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Community colleges to keep debt low, understanding the basics

DoinResearchDoinResearch Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
Hi All,
I've posted this in the "transfer student" discussion, but also thought some parents may have knowledge of this process as a debt management approach. Son is a raising senior, 3.62 GPA, talented actor.
Son is interested in theater, and there are a couple of BA theater programs in commuting distance. There is also a community college in driving distance. Actor son and I are discussing the concept of a BA vs BFA, so that 2 years at community college could be paid without tapping into smallish (16 K) 529 plan. Then son transfers to 4 year and finishes 5 semesters with all the theater classes and a few other requirements. We're working the numbers right now, and this is the best scenario for the lowest debt. However, what is the best method to ensure that classes taken at community college will actually transfer to 4 year? Son most likely will apply (and audition) at these 4 year schoolsin addition to CC, we just know from net price calculator that 4 years at these schools is more debt than we can swing for 4 years, but 2 years may be OK. Do we work up front with these 4 years schools? We're new to the transfer community college idea, and realize each school is different, but not sure how up front to be with 4 year schools?

Replies to: Community colleges to keep debt low, understanding the basics

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 15,037 Senior Member
    Many states have articulation agreements between the community colleges and the 4 year schools. Start there and if there is such an agreement, it should be pretty clear which classes transfer and how they transfer.

    My daughter's 4 year school has a program on its webpage where you can put in a class taken at another school and it will show how it will transfer. The lower level classes are pretty easy to see, but if an upper division class is very specific it might require a review by the department.

    Theater classes might be tricky. He should save all the syllabi from the courses so if there is any question about what was covered, the theater department at the 4 year school can review the material.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 17,048 Senior Member
    This is no secret. More and more undergraduates I know took this path over the years as the higher education cost is getting higher and higher. Nevertheless, for high achieving students, it may still better off looking for good merit aids at a 4 year university.
  • DoinResearchDoinResearch Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    edited June 2017
    Thanks @twoinanddone, I should specify that the 2 years at CC would be the liberal arts courses only, and all classes for the theater major at the 4 year school, and we will search for a program to aid in a "transfer plan" for courses. The 4 year school has a theater course "template" on its website to show the 5 semesters of theater major, assuming 60 credits of liberal arts is taken before the transfer. @billcsho We will still "give it a shot" at the 4 year schools. Our state is a mess, therefore, our in state schools are suffering. I doubt the SAT score and 3.62 will produce enough merit to make things financially viable, and talent aid is usually small, however, you never know until you try. Coming up with a financial safety has been difficult.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,794 Senior Member
    Is there a theater department at the CC? Happykid was a theater tech major at her CC then transfered to a state U where she graduated with a BA in theater tech/design. A number of her courses transferred in to the major and replaced courses there.

    If the CC doesn't offer the major, how hard will it be for your son to find opportunities to keep performing?
  • DoinResearchDoinResearch Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    @happymomof1 There isn't a theater major at CC, but they do have plays and courses. He could audition for CC plays, or there's local theater. It will be really hard to not have the carrot of theater classes...we're just trying to create the cheapest plan possible while still receiving good training. Son is really concerned about debt as an actor (as he should be). We're visiting local a 4 year school this week. I'm glad to hear that your theater kid's classes transferred. Initially my son wanted BFA, but most of the BFA take in everyone at freshman level, and don't allow transfers. We're just now entertaining the BA as a money saving approach for the financial safety. A concern I have is that his high school is such has such a high caliber of theater, we visit the CC in July. We'll have to go to a play this fall.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,683 Senior Member
    merit to make things financially viable, and talent aid is usually small, however, you never know until you try. Coming up with a financial safety has been difficult.

    What are his test scores?

    There are full tuition talent scholarships at some univs for talented performers. Your son would have to audition. Look into those. Is he interested in MT at all?

  • DoinResearchDoinResearch Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    Thanks @mom2collegekids I have found a few schools that offer a spot with talent scholarships, but its such a long shot and in many cases those programs haven't been in our top 20 list. GPA last 2 semesters are good, 4.0, 3.95 but cumlative GPA 3.62 (really rough freshman year, and then he discovered theater and was changed man) so grades are trending up, 3-4 honors courses and 1 AP, and SAT is 1050, waiting for the results of the 2nd test. Son is a poor test taker, feels very strongly that standardized test don't reflect who he is as a person. He's very passionate against standardized tests, and needs to be in an environment that's OK with that concept. Imagine trying to convince a young Sean Penn that his SAT matter. He'll kill any audition, so there's no concern there, other than there's so much talent out there it's a metter of what the school needs. Straight acting, not MT, although he's been cast in MT in high school. I have a spreadsheet where I'm trying to gather information on talent scholarships, and based on the time I've spent in the Theater section of this forum, I know how you just have to wait to see where the chips fall with talent. If they need your "type", etc. Also thinking about a growth year.
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