The Colburn School offers two forms of financial assistance: need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships. All students receiving scholarship and/or financial aid must formally accept the award and register by the third week of the term; awards not accepted by this deadline may be reassigned. Enrollment for the full term is required.

Renewal of awards is not automatic. It is the responsibility of the student or their family (not the teacher) to reapply each year. 

Need-Based Financial Aid Awards

These awards are based entirely on financial need. The School uses a sliding discount scale that considers family income and the number of dependents. In the Music Department, awards may be used for an applied private lesson plus the appropriate Music Theory class or Suzuki Strings group, or any one music class per semester. In non-music areas, support is provided for one class per student, per semester. Need-based awards are given as percentages, and are valid for fall and spring registration. Following general notice of the award, recipients are asked to contact the registrar for specific details.

To qualify for need-based financial assistance, students must demonstrate:

  • Financial need
  • Seriousness of purpose and motivation
  • Consistent attendance and progress

Applications will be available online and at the CSPA office starting February 1, 2014. Tax records from the most recent filing period are required as documentation of income.  Please note earlier deadline. Completed applications will be due Saturday, May 24, 2014.  


Click here to download the 2014-15 Financial Aid Application


The Colburn School thanks Southern California Edison and the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts for their support of Colburn need-based scholarships.


Merit-Based Scholarship Awards

Merit-based awards are very limited in number and amount. The teacher must initiate the nomination and application process for a merit-based award. Application requires two recommendations.

Criteria used for awarding merit scholarships are:

  • Strong potential and motivation in the chosen area of study
  • Evidence of exceptional potential and talent in performances
  • Ability to represent the School in public performances and/or competitions
  • Exceptional recommendation from the teacher

Notification of awards is in writing; merit awards are stated as specific dollar amounts. Awards are valid for fall and spring registration.

Colburn School of Performing Arts cello student
School of
Performing Arts
Colburn School of Performing Arts student with timpani

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