Financial Assistance

CYSO programs engage some of the most talented and dedicated musicians from around the Chicago area. We believe that a family’s ability to pay should never be a factor in whether or not a student chooses to attend CYSO. We provide need-based scholarships each season to students who apply via the Financial Assistance application linked below.

Financial assistance is calculated at the beginning of each season based on a family’s income, which programs the student is enrolled in, number of siblings enrolled in CYSO, and other family or financial circumstances. If your family income is $100,000 or below and you have concerns about the cost of CYSO tuition, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance. Families with higher incomes, especially those with extenuating circumstances, may still qualify for assistance, and all families with tuition payment concerns are welcome to apply.

Families can expect strict confidentiality regarding their financial assistance application and results. The Financial Assistance Committee is responsible for determining the number and amount of financial aid provided. Every effort will be made to meet the needs of students and their families.

To complete the Financial Assistance application, you will need a copy of the first page of your most recent Federal Income Tax Form 1040. Please be sure to black out all social security numbers. If you did not file a tax return for the previous year, please contact Martha Nolin at to discuss other forms of income documentation. These other forms of income documentation will only be accepted if you did not file taxes for the previous year. 

We also ask for a $50 deposit when submitting your financial assistance application to hold your place in the orchestra while your eligibility is being determined.

CYSO’s Financial Aid Program is supported in part by a grant from the Benjamin B. Green-Field Foundation.