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Financial aid,
partner programs, scholarships
& regular discounts

The Southern Minnesota School of Music partners with various organizations to open the access to music lessons to more families in our area. Read about your options on this page. 

Questions? Contact

Ongoing SMSM Discounts

We offer discounts to students and student families to help offset the cost of music lessons. We will check your registration to see if you are eligible for one of these three discounts and if you are, we will apply at time of invoicing. 

  • Pay your student's tuition in full for both semesters to receive a 10% discount from your total bill.

  • If you have  3+ registrations in your family, you will receive a 20% discount from your total bill each month. 

  • One time referral discount of $50 off your next invoice for every student you refer!

SMSM Financial Aid

SMSM uses WIC, SNAP and Energy Assist verification to screen for eligibility for financial aid. Simply scan or snap a picture of your verification form and send to to receive financial aid.  If you do not qualify for any of these programs but special circumstances make it impossible for you to continue lessons without aid, you may still reach out to the Director to request further consideration.

Director email:

1st SMSM financial aid partner:

Minnesota After School Advance

***Program currently suspended as they work to implement a new increased eligibility threshold limit of $70,000 for families. Additionally, families with students enrolled in their local music program through the school district will be eligible for up to $1,000/student toward the purchase of an instrument IN ADDITION to $1,000 toward after school music lessons! Link to apply will be opened next year. Stay tuned for more information moving forward!


Minnesota Afterschool Advance (MAA) helps Minnesota families who meet income requirements use the powerful but underutilized Minnesota K-12 Education Tax Credit to help them pay for educational afterschool programs like tutoring, music lessons, and art classes.

MAA pays 75% of the eligible education expenses for activities, up to $1,000 per child in grades K-12.  For example, if an activity costs $200, we’ll pay $150, and you pay only $50!

Visit their website for more information and to apply as soon as they are back in service again!

2nd SMSM Financial Aid Partner:

Connecting Kids

The mission of Connecting Kids is to support the healthy development of children and youth in the Greater Mankato Area United Way service area through engagement in organized out-of-school time Youth Development and Youth Enrichment opportunities.

Connecting Kids is an organization funded by the Greater Mankato Area United Way and generous donations from other local organizations and foundations. They work closely with community partners who offer a variety of programs to provide direct services to families of eligible children and youth so that they will have the opportunity to participate, regardless of financial barriers. 

In order to align with our mission and maintain sustainability of the program, all participants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Meet the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For the purposes of our program, we identify that as children and youth who have been approved for the following programs: WIC, SNAP, Energy Assistance, Section 8 Housing, MFIP, or if your child attends a school that offers an Application for Benefits; we can use that as approval as well. Current documentation on approval will be requested.

  2. Residency. You must reside in the service area of the Greater Mankato Area United Way (Blue Earth, Nicollet, Le Sueur, and Waseca counties).

  3. Age. Scholarships are available for students currently in grades K-12 (or entering into grades K-12). 

  4. Parent/Guardian Responsibilities. Parents/Guardians are responsible for registering their children with the organization/program provider, as well as knowing and meeting all requirements of the organization/program provider. Requirements may include: attending parent meetings, signing release forms, providing equipment and appropriate clothing (uniform) and shoes. Parents/Guardians are responsible for transporting child to and from scheduled practices, rehearsals and events. 

3rd SMSM Financial Aid Partner:

Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council

The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council is committed to supporting and expanding the arts in the nine-county area; knowing that the Arts improve the quality of life in our region. They serve a nine-county area including Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan Counties.

Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council has an online grant process. These grants are not based on income. To register, go their website,, and click on the applicant Login button. Follow the instructions to register as an artist for the Youth Scholarship and complete the application. 

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