Special Circumstances Appeal
Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Berklee NYC students who are experiencing extenuating financial circumstances can appeal for institutional need-based aid through the appeals process.*
We encourage all domestic students to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a CSS Profile, as it provides additional information for our committee to consider. International students are encouraged to submit the CSS Profile.
Students who are already receiving Presidential or full-tuition scholarships are not eligible to receive institutional appeal funding as Berklee's institutional funding cannot exceed tuition charges.
By submitting an appeal, you agree that completing an appeal does not guarantee financial aid will be increased and any financial obligations remain due according to payment deadlines. Completing an appeal does not guarantee financial aid will be increased and financial obligations remain due according to payment deadlines. Waiting for an appeal result does not grant extended time to meet any financial obligations to the college, and failure to meet financial obligations may result in loss of housing assignments, your schedule, and your ability to enroll in the semester.
Special Circumstances Appeal Process
Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Berklee NYC students who appeal for institutional aid will have the following factors considered during the committee review:
- Family financial need, as demonstrated by the FAFSA or CSS Profile
- Any previous family borrowing history
- Your current aid package
- Academic performance
- Semester in school (continuing students only)
- Audition and interview results (entering students only)
- Appeal letter
- Any supporting documentation
Note that Berklee Online students are not eligible to appeal for institutional aid.
Every effort is made to assist students who demonstrate financial need and have utilized all available sources of funding. Please note that even with an approved appeal, the majority of students find it necessary to utilize other forms of funding to meet their costs, so you are encouraged to develop a sound financial plan that you can implement regardless of the outcome of your appeal.
Please note that you are still obligated to meet your costs by the appropriate deadlines regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
The Office of Student Financial Services is here to assist you as you explore your options to finance your Berklee education. You can contact us at via email at email@example.com and by phone at 617-747-6777.
How much money can I expect to receive from an approved institutional appeal?
The average appeal award is relatively modest, depending on individual circumstances. Full tuition, near full tuition, or Presidential Scholarships are not awarded in the appeals process. Because institutional funding is limited and appeal approvals are relatively modest, it is important to develop a sound financial plan to meet your costs and not rely on appeal funding to fully close your financial gap. By submitting an appeal, you agree that completing an appeal does not guarantee financial aid will be increased and any financial obligations remain due according to payment deadlines.
Can I appeal for help if tuition increases?
Our special circumstances appeal process is designed to allow students who have unique, acute, or temporary circumstances that are preventing them from meeting their costs the opportunity to be considered for modest, one-time funding. Yearly tuition and fee increases are required to support the college’s operations. While we recognize that these increases can be difficult, they are not a consideration for funding.
Can I appeal for housing funding or emergency needs?
The special circumstances appeal process awards funds towards tuition only through institutional aid. If you have other financial needs that are not related to tuition and are a main campus student, you are encouraged to submit a Student Emergency Fund Appeal.
How long will it take to receive a decision?
Decisions are issued on the following timelines:
Entering student appeals are reviewed starting in April.
Continuing student appeals are reviewed starting in June.
Entering student appeals are reviewed starting October.
Continuing student appeals are reviewed starting in November.
Entering student appeals are reviewed starting late March.
Continuing student appeals are reviewed starting in late April.
Please do not rely on the results of your appeal, or wait on the results of your appeal, before deciding to attend Berklee. Even if approved, appeal amounts are modest, and you will need to implement your financing plan regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
Can faculty submit a letter to support my appeal?
Faculty letters are not required for appeals.
Can I request reconsideration for a merit scholarship decision?
All entering students to the main campus are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships during the admissions process. While your audition decision will not be reconsidered, if you believe you may qualify for need-based financial assistance, you may certainly submit an appeal to be considered for funding. We also encourage you to explore need-based financial aid and other cost-saving paths to Berklee as you will likely still have a financial gap after your appeal decision is rendered.
Can I appeal for a full-tuition/Presidential Scholarship?
The appeals process is designed to assist students with unusual circumstances and help them get closer to closing their financial gap. Students are not granted full-tuition/Presidential Scholarships during the appeals process. Those determinations are made as part of the admissions process.
Is there a deadline for my appeal submission?
There is no deadline for your appeal submission. Both entering and continuing students can submit an appeal at any time. Our committee will review appeals in order of the next upcoming semester. While you may appeal for a future semester at any time, your appeal will not be reviewed until the committee begins reviewing for that semester.
Do I need to complete my federal financial aid verification before I submit my appeal?
Students must fully complete their federal financial aid verification process, if applicable, before their appeal will be reviewed. This will give our committee the most accurate information for their decision and prevent any delays in your appeal review. If you have questions about your financial aid review, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 617-747-6777.