The Principal’s Fund

The idea is simple: offer places to the most talented young musicians, then provide the financial support they need to finish their studies.

If we achieve our aim, the Academy will become the first UK conservatoire to meet every student’s full financial needs. We will change the nature of who makes music. But we can only do this with your help.

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Frequently asked questions about the Principal’s Fund

Q:  Why is a scheme like this necessary?

Home and EU undergraduate fees: £9,250/year
International student fees: £20,000+/year
Average cost to live in London: £12,000/year (including food, rent, transport, utilities)
Average debt of a UK graduate: £46,000 - £51,600 (according to Sutton Trust)

A: Students come to the Academy to receive musical training of the highest quality at one of the world’s leading conservatoires. But as the cost of living and fees rise, even the best young musicians must consider finances as they decide where to study.

Exceptional young musicians should be able to realise their dreams and study in the place of their choice – a place they know has a reputation second-to-none in preparing them for outstanding professional prospects. We believe they should be able to do this without accruing a staggering amount of debt, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We are not the only conservatoire in the UK to identify this need. But we believe we will be the first to address it head on.

Our current scholarships and bursaries can provide funding to only some of the gifted musicians who earn a place – ensuring that we lose others to conservatoires with larger financial reserves. The Principal’s Fund will offer support to every qualified student who needs it.

Q: What kind of financial support will the Fund provide?

A: The Principal’s Fund will award scholarships, based on merit, and bursaries, based on need, up to and including 100% of a student’s fees or living costs. Exceptional students may receive both. In most cases this support will continue over the duration of study.

Q: Who determines which students receive awards?

A: All students eligible for funding must complete the audition process and earn a place, competing against all other applicants. Once a student has been accepted, the Head of Department will work with the Principal and senior management team to determine whether they qualify for an award. Decisions may be based on skill, experience, discipline, recommendations or financial need.

Q: Will funding only support undergraduates?

A: Both undergraduate and postgraduate students will be eligible to receive Principal’s Fund support.

Q: What obligations does a student have once they receive funding?

A: All Principal’s Fund scholars are required to submit a yearly report on their progress and in some cases a letter thanking their donors. We collect and publish these in our annual Awards Report, which we send to all Principal’s Fund donors.