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Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras provides world-class orchestra training to students from across the Chicago region. Tuition costs cover approximately 33% of the cost of student programming, with the additional costs covered by donations, grants, and ticket sales. Tuition varies program to program based on the amount of instruction, rehearsal, and performance time provided, and in some cases, also varies based on additional CYSO ensembles a student is enrolled in.

We make our programs accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background. Need-based financial assistance is available for all CYSO programs.

CYSO Program Tuition Rates 2023-2024

Full and String OrchestrasSymphony Orchestra

Philharmonic Orchestra

Concert Orchestra

Accelerando Strings
Debut Orchestra

Preparatory Strings

Overture Strings
JazzJazz Orchestra
Steel OrchestrasKaiso Steel Orchestra

Junior Steel Orchestra
Groove Steel Ensemble

Supplemental ProgramsChamber Music
Composition Seminar

For questions about tuition and financial assistance, contact finance@cyso.org

Financial Assistance Application

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 mnolin@cyso.org 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.

Applications must be filled out completely and received by July 1, 2023 in order to be considered with the initial round of assistance distribution. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis and provided as funding is available.

Applicants will receive their financial assistance information by August 1, 2023 (or on a rolling basis for applications received after July 1), and the family’s remaining portion of tuition is due by January 31, 2024.

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

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