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Tranfer to an MT program or take a gap year and apply as a freshman?

MTboy13MTboy13 7 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited March 2010 in Musical Theater Major
So I just auditioned at 2 in-state schools this year and i am regretting the decision and wishing I had auditioned more places and explored my options. I got into 1 of the 2 programs I auditioned for but I don't think the program is right for me. Would you suggest taking a gap year and auditioning as a freshman or doing the program or community college and applying as a transfer? (From what I have heard it is more difficult to get accepted as a transfer)
edited March 2010
32 replies
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Replies to: Tranfer to an MT program or take a gap year and apply as a freshman?

  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It kind of depends what kind of programs you are looking at. If you are interested in BFA programs, it is more difficult to get in as a transfer and it is most likely that some or most of your cc classes won't transfer so you may have to start over anyway. If you are looking at a BA program, it is possible that some or all of your cc credits could transfer. My daughter started at a BFA program and then decided it was not the right program for her. She returned home and went to our cc and earned enough credits to transfer into a UC or Cal. St. school as a junior. She is now waiting to hear from UCLA, a BA program, where she could transfer in as a junior. She is also looking at Penn State, a BFA program, where we are waiting to find out at what level she could transfer in. She was accepted to all of the various programs to which she applied except for 1 BFA program which did not accept her because she is a transfer. The other BFA's accepted her, but we don't know if she would have had to start over or if she could have used some of her credits- she didn't pursue it because she wasn't interested in those programs. She got a lot out of our cc - they have a good MT department, and she took a lot of theater and dance classes, as well as completing all of her GE requirements. If you are not sure you want to attend the program at which you were accepted, you might use this year to hone your skills with classes at your cc, auditioning, and work to save money. If you did not want to be considered as a transfer, you do not have to list those classes that you take at your cc on your applications next year. Schools will not penalize you for taking a gap year, and you might be better prepared to audition next year. I don't know where you were accepted this year; just keep in mind that the cost at out-of-state schools can get quite high and private BFA programs are also quite expensive. Good luck!
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  • MTboy13MTboy13 7 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    So would I be better off trying the BFA program I got accepted to and transfer out, or take a gap year, work, save money, and apply as a freshman?
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  • austinmtmomaustinmtmom 2336 replies22 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are still a few programs with April audition dates. Not sure what you are looking for in terms of a school, but just wanted you to know that might be an option for you.
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  • Millie1986Millie1986 17 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Purely out of interest can someone explain to me why some schools won't take transfers? And what constitutes a transfer? Say somebody just did a month or 2 at college and then left, would they be considered a transfer student? If you would be starting again from scratch at the new college, why does your previous educational background matter? Just curious, as in the UK it is completely irrelevant - if someone went to college then left, and applied for a different college then their application would be no different to someone else who was applying straight from school. Sometimes you can literally transfer, like for eg do year 1 at one college and then go into year 2 at another, but only if they had a similar enough curriculum, and it would never happen on a drama school course, but I have a friend who transferred who was a Psychology student. It is something I have seen quite a lot of mention of on these boards and am just curious about. Thanks
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  • thecheckbookthecheckbook 395 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    Transfers are problematic to most schools because it's easier to have everyone requiring the same classes. What do you with a student who has already had American Musical Theatre for 2 semesters? They become a problem and that's just one example. Another is how does a school know that the education recieved at the prior school was up to the new schools standards? You can test for piano, and music theatre but suppose the student comes with acting credits. The new school doesn't want to say, your old school wasn't up to our standards. The transfer is out of sync with everyone else's class schedule. Now and again schools will get excited about a student and admit them but it's not often. I think transferring to a BFA is not always in the best interest of the student because BA's accept more credits and if a student researches the school and is able to schedule enough dance, acting and voice they will graduate earlier usually.
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  • thecheckbookthecheckbook 395 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    Now in the case of a student transferring from a BA in liberal arts after sophmore year, they usually carry too many credits in core classes that are not needed in a BFA program.
    If the student was a theatre, voice or dance major, maybe some of those credits will be accepted but not many and you would be very fortunate to earn the BFA in 5 years total.
    That's a lot of extra expense.
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  • MTboy13MTboy13 7 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    What schools have April audition dates?

    Even if you are a transfer, can you just say you are a freshman when you apply? because for a BFA program you will most likely need to start over.
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  • MTboy13MTboy13 7 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Also, no one quite answered my question yet lol :P
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  • bcbMTflbcbMTfl 62 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I have been through this whole process as a transfer and it is wayyy tougher than trying as a freshman which is already tough. Take the gap year, train your butt off to nail your auditions, work to save some money and kill time and before you know it it will be this time next year and you will have a great acceptance in hand. I believe that a transfer is someone who has had over 12 college credits, I could be wrong, but if that is true, it doesn't hurt to knock out an english and a math or something at a community college, even conservatories have a few general courses you have to take! Good luck and PM me if you have any questions about being a transfer etc.
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  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    MTboy- I sent you a pm kind of answering your question but in the end it is up to you to decide. And yes, you could enter the school as a freshman without trying to transfer the credits from your other school.

