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Fast Decision Time, HELP!

ckpckp Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
edited August 2006 in Musical Theater Major
Alright, so my roommate got cut from the theatre school at DePaul (note:this thread is not about that, please, let's not make another thread about how much people hate the cut) and she has now come around and is starting to figure out what she is going to do next year.

Um, problem is, it's the end of august, and she has come to me for a little advise, and I need to learn as much as I can in as little time as possible because orientation is in less than 2 weeks.

Stay at the regular school at DePaul and take academmic classe/ take outside improve/ audition for shows

Go to Columbia College (which she was accpeted to)

Time, time time! I am surfing through old treads but haven't found what I'm looking for. I know all about the mix of opinions on Columbia, but what I really need to know is what the classes are like. What classes do you take? How do you sign up?

Also the tuition is REALLY confusing. It says online its 16000/year, but then her aid said it would be like 36000. This is confusing! I also read that they charge more per credit, but since she has not signed up yet, this couldn't be the case.

If anyone who goes there or knows things about what I have asked, I would REALLY REALLY REALLY apreciate it. I really want her to go there because she is a great actress and could stand out and kick butt, but this is all just so frustraiting and confusing and she works two jobs and it's hard to find time.

Post edited by ckp on

Replies to: Fast Decision Time, HELP!

  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    I am sorry about what happened to your friend, ckp. But I would suggest that, in addition to coming here for information and advice, you friend use the telephone to call the admissions office at Columbia and ask them the questions you pose here. That would be a way to cut to the chase. I also am confused: did she *just* now learn she was cut, or did she find out at the end of last semester? In any case, that is all water under the bridge. The important thing is what she does now, and I would recommend either getting on the phone or going in person to the Columbia College admissions office. Once she knows more about that program, she can make an intelligent decision. Also, has she considered taking a semester off and getting more training?
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,536 Senior Member
    You are being a really great friend by trying to reach out and help this girl. I agree with NotMamaRose's advice. The questions you ask, even IF someone here may know about this school, should be asked directly at the school itself. Since your friend is busy with work, perhaps she can make phone calls and do emails on her breaks. It is not something that can wait, nor should anyone rely on information here of this importance.

    As far as what she should do for school....it depends on her goals. If she truly wants to continue with a professional degree training program, staying at DePaul doesn't make sense as she would not be doing that there. She could stay another year and get college credits and then transfer but the expense would not be worth it perhaps because she may have to start as a soph at the next school anyway. If she can do a BA program in theater at DePaul and is content with that, that's an option. Going to Columbia College may be a good thing to do if she really likes it enough to attend and isn't just going by default. She has three years to go and the "fit" is important.

    I think NMR's suggestion is along the lines of one I would also put out there is that she takes a year off and works, continues acting training, and applies to BFA programs for transfer for the following year.

    Good luck to your friend as she is in a tough situation. I won't get into my thoughts about such cut programs but to say that if a student is going to be cut, it is too bad that they find out so late in the year and not in time to transfer elsewhere. A student who is good enough to be admitted to a top school is likely good enough to have been admitted elsewhere, but now is out of school all together. I hope within a year, she is some place else pursuing her craft.

  • ckpckp Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    Thanks ladies,

    Yeah, it was 2 am and I really didn't phrase the questions right for here, because my biggest concern was the weird tuition at that time, which I know should be addressed to the school.

    If anyone has any info on the types of classes that you take (like what really happens), and any suggestions on what teachers or classes she should try that would be great, so if there is anyone out there that goe to Columbia, it would be awsome if you could help. Those are the only people that can really help...and don't worry, this thread isn't the only researching things that we are doing!

    PS she needs to stay in school for insurance reasons, and she found out about the cut when everyone did, but she took a leap of faith this year with not having a backup and it took a while this summer before she could really think about her options, which is understandable. She has obviously learned a lot in a very short period of time and she is going to do great things in her life, I'm sure of it.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,536 Senior Member
    ckp, again I applaud you for the support you are giving your friend. With friends like you, it will really help her in a tough situation and I am sure she will overcome this setback.

    I am curious, however, just so I can understand how these things work, when you mention that she didn't have a back up plan this past year, what you mean. What sort of back up plan? Do you mean that students in your program put in for transfers just in case? I am assuming you mean that? Not sure. If so, how does that work because colleges will ask them to explain why they want to transfer, yet they truly don't WANT to transfer like most transfer applicants want to do, but are only applying "just in case", so to speak. Is it hard for them to be putting energy into transfer applications all the while they are working hard to stay in the program? I imagine it is a tough thing. Is there another sort of back up that you were referring to that this girl could have put in place? I am just wondering how the students deal with this because if they get cut and many will be, they find out so late and at that point, one can't really apply elsewhere and may have to take a year off. And these are kids who likely are quite talented because they got into a top school in the first place. I'm wondering how the cut students deal with it and what sorts of plans they put in place or what you observe a lot of them doing next. I don't wish to discuss the cut policy itself on this thread....definitely NOT....please....enough on the other thread...but am curious about kids like your friend and what you mean by a back up plan and how this situation is dealt with by these talented kids and what many do next.
  • ckpckp Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    Actually, what brought me to this wonderful (or at least it was wonderful) forum was because I needed to figure out a back-up. I kinda just fell into going to DePaul and was really confused senior year about life because of a bad personal situation, but I was really lucky to get in and jumped at the chance (I was going to go to NYU for LANS).

    We have a long (7 weeks for me) winter break which is when I did all of the applying, although I jusst ended up applying to one school because I wanted to stay in Chicago. If I didn't get in there, I would have gone to Columbia. Exactly what I was going to do changed a lot, and I just wanted to take a semester off, but my parents wouldn't let me, so I auditioned. I was honest with my auditioner and we and a great talk, he understood how wierd it was, and in the end I got in (even with scholarship).

