What's New


Visit the What's New page regularly for updates regarding student loan requirements and policies (including interest rates).

How do I apply for financial aid?

STEP 1 - Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Start the process as early as you can after October 1 of the year for which you are applying.  Money is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been exhausted.  The later you wait, the less your chances of receiving aid.

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • List VanderCook College of Music Title IV Code 001778 on your application. The processor will mail you your Student Aid Report (SAR) in 2-3 weeks. Check your SAR for any errors.
  • Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be calculated when your FAFSA is processed. The formula used to calculate your EFC is used to measure your family’s financial strength based on income, assets and the number of students attending college.

STEP 2 - Schedule an appointment with the VanderCook Financial Aid Office.

  • Bring a copy of your federal tax return transcript for the prior year (separate returns for parents and student) and any other documents requested at the time of your meeting. You can obtain a tax return transcript at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript or by calling 800.908.9946.
  • An estimate of state and federal awards will be provided. Possible VanderCook awards will be discussed along with any special circumstances your family may have.
  • Parents and students will be provided an initial estimate of their aid, including loan eligibility and amounts. A final aid award will be provided when the student has completed the application and audition process.

STEP 3 - Complete your application materials and audition for admission to VanderCook.

Items required for admission include:

  • Completed application
  • Application essay
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Final high school transcript or GED certificate
  • Signed acceptance letter

STEP 4 - Review and sign your finalized financial aid award letter.

After all admissions and financial aid items are complete, a financial aid award letter will be mailed to you.

  • Review your awards and loan amounts.
  • Submit any required verification documents to the Financial Aid Office (if requested)
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment to resolve any other financial aid questions you may have.
  • Return your signed financial aid award letter to the Financial Aid Office.

Policies and Procedures 

Please take a moment to review our Policies and Procedures before getting started.

Financial Aid Resources

Click HERE for resources such as financial aid search engines and programs to help plan for repaying college loans.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288