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Do Essays Matter?

jacobhendricksonjacobhendrickson 5 replies10 threads Junior Member
Okay, now I know this question is rudimentary and can be answered quickly. Of course they matter! And I know that. But while going through this process, I’ve realized that I am applying to 16 schools and I have about 23 essays to write. I’ve written around 8, but on top of school work, that’s just a lot of work! And I want to know how much they play into admission.
Basically, my question how much are they weighted in decisions? If you have a really great audition at a school you wrote a mediocre essay for, will they reject you for your essay? Similarly, if you had a mediocre audition at a place you wrote a great essay for, will your essay give you a slight advantage in your admission process? Do essays for schools like USC, Michigan, and Boston (academically competitive schools) matter more than essays for schools like Carnegie Mellon, CCM, and Baldwin Wallace? (Conservatories/Less focused on academics) Please let me know your thoughts on this!
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Replies to: Do Essays Matter?

  • rickle1rickle1 2048 replies17 threads Senior Member
    It's really mostly about the audition with most of the schools. Michigan may be an outlier. NYU is. But even at Carnegie Mellon it's mostly about the audition. Now if they have two equally talented kids, I'm sure they pick the one with better grades, test scores and essays. I'm sure as long as your academic record is at least OK in their eyes. you'll be fine form that standpoint. Some of them don't even require essays.
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  • mindatworkmindatwork 142 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited October 6
    Obviously, none of us know what really makes the difference but I feel reasonably sure that my son's essay helped with his admission to several non-BFA programs he applied to and I suspect it helped him come off the wait list at Boston University. (He ultimately decided to attend the school to which he'd already committed.) I don't think an excellent essay would overcome a mediocre audition but as @rickle1 said, it probably helps break the tie between equally talented, academically qualified kids.
    edited October 6
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  • lojosmolojosmo 703 replies10 threads Member
    I was told by the then-chair of the MT department at Michigan that if there are two applicants that are equal in their talent assesment they go to the essays to make their decision.
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  • CharacterShoesCharacterShoes 30 replies0 threads Junior Member
    When D auditioned for Michigan last year, they asked her questions directly from her artistic supplemental essay, which they had in front of them with her headshot. UNCSA also read her essay while she was in the audition room, and asked her questions about it. Kaitlin Hopkins (Texas State) has stated that they read an applicants supplemental essay immediately before viewing their prescreen. Those are just the ones I remember offhand. I know the essays came up in the audition room at a few more schools. I have no idea how much it matters, but I think when your essay is brought into your audition like that it does become part of the overall impression they take away of you/your audition.
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