In many cases, students who are interested in attending music school fail to apply for the scholarships that are available. They don’t pay attention to deadlines, they may feel like the application process is too much work, or believe they don’t have the background needed to be a competitive candidate. However, scholarship awards are one of the best ways to pay for your music school education. Since this money does not need to be repaid, it will help you graduate with a manageable amount of student loan debt.
The most obvious source of college scholarships for music school is the admissions office for the program you wish to attend. Attracting talented students helps a program improve its reputation, so scholarships are considered a wise investment in a school’s future. However, you will want to keep in mind that the competitiveness of a school’s admission does affect your chances of winning one of the scholarships that are available. For example, Julliard typically admits about 8% of applicants each year. In this exceptionally talented group of people, only a small amount will receive scholarship offers.
In addition to applying for scholarships sponsored by the music school you wish to attend, you should also spend some time investigating private scholarship opportunities. Private scholarships may be available from:
- Your high school
- Your church
- Your parents’ employers
- Professional associations your parents belong to
- Organizations for people with a specific ethnic heritage
- Performing arts organizations in your community
Scholarship opportunities can exist on a local, regional, and national basis, so make sure you are taking advantage of all opportunities that are available to you. Even small scholarships that are for $200 or $300 can be added together to make a significant impact in your overall college expenses.
Scholarship Application Tips
When applying for music school scholarships, you will want to keep in mind a few basic tips:
- Read the application instructions carefully to make sure you are providing all of the requested information. If the scholarship application requires a prescreening recording, check to see what format you should use to submit the necessary files.
- Have a teacher, friend, or family member proofread your work to make sure you don’t have any embarrassing typographical errors in your application.
- Keep track of deadlines. If your scholarship application arrives a day late, you won’t be considered for the award.
- Make copies of all of your application materials. In many cases, you’ll be able to use the same recommendation letters and essays for multiple applications. This will make it easier for you to apply for as many awards as possible.
- If you receive a scholarship, write a thank you note to the committee to help ensure that opportunities remain available for future music students.