How to Apply

Applicants and current CIM students applying for a new program who are seeking need and merit financial assistance must complete these three steps. The financial aid application timeline will provide you with details on due dates.

1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents seeking any institutional and/or federal need-based aid (work study, grants, and/or loans) must complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with CIM school code 003031. The 2021-22 FAFSA is available to submit online as of October 1, 2020 and is due February 1, 2021. The FAFSA is required annually for any federal student aid, as eligibility for federal aid programs is year-specific.

After the FAFSA has been processed, you will receive the results via the Student Aid Report (SAR). It is very important to promptly review the SAR, especially the comments section, for accuracy.

2. Transfer Clearance Form

The Transfer Clearance Form is required of any applicant currently enrolled at a U.S. college/university who will not have completed their current program at that school before classes would begin at CIM. This is also required if you have previously deposited and signed an Intent to Enroll Form with another school. This is required for ANY scholarship or award consideration. If your current school is a member of NASM, National Association of Schools of Music, we are not permitted to make any aid offer to you without this signed form on file. If your current program of study will be complete prior to classes starting at CIM, this form is not needed, as you are not considered a transfer applicant. The form also requests a copy of your current financial aid (if any) at the school you are considering transferring away from.


All international applicants (graduate and undergraduate) and domestic undergraduates seeking any CIM need-based aid consideration for the 2021-22 academic year must submit the 2021-22 CSS PROFILE. We do not require the CSS PROFILE for domestic graduate student applicants.

CIM's PROFILE code is 1124. The 2021-22 CSS PROFILE is available to submit online now and is due February 1, 2021.

For more details about the PROFILE, please see the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE Student Guide. International students please submit all financial data in your home currency, as the PROFILE will convert all funds to U.S. dollars. 

Types of Aid

Understand the different aid considerations you can apply for as well as important information about aid requests, deadlines, your intent to enroll and more.

Need and Merit Aid

Merit aid is considered based on CIM faculty reviews of the student audition, CIM's anticipation of student potential, test scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, etc. Financial need is based on the required FAFSA and/or CSS PROFILE. Domestic undergraduate applicants and all international applicants seeking any need-based aid consideration are required to submit the CSS PROFILE. All domestic students seeking any need-based aid consideration are also required to submit the FAFSA. The priority deadline for both items is February 1.

Merit Only Aid

Merit scholarships are considered based on CIM faculty reviews of the student audition, CIM's anticipation of student potential, test scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, etc.

No Aid

No aid means you are a full-pay student; it means that you are not receiving a scholarship or any other type of aid from the Institute. 

Additional Info for Graduate, Newly-admitted and Transfer Students

Graduate students are automatically classified as "independent" for aid purposes on the FAFSA. A student is classified as “independent” regardless if a parent(s) claims the student as a dependent or not on their tax return or if the parent(s) supports the student in any way, or not. There is no parental data needed for a graduate student FAFSA.

If you miss the due date for the required financial aid documents, you may have significantly reduced opportunities for aid consideration for all funds. Funding for programs is limited and priority is given to those who meet all published deadlines. For newly-admitted students, once the enrollment decision is signed, all CIM aid is final.

CIM will notify admitted students of their aid offers, if applicable, no later than March 31. Graduate students will have until April 15 to complete the intent to enroll process; undergraduates will have until May 1. Requirements to confirm your intent to enroll will be detailed for you at the time of admission.

Transfer applicants may have additional items needed to complete the aid file.

In December, all applicants will receive a student-specific email from the CIM Financial Aid Office detailing what will need to be submitted based on their aid request as well as their NetPartner login credentials.