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Merit Scholarships for Music Majors (reported by School)

tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
I will update this as I get more information from members of this board. Please remember that these are reported and anonymous so they may not be 100% accurate. (these are music and not academic scholarships)

--Music College Merit Scholarship Ranges
(depends on many factors: not only talent but how much a program needs your particular instrument and/or genre).

Berklee - $44k tuition. Merit Scholarships usually range from $10k to $20k. Some $30k (mainly from the Summer Program) and the rare full tuition and Presidential Award - tuition, room/board).

The New School - $46k tuition. Merit Scholarships range from $10k to $40k with most between $10k and $20k.

NEC -$48k tuition. Merit scholarships range anywhere from $5k to $34k.

Frost - $50k tuition. Offers anywhere from zero to full tuition. Most generous music school for scholarship. 5 Stamps Scholarships every year (full ride).

USC - $55k tuition. USC Thornton doesn’t give out much music merit, but I've seen them give $10,000 a year. Zero in Pop Music. Small potatoes in Jazz. Most money offered is for tippy top academics.

Belmont - academic scholarships only for 2 years.

Oberlin - meets financial need!

University of Michigan - ??

SFCM - ??
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Replies to: Merit Scholarships for Music Majors (reported by School)

  • astute12astute12 663 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited March 11
    Thornton is given several merit packages to give out to students thru USC. If you apply by December 1st all apps are considered and each "school" at USC are given several to hand out. My son got a full tuition Trustee Scholarship. My son is pop music, performance major. So while technically the pop program doesn't give merit scholarships, they actually do. But yes, based on academics.
    edited March 11
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  • new2musicnew2music 22 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    This is great stuff-- many thanks for putting this together!
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  • albertsaxalbertsax 298 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    Miami University offered me $4000 a year in "music talent" scholarships. I was also told at my Jacobs audition that every saxophone player accepted qualifies for a scholarship.
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  • WestOfPCHWestOfPCH 107 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    FYI . . . USC meets financial need at or near 100% of all admits to the university. Big emphasis in all communications with them. Not all of that will be merit scholarships from Thornton of course, but these days, only people without need pay sticker price at USC.
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  • albertsaxalbertsax 298 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    @WestOfPCH It's the same as most other elite privates. Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Rice, among others. (Interestingly, CMU does not, which I found while searching for example for this post.)
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  • khill87khill87 69 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 14
    Anyone have an idea about the relationship between instruments/specialties and merit aid? For example, is my D, a classical soprano who will major in VP, least likely to get merit because of oversupply of sopranos? Are certain instruments in high demand and more likely to get money? How about whether ability to play a secondary instrument helps? We have wondered if her French horn capability might translate into a small merit scholarship at some schools (obviously not at conservatories, but at universities with a music school or department where they might need an extra horn player in an orchestra or ensemble.)
    edited March 14
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  • pdxtigermompdxtigermom 267 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @khill87 This is an email from the music school after my son’s audition on violin and viola. Usually there’s more demanding on the viola but in this school, they seemed really needed violin players. Violin is like soprano and viola is like alto.
    The committee discussed your case for some length after your audition. We decided that it would be best for you to major in violin performance, at least in your first year. You are most welcome to also take viola lessons in the first year as well, in whatever way works for your schedule. We can reassess things after the first year. We feel this would be a great benefit for you, and the things you would work on could transfer to the viola. Although our program has not been given scholarship allocations yet, we also feel that it will be more likely that we can award you a bigger scholarship by having you as a violin performance major your first year. (We can only award one scholarship from Strings. What I mean is that we couldn’t award you a scholarship on viola and then another award on the violin.)

