Tuition Assistance

Increasing access to our programs is a top priority.

We are deeply committed to access and equity so all interested students can benefit from the GTCYS experience regardless of ability to pay. Tuition assistance and support for private lessons are based on demonstrated financial need using a confidential application process. We encourage all families experiencing financial hardship to apply, especially if cost is a determining factor for participation.

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Tuition assistance at a glance:

  • Tuition assistance is offered for all of GTCYS’ programs including school-year orchestras, summer programs, tours, and special activities; support for private lessons are also granted (see below).
  • Assistance is based on a sliding scale, which considers household income, number of children living at home, and special circumstances such as job loss, health crises, and unexpected expenses.
  • Qualifying families typically include:
    • Families who qualify for the Educational Benefits through their schools may typically pay 3% -10% of GTCYS tuition/fees.
    • Families who report gross adjusted incomes of $80,000 or less may typically pay 50-75% of GTCYS tuition/fees.
    • Extenuating circumstances are considered even for higher income levels, and assistance amounts may fluctuate year to year based on demand.
  • More than 120 students typically receive tuition assistance and support for private lessons each year.
  • We anticipate awarding $180,000 in tuition assistance and support for private lessons for our 2023-24 programs.
  • Families with multiple children in GTCYS may complete one application for all children.
  • Customized payment plans are available for all GTCYS families upon request.

To complete our tuition assistance application, you’ll need the following items:

  • If possible: Copy of your last year’s Federal income tax return (form 1040).
  • If applicable: Written verification from your school district of your Educational Benefits program status.
  • If applicable: Documentation that verifies unemployment
  • Statement of Financial Need: A brief letter describing your circumstances and need for tuition assistance.


Accessibility and Inclusivity at GTCYS

To provide more comprehensive support, we also provide:

  • Sponsored Lessons: GTCYS students receiving tuition assistance may apply for this program which matches students with a private teacher for weekly half-hour lessons paid by GTCYS.
  • Reduced-Price Concert Tickets: Although most GTCYS concerts are free, families receiving tuition assistance can purchase reduced-price tickets to ticketed performances.
  • Concert Attire: If purchasing concert attire is financially prohibitive, GTCYS will assist in finding necessary clothing.
  • Reduced-Price Audition Fee: A $5 option (instead of the regular $40 fee) is available on the registration form for families who need it.
  • Activity Fees: Lower priced options are available for extra GTCYS activities, such as orchestra social events, day trips, and special projects.
  • Symphony Tour Assistance: Financial assistance is available for Symphony’s biennial international tours using an application process.

From the recipient of GTCYS’ tuition assistance:

“My son had been a member of GTCYS for several years and was working his way up through the various orchestras, improving his musical ability in a dramatic fashion with each passing year. After a long career with my company, I received a pink slip from my job. At the time, I approached GTCYS for possible assistance so my son could continue. My situation was handled with great dignity and trust. Within weeks, I was notified that GTCYS would give my son tuition assistance for all but a small portion of tuition for the entire upcoming year. My son went on through GTCYS due to your help, and he graduated from Symphony. He went on to college and pursued music with a full scholarship. This never would have happened, had GTCYS not extended a helping hand in time of extreme need, with few questions asked. I have never forgotten that generosity.”

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Audition for GTCYS!

GTCYS auditions are opportunities for students to play their instruments so we can get to know them and match them with one of our ten school-year orchestras for the 2023-24 season. To audition for GTCYS, students register online, record a video, and submit an audition online.