Graduate Financial Aid (MM and DMA)

Prospective Students

Merit-based financial aid. During the average academic year, the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music awards over $4 million in merit-based assistance in the form of graduate tuition grants and work assistantships. All graduate students who demonstrate exceptional ability during the admission process are eligible for these awards. Master of Music students have the opportunity to receive partial or full tuition grants; all admitted doctoral students receive a full tuition waiver plus a work stipend.

Need-based financial aid. Northwestern University students can also take advantage of low-interest federal loans, private or alternative loans, and/or federal college work study options. To determine if you are eligible for these financial aid programs, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at There are no additional aid applications required. 

Current Students

The Bienen School of Music offers financial aid counseling and assistance for graduate students. We provide services for all matters relating to your student account, billing, payroll (for students with a work component to their financial aid), aid processing, and review of academic progress for the purposes of financial aid.

In addition, graduate students gain access to a wealth of information through nFusion, a campaign that builds financial literacy skills and offers long-term financial aid planning advice. We host seminars to discuss varied issues such as how to file taxes as a musician, how to save for retirement, repayment options for student loans, debt management, non-profit financial regulations, and more.

Two financial aid counselors are available to students in the Bienen School of Music:

Ryan O’Mealey
Director of Music Admission, Financial Aid and Enrollment

Donna Su
Coordinator of Graduate Services and Financial Aid

To make an appointment, call (847) 491-3141 or email us.

Students enrolled in the Bienen School of Music can find comprehensive information regarding financial aid as well as explanations of billing, student accounts, and work assistance guidelines by downloading the Graduate Financial Aid Handbook.

Download Graduate Financial Aid Handbook (PDF)

Also read additional Entrance Interview Information for Music Graduate Students

Tuition and Living Expenses

Graduate students attending the Bienen School of Music will only be charged tuition on their student accounts—living expenses listed below are estimates only. Students are charged one rate for full-time enrollment (3 – 5 units of credit). This gives students the advantage of taking a variety of courses to supplement their musical training without additional charges.

The student budget estimates for the 2013-14 academic year are:



Room and board


Books and supplies






Health insurance




Request information from the Bienen School of Music.