Prior to confirming your student status, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security requires you to document the ability to pay for the first year at CIM. You must obtain the I-20 needed to get the F-1 visa. While this requirement only pertains to ability to pay for the first year, please plan ahead and consider your ability to fund your remaining time at CIM.

The following links provide excellent information on financial aid resources for international students, including free searchable databases of scholarship and grant assistance:

CIM Scholarship

The CIM Scholarship is a merit-based, need-informed award. CIM faculty recommendations of the applicant audition are the primary component for this award, in addition to grades, test scores, outside letters of recommendation and expectation of student potential. This award is renewed at the same dollar amount each subsequent year for the normal duration of the program of study, provided the student maintains satisfactory academic and artistic progress. For enrollment that exceeds the normal timeframe to complete a program, Dean approval is required to extend the scholarship, and requires a formal appeal by the student explaining the reason the program was not completed on time; scholarship renewals are not guaranteed for program extensions. The need-based consideration for this award would require the student to submit the FAFSA and/or CSS PROFILE.

CIM Endowed scholarship

These named awards are generally not applied for directly. Instead, CIM will consider all applicants and/or currently enrolled students, per the specific criteria set by the donor(s) of these awards at various times throughout the academic year. In most cases, they do not represent additional aid, instead are the funding source behind all or part of the student's existing CIM Scholarship award (may be for one year or multiple years). Award amounts may fluctuate annually. If you are selected as a recipient of any of these awards, you may be asked to write a letter of thanks to the donor and may be asked to participate in various CIM events recognizing the award(s).

graduate assistantships

Awarded institutionally to students in exchange for work responsibilities within CIM. These awards are extremely limited and are only eligible to students in specific majors (Orchestral Conducting and Composition). Graduate Assistantships are paid semi-monthly via payroll and are not applied to the student tuition account in advance.

outside scholarships

CIM encourages students to seek private aid and other funding options on their own. The following are organizations and tools you may wish to contact in search for additional funding. 

Always use caution when applying for private scholarship opportunities. Please visit Scholarship & Financial Aid Scams for warnings. Outside scholarships are sponsored, administered and awarded by various individual donors, organizations and private agencies not affiliated with CIM. Inclusion on this list does not constitute endorsement. These lists are provided for informational purposes only.

Advice for Outside Scholarships: The sites listed below are only a few resources available. You might also consider local scholarships.

  • Ethnic and cultural organizations
  • High school counseling office
  • Military associations
  • Parent's Employers
  • Political parties and politicians
  • Private foundations and charities
  • Professional or trade associations
  • Music organizations, orchestras, etc.
  • Religious organizations

Advice for Foreign Students: Some scholarships may be available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents; however, some scholarship agencies are geared specifically toward supporting foreign students. Please consult International Education Financial Aid and EduPass for more information.

Music Scholarships:

General Scholarships:

Scholarship Search Engines:

private education loans

Should you need to borrow additional funds beyond federal loan programs, you may wish to consider a private educational loan. It is your responsibility to research these options to find the one best suited to your needs. Be sure to review interest rate, fees and special features. Be aware that each lender performs its own credit check and multiple checks can have an adverse effect on your credit score. You should opt for a loan that has no prepayment penalty and is deferred until graduation. Most importantly, borrow conservatively. If you or your parents have equity in a home, you may wish to pursue a home equity loan. Contact your mortgage holder or the bank of your choice to apply for such a loan.

CIM is not affiliated with and does not endorse any particular lender. You are welcome to choose any lender of your choice. However, here is a historical list of lenders that CIM students have used in recent years in alphabetical order:

All Private loan borrowers must submit a Self-Certification Form to the lender, in addition to the School Certification. Most lenders will provide this form to borrowers. However, you can download a copy of the Private Loan Self Certification Form.

If you have a sponsor or other aid to help pay the first year, and it is not available in subsequent years, CIM shall not be expected to make up the difference. Remember, the CIM Scholarship is renewable at the SAME dollar amount each year for the normal duration of the program (assuming GPA, academic and artistic progress requirements are being met). Newly admitted international applicants must show documentation of ability to pay prior to being confirmed as a new student and this process should be complete by the April 15 (graduate) or May 1 (undergraduate) Intent to Enroll deadlines.

For more information, we encourage you to visit these sites: