Published: Feb. 2, 2021 By

Jessica QuahIt’s no secret that a university education is one of the strongest indicators of a person’s career prospects and earning potential, but it’s also no secret that paying full tuition is financially impossible for many deserving students and their families. 

Indeed, on average, 75% of students at the college receive scholarships or financial aid. Recognizing this ongoing need, the College of Music new Silver and Gold Scholarship Program supports students from all backgrounds in their academic pursuits. 

Jessica Quah, a PhD candidate at the College of Music, reflects on how scholarships have shaped and defined her academic experience: “I was fortunate to receive a full tuition-and-board scholarship for my undergrad studies, which enabled me to come to the United States and eventually make my way to CU Boulder. Without that generosity, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Quah, originally from Malaysia, was drawn to the University of Colorado Boulder for its distinguished musicology program, and the opportunity to pursue her interest in both ethnomusicology and historical musicology, although she began her career in piano performance. 

“It’s such a privilege to be able to work with the professors here,” she adds. “I also find that I’m always learning from my classmates and that CU Boulder really encourages a high academic standard while keeping an open-minded, welcoming environment.” 

Ingrid AndersonIngrid Anderson, current president of the undergraduate music student government, also appreciates CU Boulder's scholarship support and academic rigor. A double major in violin performance and neuroscience, she plans to apply to medical school and believes that her studies in music will help her succeed in the medical field.

“Music requires not only a high degree of inner drive and discipline, but also the ability to work in groups like an orchestra to create something bigger than yourself,” Anderson explains. “It strikes me that people working in the medical field also need these qualities to succeed.”

Pursuing a double major in such disparate fields isn’t possible at many schools, but Anderson says her teachers in both disciplines have been very supportive. 

“I came in as a violin performance major, but soon found that I wanted to explore my interests in the sciences, as well,” she says. “My scholarship has given me the opportunity to figure out what I want to do and go for it, even if what I end up doing professionally isn’t what I originally came here to do.”

Anderson and Quah represent many extraordinary students who benefit from CU Boulder scholarships. It's in this spirit that the Silver and Gold Scholarship Program aims to promote equity by helping diverse student musicians follow their dreams and realize a world-class musical education at the College of Music.