Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for Berklee scholarships?
All applicants (domestic and international) to the college's full-time degree or diploma programs are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships through our audition and interview process. Berklee awards scholarships primarily on the basis of the live audition and interview; however, we also provide opportunities for applicants to submit original compositions through the Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship.

Berklee selects seven outstanding entering musicians annually to receive the Presidential Scholarship which covers the cost of tuition and housing. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate the highest musical merit and potential as well as financial need. There is no separate application required for students to be considered for the Presidential Scholarship. In addition to the Presidential Scholarship, Berklee selects one Canada Scholar to receive awards covering the cost of tuition and housing.

Berklee entering-student scholarships may not be used for the Twelve-Week Full-Credit Summer Program.

The Berklee Achievement-based Scholarship provides an opportunity for high-achieving continuing or returning students to be considered for scholarship. This scholarship is targeted to outstanding upper-semester students who are currently not receiving a merit-based scholarship. Students are required to submit an online achievement portfolio highlighting their musical and academic accomplishments, achievements in their major, and faculty recommendations. Scholarships through the Berklee Achievement Scholarship are all partial-tuition scholarships with the average award issued at $5,000 per year.

How many people apply for scholarships each year?
Berklee receives over 4,000 scholarship applications annually.

What is the range of awards and what is the maximum amount of scholarship that Berklee awards?
Scholarships range from $2,000 per semester up to full tuition. Though the vast majority of scholarships are partial-tuition awards, a limited number of full-tuition scholarships are available to exceptionally gifted musicians who participate in our audition and interview process.

Berklee also selects seven of these outstanding entering musicians annually to receive the Presidential Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition and housing. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate the highest musical merit and potential as well as financial need. In addition to the Presidential Scholarship, Berklee selects one Africa Scholar and one Canada Scholar to receive awards covering the cost of tuition and housing.

Are scholarships awarded for one year or are they guaranteed for all four years?
Entering-student scholarships are renewable through graduation. Scholarship recipients are expected to maintain high academic and musical standards as outlined in the Berklee Entering-Student Scholarship Conditions and Renewability Guidelines, which are included in every entering-student scholarship award letter. Continuing students are also expected to renew their scholarship by submitting an achievement portfolio after they have completed four full-time semesters. Further details regarding the scholarship renewal process are available in the Scholarship Office.

Does Berklee offer academic scholarships?
No. Berklee's scholarships for entering students are merit-based, and scholarships are primarily based on the audition and interview process. Composition and songwriting may also be taken into consideration through the Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship. Continuing student scholarships are awarded through the Berklee Achievement Scholarship and are based on the review of an applicant's achievement portfolio.

Does Berklee have scholarships for students enrolled in particular majors?
A number of endowed scholarships are designated for continuing students studying in particular majors. The endowed scholarships are primarily awarded to upper-semester students based on faculty nominations, typically to students who have shown outstanding achievement at Berklee and in their major. Continuing students who apply for the Berklee Achievement Scholarship will also be considered for scholarship based on their achievement in their major.

Entering students are not eligible for these awards because students are not accepted to the college into a particular major. Rather, entering students are primarily awarded scholarships on the basis of the live audition and interview process. Entering students may also submit original compositions through the Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship for additional scholarship consideration.

Will I automatically be considered for scholarships once I have submitted my admissions application or financial aid application?
All applicants (domestic and international) to the college's full-time degree or diploma programs are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships through our audition and interview process. Scholarships at Berklee are merit-based and are administered by the Office of Scholarships and Student Employment. Need-based financial aid at Berklee is administered by the Office of Financial Aid. Domestic students may apply by submitting the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at fafsa.ed.gov. Entering international students are not eligible to submit the FAFSA in order to receive need-based financial aid. Students should review the information provided in the Financial Aid section of the website for more information on need-based funding.

Do I have to be accepted to Berklee before I apply for a Berklee scholarship?
To apply to the college, students are required to participate in a live audition and interview. Through this experience, they are considered for both admission and scholarship. Applicants may also choose to submit an application for the Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship in order to be considered for scholarship support based on their original compositions in addition to their instrumental skill. Applicants should submit their original material following the application deadlines for their intended semester of entry. Students who are accepted to the college will be issued a scholarship decision with their admissions decision.

Berklee entering-student scholarships may not be used for the 12 Week Full-Credit Summer Program.

Does Berklee offer scholarships to transfer students?
Yes. Transfer students are treated as entering students, and they too are required to audition and interview as part of the admission and scholarship evaluation process for all applicants to the college's full-time degree or diploma programs. Transfer students may also choose to submit an application for the Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship in order to be considered for scholarship based on their original compositions in addition to their instrumental skills.

Can I be considered for scholarship on more than one instrument?
Berklee does not award scholarship based on particular instruments. All applicants to the college's full-time degree or diploma programs are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships through our audition and interview process. However, while Berklee understands there are musicians with multi-instrumental abilities, students are expected to declare a principal instrument when they enroll, and entering scholarship students are expected to perform for the college on their principal instrument as a condition of the award.

If I receive a scholarship as an entering student, can I switch my principal instrument and still continue to receive my entering award?
Change of principal instrument or failure to perform on the principal instrument will result in review of the award decision and may result in the loss of scholarships.

If I am accepted and I am not offered a scholarship or I am accepted and offered a partial scholarship, but I need more funding to attend, what can I do?
Accepted students may defer their enrollment to a future semester and request to re-audition for scholarship consideration in the next academic year. Students who were offered a partial scholarship may request to re-audition in an attempt to increase their scholarship level. Students are permitted to audition once per academic year so you should speak with a counselor in the Office of Scholarships to discuss your options for re-auditioning.

Domestic students should also apply for need-based financial aid through the Office of Financial Aid. In addition, all students should seek financial assistance in the form of scholarships and sponsorships outside of Berklee. Some excellent resources for information about these types of funding can be found by contacting local, state and federal government institutions, by accessing the Internet, and by researching this information in a local public library.

If I receive a scholarship, will my need-based aid be affected?
The federal government requires that scholarships be applied to a student's eligibility as calculated by the FAFSA. Any additional funding you receive from any source may require an adjustment to your eligibility for federal or state aid.

If I am offered a scholarship as an entering student, how long is it valid for? Does it expire?
Berklee entering-student scholarships are valid for one year and include an expiration date in each award letter/email.

If I am offered a scholarship as an entering student and I want to enroll after the award expires, can I reapply for the scholarship?
Applicants who are offered a scholarship and do not plan to enroll in the college before the award expires should speak with a counselor in the Office of Scholarships to discuss their options for reapplying for scholarship consideration.

What office do I contact about scholarships and how do I reach it?
Please contact the Office of Scholarships by phone at 800 BERKLEE (237-5533) or 617 747-8681, or by email at scholarships@berklee.edu.