Students of all levels are eligible for a wide range of music scholarships. Acceptance for a scholarship is based on aptitude, musical ability as well as financial need or membership to a specific target group for the award. In some cases, especially for younger children, more emphasis is placed on the students interest in music and less on actual performance ability. Many of these music scholarships are designed to engage children, at a young age, in the enjoyment of music and musical styles rather than concentrating exclusively on those that are gifted. Once a student reaches higher levels of education, the competition becomes more focused on individual ability and talent, much like traditional athletic and academic scholarships.
For music students that wish to study a particular type of music there are several scholarships that provide funds for study abroad. Two such scholarships programs are offered by the Opera Foundation, Inc. There is a Berlin study abroad scholarships and a Turin scholarship, both of which are of substantial monetary value. The Arleen Auger Memorial Fund scholarship is another specialized award for singers that are not yet professional and are pursuing a structured program of vocal study. Applicants will need to provide information that supports both their study as well as a financial need.
Not all scholarships in music are for vocalists, as there are scholarships for those students studying to become composers, musicians, and recording professionals, working within the music industry or for those within the musical promotion field. One of the largest foundations to provide scholarships to a wide range of music students is the BMI Foundation. Many grants and scholarships are set up and administered through the BMI Foundation including memorial scholarships by individual recording artists.
Several cultural groups contribute scholarships that promote cultural or ethnic music study, such as the Leiderkranz Club, which offers scholarships for students studying the history of traditional German music, as well as those studying vocal music. The Asian Cultural Council offers a scholarship program for either Asian students wishing to study in the United States or American students wishing to study music, culture and performing arts in Asia.