FINAL DECISIONS, share your journey 2026

This is the thread to share your college audition adventure for future applicants to see how varied results can be. There is no one path for this process.
Schools applied to
prescreens passed

narrative about process



OK so I will start off with DD’s stats: 4.0 GPA, unweighted, decent test score (1400+ SAT, she got a test in at the beginning of Jr. year and decided she had a good enough score, one & done). She is a petite brunette jazzy mezzo with a good range (3 octave) still working on belt technique. Strong dancer, can say she leads with dance and also a strong actor.
Applied-16 schools, applied MT and Acting all schools, all BFA/BM
Prescreens- passed 9/10 did not pass TX ST MT
Academically accepted- all
Artistically accepted- 9
Millikin Acting, Oakland MT, Ohio University Acting, UArts MT, Missouri St Acting, Western MI Acting, Wright State MT, Otterbein MT/Dance, Point Park Acting
Waitlisted- 3
BW MT, Ball St MT, Tx ST Acting (priority hold)
Rejected 4- Montclair, UNCG, Rider, Webster
Coaching- CAC

DD realized she could major in MT in 8th grade so we started looking at this process then. It has been a long road. We visited many schools over summer travels and she removed quite a few from consideration because the “vibe” was not her. It worked for us, but it is totally OK to wait and visit after acceptances, do what works for your family.
Started working w/Moo’s team Feb of Senior year. They really nailed finding material that was perfect for her. They also suggested a few schools to add to the list and recommended a few to remove.
Common App applications went out early Sept, FAFSA went out the first week it went live. Prescreens went out in batches as some opened earlier than others.
Zoomifieds and Moonifieds were well run and made the process less crazy. DD loved her audition with Josh Young at Oakland and that school zoomed to the top of the list. She also had a great live prescreen with Otterbein, really felt a strong connection to the folks at TX ST acting too.
Millikin sent their rejection from MT/acceptance to Acting right away, came snail mail. Ohio U sent email acceptance for Acting (finally heard MT after she withdrew her application), Oakland sent email and set up a vocal coaching with Josh. Got the Montclair rejection in December, but she didn’t care because she also got the BW waitlist. BW has been her dream school since starting the process in 8th grade.
In January DD got the acceptance to UArts MT, but even with the nice scholarship, it was still way out of budget. UNCG wanted a second audition because they felt they needed to see people closer to when they make their decision. Happened to have an on campus date that worked with our school schedule so we set that up.
February was Chicago Unifieds which went from all live to 3 zoom from the hotel room and 2 live (technically 4 because MT and Acting auditions were separate). DD also did a Moo workshop with Otterbein’s Lenny Liebowitz, DD loves Lenny.
The trip to UNCG DD loved, thought it went well, that rejection was the only one that hurt, but she got the call from Otterbein the next day and was over the moon with joy.
DD thought her online audition w/PP Acting was a train wreck but she got in. She thought the Rider audition went really well and got a late rejection ( in the pool emails for a few months). You cannot predict this at all.
Rejections and acceptances trickled, Ball State was the last to notify in late March. Then we waited for final financials to roll in and DD released all but Otterbein, Oakland, Wright State and the WL for BW. Releasing Texas State was hard, but she knew it wasn’t the right fit.
Once Otterbein’s really great financials came in she was done. It is one of 5 or so schools that have been on her list since 8th grade.
Final decision-Otterbein BFA MT/Integrated Dance minor.


congratulations and thank you so much for setting up this thread!!!


About me:
Singer first-actor second- dancer third(mover).
Mezzo soprano- high belter.

Schools Applied to:
SDSU- MFA Musical Theatre (didn’t pass pre screen)
MSM- MM Contemporary Classical Voice
NYU- MM Music Theory
AMDA- Two Year Musical Theatre Program
Boston Conservatory at Berklee- MFA Musical Theatre Vocal Pedagogy
Shenandoah University- MM Commercial Music Pedagogy

My College Audition
Vocal Coach in Mexico
Vocal Coach in NYC (The Carrie St Louis Studio)

Final decision:
MFA Boston Conservatory at Berklee

A little bit about my process:
I want to start my comment by saying that I did not apply to undergrad MT majors. (Even though I am not an undergrad, I did use the undergrad threads as a great resource, so that’s why I am posting.) I am currently finishing my last semester of university where I study International Relations (which has nothing to do with MT), nevertheless studying voice/MT has always been my passion. I started as an architecture major, then changed to international relations, wanted to take a gap year to do a one year conservatory program but in the end decided not to (with the guidance of my parents). I decided to finish my degree and then take the liberty to do a two year conservatory or a master degree program in Musical Theatre.

