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The Music Institute of Chicago is committed to serving a diverse community of learners. To that end, MIC annually subsidizes tuition for students whose financial resources are limited.

Application Process

  • The qualification criteria for need-based financial aid relate solely to financial need, not to ability or talent.
  • A separate and distinct Merit Scholarship Program offers assistance to students who demonstrate extraordinary musical ability. Auditions are held in May for the following school year. For more information about Merit Scholarships, please contact the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs.
  • Applications for financial aid are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. You may apply using a paper form, or apply online. After this deadline, awards may be limited due to demand and budget constraints.
  • Those who wish to apply for financial aid must submit a Financial Aid Application and a signed copy of their latest federal tax return or other proof of income. There is no fee charged when applying for financial aid.
  • Need-based financial aid awards are determined using a sliding scale. All who qualify are expected to pay the remaining portion of their tuition prior to the first lesson or to submit their request for the installment plan in advance of the first lesson. Contact a campus staff member for an application, or complete the online form.
  • Financial aid applications are valid for the duration of the academic school year (September-August). Due to financial aid budget limitations, summer awards are offered at a reduced rate.
  • If a student cancels or does not begin instruction, financial aid is forfeited and the student must re-apply.
  • Adult students who are claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return must submit the other tax return as well.
  • Please complete the 2024-25 Online Financial Aid Application. You will need to submit a copy of your most recent Federal Tax Return, so please be prepared to upload an electronic copy if possible. Anyone who is unable to upload their Tax Return must submit a signed copy to the campus where they are applying immediately following the online submission before the school will review your application. We recommend you apply for need-based aid before or at the same time you register for the fall semester, as resources are limited and early applicants will be given priority.

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Criteria for Determining Awards

  • Family income demonstrated by most recent tax return, paycheck stub, or other proof of income
  • Number of people in the applicant's household
  • Special circumstances such as illness, loss of job, pending divorce, business loss, etc.

Information Regarding Awards

  • Awards may be applied to private instruction, group classes or ensembles. If a student is enrolled in multiple offerings, aid will be applied to the most expensive lesson or class.
  • Students age 18 and under must be registered for weekly lessons to qualify for financial aid for private instruction.
  • Adults applying for financial aid to be applied to private instruction must be registered for at least 8 lesson per semester to qualify for financial aid.
  • Standard lesson lengths at the Music Institute are 30, 45 or 60 minutes. Additional aid for increases in lesson length will be reviewed following approval by the private instructor.
  • Aid is offered for 17 weeks per semester and is applied to private lessons up to 60 minutes in length.
  • Aid is not awarded for secondary instruments, additional weekly lessons on the primary instrument, or supporting classes such as musicianship, large ensembles, etc.
  • The maximum amount of aid a family may receive for the academic year is $6,000.

Expectations of Financial Aid Recipients

  • Regular attendance at lessons. After three unexcused absences, financial aid may be rescinded and will not be renewed for the following semester.
  • Commitment to musical studies as demonstrated by the following: evidence of consistent practice, bringing music to all lessons and/or classes, participation in recitals and concerts, and cooperation with the instructor.
  • Timely payment of tuition. The balance due after financial aid has been applied is the recipient’s responsibility to pay prior to the first lesson or in accordance with the installment plan.
  • Participation in performances at fundraising, outreach, or special events, if requested by the Music Institute of Chicago.
  • Involvement in volunteer activities for the Music Institute of Chicago.

Fulfillment of these expectations will be tracked and failure to meet any of these expectations may result in current and/or future aid being rescinded.