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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Staff Spotlight: Kristen Gogol


You can reach Kristen Gogol by email at [email protected] or by calling (312) 788-1137

How can you best describe VanderCook to a family interested in making a commitment for their child to attend?

VanderCook College of Music is an exceptional institution dedicated to nurturing and developing young musicians. It is renowned for its comprehensive music education programs, distinguished faculty, and vibrant musical community. With a strong emphasis on both musical excellence and academic rigor, VanderCook offers a supportive and inspiring environment for students to grow and thrive. The college provides a well-rounded education that combines theory, performance, and practical teaching experience, ensuring graduates are well-prepared for successful careers in music education. The campus fosters a close-knit community where students can form lifelong friendships and create lasting connections with industry professionals. Overall, VanderCook College of Music is a place where students can immerse themselves in their passion for music and receive the guidance and education necessary to excel in their musical journey.

What piece of advice do you have for students, parents, and others as they begin the process with financial aid? What’s the best way to get started? And what are some tips to avoid frustration?

When it comes to the financial aid process, it is important for students, parents, and others to start early and be proactive. Here are some tips to navigate the process and avoid frustration:

  1. Begin by researching and understanding the different types of financial aid available, such as grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria and application deadlines for each.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. This form is essential for determining eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid. Be thorough and accurate in providing all required information.
  3. Explore scholarship opportunities specific to VanderCook College of Music. Contact the college's financial aid office for guidance on available scholarships, grants, or other funding options.
  4. Keep track of important deadlines and submit all required documents promptly. Missing deadlines can result in delayed or reduced financial aid offers.
  5. Maintain open lines of communication with the financial aid office. Reach out to them with any questions or concerns you may have during the process. They are there to assist you and provide guidance.
  6. Consider seeking professional assistance if needed. Financial advisors or consultants can help you navigate the complexities of the financial aid process and provide valuable insights and advice.

What are some highlights for you so far in your new role?

In my new role, I have been fortunate to experience several highlights that have made this journey incredibly fulfilling. Building relationships with students, parents, and colleagues within the VanderCook College of Music community has been an enriching experience. Witnessing the growth and accomplishments of students as they pursue their musical aspirations has been immensely rewarding. Contributing to the field of music education and being part of an institution that values the power of music has filled me with pride. Embracing new challenges and continuously learning and developing as a professional have been invigorating. Overall, these highlights have made my new role at VanderCook College of Music an exciting and gratifying endeavor.

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.

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