I must say that at a graduate level, there are very few MT schools. From what I found there are only three in the US- NYU Steinhardt (MM- Vocal Performance MT), Boston Conservatory at Berklee- (MFA- Musical Theatre- Vocal Pedagogy), SDSU (MFA- Musical Theatre). There used to be more, yet many have closed their programs. There are many acting programs as well, yet the musical- singing part of MT is what really makes me whole. So I stuck to these was well as a few other programs (contemporary classical, vocal pedagogy, etc). There are a few other master programs in Europe, but I wanted to study in the US since its closer to home (I’m from Mexico).

To be honest the process was really hard. I didn’t know where to start, so I am really glad that I was able to work alongside of My College Audition with Chelsea and their amazing coaches. They really helped me during the process even though I could only afford to take a few classes (exchange rate). I also had two vocal coaches help me (one is from Mexico, the other one is established in NYC-zoom). All of this made the process easier in terms of auditions. I had to take an English exam test, had to have my grades evaluated in the US to make sure my school is accredited, and many other things.

Most of the programs I applied to only required singing in the prescreen/audition. The only program that really required more was BoCo. I had to prepare 4 songs, 1 monologue, 1 song in the piano, and send in a 30 minute video of me teaching a vocal class.

Out of the 6 programs I applied to, I had two top schools (BoCo and NYU). I was accepted to BoCo and rejected from NYU. To be honest, the NYU rejection did hurt me, yet I couldn’t be for excited and thankful to go to BoCo. I love that this school has been very open from the start and they have great communication with the people who are applying. Setting up zoom meetings with accepted students, calling to see if we have questions and to congratulate us, and basically maintaining this ongoing conversation. I come from a large university setting, so I am happy to be in a school that will be more tailored and specific to my needs, giving greater attention to what I am doing. The two year 1 summer program is a dream (I can’t stop looking at the classes I’m going to take). I am so excited to embark this journey.

I want to end my comment with a little reflection. Moral of the story, I want to say that it is never too late to begin your journey and study what you love. The first time I participated in a show was in my third year of university. Before that, I was to scared and thought I couldn’t do it. I also want to say, that majoring in something that is not MT related is also okay. I learned, I grew, I met incredible people, I became a better person. Right now, I am proud that I am graduating from International Relations and I am proud that I am gonna go to grad school for Musical Theatre Vocal Pedagogy.

I will be honest, I am scared of leaving home for such a long time. If anyone has any tips on the Boston city life, or in the process of getting an apartment, or the safe and unsafe places of Boston, please let me know.

Thank you so much for reading! And I wish everyone the best in the school they’ll be going to.


Hello! I hope the college audition season went well for you all.

About me:
Academic Stats: 4.3 weighted, 3.9 unweighted. No SAT/ACT. Good essay (According to my English teacher haha) Heavy and strong extracurriculars: president of school’s student council, 4 nationally and regionally recognized clubs as secretary of all, probably around 400+ community service hours, teaching musical theatre at summer camp and two local schools, and few activism projects that got news attention. Couple of academic/musical theatre awards. Extracurriculars were for sure my academic standout.
Artistic info: Primarily an alto belter but with range (mix and classical). Mostly comedic actor. NOT A DANCER AT ALL. Mover at best but can tap dance well. I’d classify myself as singer 1st, actor 2nd, dancer 3rd. Have done musical theatre since I was 4 with vocal lessons since I was 8, few dance and acting classes here and there. Mostly have been in ensemble in shows, few leads. I go to a performing arts high school so I got training there. No college audition coach, so I did most of the college stuff by myself with only vocal coach’s help. So yeah! Thats background on me.

