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The Miranda Scholarship

photograph of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Miranda 


To view and fill out an application for the scholarship, visit the application webpage.

Rhode Island College is proud to announce the establishment of a new scholarship being made available here at Rhode Island College by a prominent national arts figure. This first-in-the-nation scholarship is being established to support first-generation, underserved students in realizing their dreams of earning a bachelor’s degree in the performing arts. Rising juniors or seniors will have the opportunity to earn a two-year scholarship made possible by the Miranda Family in the honor of Lin-Manuel and his work. Lin-​Manuel is an award-winning composer, lyricist and performer. His most notable works include the Broadway musicals "Hamilton" and "In the Heights."

Timeline for Miranda Scholarship for 2020-2021

Completed applications are due by Friday, October 2, 2020

Zoom Interviews to be held on Wednesday, October 21st starting at 12 p.m.

Prerecorded Auditions to be submitted no later than noon on Wednesday, November 4th

Recipients to be announced by Monday, November 16th

Scholarship Criteria

  • A member of an underrepresented group, as defined by U.S. government census data.
  • First-generation college student.
  • Major in Music, Theatre or Dance.
  • Be a full-time enrolled junior or senior.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Submit a letter of interest addressing:
    • Why are you the ideal candidate for a prominent scholarship?
    • What are your aspirations for a post-college career?
  • Participate in a live audition and interview.
  • Eligible for Federal Pell Grant.
photograph of the Miranda family

Miranda family

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Visit his personal website to learn more about Lin-Manuel Miranda or follow him on Twitter.

2020 ​Scholarship Recipients

photograph of Scarling Ferrera 


Junior, Theatre Major

How I came to RIC: "Growing up in the Dominican Republic, there weren’t many theatre institutions near where I lived. I wasn’t taking any acting training until I was in middle school, where I was fortunate enough to be a part of a theatre academy for four years. I ended up coming to the United States and settling in Jamaica Plain at sixteen to satisfy my dream of studying and pursuing theatre… I knew about RIC because my sister came here. I went with her to orientation and saw the theatre department. I walked by the Alumni Honor Roll and Viola Davis caught my attention. I love her so much. I thought, “She went to school here?” I fought hard during freshmen and sophomore years at Bunker Hill Community College to finish all my classes and transfer here. It was the best decision I ever made."

What this scholarship means to me: "It means so much because when I was growing up I never saw myself – a Latina woman – making it here. When I moved here, it was a challenge to find auditions or shows that would require someone who looks like me. When I heard about the Miranda Scholarship I was amazed that he would do something at this college. Now that I have it, I feel I have this chance to reach out to people like me, to make a name for Dominican artists and other Hispanics. I want to help others just like Lin-Manuel. I have the opportunity to inspire others because I never thought I would get to this point."

photograph of Kiera Bryant 


Junior, Dance Major/Business Minor

Why I dance: "Growing up I lived in a rough neighborhood in Boston called Roxbury. I lived with my grandparents since I was about eleven years old. Along with my grandparents were two aunts, an uncle, and two little cousins in a three-bedroom apartment. Living there has significantly impacted the person I am today… I’ve always known I wanted to dance. I went to an academic-based school from grades six through twelve, so a lot my dancing experience came from outside of school. I supported myself, but I loved what I did so I did whatever it took. Academics is what the adults in my life were focused on, while I was focused on running to dance after school, and to the Vine Street Community Center to dance on weekends after doing chores."

What I plan to do: "This is my chance. I am currently living my chance. Everyday something reminds me to focus on why I'm here and why it is so important. My degree is my way. It is not an end, but the beginning of a life doing what I absolutely love: dance. I want to give back. I want to make a difference… When I graduate, in due time, I hope to open a community center. The building will be a space with multiple purposes. I want to offer to other young people what saved my life and what gave me a purpose in this world. The arts were my escape growing up. It gave me release and relief. I want the place I create to offer the same to artists, dancers, creators, and people who don't even they love the arts yet."

The Performing and Visual Arts at Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College is a regional leader in preparing students for careers in the performing and visual arts. Students at Rhode Island College have the opportunity to learn from faculty who have mastered their skills in music, theatre, dance and the visual arts.

Students have access to a number of venues that support and advance their work.

The Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, is home to the College’s music, theatre and dance education programs and serves as a primary regional venue for professional performing artists and a wide range of community activities.

Performance Facilities include the following:

  • Sapinsley Hall Theatre (422 seats)
  • Roberts Hall Auditorium (943 seats)
  • Forman Black Box Theatre
  • Fannie Helen Melcer Dance Studio, and
  • The Little Theatre

Distinguished Alumni

For its size, Rhode Island College boasts a large number of distinguished alumni who have made an impact on the regional and national stage, including:

Viola Davis, Actress
Rhode Island College, Class of 1988
Viola Davis was the first African-American actor to earn the “Triple Crown,” having won an Oscar, Emmy, and two Tony awards in the acting category. She is the first African-American to win five Screen Actors Guild awards.

Howard Fine, Acting Coach, Author and Theater Director
Rhode Island, Class of 1981
Founder of the Howard Fine Acting Studio (Hollywood, CA and Melbourne, Australia), Fine has worked with countless actors, including Rosanna Arquette, Simon Baker, Michael Chiklis, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Kim Delaney, Mark Harmon, Salma Hayek, Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Brooke Shields, Will Smith, Sela Ward, and Michelle Williams.

Ron McLarty, Author, Actor and Voice Acting
Rhode Island College, Class of 1969
McLarty portrayed a Boston police officer in the television series Spenser for Hire, but after being discovered by author Stephen King, it has been McLarty’s work as an accomplished narrator that has brought him widespread acclaim.

Danny Smith, Producer, Writer and Voice Actor
Rhode Island College, Class of 1981
Best-known for being the writer, producer and voice actor in the animated television series, Family Guy, which is set in his native Rhode Island.

On the local level, Rhode Island College alumni and ardent supporters can be found leading the Providence Performing Arts Center, Pawtucket Arts Festival, the Waterfire Arts Center, and more!

More Information

For more information about the scholarship, please contact the RIC Foundation at 401-456-8460 or​​​​​​​

Page last updated: August 31, 2020