Financial Aid for International Students

International students do not need to fill out a FAFSA to enter the Conservatory. Financial aid sources available to international students are:

Conservatory Scholarships

These scholarships are offered to incoming students based on an appraisal of ability and potential, academic standing, and overall student citizenship, as evaluated by the faculty, department heads, and the scholarship committee. The audition is key to receiving a Conservatory scholarship. Need may be taken into consideration, but only if the audition warrants it.  

Full tuition scholarships cover the cost of tuition. Room and board, medical insurance, the medical evacuation fee, and the graduation fee are not covered by a full tuition scholarship.

Music Education Scholarships

The music education scholarships are merit based and are determined by the music education admissions committee from a review of all application materials and the interview/audition. They are awarded per credit.

Music Education Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)

Music education TAGs are awarded in the amount of $335 per credit for students who are enrolled in another Conservatory program when they apply to the music education program or who have completed a Conservatory program within two years of applying to the music education program. All other students are awarded $135 per credit.

Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)

TAGs are also awarded to students with exceptional circumstances. Exceptional TAGs are for one year only.

Private Educational Loans
  • Range: Up to full cost of attendance, less other financial aid.
  • Who may apply: Everyone; co-signer is usually required for undergraduates and international students.
  • How to apply: Applications may be completed at the lender website. Visit for a list of private loan lenders that will lend to the Conservatory. These are not the only lenders that will lend to the Conservatory, but they are among the most popular with our students.  
  • Prerequisite: None.
  • Interest: Check individual loan website.
  • Fees: Check individual loan website.

Private loans are available to students, but most of them require a credit-worthy co-borrower. Lenders will check the credit and the debt-to-income ratio of both the student and co-borrower when approving loans.

There are many different private loans with different fees and interest rates. The interest rates on most of these loans are variable, meaning they could go up or down (a few lenders have started offering private loans with a fixed rate of interest).

The interest rate on private loans is usually based on the U.S. prime rate or the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) AND the credit score of the student and co-borrower.  Currently, the prime and LIBOR rates are fairly low, so a private loan could be economical if the amount borrowed is not great and will be paid off in a relatively short period of time. However, if you borrow a private loan for your first and second year of school, the debt you incur may count against you when attempting to borrow for the third and fourth years. In other words, you may be denied a private loan in your later school years because you took out private loans in your early school years. In contrast, the Parent PLUS Loan only checks credit, not debt, and it has a fixed rate of interest (7.21 percent).

These loans are certified by the school, and the funds come directly to the school.

Private loans cannot be fully approved until the student signs a self-certification form. The lender will send this form to the student. The student may also download this form from Boston Conservatory’s website. The form will ask for the student’s cost of attendance and his or her estimated financial assistance. The cost of attendance can be found in the Financial Aid Award Guide, and the estimated financial assistance amount can be found on the student’s award letter. The student may also ask the Financial Aid Office for this information.

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Loans

DTC loans are marketed directly to students. These loans usually have a higher rate of interest and/or higher fees. The check is made out to the student and not the school. If the school becomes aware that the student has taken out one of these loans, it will be counted as a resource against the student’s cost of attendance, which may result in a loss of other financial aid. Because the checks go directly to the student, these loans are not counted as expected funding on the bill, which could result in a late fee of $200.

On-Campus Employment

Note that international students are eligible for student employment or Conservatory Employment but are not eligible for Federal Work-Study.