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BFA TRANSFER - Please share your experiences!!

Zdunc108Zdunc108 20 replies4 threads Junior Member
Okay, so here’s the deal - as truncated as possible. I auditioned and did the whole nine yards Senior year and was accepted into two very good MT programs (NYU and Rider) and could not afford them in the slightest. I have no financial support from my parents.

I instead went to a BA theatre program, at a school with a top BFA program I might add, where I am receiving excellent training in the areas of voice and dance but a significant lack of training in acting. I was cast in both Mainstage musicals as a freshman with all the BFA’s (one ensemble and one strong supporting role) and feel very involved. I am actually receiving the same exact voice and dance training as the students in the BFA program, including music theory and aural skills. I also have prior piano experience. But I know that in the real world the acting training is so important and I cannot just glaze over it.

I am looking to find a BFA program that I can afford (my high school and college grades are quite literally perfect if that helps) that I might be able to transfer into. It doesn’t need to be a top program by any means, but I am looking for a school that can nurture all three areas of performing. I am willing to start over for four more years, but again, it is all dependent upon price.

I may be able to get recommendations from professors who like me at my university (which again is a very highly renowned program) and my resume with decent college credits and professional summer stock can’t hurt either.

Please - any advice on what you would do or recommended schools would be SO appreciated!
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Replies to: BFA TRANSFER - Please share your experiences!!

  • CMB625CMB625 300 replies7 threads Member
    If you feel you are getting top training in voice and dance, can you supplement the acting in the summer with programs at other colleges or professional theatres? If you are in a large city, there is also the possibility of taking masters classes during the school year?
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  • KatMTKatMT 4154 replies71 threadsCollege Rep Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    What is affordable to you if you are able to graduate in 3 more years? What about 4 more years?

    Is auditioning to transfer to the BFA at your current school an option? If you were in the BFA program would you have access to more acting training at your school? Would you be able to graduate in 3 more years?

    You say you have no financial support from your family. How are you paying for your current school, school scholarships, savings, outside scholarships, work earnings, etc...?

    Do you plan to return to your current school in the fall as a sophomore, or take a gap year?

    I am asking these questions not to pry, but so we can make more substantial suggestions with more information.



    edited July 2018
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  • Zdunc108Zdunc108 20 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I am planning on going back to my BA program in the fall. After sophomore year, I will be about $20,000 of debt if that gives you a fair gauge. I am paying right now solely on merit scholarships and loans. My school has a poor history with people trying to transfer internally into the MT program. It’s basically not an option.

    I’m trying to figure what would be the best path for me to take from here on. Not sure if I am fully satisfied with where I am at right now.

    And there are not really opportunities for additional acting education outside of my university. During the summer, I absolutely need to be working (although I am working doing theatre).
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 1909 replies13 threads Senior Member
    From what I know if you transfer into most BFA programs you'll be starting as a freshman or sophomore in terms of degree progression. Because of your two years of college you'll have lots of "credits" to transfer but the BFA curricula I have seen have a year by year progression and you can't take just the courses you are missing. If finances are an issue and your current program gives you dance and voice at an affordable price you're getting *almost* what you want without putting yourself behind the 8-ball financially. Transferring would in all likelihood mean substantial extra debt and a 1-2 year delay in getting out of school. I would stay the course with the BA and plan on taking acting courses at a professional studio once you are out in the working world.
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  • MonkeiiboyMonkeiiboy 56 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I would HEAVILY recommend University of Arizona!! I know that people internally transfer into their BFA (Acting and MT) and they also take external transfers, and I believe you’re able to start as a sophomore there, depending on credits taken at other schools. Plus, given they are a state school to begin with it’s already cheaper than most options, and their merit scholarships, at least from what I’ve heard and read, are fantastic! I have a friend who could’ve gone for less than $20,000 and supposedly than legend is that there’s a guy going there rn for $8,000. It’s a strong triple threat training program (no cut, unlike what CC says) with great resources of a major American university. I’d REALLY recommend it!
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  • KatMTKatMT 4154 replies71 threadsCollege Rep Senior Member
    Merit scholarships are very difficult for transfer students to obtain. Your HS grades and scores will not help you earn academic merit as a transfer student. A great number of schools have no merit aid for transfer students.

    If at the end of sophomore year you will be $20,000 in debt did you qualify for additional federal aid or state aid beyond the $5500 you can take as a freshman and $6500 as a sophomore? Do you have private loans that someone co-signed for you? At your current school it sounds like you are already on track to be $40,000 in debt when you graduate. That is already more than the recommended federal limit.

    It sounds like you are getting at least some training and performing experience at your current school, and that you are being paid to work in theatre this summer. Those are all great things!

    Unless transferring to a school that will require you to take on less debt than you currently are on track to take, you are likely better off staying where you are, and supplementing acting training when you can afford it. An acting coach, acting classes at a studio, or an acting intensive are all less expensive than transferring to a school which will cost you more than what you are paying now, and likely require you to be in school for more than 4 years.

    I suggest looking at any school that you may want to audition to transfer to by assessing the costs to graduate.

    For example, I teach in an auditioned BA MT program at a state school that accepts transfer students. Out of state tuition, room, board, and fees is approximately $38,600. Transfer students can live off campus and do not have to have a meal plan, so in that case direct billable costs for an out of state student would be $28,000 (of course a student would still need a place to live and food, but likely could find it for less than on campus). Transfer students can generally complete the program in 3 years, but 2 years is unlikely because of course sequencing, and requirements. Federal aid that you currently have would likely be the same. We do not currently have merit scholarships for incoming transfer students. Also remember that there are costs to applying and auditioning.

    If a school would cost you less than you are paying now it could be worth applying to transfer. If it would cost you more it may not be worth your time to apply and audition.

    As an artist it is helpful to minimize debt as much as possible. Those who have graduated with degrees in the arts with high debt are often not able to pursue the kinds of experiences in the arts that can help build a career, and may end up switching to something else more lucrative in order to be able to pay off debt.

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  • KTVoiceKTVoice 194 replies3 threads Junior Member
    You might want to check into Missouri State which has a 3 year bfa program. And often gives scholarships for the out of state tuition. The instate is reasonable.

    Also Western Carolina, I don't know about transferring, but the tuition has recently been reduced and it is very inexpensive.
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  • AlexaMTAlexaMT 621 replies27 threads Member
    I would look into Coastal Carolina. Depending on where you are, there's the opportunity for instate tuition and even out of state can make the program somewhat affordable (much more than NYU or Rider at least) with scholarships! We accept transfers fairly often, some start over and some do not depending on credits and what not. Incredibly strong acting training alongside voice and dance. PM me if you have any other questions!
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  • amt2016amt2016 10 replies0 threads New Member
    Western Carolina does take transfer students. My D attends there and knows several students who transferred from other schools. With the NC Promise program that started this year, tuition and fees for an out of state student are very reasonable. The new rates are posted on their website.
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