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VanderCook College of Music

Music Scholarships & Grants

In keeping with our founder’s philosophy that music education should be available to anyone, VanderCook College of Music is committed to maintaining affordable, competitive tuition.  VCM awards financial assistance to 100% of its full-time undergraduate students.  Our Financial Aid staff works to maximize aid through scholarships, grants, and loans.

Internal Scholarships

VanderCook offers a wide variety of institutional scholarships and grants which come in the form of Talent Awards, Need-Based Grants, and various named scholarships.

  • Scholarships are awarded based on talent, academic success, need, and potential
  • Scholarships are annual awards and may be renewable each year if the student meets and maintains basic criteria
  • Institutional aid is awarded in addition to state and federal financial aid packages that students may receive
  • Other assistance may be available for highly motivated future music educators
  • Additional opportunities may be available for those playing specialty instruments
  • VanderCook’s financial aid team will put together packages designed with each students’ specific strengths, goals and needs in mind

Institutional Assistance

New VanderCook Scholars ProgramHigh school seniors looking to turn their passion for music into a career may be eligible for this opportunity which offers accepted incoming freshmen a four-year FREE tuition scholarship.

Talent Scholarship
Future Teacher Grant
H.E. Nutt Academic Excellence Grant
Dean’s List Grant
VanderCook Need Grant
VanderCook Work
VanderCook Alumni Association Scholarship
Esprit de Corps Award
James E. Clark Scholarship
Lew and Gerry Schmidt Scholarship
Wisconsin Music Educators Scholarship
Bill Kalbreier Scholarship
The Maurice T. & Ruth A. Rhodes Scholarship for Wind Players
The Herman D. Smith Memorial Scholarship
Lew and Gerry Schmidt Instrumental Music Education Scholarship
Choral Leaders Scholarship

(Please refer to the guide to grants, scholarships and loans below for more complete information on these assistance programs.)

Grants

A grant is a type of gift aid that does not need to be paid back. The amount awarded is usually based on financial need and is generally provided by the federal government, state government or VanderCook College of Music.

VanderCook Future Teacher Grant

A grant is a type of gift aid that does not need to be paid back. The amount awarded is usually based on financial need and is generally provided by the federal government, state government or VanderCook College of Music.

Type Amount Who is eligible? How to Apply Other information
VanderCook Future Teacher Grant $500 for one year Transfer or new undergraduate students Referral by your high school music director and referral forms submitted with application to VanderCook. Referral cards available from the Admissions Office. Grant is given for the first year of attendance. It is not renewable.
VanderCook H.E. Nutt Academic Excellence Grant $1,000 annually First-time undergraduate students who are in the top 15% of their graduating class and have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale Transcripts are evaluated as part of the admissions process This grant is renewable and is reviewed annually. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA to maintain this grant aid.
VanderCook Need Grants $250-$2,000 annually Undergraduate students demonstrating financial need. Submit a FAFSA by December 1. Based on need according to VanderCook's Financial Aid Office. Awards are reviewed annually.
VanderCook Dean's List $200 per semester Undergraduate students with a semester GPA of 3.5 or higher. Grade reports are automatically evaluated at the end of each term The award is applied to the following semester's tuition and fees.

Scholarships

A scholarship is a type of gift aid that rewards a student for grades, talent, financial need or a specific career interest. Scholarships do not typically need to be repaid, although some scholarships have program requirements and/or obligations. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions before you accept any money.

