To be brutally honest, sorry to burst any bubbles but you are not going to find much if anything under $1000 in Manhattan. It helps if you know
someone in a building you like, then they can let you know when someone is moving out, even so rent is still exorbitant in the city. You may also
want to consider rooming with someone if you are intent on living in Manhattan. My mom lives out in Brooklyn and she is paying only $450 in rent a
month, but she has been living in the same apartment for almost 20 years and she isn't giving it up for nothing. You will definitely find cheaper
places in brooklyn and queens, keep in mind the further away from mass transportation, the cheaper the rent gets, also the worse the neighborhood, the
cheaper the rent. If you are considering Brooklyn College, I would suggest searching for place in Midwood, Prospect Park and around Coney Island
Avenue. You can hop on the bus and get to BC in no problems.
Music professions, I don't know exactly what you do but you might get work.. Music teacher might be a good option. I can't give you any real advice
on the job aspect.
First place to start your searching, is to apply for a visa, once you have the proper visa, then you will know the permanent resident requirements:
for tuition, it is around $2000 and higher per semester...and textbooks are ridiculously overpriced. You will definitely want to try for financial
aid, however I don't know how that applies to students on visas, or foreign residents.
for all City Universities of New York, including BCC and my college NYC Technical:
hope this helps in getting you started