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Importance of grades in high school for BFA programs?

cgn626cgn626 11 replies3 threads New Member
Wondering how important and how high grades need to be for academic acceptance into BFA programs such as Michigan or NYU? My son has about a 3.7 GPA but I have been told he would have to have a 4.0 to even be considered for programs like that? Is that true? Wondering what other BFA schools weigh grades so heavily?
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Replies to: Importance of grades in high school for BFA programs?

  • CaMom13CaMom13 1891 replies13 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    Hey @cgn626 - so imo schools fall into one of 3 broad categories - Grades/Scores not important, Grades/scores considered and Grades/scores important. For BFAs the last group is small. The first group contains most of the strict conservatories and some of the university based conservatories like CMU - it's really all about your audition, talent, background and application. The second group is most of the rest of the universities with conservatory type programs - the audition/application matters most but they'd like you to have GPA/scores that keep you in the ballpark for the school. But each school's "ballpark" range is different. Michigan and I think Penn State put it out on their websites what's expected - fall below those limits and they won't consider you. But the standards really aren't that high, the GPA for U-Mich Drama was way below what's usually required for admission to their other schools... it's still mostly about the audition/talent/training. The third group is one where your GPA and scores will actually make a big difference in your chance of admission. That's most of the auditioned BA programs, all of the non-audition programs and NYU. BU kind of falls in between groups 2 and 3 because your GPA matters but they tell you not to submit your scores if they are under the average scores for BU admitted students.

    I'm sure people can chime in and tell you that certain schools that I've described in group 3 actually belong in group 2 - or vice versa - so take the above with a grain of salt - the schools will tell you plainly if grades matter.

    I can tell you that my daughter had a 3.7 unweighted GPA and good test scores. She was accepted to most of the BA Drama programs she applied to and to NYU-Tisch as a BFA in their MT program. She was not accepted to Michigan or BU but we're quite sure it wasn't because of her grades! :) And boys have it a little easier than girls with MT applications. I would not let that 3.7 stop your son from applying ANYWHERE for a BFA. If he has the talent and can nail his audition, his GPA won't eliminate him from any BFA programs I know of and only a few will even look at his SAT/ACT. That said - have him try hard to get a good test standardized score, it can only help and having a good BA backup school is important.
    edited July 2018
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  • cgn626cgn626 11 replies3 threads New Member
    This is SO helpful!!! Thanks so much!!!
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  • EmsDadEmsDad 1510 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    edited July 2018
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  • cgn626cgn626 11 replies3 threads New Member
    Thank you for sharing those posts. I tried searching the subject and didn’t find them - I am relatively new to CC and don’t find the site that easy to navigate.
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  • uskoolfishuskoolfish 2906 replies50 threads Senior Member
    3.7 is fine for NYU as long as ACT/ SAT scores are ok (25th percentile for accepted students will do the trick.)
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 threads Senior Member
    Is the 3.7weighted or unweighted? That may be a determining factor.
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  • cgn626cgn626 11 replies3 threads New Member
    It’s unweighted - he is so busy outside of school with theatre stuff so he isn’t in honors classes - but he goes to a very rigorous high school and it doesn’t have “tracks” - the school doesn’t have AP classes for humanities and math and science are not his strengths
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  • speezagmomspeezagmom 377 replies1 threads Member
    I don't think you'll have trouble with acceptances at a 3.7. My S was wait listed to NYU with a GPA lower than that and academically accepted at every program that gave those results out separately from artistic. (He didn't apply to Ivyies so that might be different) Of course, as you'll read other places, the higher your GPA and Test Scores, the better your merit package will be. S had high test scores with his mediocre GPA and received nice merit at almost every school.
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  • beachymombeachymom 239 replies44 threads Junior Member
    The only school that we encountered with specific cutoffs within the subscores for ACT was FSU. Michele Diamonti is very transparent and willing to discuss grades and scores so that you enter the process eyes wide open. My son did not audition for NYU or Michigan, although we attempted a Hail Mary on his UMich prescreen - that one is a bit of a bear and we weren't able to complete it satisfactorily. Takeaway is to give Michigan due diligence and plenty of time to submit. Some schools, such as BW, superscore your ACT and that made for a nice academic scholarship for my son. Hope this helps!
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