Type Amount Who is eligible? How to Apply Other information
Bill Kalbreier Scholarship $1000 - $5000 Priority is given to an entering vocal major who shows promise of becoming an outstanding choral music educator. A returning student may be considered if funds are available All entering students who audition on voice are automatically considered for the award. The Scholarship Committee reviews candidates’ audition results, academic record, application essay and interview to determine the final candidate. The Director of Admissions and choral music education faculty may recommend that a candidate be considered for the award bit the Committee makes the final determination. This scholarship is renewable over four years.
VanderCook Talent Scholarship Up to $2,500 annually All undergraduate students. Award amounts are based on merit. Audition as part of the application process. A completed application to VanderCook is required to receive an award. This scholarship is renewable and is reviewed annually.
The Maurice T. & Ruth A. Rhodes Scholarship for Wind Players $2,000 Entering freshman woodwind or brass undergraduate student (with preference given to woodwind student) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and an ACT score of 22 or higher with writing. The recipient must pursue the BMEd degree and personify the disposition VanderCook seeks to nurture in its future teachers: strength in character, excellence in music, professionalism in teaching. The recipient must also have financial need. All entering students who audition on a wind instrument, meet the academic criteria and demonstrate financial need are automatically considered for the award. The Scholarship Committee may require a completed FAFSA Application before making their final selection. The Scholarship Committee reviews candidates’ audition results, academic record, application essay and interview to determine the final candidate. The Director of Admissions and wind music education faculty may recommend that a candidate be considered for the award bit the Committee makes the final determination. Renewable provided student maintains full-time enrollment status, earns a 2.5 semester GPA and participates in ensembles as assigned.
VanderCook James E. Clark Scholarship Up to $1,000 annually Students residing in the state of Georgia who demonstrate talent, financial need and a desire to become a music educator. Submit a FAFSA by December 1. Audition as part of the application process. A completed application to VanderCook is required to receive an award. This scholarship is renewable and is reviewed annually
The Herman D. Smith Memorial Scholarship $500 African American undergraduate with an interest in teaching in Chicago Public Schools. Awarded by selection of faculty committee. All African American undergraduate students seeking admission to or in the BMEd program are automatically considered. The Scholarship Committee reviews candidates’ leadership, academic record, application essay and interview to determine the candidate most likely to pursue and succeed as a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. The Director of Admissions and any member of the VanderCook faculty may recommend that a candidate be considered for the award but the Committee makes the final determination. This scholarship is renewable over four years.
Lew and Gerry Schmidt Instrumental Music Education Scholarship Up to $500 Awarded to aspiring band directors who merit special assistance. Preference is given to Wisconsin residents. Submit a FAFSA by December 1. Audition as part of the application process. A completed application to VanderCook is required to receive an award. This scholarship is given for the first year of attendance. It is not renewable.
VanderCook Alumni Association Award $250 This scholarship is awarded each spring to a junior-level student. Nominations are made by faculty and staff members and are based on merit. This is a one-time award and is not renewable.
VanderCook Esprit de Corps Award $250 This scholarship is awarded each spring to four students: one each at the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior levels. Nominations are made by faculty and staff members and are based on merit. This is a one-time award and is not renewable.
Choral Leaders Scholarship Varies - GPA minimum of 3.0 - Sophomore or Junior - Exemplifies strength in character, professionalism in teaching, and excellence in music - Shows volunteerism in every regard - Has held or currently holds leadership positions throughout the school - Innovative in the classroom and out - Approachable and always willing to help - Passionate about teaching and music No application. Recipient selected by the choral/vocal faculty based on a review of all vocal students who meet the awarding criteria. Non-renewable. Awarded at the annual Prism Concert.

Giving Scholarships

Many of these scholarships have been established in memory of influential alumni or individuals who, along with their families, have been chosen to help sustain the legacy of VanderCook. The recipients of these awards are chosen in honor of these people and in the hopes they will continue to share their passion for music with their future students.

External Scholarships

By State

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Fiesta del Sol

General Music Scholarships

Other Potential Scholarships

Civic Organizations
Parent’s Employment
Student’s Employment

Applying for scholarships can seem challenging. Typically scholarship programs are intended to reward those individuals who have worked hard toward their chosen career path. Your application should demonstrate that you have the discipline, attention to detail and enthusiasm to make the scholarship donors proud they selected you.

Here are a few tips that will hopefully make your application stand out from the crowd:

  1. Apply locally. You have the best chance for success at the local level. A national competition may attract thousands.
  2. Follow directions. By not following directions your application may be dismissed. Did you meet the GPA requirements?
  3. Write and then rewrite your essay. This is your opportunity to give donors a chance to know you and your goals better. Address all questions given.
  4. Assemble the packet. Prepare a neat application. It will show donors you pay attention to detail. Make sure your letters of recommendation are current. It is helpful to put the papers in the order requested (example: application on top, followed by letters of recommendation, then your essay).

The optimal time to apply for most scholarships is late winter to early spring.

 

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Every Gift Matters…

Gifts to VanderCook come in many forms and sizes and each one truly makes a difference. You may wonder how a small contribution can matter to the college – how it can “make a dent.” Combined with other donor gifts, even a relatively minor contribution can make a major impact.

Thank you for your generosity and support!

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The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2022 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
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