The Price of Attending Universities with AMTA-Approved Undergraduate Music Therapy Degree Programs




music therapy, higher education, student loan debt, Pell Grant, tuition and fees


The purpose of this study was to analyze tuition, student loan, and Pell Grant data from universities with AMTA-approved undergraduate music therapy degree programs. Data from the College Insight Tool was used to collect data on average tuition and fees, average loan debt of graduates, percentage of graduates with debt, and percentage of students who received a Pell Grant from four-year institutions offering an undergraduate music therapy degree during the 2016-2017 academic year. Results indicated that tuition and fees were slightly higher at public universities and slightly lower at private institutions than national averages. The data also suggested that students who attended schools with music therapy programs were more likely to have student loan debt. Percentages of Pell Grant recipients were similar to national averages, indicating similar representation of low- to middle-income students. Regional data suggested that the Southeast region was the least expensive area of the country for tuition and fees, and among the lowest for student loan debt. The inverse was found for schools in the Great Lakes region where student loan debt was among the highest. More research is needed to better understand the implications of student loan debt on the education, long-term financial security, and career choice for professional music therapists.


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How to Cite

Iwamasa, D., & Thorn, A. C. (2022). The Price of Attending Universities with AMTA-Approved Undergraduate Music Therapy Degree Programs. Dialogues in Music Therapy Education, 2(1), 1–27.