I applied to 13 schools all BFA/BM.
Emerson (BFA)
Point Park (BFA)
Manhattan School of Music (BM)
Marymount Manhattan (BFA)
Roosevelt University CCPA (BFA)
New York University: Steinhardt (BM)
University of Michigan (BFA)
Pace (BFA)
BoCo (BFA)
Ithaca (BFA)
Carnegie Mellon (BFA)
Nazareth (BFA)

No prescreen schools:
Marymount Manhattan, NYU, AMDA

Prescreens passed:
Pace, Point Park, Emerson, Manhattan School of Music, Roosevelt CCPA

Rejected after prescreen:
University of Michigan, BoCo, Ithaca, Carnegie Mellon, Nazareth

AMDA, Roosevelt CCPA, Manhattan School of Music, Point Park

Marymount Manhattan, Emerson

Pace, NYU

This process was surely something. College decisions academically I know are already crazy but having to go through it artistically? My goodness. For the most part, for all the schools who do separate artistic and academic acceptances, I got into all of those schools academically which was nice and with scholarships for all! NYU was my ED school and dream school since I was little but throughout the audition process it sort of lost that dream status for me, price was a big factor in that, so I am actually glad I got rejected. I was not proud of my prescreens since I did most of them in one day a couple of days before it was due (please don’t do that, not smart). So when the prescreen decisions rolled out, I was not too phased by the rejections. But material for my prescreens weren’t as strong as my live auditions. All of my auditions (did all on Zoom except Pace in LA) went really well. I loved the audition for Emerson and Point Park. They were both really long and attentive and I loved my auditioner for both, it felt more like a workshop to me than an audition. Pace, Point Park, and Emerson were my top choices after the auditions. I got most of my decisions mid March with one at the end of Feb. I think Emerson’s waitlist hurt the most because I was really happy with that audition, and I was thinking of taking the risk and trying to get off of the waitlist but I heard it didn’t move well so I just moved on. For the most part, I chose my school based off 3 factors: Price, reputation, and location.


Their dance program is fierce so I am super excited to improve in that. I loved how communicative they were throughout the whole process, I love their faculty. I am also apart of the honors program there and got a substantial scholarship. I have a few friends who already go there too so that is just a plus! Very excited for the next 4. Thanks for reading! Best of luck to you all.


Glad you started this thread, Old timer here w a D at BW, sorry that didnt work out but congrats on Otterbein, crazy how many great MT programs there are in the state of OHIO!! best of luck


other than the red sox :)) Boston is an amazing town for young adults, congrats on BOCO, great program, you will likely be a little home sick, but that which does not break us makes us stronger!!


Point park is an amazing program & the fact that you navigated these waters yourself surely bodes well for you, congrats & enjoy Pittsburgh,hit up Primanti Subs :slight_smile:


hello friends! i am the student and here is my process!

context: i am a high school senior who started doing musical theater my freshman year, even though i had been dancing since i was 4. i started taking private voice lessons my freshman year and worked with a private audition coach (no big companies like cap or moonifieds). i am also very much an academic; i love to learn and i’ve been fortunate that i’ve always done very well in school. i go to a performing arts magnet program at a public high school in a decent-sized city and i “major” in both dance and musical theater.

all BFA mt unless noted!
schools applied to: baldwin wallace (BM mt), ball state, cornish, ithaca, liu post, nyu (BFA drama all studios), ohio u, roosevelt (mtd), syracuse, texas state, uab, uarts, ccm, u miami, wright state (acting and mt), rider, rutgers (BFA acting), elon, pace, penn state, uaz

prescreens passed: roosevelt, syracuse, texas state
did not pass prescreens: ithaca, ccm, rider (ended up auditioning for acting instead at chicago unifieds), elon, pace, penn state, uaz
straight to live audition: baldwin wallace, ball state, cornish, liu post, nyu, ohio u, uab, uarts, u miami, wright state, rutgers

final results!
nope: syracuse, texas state (ow), baldwin wallace, ball state, uab, u miami, wright state, rutgers
waitlist: ohio u, rider
roosevelt mtd
liu post mt
cornish mt
nyu drama all studios
uarts mt

a little narrative:
after not passing seven prescreens, i ended up throwing in a few more applications and doing some walk-ins at unifieds. i honestly wasn’t as hurt by the rejections as i thought i would be, possibly because my first decision to arrive was liu post, which was a yes, so no matter what other schools said i was going somewhere. except for texas state. as the process went on, they emerged as a clear frontrunner, so hearing a no from them was more painful than the others.

final decision:

still a little scared as i have absolutely no idea what studio they will place me in, especially because my singing evaluation was shaky. my voice was exhausted that day and im unsure if my technique showed through. i decided to take the risk and commit without a guarantee for nsb. i hope that no matter what studio they place me in, ill be happy as new york city has endless possibilities, and there’s so much even just within nyu drama itself. so glad that even through a particularly rough admissions year, i walked away happy and with great offers. best of luck to everyone!!!


