2021 Best Value Colleges for Music

140 Colleges
15,747 Bachelor's Degrees
$23,403 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Music School for You

Best Value Colleges for MusicMusic is the #34 most popular major in the country with 15,747 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019.

This year's Best Value Colleges for Music ranking analyzed 140 colleges that offered a bachelor's degree in music. To us, 'best value' doesn't just mean the school with the lowest overall costs. We are more focused on music schools that offer a high quality education at a price lower that other schools of similar academic excellence.

To determine the average cost, we look at total expenses - such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses - and then subtract the average financial award a student receives. Knowing this amount can help you determine how much you may have to borrow in loans or take out of savings. Depending on your income and other factors, the cost for you to attend a particular school may be more or less.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The music school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Value Music Schools.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Best Value Music Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for the money for music majors.

Top 15% Best Value Music Schools

#1

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Our rankings recognize Texas Tech University as the #1 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public school with a very large student population. Texas Tech also took the #6 spot in our Best Colleges for Music rankings.

At Texas Tech, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $23,296. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Texas Tech is $105,298. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

On average, music graduates from Texas Tech take out $26,580 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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#2

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University landed the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value music schools. Florida State is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Tallahassee. On top of its placing in our value rankings, Florida State also did well on our Best Colleges for Music list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Florida State is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $27,233. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Florida State is about $115,196. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

On average, music graduates from Florida State take out $20,622 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $236.

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North Dakota State University - Main Campus comes in at #3 in this year's ranking. North Dakota State University is a fairly large public school located in the city of Fargo. In addition to its great value ranking, North Dakota State University is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Music list.

It takes the average student at North Dakota State University about 4.5 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $21,224. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the North Dakota State University is $96,145. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

While working on their bachelor's, music majors at North Dakota State University accumulate an average of around $24,369 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $279.

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Our rankings recognize Brigham Young University - Provo as the #4 school in this year's rankings. Located in the medium-sized city of Provo, BYU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

It takes about 5.2 years for the average student at BYU to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $12,239. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from BYU is about $64,132. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

On average, music graduates from BYU take out $17,278 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.

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#5

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of Houston, U of H is a public college with a very large student population. U of H also made our Best Colleges for Music list, coming in at #1.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at U of H to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $25,217. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the U of H is $116,503. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from U of H carry an average student debtload of $25,424. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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The #6 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of North Carolina at Greensboro. UNC Greensboro is a fairly large public school located in the city of Greensboro.

At UNC Greensboro, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $22,093. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UNC Greensboro is about $98,756. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at UNC Greensboro take out while working on their bachelor's is $23,539. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $259.

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Our rankings recognize University of North Texas as the #7 school in this year's rankings. UNT is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Denton. UNT excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Music list.

It takes the average student at UNT about 4.5 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $24,179. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UNT is $109,773. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Music majors at UNT take out an average of $23,581 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $270.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley landed the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value music schools. Located in the city of Edinburg, UT Rio Grande Valley is a public college with a fairly large student population.

At UT Rio Grande Valley, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $20,010. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UT Rio Grande Valley is $94,247. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from UT Rio Grande Valley carry an average student debtload of $15,804. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $163.

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#9

Luther College

Decorah, IA

Our rankings recognize Luther College as the #9 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Decorah, Luther is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. In addition to its great value ranking, Luther is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Music list.

The average student at Luther graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $29,834. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Luther is $122,319. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from Luther carry an average student debtload of $25,124. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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Our rankings recognize Illinois State University as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Illinois State is a very large public school located in the midsize suburb of Normal. Illinois State also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Music list. It's in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Illinois State to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $24,958. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State be around $108,817. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at Illinois State take out while working on their bachelor's is $21,575. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $239.

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#11

Oklahoma City University

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City University comes in at #11 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Oklahoma City, OCU is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

At OCU, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $27,356. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from OCU is about $114,895. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from OCU carry an average student debtload of $24,805. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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Grand Valley State University landed the #12 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value music schools. Located in the large suburb of Allendale, GVSU is a public college with a very large student population.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at GVSU to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $23,233. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the GVSU is $105,245. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

While working on their bachelor's, music majors at GVSU accumulate an average of around $27,139 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $285.

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University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire earned the #13 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of Eau Claire, UW - Eau Claire is a public college with a fairly large student population.

It takes the average student at UW - Eau Claire about 4.5 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $22,070. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UW - Eau Claire is $99,536. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at UW - Eau Claire take out while working on their bachelor's is $20,865. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $246.

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#14

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, TX

Sam Houston State University earned the #14 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the town of Huntsville, SHSU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average student at SHSU graduates in less than 4.5 years, and it costs about $22,492 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from SHSU is $101,889. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at SHSU take out while working on their bachelor's is $23,311. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $220.

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Our rankings recognize Stephen F Austin State University as the #15 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Nacogdoches, SFASU is a public school with a large student population.

The average student at SFASU graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,360. This means that the average student pays around $99,278 to get a bachelor’s degree from SFASU. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at SFASU take out while working on their bachelor's is $24,790. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $252.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio earned the #16 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of San Antonio, UTSA is a public college with a very large student population.

At UTSA, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $20,313. This means that the average student pays around $95,471 to get a bachelor’s degree from UTSA. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

On average, music graduates from UTSA take out $30,487 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $322.

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#17

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC

The #17 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Western Carolina University. Located in the town of Cullowhee, WCU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at WCU is 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $15,387. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from WCU is about $67,549. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

On average, music graduates from WCU take out $25,527 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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The #18 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. UW - Whitewater is a large public school located in the town of Whitewater.

At UW - Whitewater, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,164. This means that the average student pays around $91,343 to get a bachelor’s degree from UW - Whitewater. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from UW - Whitewater carry an average student debtload of $27,951. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $322.

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West Chester University of Pennsylvania earned the #19 spot in our 2021 rankings. WCUPA is a large public school located in the suburb of West Chester. On top of its placing in our value rankings, WCUPA also did well on our Best Colleges for Music list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at WCUPA is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $29,874. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from WCUPA is $130,549. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

After completing their bachelor's degree, music graduates from WCUPA carry an average student debtload of $24,978. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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Our rankings recognize Western Illinois University as the #20 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Macomb, WIU is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

At WIU, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $17,615. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from WIU is $78,211. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Music majors at WIU take out an average of $25,873 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $275.

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#21

Ball State University

Muncie, IN

Ball State University comes in at #21 in this year's ranking. Located in the small city of Muncie, Ball State is a public school with a very large student population.

It takes the average student at Ball State about 4.3 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $26,050. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Ball State is $111,494. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The average amount in student loans that music majors at Ball State take out while working on their bachelor's is $22,643. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $251, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Value Colleges for Music award.

Rank College Location
22 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
23 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
24 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
25 University of Georgia Athens, GA
26 Lawrence University Appleton, WI
27 St Olaf College Northfield, MN
28 Lebanon Valley College Annville, PA

Music by Region

View the Best Value Colleges for Music for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 9 majors within the Visual & Performing Arts area of study, Music has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 25,815
Design & Applied Arts 19,137
Drama & Theater Arts 12,791
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 11,308
General Visual & Performing Arts 3,315

View All Music Related Majors >

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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