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David E. Ballard Scholarship

Offered by Music Forward Foundation

Reviewed by Lisa FreedlandLast updated May 16, 2024
1 award worth


Grade level

College Students

Expected deadline:

This scholarship might not currently be accepting applications. Most scholarship programs only accept applications a few months ahead of their annual deadline. We’ve estimated this deadline based on last year’s deadline in order to help you plan out your scholarship applications.

March 2025

Scholarship Overview

Are you a current, full-time undergraduate student pursuing a career in live entertainment (eligible fields of study include but are not limited to live event operations, production, music engineering, music business management, customer service, hospitality, etc.)? If so, the David E. Ballard Scholarship may be a great opportunity for you! Each year, the scholarship awards $10,000 to one (1) full-time undergraduate student seeking a career within the live entertainment industry. To be considered for the scholarship, interested students must submit a copy of their college transcript, a resume/CV, proof of enrollment, two letters of recommendation, a proof of dependency letter or an Independent Student Status Form, and a 500-word essay about “how [their] experiences with homelessness and/or foster care have shaped [their] goals related to pursuing a career in live entertainment.” If this sounds like a good opportunity for you, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.

About Music Forward Foundation

Music Forward was first established in 1993 as the International House of Blues Foundation (IHOBF). The founders of House of Blues envisioned IHOBF as a charitable arm that they could use to bring the arts to schools and communities through programs that promoted cultural understanding, encouraged creative expression, and manifested their core belief of Unity In Diversity. The organization officially changed its legal name to House of Blues Music Forward Foundation in 2014, and later shortened its moniker to Music Forward to help the public understand its role as an independent 501(c)(3) provider of direct services for youth. For 30 years, Music Forward has impacted over 1,000,000 young lives and invested more than $42 million towards providing transformational music opportunities to youth from under-represented communities.

Eligibility information

This scholarship is open to students meeting the below eligibility criteria.

Grade Level

College Students

Minimum GPA


Academic Interest

Food Service/Hospitality, Hospitality Management


Applicants must (1) be pursuing a career in live entertainment (eligible fields of study may include but are not limited to live event operations, production, music engineering, music business management, customer service, hospitality, etc.) and (2) either (a) have experienced homelessness within the past four years or (b) have been part of the foster care system after the age of sixteen.

Application information

In addition to the below application materials, interested students must submit either a proof of dependency letter or an Independent Student Status Form completed by one of the following: school liaison, caseworker, social services provider, or campus financial aid administrator.

500-word essay

Proof of enrollment

Academic transcript

Resume or CV

Letters of Recommendation

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Scholarship FAQ

Who should I contact with any questions about this scholarship?

For any questions regarding this scholarship application, please contact Music Forward Foundation at [email protected].

Where can I find help writing my scholarship essay?

For help writing the essay component of this scholarship application, check out our guides How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay and How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples).

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