You'll find answers on this page to many key questions about financial aid and scholarships. If you'd like to learn more, please contact us directly.
Financial Aid FAQs
Domestic students should complete the CSS Profile to be considered for institutional aid, and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for federal and state aid. Learn more on our Applying for Aid page. Once a counselor has reviewed your application, and additional documents if necessary, you will be awarded financial aid.
Students are required to complete a new financial aid application every year.
Approximately one-third of all financial aid applications are selected for verification. You will be required to submit a verification worksheet as well as signed copies of your tax transcripts (and your spouse's—if you are married—or your parents', if you are a dependent student), W-2 forms, or other financial documents. Berklee will be comparing information from your application with these documents. If there are differences between your application information and your financial documents, Berklee may need to make corrections.
If you have not yet completed your tax returns by our recommended FAFSA filing date, you should still apply. The FAFSA allows you (and your parents) to estimate income information until returns have been completed. Once you have filed your taxes, update your FAFSA by submitting corrections to the Department of Education. Instructions on how to do this will be automatically sent to you by the Department of Education when they process your FAFSA.
Federal regulations have specific criteria for determining dependency status, and if you are considered "dependent," you must include parental information on your FAFSA. Unfortunately, whether or not your parents assist you financially is not a factor in determining dependency status.
If your family's financial circumstances have changed, you should notify the Office of Student Financial Services in writing and provide specific information about the change, how family income will be affected, and the best possible estimate of the income change. Please include any supporting documentation.
All domestic and international applicants to the college's full-time degree or diploma programs are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships through our admissions process.
Domestic and international students who are interested in one of Berklee's undergraduate programs and meet the eligibility as outlined in the guidelines here are eligible for these scholarships.
For entering students, scholarships range from $10,000 per year up to full tuition. The vast majority of scholarships awarded to entering students are partial-tuition awards, with the average award being approximately 40 percent of tuition. A limited number of full-tuition scholarships are available to exceptionally gifted musicians who participate in our audition and interview process. Each year, less than 5 percent of the entering class qualifies for our exclusive full-tuition scholarships.
Berklee also selects seven outstanding entering musicians annually to receive the Presidential Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, on-campus housing, the required laptop, and the comprehensive fee. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate the highest musical merit and potential through the admissions process as well as high financial need. Each year, 25 of our top applicants in the fall entering class are nominated for the Presidential Scholarship and invited to submit supplemental materials for further review. The scholarship committee reviews all submissions, including the required financial aid forms, and selects the seven recipients in April. Students already enrolled at Berklee are not eligible to be considered for the Presidential Scholarship.
In addition to the Presidential Scholarship, Berklee selects one Vans off the Wall Scholar, one Canada Scholar, and one A. R. Rahman Scholar to receive awards covering the cost of tuition, on-campus housing, the required laptop, and the comprehensive fee. Candidates for these awards are also invited to submit supplemental materials, including the required financial aid forms, for further review by the scholarship committee. Final decisions are announced by June 1 each year. Students already enrolled at Berklee are not eligible to be considered for these scholarships.
Berklee's scholarships for entering students are merit-based, and scholarships are primarily based on the admissions process.
Yes. Transfer students are treated as entering students and are required to audition and interview as part of the admissions and scholarship evaluation process, which is required of all applicants to the college's full-time degree or diploma programs.
There are some opportunities to receive additional funding from the college, but the opportunities for students to increase their funding after they enroll is limited. There are two main sources of additional funding: the Berklee Achievement Grant Program and the Spring Awards.
The Berklee Achievement Grant Program is an incentive-based awards program for students who have Berklee scholarships and/or grants that eliminates tuition increases for qualified students. Students with Berklee scholarships and/or grants who earn a minimum cumulative grade point average equal to or greater than 3.0 and also demonstrate financial need may qualify for an increase in aid for their second, third, and fourth years at Berklee. The grants are $1,500 per year and are awarded for the fall and spring semesters ($750/semester).
The Spring Awards are small, partial-tuition merit awards ranging from $500 to $5,000 that are targeted to high-achieving continuing students nearing graduation. A select group of students are nominated by the faculty, chairs, and deans for Spring Awards based on their outstanding academic and musical achievement in their major/instrumental department.
It’s important to note that students do not acquire full-tuition scholarships after they enter the college with partial-tuition scholarships. There are some opportunities to receive some additional support, but that funding is limited. Therefore, we advise students to plan their enrollment at Berklee for four years based on the financial aid package they receive as entering students. Selecting the right college is both an academic decision and a financial decision. Berklee is an expensive private college that offers an unparalleled education at a premium cost, so students and families must have a comprehensive financial plan in order to afford the cost of attendance for four years of study.
There are opportunities for continuing students to apply for scholarship consideration through the Berklee Achievement Scholarship, but funding is limited. Approximately 40 percent of enrolled students are receiving some type of scholarship funding, with the vast majority of awards being partial-tuition scholarships. Continuing students who are not currently receiving a merit-based scholarship are eligible to apply for the Berklee Achievement Scholarship. To apply, students submit an online achievement portfolio that is reviewed by the scholarship committee. This scholarship is targeted to outstanding upper-semester students going into their third and fourth years of study at Berklee. All Berklee Achievement Scholarships are partial scholarship opportunities ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 per year. There are no full-tuition scholarships available through this process, as full-tuition scholars are identified through our entering student scholarship process.
In addition, the faculty, chairs, and deans nominate a select group of upper-semester students for Spring Awards based on their outstanding academic and musical achievement in their major/department. The Spring Awards are small, partial-tuition merit awards ranging from $500 to $5,000 that are targeted to high-achieving students nearing graduation.