With every passing day, it feels like the costs associated with going to school go up. Every class gets more and more expensive. If you’re aiming to study music production that begs the question how do you pay for it? How do you afford to go to school to pursue your passion by learning the technical craft of making music?

Scholarships are a key way that many people gain an education. If you have a positive academic track record, good grades, or even a quantifiable skill in a specific area, and a demonstrated need, many institutions will sponsor students. This sponsorship is referred to as a scholarship.

A scholarship is where a portion or the entirety of a student’s educational costs are paid for by an external body. Some schools provide this service, there are also scholarship organizations or foundations. The great thing about scholarships, as opposed to student loans, is that scholarships are basically free money.

The studio doesn’t have to pay them back or be responsible for any amount of the funds. If you’re pursuing audio engineering or music production as a career, here are some common-sense tips for finding the scholarship funds to cover your costs.


If you’re attending a four-year university, scholarships could be offered based on your grades, test scores, or lack of a background of privilege. There are also many organizations like The Pell Grants, that allow for substantial, if sometimes small, funds to be attributed towards the cost of attending a university. There are very few directly music-related scholarships, but there are ways to find assistance money for your academic journey.


If you opt not to go to a traditional four-year university that offers an audio engineering major and has scholarship money to distribute, you’re not likely to find audio engineering scholarships from public or in-school sources. In fact, you could pay more to get that degree with those scholarships than you would to complete an externship or a mentorship program without the scholarships.

As an alternative, do some research and look for private scholarship funds to help cover your costs. There are a lot of scholarships and grants out there, and the organizations that offer them each have different criteria they use for deciding who gets the money. Look for as many of these as you can find, and apply to any/all that you might qualify for.


The Connectors is the privately funded scholarship arm of the Recording, Radio and Film Connection, and it is one of the few organizations that specializes exclusively in providing scholarship money for externship programs. If you qualify, you may be able to get the entire cost of your Recording Connection externship covered. That’s right, you could have your whole education potentially paid for, right out of the gate.


One drawback to scholarship programs is that they typically have no real relationship to the students they are funding, so the application process can feel impersonal and even random. On the other hand, someone who knows you and believes in you is far more likely to support your educational goals if they have the money available.

Don’t discount the possible support of friends and family; you might be surprised at who is willing to help you financially to pursue your audio engineering career. Finally, a bit of advice: chances are good that scholarships still won’t cover the entire cost of your education.

The good news is that there are affordable alternatives to getting an audio engineering education that won’t force you to take on huge amounts of debt. So shop around and compare costs.  It is possible to learn audio engineering in a more affordable way, and at the end of the day, you may find you don’t even need audio engineering scholarships.

This is your future we are talking about. You’re attempting to prepare yourself for a long and lucrative career. But sometimes jump-starting a career can take sacrifices or require taking some chances. If you’re saddled with tens of thousands in debt, it’s going to hold you back. That’s why it’s so important to set yourself up for success.

You need to find a way to gain the skills and abilities you need to produce interesting work, but you also need to make sure you’re able to maneuver and not be bogged down in large amounts of debt. If you can’t find scholarships for a traditional four-year university, maybe that’s not the best option for you. Maybe it makes more sense to find a lower-cost route.

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.