Types of Aid


Every full-time traditional student who is admitted to Concordia University Chicago receives either a merit scholarship or an admission award provided by the University.

Scholarship and award programs for students entering in the Fall Semester (2020-2021 academic year):

Freshman Merit Scholarship/Award: $5,000 - $14,000
Requirements: Maintain good academic standing

Freshman Leadership Scholarship: $5,000 - $10,000
Requirements: Maintain good academic standing

*President's Freshman Honor Scholar Award: $32,660
Requirements: Full tuition award up to 18 credits per semester, participate in CUC Honors Program and maintain annual GPA of 3.75 at CUC

Freshman Church Pro Leadership Award: $6,000 - $11,000 in addition to earned Freshman Merit Scholarship/Award
Requirements: Provide annual verification of intent to pursue a church profession by the congregation pastor

The Music Scholarship: Award amounts vary
Requirements: Participate in music activities at CUC, but you need not major in music

Lutheran Servant Award: $500
Students whose parent or guardian is employed full-time in a recognized Lutheran-affiliated school, church or agency.
Requirements: Provide annual verification of employment of parent/guardian

Lutheran High School Award: Up to $1,000
Requirements: Complete FAFSA annually to determine eligibility

Alumni Grant: $500
Eligibility: Freshmen and transfer students whose mother or father graduated from CUC 

Transfer Merit Scholarship/Award: $6,000 - $13,000
Requirements: Maintain good academic standing

Transfer Leadership Scholarship: Up to $5,000
Requirements: Maintain good academic standing

Transfer Church Pro Leadership Award: Up to $6,000
Requirements: Provide annual verification of intent to pursue a church profession by the congregation pastor

*President's Transfer Scholarship for Community College Graduates: $32,660
Requirements: Full tuition award up to 18 credits per semester, participate in CUC Honors Program and maintain annual GPA of 3.75 at CUC

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship: $2,000
Eligibility: Transfer students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa, as verified on official transcript

*The President's Freshman Honors Scholar Award and the President's Transfer Scholarship for Community College Graduates are scholarship competitions by invitation only based on G.P.A. and ACT/SAT scores.

More about financial aid:

Each year Concordia University Chicago invites new students to audition for music scholarships. These performance-based scholarships are awarded to students demonstrating musical talent and potential. Whether you want to pursue a professional career in music or simply continue to improve your skills, CUC's music programs will support your aspirations and personal passion for music. 



You will further your talent through the mentoring of our world-class faculty — a group of dedicated and highly sought-after teachers and performers. At Concordia-Chicago you will have the opportunity to participate in one of our music music ensembles, study your instrument or voice, tour nationally and internationally, and possibly obtain a valuable internship with a world-class organization such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

We invite you to become part of the rich tradition of music at CUC, where you will experience a wide variety of musical learning and performance in a Christian environment.

How much could I qualify for?

Music scholarships are awarded based on musical ability and potential contributions of the student to the music department. Both music and non-music majors are eligible to apply. 

Music scholarship decisions and awards will be announced within four weeks of the student's audition date. Scholarship recipients must notify the Office of Undergraduate Admission that they accept the scholarship by submitting their $100 enrollment deposit postmarked on or before May 1, 2021 and accepting the music scholarship terms and conditions via the Concordia Connect portal. 

The amount of the scholarship is dependent upon the audition performance, needs of the music department, the number of scholarship applicants, as well as the individual student's total award package. Awards are divided evenly between two semesters (excluding summer) and may be renewed annually for four years as long as academic standards are met.

Concordia University Chicago is a collegiate partner with Lutheran Summer Music (LSM). We offer scholarships of at least $1,000 to qualified LSM alumni. Scholarships are renewable for up to four years and are subject to the policies that apply to other music scholarships. In addition, CUC offers two specialized scholarships for incoming organ students: The Trusheim Freshman Award and the Waldschmidt Organ Scholarship.

Do I need to major in music to receive a scholarship?

You do not need to major or minor in music to be eligible for a scholarship. However, the scholarship audition does serve as the entrance audition for incoming music majors. Scholarship recipients participate in choral or instrumental ensembles at CUC and enjoy individual attention through private lessons with some of the area's finest musicians.

How do I prepare for the audition?

Students must perform two selections of contrasting styles from the standard solo repertoire, lasting 8-10 minutes total. Selections should not include etudes, pop tunes, show tunes or Christian contemporary music. In addition, students may be asked to do one or more of the following: tonal memory exercises, sight-reading, scales (instrumentalists and pianists), vocalizations (singers) and/or hymn playing (organists).

When and where are the music scholarship auditions?

Auditions for academic year 2020–2021 enrollment were held on Nov. 16, 2019 and Feb. 15, 17 and 22, 2020. Fall 2021 students, check back soon for more information on next year’s music scholarship audition dates!

When can I register?

Once you are admitted to Concordia–Chicago and receive your acceptance packet containing your personal login information, you will be able to register online for the audition date and time of your choice via the Concordia Connect portal

Haven't applied for admission yet? Complete our CUC online admission application or apply with the Common Application to get the process started.

If you are unable to come to Concordia–Chicago for a music scholarship audition due to geography, you may submit a recorded audition. Log in to the Concordia Connect portal for further information and to register. Please note that students are strongly encouraged to audition in person if at all possible.

Contact information:

Registration: Call the Undergraduate Admission Office at 877-CUChicago (877-282-4422) or email Admission@CUChicago.edu.

Music questions: Call Laura Zimmer in the music department at 708-209-3062 or email Laura.Zimmer@CUChicago.edu.

We encourage students to apply for outside scholarships (not awarded by Concordia University Chicago, but applied to your tuition). There are numerous scholarships available through religious, civic and corporate organizations. 

Many scholarships—but not all—are based on financial need. They may also be awarded to students who meet other specific eligibility requirements, such as pursuing a particular major or demonstrating a specific interest, talent or hobby. 

Explore scholarship opportunities with your local Chamber of Commerce, local fraternal organizations and places of employment. Local donors often prefer to help students from their own communities.

You can also complete an online profile with a reputable scholarship search engine. It might help to create a designated email address just for this process, so you can safely turn off the spam filter. Search engines usually send automated responses, which could be filtered out as spam if sent to your main email address.

Please click on the links below to view our recommended scholarship search sites.

Scholarship Sources

Lutheran and Church Professional Scholarship Opportunities

Unfortunately, there are some scholarship scams online, so be cautious before providing personal information. Legitimate scholarship searches are generally free.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions students to look for these telltale statements:

  • “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back,”

  • “You can’t get this information anywhere else,”

  • “I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship,”

  • “The scholarship will cost some money.”

The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act provides protection against fraud in student financial assistance. If you have a question about a particular opportunity, feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Grants and Work Study

In order to determine eligibility for any need-based grants, loans or student employment, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each year.

Federal and State Grants:

Federal Pell Grant Program – A grant based on financial need, awarded by the federal government. The maximum Pell Grant is currently $6,345 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant – Additional federal grant funding allocated to the University; awarded to Pell Grant recipients showing exceptional financial need.

Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) – Awarded by the state of Illinois to qualified Illinois residents. The award amount is based on enrolled credit hours; amounts vary from 3 to 15 enrolled credit hours. 

Grant funding is only available to eligible undergraduate students who have not yet earned their first bachelor’s degree.

Federal Work Study:

Federal Work Study (FWS): Provides on-campus part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn up to $2,000 to help pay their education expenses.

Concordia University Chicago is grateful for current service members and veterans and is supportive of those who would like to start or continue their education. Multiple financial programs are available to assist veterans and their dependents in achieving a college education.

Learn more