design field.

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Q: What fields of study are supported by this scholarship?

A: This scholarship is open to students in any major / field of study who are planning to pursue careers in product design or experience design (e.g. digital, web, UX/UI, industrial design, or similar).

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Q: What do scholarship recipients receive?

A: The Design Circle Scholarship is intended to cover all or your partial funding of your tuition and fees up to $25,000 per year, for each year of the recipient’s undergraduate education (up to four years or $100,000). Barring special circumstances, the calculation of tuition and fees will not include room & board. Tuition amounts vary greatly from country to country, and Adobe Scholars attending college/university in countries with higher tuition costs will receive larger scholarship awards. Every effort will be made to cover most, if not all, of each Adobe Scholar’s required tuition costs. However, please be aware that some scholarship recipients, specifically those attending higher cost universities in the United States, may not have their full financial need met by this scholarship.

The Design Circle members will also offer a variety of mentorship opportunities to the scholarship winners, such as shadowing, internships, workshops, networking, among others. This will help strengthen the impact of the scholarship, while providing real-world experience to the scholarship recipients during their education.

In addition, all Adobe Scholars will receive a free Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for each year they are in the program.

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Q: How will I demonstrate academic progress?

A: Scholarship recipients will be asked to send progress reports twice per academic year. These progress reports will be completed by the Scholar and by an appropriate representative from the Scholar’s college/university, and include a copy of the current academic transcript.

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Q: How do I apply?

A: The application is now open.

Apply Here

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Q: What does the application require?

A: Complete applications will include the following:

  • Online application form.
  • A personal written or video statement of approximately 500 words or up to three minutes in length.
  • An estimate of your expected tuition and fee expenses.
  • Two reference letters. The letters must come from non-family members who knows you well - for example a teacher, instructor, professor, employer/work supervisor, scout leader, advisor to an extracurricular club, etc.
  • High school transcript issued by the school (for applicants from the United Kingdom or Commonwealth countries, A level, O level, GCSE, or BTEC results are also acceptable).
  • College/university transcript issued by the school, if applicable.
  • Portfolio of three examples of your design-related work. Your portfolio can consist of links to websites you have built and/or links to third-party sites where you have uploaded your work (examples of third-party sites include Behance, YouTube, DailyMotion, Imgur, Dropbox, etc.).

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Q: What information should be included in the personal statement?

A: Your personal statement will be a response to the following question:

  • Please describe your career goals, and also how you will use the power of design to create positive change in the world.

You will have the option of submitting a written response of approximately 500 words, or a video response of up to three minutes. You will upload either the written statement or the video statement as an attachment to your application. There is no preference for one format over the other.

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Q: I do not know where I will attend college/university yet. How do I complete the financial data section?

A: When completing the proposed study program and financial data sections of the application, use information for the college/university you are most likely to attend. As long as you continue to meet all of the eligibility criteria, you can still receive the scholarship if you end up attending a school other than the one listed in your application.

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Q: Who should I ask to be a reference? Can I include more than two references?

A: The reference letters must come from a non-family member who knows you well - for example a teacher, instructor, professor, employer/work supervisor, scout leader, advisor to an extracurricular club, etc.It is recommended to include at least one referee who is familiar with your design work.

We can only accept two references from each scholarship applicant, and you will only be able to register two individuals as referees in your application. If you would like to change one of your referees, you will have the ability to cancel one of your existing reference requests and then register a new person.

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Q: What information needs to be included in the transcript?

A: Transcripts should be issued by your high school/secondary school (or college/university, if applicable), and should include a list of the classes you have taken at that school along with the grades/marks you have received. For applicants from the United Kingdom or Commonwealth countries, A level, O level, GCSE, or BTEC results are also acceptable.

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Q: I am a GED holder. What should I include as my high school transcript?

A: In lieu of a high school transcript, GED holders can provide us with their GED certificate or GED transcript, whichever document includes their test scores. Please contact AdobeScholarship@iie.org if you need additional guidance.

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Q: How do I submit my portfolio?

A: Your portfolio can consist of links to websites you have built and/or links to third-party sites where you have uploaded your work (examples of third-party sites include Behance, YouTube, DailyMotion, Imgur, Dropbox, etc.). There will be a section in the application where you will enter three URLs to your design projects.

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Q: How are scholarship recipients selected?

A: Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Achievement and potential in design-related fields
  • Demonstrated leadership potential and ability
  • Personal character, commitment and potential to use design for positive social change
  • Clearly expressed financial need to support educational goals
  • Academic achievement
  • Career and academic goals in line with stated scholarship objectives
  • Compelling references
  • Portfolio of projects created
Applications are encouraged from candidates including, but not limited to: racial or ethnic minorities, females, those who identify as LGBTQ+, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities.

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Q: What does the mentorship aspect of the program involve?

A: Applicants who receive the scholarship will be matched with a mentor(s) who will offer different mentoring opportunities, such as one-on-one mentoring conversations, workshops, office/studio visits, internships, and networking.

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Q: Can I apply for both the Adobe Creativity Scholarships and the Adobe Design Circle Scholarships?

A: While people are technically able to apply for both programs, it will not be possible to be selected for both. For anyone who does choose to apply to both programs, please be aware that you will need to submit two separate applications, prepare two different personal statements, and request two sets of reference letters (references can be from the same people for each application, but they will need to be requested and submitted separately for each application.

Because of the additional effort required to apply for both programs, we strongly encourage applicants to carefully read through the information available on each program and focus your efforts solely on the one that is the better fit for your interests and career goals.

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Q: When is the application due?

A: The application will be due on March 12, 2020 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

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Q: When will I learn if I have been selected for a scholarship?

A: All applicants will be notified in May 2020.

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Q: Who can I contact if I have questions?

A: Please address all questions to AdobeScholarship@iie.org.

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