    You would play violin in the orchestra, but you could play violin or viola in chamber music (or both - violin in a group and viola in a different ensemble).
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  • dramasopranomomdramasopranomom 346 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    @khill87 I don't you'll find that a secondary instrument will help at the conservatory level, but I think it very well may translate into more money at a LAC (but she may have to play that horn for the $). In VP I would say that the gentlemen are more likely to get really BIG money before the ladies (in undergrad), because schools need to lure the best talent. There is just no way to know about scholarship money! Maybe your D has a difficult to find Fach? If so...more $$. Maybe there are 10 sopranos similar to your D? A little less money... Is D also receiving academic scholarship money, or need based grants? The talent award may reflect this... Awards can be all over the place. (Sorry, this is probably not very helpful!)
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  • mperrinemperrine 141 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 14
    @khill87 as the parent of a French Horn player.. there is money there but it is competitive. I am not sure what your D's skill level is and there is a whole audition repertoire for the horn that can be very very hard. Horns are always needed, but I would advise to you to have your D follow her passion.. if it is voice... attack it full force and don't split it. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the horn.. we just finished the whole audition process
    edited March 14
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  • Busy_MommaBusy_Momma 69 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 15
    We took off one of the above- mentioned schools from consideration because we were told that an extremely talented bassoonist, who is also a talented pianist, and who got into all the elite schools (including Curtis), only received $10k total. I know ultimately it's the parents who have to pay for school, but at these sticker prices, it's really too much of a sacrifice, esp with other kids and their futures to consider. I've been telling S this, but I don't think he'll understand until next year when present him with actual numbers.
    edited March 15
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  • BassoonMom2019BassoonMom2019 34 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 15
    @Busy_Momma I think I may know the bassoonist you're referring to and if it is the same kiddo, 10K is kind of hard to believe and would be a real tragedy if true, as his talent is immense and like an anomaly! He and my D attended a camp together last summer and she said his playing almost brought tears to her eyes... But from my experience thus far, I would have to encourage you to apply anyway because you never know. While the merit or talent awards may present as lower than desired, there are other aspects of the financial package (not counting loans) which may make up a significant portion of the difference, making it doable, and of course depending on your financial situation. Many looked at me sideways when we applied to SMU (70K/year) and Baylor (62K/year), but we were able to tap into different pools of funding resulting in nearly 80% of costs being covered, without even receiving the music award yet. I truly think that if she ends up going to U.T., I will be paying more out of pocket.

    Something else to consider is following the teacher and not the school. Many of the professors, particularly in the Northeast, teach at multiple schools, providing additional opportunities to work with the desired teacher at other schools which may not be as competitive or expensive. For example, Marc Goldberg is at NEC, but he is also at NYU, Bard and Mannes, and the four bassoonists at Juilliard are also at MSM. One of them is also at SUNY, Yale, and another school, in addition to Juilliard and MSM ... If your son is a Junior, have him start researching who he'd like to study with and then apply to the different schools they teach at. Just a thought :-)
    edited March 15
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  • JeJeJeJeJeJe 143 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Amount of “Music merit scholarhip” $$$ really depends on instruments in that particular year. So, there may be a case like, a genius musician or child prodigy gets only 50% tuition scholarship in previous year from one school but a little lower level musician in the same instrument may gets 100% tuition scholarship in next year from the same school. Also, all private schools require CSS-Profile for freshman applicants. If some schools see “ready-to-pay” $$ amount or income in parents’ financial records, schools may need to choose lesser musicians who are impossible to attend without institutional supports but schools need to fill program / ensembles. Another case is, let’s say, if one top musician in US applied to all elite music schools and gets accepted with the biggest amount of scholarship to all elite schools, others wouldn’t get a big offer or even admitted (waitlisted) first. Then, the top musician needs to choose only ONE school (one offer) by May 1st. He / she may set his/her mind in early April or late April or think through in April then May 1st comes.....Music merit scholarship is like a huge money game or gamble.... But what can we do without participating this game if we really need money support from institutions to send our musician there?
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  • Busy_MommaBusy_Momma 69 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks, @BassoonMom2019 . Yes, really hard to believe with that kind of talent. We are following the teacher as well although with that many schools to which a teacher is attached, I've wondered how much access the student would have to him/her. Interestingly, the NPCs had us paying at the higher end at UT as well. At any rate, looking forward to the schools that you and D as well as @leejay22 and child eventually choose. It's been so nice to learn from everyone in the CC community, and especially from other parents of bassoonists.
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  • tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    @buoyant - very interesting chart from Eastman.

    I just read an article today (thanks for sharing @SpartanDrew which talks about "need-based" vs. "need-informed". Even Oberlin looks at finances for admission decisions. Sad but true. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15/your-money/college-admissions-wealth.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    I do think that certain instruments get more in terms of scholarships - it's a supply and demand thing - the basis of Economics. I'm hoping there aren't many jazz bassists out there this year....although I have no earthly idea.
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  • tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Busy_Momma - can you please share what school gave the brilliant Curtis admitted bassoonist $10k? Inquiring minds want to know.... (could be that they had a legacy bassoonist that also applied that year? Those things happen - or perhaps they knew that he was very likely not going to go there? - that also happens).
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  • Busy_MommaBusy_Momma 69 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @tripletmama - pm'd you.
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  • tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    @akapiratequeen - a new record at $52k!!!! I can't imagine we'll ever see anything that large again. (although Colburn and Curtis are right up there, too - although no definitive number).
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  • tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    @JeJeJe - you mentioned that all the private school require the CSS. Only SFCM and Berklee required the CSS for us. NEC and the New School did not require the CSS - only the FAFSA.
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