Playing the big brass can pay big bucks for college. Many scholarships are available for students who play the tuba, either paying for part of their education or funding it in full. Some scholarships require that recipients are music majors, while others require that students participate in a school's marching band or other music group. In most cases, students must audition in person or send an audition tape.

Eastern Regional Schools

Many schools offer their own scholarships for tuba players. In the eastern United States, Pennsylvania State University offers the Andrew Ward Loftus Scholarship for students who play tuba, trombone or euphonium and are in their third or fourth year of study at the school. Students must be enrolled in the School of Music, and must be working toward a BME degree in Instrumental Music Education. They must have a minimum GPA of 3.2. The University of Florida offers the William R. Booth Tuba Scholarship for Gator Marching Band, which provides full tuition for four years to an incoming freshman. Those who win the scholarship must also play in the school's marching band.

Western Regional Schools

Students who wish to study in the western part of the country can find scholarships at a number of schools. The University of Arizona offers scholarships for students who play tuba or euphonium. The scholarships are awarded annually to students who are admitted or already enrolled, and an audition is required. Students must be in good academic standing, but a minimum GPA is not set. The scholarships range from $500 per year to full tuition, and can be renewed annually. The University of Texas offers two scholarships for tuba players: the Everett M. Gilmore Orchestra Tuba Scholarship and the Everett Gilmore Miraphone Tuba Scholarship. The latter provides a $1,000 award to students in the College of Music, and the former offers a variable award.

Competition Awards

Some competitions award scholarships to winners. The International Tuba and Euphonium Association's annual competition provides prizes of up to $2,000 for tuba players, in addition to a $400 scholarship. The competition includes categories for artist and student tuba players, as well as those playing in a band. The South Central Regional Tuba and Euphonium Conference provides prizes of up to $500 in addition to small scholarship awards. To enter, students must be registered members of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association and must be no older than 20. Competition awards are not typically enough to pay for a full education, but can help supplement the cost.

Organization Awards

The Oregon Tuba Association provides the annual James T. Newell Scholarship for low brass musicians enrolled at the University of Oregon. The award varies. The Blackwood Theatre Organ Society offers several scholarships to student musicians, including tuba players. Students must have a recommendation and reference letter to apply, and must write an essay. Criteria include musical ability, financial need and academic performance. Awards vary by year and can be as high as $5,000. After applications are reviewed, select students will be asked to audition and attend a personal interview.