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Tuition / Scholarships / Financial Aid

Idyllwild Arts Academy is committed to supporting arts education for students from a wide variety of backgrounds, regardless of a family’s ability to pay the full tuition amount. We believe it is vital to a student’s current and future success to be surrounded by a culturally and socio-economically diverse student body. This gives our students a well-rounded foundation for the rest of their lives. We therefore encourage every family interested in an Idyllwild Arts education to apply.

Need-Based Scholarships

How to apply for need-based scholarships

Every year, Idyllwild Arts Academy uses the Independent School Management’s FAST (Scholarship for School Tuition) program to produce an unbiased analysis of your family’s financial need. FAST uses the information you give us to estimate what your family can contribute toward tuition. FAST decides neither whether you will receive scholarships nor how much you will receive; FAST merely helps Idyllwild Arts Academy achieve its goal of making fair and reasonable decisions about scholarships. The scholarship evaluation takes into account more than just a family’s net income. We also evaluate a combination of many different factors in a family’s ability to afford to provide their child with a world-class arts education at Idyllwild Arts. We realize each and every family’s situation is unique. Priority review application deadline is February 1.

Merit Scholarships

New applicants who want to be considered for a merit scholarship ranging from $1,000-$25,000 need to submit a paragraph on why you believe you deserve to be awarded a merit scholarship.

Email your paragraph to Tara Sechrest at

Idyllwild Arts offers a limited number of merit scholarships.

General Merit Scholarships

  • Art Chair’s Award – $5,000
  • Global Scholar Award – $10,000
  • Presidential Award – $15,000

Departmental Merit Scholarships

  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Theatre
  • Music – Classical Violin
  • Music – Classical Viola
  • Music – Classical Cello
  • Music – Classical Bass
  • Music – Classical Flute
  • Music – Classical French Horn
  • Music – Classical Bassoon
  • Music – Classical Percussion
  • Music – Jazz Drums
  • Music – Jazz Bass

The Elora Hardy Global Scholar Award – $25,000

Each year this scholarship, inspired by the creative works of Elora Hardy ’99, is awarded to an incoming Idyllwild Arts student who reflects the global artistic vision of Idyllwild Arts. Application Instructions: To apply for the Global Scholar Award, the student should submit an additional essay of 500 words that describes their experience of multiculturalism and how it has shaped their development as a student, artist, and person. Please email the essay to Tara Sechrest, Vice President, Enrollment Management & Strategic Partnerships, at: by February 1.

Native American Scholarships

Idyllwild Arts Academy is committed to supporting Native American students. Please contact Tara Sechrest, Vice President, Enrollment Management & Strategic Partnerships, at with any questions about scholarship eligibility for Native American students.

Native American Scholarship Information
Other Scholarship Opportunities

The L-Fund is a non-profit organization located in Palm Springs, CA, that provides funding to Lesbians/Translesbians for  Education, Financial Assistance, Health and Wellness, and the Arts. For more information, click on the link below or contact or 760-304-8487.

Your Tuition Solution

Convenient financing for your students’ education

Tuition Solution Pamphlet

Frequently Asked Questions About Need-Based Scholarships

Who can apply for scholarships?

Any family may apply. Determining your family’s contribution toward your child’s education at Idyllwild Arts Academy is complex, and many factors are taken into consideration. Income is only one component used in the process of determining scholarship awards. If you think you will need some assistance in paying for your child’s education at the Academy, don’t hesitate to apply for a scholarship.

What does the scholarship award cover?

The scholarship award is applied toward tuition, room, and board. Additional fees (private lessons, department fees, incidental account, books, spending money) are not covered by the scholarship award.

When should we apply?

Since a decision on your request for a scholarship cannot be made until all the required documents are received, it is important to begin the process early and to complete it by the stated deadlines.

How does the Scholarship Committee determine if we qualify for scholarships?

The Scholarship Committee uses four criteria to determine if a family qualifies for scholarships and the amount of that aid. The first criterion is family need, indicated by the summary sent to the Academy Admission Office by FAST. We use this summary to determine your initial qualification. Your statement of need, also known as the Parent Letter, is also reviewed to obtain further information regarding your family’s financial situation. (For international families, information is obtained through your bank statements, monthly income, and documentation of property value that you include in FAST.) The second criterion is the artistic ability of the student, determined by the admission audition and letters of recommendation. The third criterion is the artistic need of the school. In an arts school, there are certain artistic requirements that must be fulfilled in order to meet the needs of the individual arts departments. The fourth criterion is the academic standing of the student based on transcripts and letters of recommendation. These needs are taken into consideration in determining the scholarship amount a family may be awarded.

When will we be notified of the Scholarship Committee’s decision?

Families who have completed the student admission application and FAST will be notified about an award amount if and when they are sent an acceptance email and contract.

Does the Scholarship Committee consider special circumstances when making a decision?

The Committee will consider special circumstances as long as a request is made in writing and the circumstances are well documented. Requests and documentation must be on file before the Committee makes a decision.

Is the scholarship award a loan?

No. The scholarship award is not a loan and does not need to be repaid.

Is there an in-house payment plan available for the remaining balance of tuition and fees?

Yes. When a family receives an acceptance they will have payment plan options to select from on their contract.

Is the admission decision affected by our request for scholarships?

No. The Admission Committee does not know which students are applying for scholarships. Your scholarship information is kept confidential and is reviewed only by the Scholarship Committee.

If we receive scholarships this year, will we automatically receive scholarships next year?

It is the philosophy of the Idyllwild Arts Academy to continue scholarship support for returning students who qualify. The criteria for qualification include family need and the continued academic, artistic, and social growth of the student.

2023-2024 Cost of Attendance:

In-State Boarding Tuition: $63,690 (Must show proof of California residency for the past 2 years)
Domestic Boarding: $73,700
International Boarding: $76,450
Domestic Day Tuition: $33,000

Spring 2024 Semester Tuition:

Domestic Boarding: $38,500
International Boarding: $42,900
Domestic Day: $20,900
International Day: $26,400

Financial Supplement 2023-2024

Apply for need-based scholarships:

Tuition Insurance

Idyllwild Arts Academy is pleased to participate in Protect My Tuition, an insurance program designed to protect the investment you make in your child’s education.

Protect My Tuition

For more information

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) or contact the Admission and Scholarship Office at:
Tara Dutton Sechrest
951.659.2171 ext. 2345

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