Graduate Financial Aid (MM and DMA)

Prospective Students

Merit-based financial aid. During the average academic year, the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music awards over $4 million in merit-based assistance in the form of graduate tuition grants and work assistantships. All graduate students who demonstrate exceptional ability during the admission process are eligible for these awards. Master of Music students have the opportunity to receive partial or full tuition grants; all admitted doctoral students receive a full tuition waiver plus a work stipend.

Graduate assistantships. The Bienen School of Music offers numerous graduate assistant positions designed to provide experience in a variety of areas. Positions include performance studio managers, teaching non-major lessons, faculty research assistants, accompanists, ensemble managers, seminar chamber musicians, admissions, clerical, technology, etc. Applicants to the graduate programs will provide information on interest and ability in various areas.

Need-based financial aid. Northwestern University students can also take advantage of low-interest federal loans, private or alternative loans, and/or federal college work study options. To determine if you are eligible for these financial aid programs, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Graduate endowed scholarships. Many of the scholarships awarded to graduate students are made possible through the generous contributions of donors and alumni. These prestigious awards are given to graduate musicians who demonstrate the highest level of musical achievement. Awards may have additional criteria for selection not specified here.

  • Alvia S. & Helen VanKirk Scholarship
  • Amelia A. Hoff Memorial Award
  • Anna Schauffler Lockwood Award
  • Bentley T. Handwork Scholarship
  • Bruce S. and Lucile T. Parkhill Award
  • Carlyle Anderson Fellowship in Music
  • Carole M. and Jerry N. Ringer Award
  • Charlotte and Ernest Davis Award
  • Charlotte M. MacDonald Scholarship
  • Corley Family Foundation Award
  • Dorothy and Carl Johnson Scholarship
  • Dorothy L. Pound Award
  • Elizabeth Chinnock Scholarship
  • Emily Boettcher & Yule Bogue Award
  • Emma Peters Hooper Award
  • Esther Yochim Fellowship
  • Fanchen L. Campbell Scholarship
  • Faricy Award for Creative Music
  • Frederick Swann Scholarship
  • Grace Fox Congdon Scholarship
  • Helen Heim Nichols Scholarship
  • Jack L. Elsley Award
  • John Cacavas Award
  • John P. Paynter Endowed Fellowship
  • John and Clara Beattie Memorial Award
  • Joyce Reed Cope Scholarship
  • Juelle S. Hinman Graduate Award
  • Kenneth and Helen Merrill Scholarship
  • Leon H. Guide Graduate Fellowship
  • Leslie B. Propp Scholarship
  • Lorene Kelly Skornia Scholarship
  • Lucy P. Cantrell Award
  • M. William Karlins Award
  • Marcus J. Ritchie Music Scholarship
  • Margaret E. Dadian Scholarship
  • Martha R. Steinbach Scholarship
  • Mr. & Mrs. R. E. Marsh Memorial Award
  • Paul & Nancy Morrison Graduate Award
  • Pauline Lindsey Award
  • Philip and Ruby Danielson Award
  • Philip H. Hagemann Prize
  • Pi Kappa Lambda Scholarship
  • Ray Still Award
  • Rev. John M. Krump Scholarship
  • Richard & Helen Thomas Fellowship
  • Robert Gay Scholarship
  • Russell C. Wonderlic Scholarship
  • Russell & Hazel Morgan Scholarship
  • Samuel & Elinor Thaviu Scholarship
  • Selwyn Goldblatt Graduate Fellowships
  • Thaviu/Isaak Endowed Scholarship
  • Walfrid Kujala Scholarship
  • Weber Graduate Performance Scholarship
  • William Harrison Barnes Scholarship
  • William M. Spencer Award
  • Winnetka Music Club Award

Current Students

The Bienen School of Music offers financial aid counseling and assistance for graduate students. We provide services for all matters relating to your student account, billing, payroll (for students with a work component to their financial aid), aid processing, and review of academic progress for the purposes of financial aid.

In addition, graduate students gain access to a wealth of information through nFusion, a campaign that builds financial literacy skills and offers long-term financial aid planning advice. We host seminars to discuss varied issues such as how to file taxes as a musician, how to save for retirement, repayment options for student loans, debt management, non-profit financial regulations, and more.

Financial aid counselors are available to students in the Bienen School of Music. To make an appointment, call (847) 491-3141 or email Donna Su, Coordinator of Graduate Services and Financial Aid, at

Students enrolled in the Bienen School of Music can find comprehensive information regarding financial aid as well as explanations of billing, student accounts, and work assistance guidelines by downloading the Graduate Handbook (PDF).

Also read additional Entrance Interview Information for Music Graduate Students

Tuition and Living Expenses

Graduate students attending the Bienen School of Music will only be charged tuition on their student accounts—living expenses listed below are estimates only. Students are charged one rate for full-time enrollment (3 – 5 units of credit). This gives students the advantage of taking a variety of courses to supplement their musical training without additional charges.

The student budget estimates for the 2017-18 academic year are:



Room and board


Books and supplies






Health insurance




Request information from the Bienen School of Music.