    The checkbook pretty much nailed regarding transfers. In any other major in the US, transferring is not so much a problem. Some universities will not take transfers until they have completed enough GE (general education) credits to transfer as a junior. In California, UC and State colleges like to have you either enter as a freshman or transfer in as a junior. However, MT programs, especially BFA programs, are very specialized; most schools keep class sizes very small and like to have the class progress as a unit. BA MT programs seem to be a little easier to transfer in to as they have GE requirements that can be taken the 1st 2 years. One BFA school told my daughter specifically that they could not take her as a transfer and she would have to start over which she is not interested in doing (although we know someone who graduated from that program 2 years ago who did transfer in as a sophomore.) The others indicate that she could "possibly" transfer in as a sophomore. We have learned that most of the BFA MT programs prefer that you come in as a freshman.
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  • Millie1986Millie1986 17 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Sorry for hijacking your thread MTboy!

    So if someone was to audition for BFA programmes, willing to start completely from scratch etc, would they still be considered a transfer and be less likely to be accepted by some schools, or would they be considered in the same way that other students would? I understand why students can't transfer into a different BFA programme, much as over here a drama school would not accept a student from another drama school into 2nd year, but from reading these boards I got the impression that even if you were wiling to restart completely some colleges still wouldn't consider you? Sorry, I am just curious about the way in which the US system works, as it is very different over here.
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  • KatMTKatMT 4132 replies70 threadsCollege Rep Senior Member
    Each school will handle transfer applicants differently. Even some MT schools that do require a transfer to spend four years to complete the degree program may still consider transfers in a different pool of students than freshmen. Often the difficulties that transfer students have are related to university admissions policies and timelines. Many universities review transfer student applications later and make transfer academic admissions decisions after freshmen decisions are made. This could cause the MT program to also review applications later.

    Generally speaking the student does not have a choice as to whether (s)he is evaluated as a transfer student or a freshman. The schools set their own policies.

    There are schools that accept transfer students. Some do not. If there are schools that you are specifically interested in you should contact them directly to ask the policies.

    If you are thinking about a gap year, you may also want to check insurance eligibility, financial aid policies at schools, ability to transfer credits if you take a couple of CC courses, etc...

    As others have said this is a personal choice. It might help to sort through your thoughts and feelings to think about your short term and longer term goals, and evaluate the pros and cons of all of your options based upon those goals.

    Good Luck!
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  • MTMamaMTMama 294 replies22 threadsRegistered User Member
    MTBoy13 - There was a discussion of schools with April audition dates on the "MT Rejections" thread on this board. There weren't too many schools mentioned - but Jacksonville U. in Florida has an audition mid-April and Coastal Carolina doesn't have auditions, but is still considering applicants (or something like that - check out what was written in that thread...)
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  • austinmtmomaustinmtmom 2336 replies22 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    MTboy 13 - Here are a few I know of off the top of my head.
    Montclair State University - April 10
    Point Park - April 17
    Sam Houston State - April 23
    Coastal Carolina - on campus auditions are over but they have a very short waitlist so may consider an audition via DVD; contact them for details
    University of Tampa - may still be accepting DVD auditions; contact them for details
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  • elegantelegant 3 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    MTBoy 13: TAKE A GAP YEAR!!!!
    if you have registered and attended any college at all, whether is is in MT or Theater or anything...even if you drop out after your first semester, BFA programs will NOT allow you to apply as a freshman and you must apply and be accepted as a transfer. You can't even tell them that you never attended college and would therefore like to be considered as a freshman because that is considered fraud. I know because I went through this experience very painfully myself! It is not just that they will not take the courses you have already earned credit for...they will not even consider you as a freshman...so when you audition, they are not going to compare you with the other candidates...they are only going to consider you if there is something incredible you have that they cannot find in all the tons of freshman that apply. You will be at a real disadvantage statistically....because you will be competing for one of 20 possible spots instead of one of 2000 possible spots. Some schools will not even let you apply (Emerson and Northwestern, I think) I only know of one strong BFA program that actually welcomed transfers and that was IU when they started up their program a couple of years ago, and I have heard that they have stopped doing that now. I think that Haart and maybe a School of the Arts will still consider transfers to their BFA programs, but you have to start as a freshman. Since most programs will only accept a transfer if there is any room after they have all the freshman they want, you have to be pretty amazing and very lucky to even get considered. My advice is to take time as a gap year, get in a lot of performance practice and then apply next year to the schools that you really want to attend. That way, you will stand out in comparison to your competition for open freshman positions, rather than trying to convince the school to consider you as an "extra" student and having to start as a freshman anyhow.
    sorry for the rant...but it was an incredibly frustrating experience and I would hate to see anyone else go through it!
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  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I know Emerson and BoCo will take transfers as my daughter's friend applied and was accepted after a year at our junior college. Also Penn State, Point Park, University of Texas, UCLA. That being said, it is definitely tougher.
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  • soozievtsoozievt 31387 replies371 threadsRegistered User, ! Senior Member
    I agree that a gap year is a more advisable path than community college and applying as a transfer (when it comes to BFA programs in particular).

    I didn't think that Emerson's BFA itself takes transfers.
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  • nervousashellnervousashell 91 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Syracuse takes transfers as well.
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  • bhmommabhmomma 606 replies21 threadsRegistered User Member
    One thing to keep in mind, if you have the stats for a merit (academic) scholarship, those often are only available to incoming freshman, not transfer students.
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  • 6244262442 89 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm taking a gap year and I was wondering are you classified as a transfer student if you take abosulutely ANY college classes during the gap yea? I was thinking about taking a couple dance or acting classes at a local cc, but I wouldn't want it to qualify me as a transfer. Would it?

    And you can transfer into Emerson as a BA, but not a BFA. (I have a couple BA transfer friends there.)
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