    I am a planner and after letting fate take me where it would my senior year, I couldn't hanldle another ride like that so I read ALL of these threads and got to know everything and had an air-tight plan. Most people don't do this. THey are focused on there education at present and don't want to audtion. Some say if they don't make it at DePaul, acting just isn't right for them. Some go straight into working, lots of people applied to other schools near home and transferred there either for a BA in theatre, or comething else, thinking of getting an MFA later, or re-auditioning the next year. There are always some people that were offered a place at a school they auditioned to senior year if they got cut. A lot of people go to Columbia, but most get right on the ball after the letter comes out and have plenty of time. Unfortunatly it took a while before my roommate was able to think about it clearly, but if it doesn't work out for the fall, she can always do it in the spring. In any event she is starting her career now, and I am so excited for her and the auditions that are going to be coming in the next few months!
  • 5pants5pants Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    no, ckp, this forum is wonderful. ;)
  • doctorjohndoctorjohn Registered User Posts: 606 Member

    Just a suggestion, but I'd encourage your friend to look at Illinois State. They don't offer a BFA, but their BA is essentially a professional training program. As you may know, many of the founders of Steppenwolf--John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Terry Kinney, Gary Sinise--came from ISU. Their acting teachers are outstanding; their students regularly finish in the regional finals of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at KC-ACTF. The department also runs the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. They do have an MFA program, but the numbers are quite small, and I have not heard undergraduates complain about grad students taking away casting opportunities. I know the program intimately, since I chaired it from 1989-1992, and I still have many friends there.

    I don't know what their admission situation is, but given that they're a state school, I would think the chances are good that your friend could be admitted. Here's a link to the website: http://www.cfa.ilstu.edu/theatre/

    The Dean of the School of Theatre, Don LaCasse, is a good man. Encourage your friend to contact him directly. She's free to use my name.

    Hope this helps.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,536 Senior Member
    Well ya see, the forum IS great....DoctorJohn just provided a great resource. That is what this forum can be about.

    ckp, while I am at it, I think you have done a great job on another thread speaking about your experiences at your school and doing so respectfully, even if feeling under "attack" or where others are putting down your program. While I am personally not into the cut program at your school and my own child would not opt to apply to such a program, it is a choice and I think it is great that you are happy with your school and that is all that matters. If people don't like the policy at a school, there are plenty of other schools out there that may be a better match and they need not apply. While a cut program may deter many applicants, there is not a dearth of highly talented applicants and so I am sure very talented students are still in the applicant pool at your school. Those applicants are ones who actually wish to attend. Schools with cut programs can still be fantastic programs but just not what every applicant is looking for. That's why we have choices.

    I'm impressed at how things have worked out for you with only one school on your list and look at how well you are doing. Bravo to you! And bravo for trying to help your friend and also for contributing to the forum as a current student at a college as it helps others to hear from those in the "trenches" and others then can make a better informed decision about which programs are right for THEM.

    Doctorjohn, you are a huge asset to the forum, thank you so much for the resourcefulness and help you give here that isn't just focused on your own program. I suggest your school to many prospective students, in part, because of how great the head is there - you!

  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Susan, as the young people say: WORD! on your last post. Yes, indeed. For what it's worth, I second everything you said about how respectfully ckp conducted herself on the other thread and how ridiculously (imo) emotional that thread on cuts at DePaul has become. Doctorjohn, what else is there to say except "thanks," as usual?! I hope that the Otterbeing news and info/PR office knows that you are a valuable member of their public relations team. The very fine and respectful way you conduct yourself on this forum speaks volumes about your program and the college in general.
    My two-cents!
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,536 Senior Member
    Thanks, Lisa, but you know what? I live in the sticks and must be out of the "loop" because I have not heard the expression, "Word!" before. Either that or I'm gettin' pretty old.
  • anothermom-w-qanothermom-w-q Registered User Posts: 1,125 Senior Member
    I too just wanted to chime in on the ckp bandwagon. You should be proud of the way you have represented both your school, and yourself. Your roomate is lucky to have you as a friend.

  • 5pants5pants Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    well holy moly....make room for me on that band wagon too kiddies!! I love a parade! :)
  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Just don't rain on our parade, folks!! :)
  • fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman Registered User Posts: 827 Member
    Is your friend still interested in getting professional training on the undergraduate level? If so, my advice would be to stay at DePaul as an undeclared major and audition as a transfer to another conservatory program next year since the Unifieds are right there unless it starts looking like she's really going to start getting a lot of professional work. She can always transfer to a different academic school as a junior if her auditions don't work out. I'd also suggest getting the equivalent of as many of the required general education classes done as possible for all the schools she might transfer to. The one factor I can't see in your post is what the financial difference between Columbia and DePaul would be. Either way, I'd encourage her to reaudition if she can swing it and the professional jobs aren't pouring in.
  • ckpckp Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone!

    I've been on your bandwagons for a long time, so I'm just trying to pay it forward.

    We got everything figured out for now...she can go to orientation for Columbia without paying a deposit, and sit down with someone and figure out what her schedule is and see if it fits, and if that won't work out she will stay at DePaul for the semester (fishbowel-depaul is 10000 more a year, blah, and the classes, meh). But she is already looking for monologues to do for auditions! I don't know if she is for sure doing them, but she's come a long way from like a week ago where she couldn't even talk about it! I'm really excited for her!

    Thanks so much again for helping me out, you guys are awsome!
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