The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Financial Aid & Scholarships


To be considered for University-wide Financial Aid — scholarships, grants, loans and work-study employment — students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For priority consideration, the FAFSA should be filed between October 1 and February 1 using the school code (002221) and listing the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

For further information about University-wide Financial Aid, please contact UMass Amherst Financial Aid Services (Room 255 Whitmore Building, 413-545-0801) or see their website:

For Incoming Students (Music):

Chancellor's Talent Awards (CTA)
Provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for incoming undergraduates. The Music & Dance Department awards approximately 25 of these scholarships annually, based entirely on merit, as demonstrated in the audition process. They take the form of either partial (out-of-state) or full (in-state) tuition waivers. It is not necessary to apply; all auditioning students are automatically considered.

Please note that CTA's may not usually be combined with other undergraduate tuition awards. Please contact the Financial Aid office (Room 255, Whitmore Building) or Music & Dance Dept. Admissions Director if you have questions.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (see Graduate Music Financial Aid webpage for application)
These awards entail a 10 to 20 hour-per-week work assignment with an hourly wage of $28.59 for the 2018-19 academic year. Assignments last for the 38 weeks of the academic year, beginning September 2, 2018 and ending May 25, 2019, with stipends totaling $10,864 to $21,728. In addition, tuition, curriculum, and health fees are waived. Residual mandatory fees (see Graduate Assistantship Office webpage) remain the responsibility of the graduate student. Graduate employees are also entitled to a number of benefits through the Graduate Employee Organization. Assistantships are available in a variety of undergraduate courses, applied studios, class piano, collaborative piano, music theory, music history, ensembles, ensemble management, and marching band.

Other merit-based scholarships for incoming freshmen: (all auditioning students are automatically considered)

Ann Elder Bestor Scholarship
Established by faculty member and former Department Chair Charles Bestor in memory of his wife, for an incoming undergraduate student.

Jeffrey Morgan Scholarships
Given in memory of a young musician who died tragically, these awards assist incoming freshmen with expenses, and are limited to woodwind and brass players.

For Current Students (Music):  (It is not necessary to apply; all music students are considered)

The following awards are given in recognition of student musical and/or academic excellence, as demonstrated in pursuit of their degree.

Bezanson Graduate Voice Award
In memory of former Chairman Philip Bezanson, for an outstanding graduate student in the area of voice.

Russell E. and Janet R. Falvey Scholarship
For an outstanding Music Education undergraduate student who is a graduate of one of the public high schools in the four counties of Western Massachusetts.

Friends of Music Senior Award
For graduating seniors who demonstrate the highest standards of achievement and participation in the life of the Department.

Fletcher Henderson/Max Roach Endowed Scholarship
Given by the Fine Arts Center for a student in the Jazz Program, in recognition of demonstrated progress and development of musical talent, and contribution to musical activities at the University.

Howard Lebow Memorial Scholarship
In memory of Professor Lebow, for a returning undergraduate music major who demonstrates the highest standards of artistic achievement and participation in the life of the Department.

Eugenie M. May Award
Established by faculty member and former Department Chair Ernest M. May in memory of his grandmother, for a student who possesses extraordinary musical talent in the area of Piano Performance/ Collaborative Piano and who makes exceptional contributions to the musical life of the Department.

Julian Olevsky Scholarship
Created by Professor Estela Olevsky in memory of Professor Julian Olevsky, for a student who best exemplifies high instrumental and musical standards in the area of Violin Performance.

Ornest Undergraduate Award
Created by Professor Dorothy Ornest in memory of her parents, for an outstanding upperclass voice major who demonstrates academic and musical credentials and a commitment to making music in as many ways as possible.

Theodore Presser Foundation Scholarship Award
In recognition of outstanding achievement as an undergraduate music major.

Walter M. Chesnut Scholarship
Given to an outstanding member of the Trumpet studio.

Scholarships are also available by application for current students through the College Of Humanities And Fine Arts (CHFA), 214 South College, (413) 545-4169.

Dance Awards

Chancellor's Talent Awards (CTA's) are available annually for dance students. Merit-based, they take the form of either partial (out-of-state) or full (in-state) tuition waivers. All auditioning students are considered for these awards.

Dance students may be nominated by faculty to receive Richard Jones Scholarships, 21st Century Leaders Awards and Alumni Association Senior Leaders Awards.

Student Travel Awards

Funds are available to assist qualified graduate/undergraduate students (Music or Dance majors/minors) who have been selected/invited to perform/present at recognized conferences/festivals/competitions. Please see the webpage for guidelines and a link to the application form.