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.

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).

cim loan

This loan program has been phased out and is only being awarded to currently enrolled students completing their programs; it is no longer being offered to newly admitted students.

Interest accrual and repayment of this loan begins 12 months after the student leaves CIM or is no longer at least half-time enrolled, and continues over a five-year period. These loans require a Promissory Note and a co-signer. Interest rate on CIM Loans is 7%.

Loan amounts typically range from $1,000 to $2,000 per year. Repayment of this loan program is serviced by Heartland ECSI. There are no origination fees for this loan. Loan borrowers have the right to cancel or reduce the amount of their loans within 14 calendar days of the date the loan funds are credited to their student account.

Borrowers that wish to cancel or reduce their loans must submit a written request within the 14 day period to the CIM Financial Aid Office. If the loan funds have been applied to current student account charges due, the borrower must make arrangements to pay CIM the amount applied toward charges before funds may be returned. After the 14-day period has expired, any cancellation or reduction of loans takes place directly between the borrower and the loan servicer, Heartland ECSI.

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 (Collaborative Piano, Orchestral Conducting and Conducting). 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.

work study

Work study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student's course of study. Work study consideration is generally limited to domestic students with documented financial need from the FAFSA. Eligibility is year-specific to the applicable year’s FAFSA. Work study funding and eligibility may fluctuate from year to year.

Most jobs are within CIM offices. We also participate in several local community service programs.

Students who receive a work study award must apply for jobs via our Human Resources office and go through the hiring process with the applicable office/department. Work study awards are not applied to the student tuition account. Instead, these funds are paid to students on a semi-monthly basis via payroll as they submit their hours worked for approval by their supervisor. Before a student may begin a work study job, all new hire tax forms must be on file with the Human Resources office.

This is taxable income and the student will receive a W-2 at year-end for tax return purposes.

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: