Paying for Music School: Ideas for Cutting Costs

It’s important to find out the cost of attendance at every school you plan to apply to without limiting yourself to the numbers right off the bat. There’s still time to consider scholarships, merit awards, FAFSA, part-time jobs, loans, and miracles!

Calculate your cost of attendance to music schoolStart by identifying the costs associated with the following:

tuition; housing and food; fees; books (and music); health insurance (if you plan to purchase it through the school); travel; storage (if you will be going to school out of state); and other expenses.

As a music student, be sure to find out about any additional costs for individual instruction; instrument upkeep; instrument rental and storage; instrument insurance; travel connected to any bands, ensembles or other music groups you may be part of; and performance attire.

Scholarships and Other Aid

Remember to ask the schools you are applying to about academic and talent scholarships; scholarships for the particular area of music you’re interested in studying; and financial aid specifically for music majors. Find out if you are automatically considered for scholarships by the school when you apply.

Also look for scholarship leads through:

  • Foundations
  • Parents’ places of employment
  • Community groups/businesses/organizations: banks/credit unions, Lions/Rotary Clubs, etc.
  • Religious and ethnic groups you’re connected with
  • Company-based scholarships for specific fields of study
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • High school bulletin boards and counselors’ offices

Links & Resources

Stay away from scholarship opportunities you have to pay for – there are a lot of scams out there!


  1. Jacob

    I’m looking for a music school that will take music students without knowledge at this point of music theory. Voice major

    • We encourage you to read the music theory articles on Students who go to music school without any background in music theory can easily get lost – it’s kind of like learning a foreign language. Having some background in it before you enter music school could help you get in and keep up with the demands of music theory. You’ll have to take several levels of it as a music major. Many summer programs include music theory, so if you’re a junior or younger, look at our Summer Music Camps & Programs page. There are some good music theory programs and apps as well; whether they would work for you is something you’d have to find out.

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