Congrats - I will send you a direct message re: BoCo and Boston! You’ll love it. There are good BoCo Facebook groups and you’ll form text groups with your incoming classmates, so there will be good support.


loving this thread and ours should be ready by the end of the week! i’m always struck by how unpredictable the results are. i used to assume…ok if they get into xx program surely they will get into the much less competitive xy program. and then they don’t pass the prescreen at xy.‘it’s wild!!!

anyway we are down to top two and a dream wait list school. getting there!!


Same. We are down to 2 great choices and one Dream waitlist. Lol.


Background: My daughter is a brunette mezzo-soprano with good dance instincts but very little formal dance training. Private voice lessons since age 8, started musicals in middle school and took various classes and summer camps at local theaters over the years. Only had an acting coach starting senior year to get ready for college auditions. Very strong vocally, All-State Choir selection, and the featured soloist chosen by the director. Talented natural actress with a strong stage presence. A very average student academically and her only extracurriculars are theatre and choir-related.

Due to covid making her question her future plans, didn’t actually decide to go full-bore for a BFA in MT until the middle of August so we didn’t get much of a head start on audition season. After doing the typical online research we came up with an initial application list of 15 schools, but looking back this first list was much too top-heavy. It was all lottery schools like Michigan, CMU, Penn State, etc and only 1 school we considered a safety. Our original dream scenario was to apply to all the EA schools and get things locked up before Christmas and not even have to go to Unifieds. LOL. Early on, the pre-screen rejects started coming fast and furious from all of the top choices like Elon, Syracuse, etc. We started to realize that we had applied to way too few schools so as each pre-screen reject came in, we just added 2-3 more schools to the list since most of the essays were just copy-paste deals and required the same pre-screen materials. We basically went crazy and applied to almost every BFA program in the country.

Her first audition was with BW at the end of October and then we traveled to Emerson at the beginning of November. She loved the school and the audition process and claimed that this was her dream school and that she had crushed the audition. Since it was an EA school and my wife works in Boston 2 weeks a month we figured this would be the one and we would be done. This was not the one and we would not be done.

Throughout November our prescreen results always stayed about 50% so we were happily booking auditions for January and February, trying to find a balance of virtual and in-person so as to try different formats and protect from illnesses. December was a tough month because we continued to get pre-screen rejects at the same time the full-rejects started coming in from those early audition schools like Emerson, Belmont, and BW so we added even more schools. My wife and I were panicking that after all of this my D might not get a single offer so application fees just started piling up into the thousands. We wanted to finish the process with choices, to be able to pick between a few quality schools so we decided to overwhelm the process with sheer volume. A few more auditions in December of varying quality as everyone started to panic about how the new Covid spike was going to impact live auditions. We did not get the desired pre-xmas offer.

Her first BFA offer did come on January 13 from Viterbo, a target school we had identified very early on as a good fit and likely admit. Although it wasn’t a high choice given how close it was to our home, it was an amazing feeling going into the tough final stretch with a high-quality offer in her pocket.

Traveled to Coastal Carolina in January for a great day of auditioning and this emerged as a child and parent favorite due to the program but also the campus and that great beach location. At one point we were traveling almost every weekend and piling up the frequent flyer miles. Able to knock out 3 schools at the Tampa Combined Auditions and have a mini-vacation with the whole family. The highlight here was the Molloy/Cap21 audition with Rebecca Overton, who was just magical to deal with and puts most everyone else to shame with her positivity. This industry needs more shining lights like her.

Early February brought the Chicago Unifieds where she had 6 scheduled auditions over 2 days and also added 4 walk-ins, so 10 total felt like a good use of our time. For those days, she definitely got stronger as the day wore on and all of her afternoon auditions went almost perfectly. Felt like she absolutely killed the Arizona and Miami auditions but somehow those did not result in offers. By far though, her best audition experience was with Mark Hardy from Montclair on her last day in Chicago. She herself was in top form after 9 other auditions but Mark also made her feel amazing and told her immediately that he was interested in her both as a performer and a person. She walked out beaming and claimed that “I’m going to Montclair.” The end of Unifieds finished up a stretch of 20 auditions in 30 days, with just a few more stragglers to finish up in February.

Mark Hardy held true to his word, and 2 days after returning from Chicago the BFA offer came from Montclair. It’s hard to explain to parents that haven’t gone through this process how important it is to feel actually wanted by a program. Sure it’s very nice to get an offer from any program given the competitive nature of the business, but for a school to show a genuine interest in your child’s talents and then to follow through aggressively on that interest is far more important than how high the school is ranked. It just feels so good to be wanted, which is why waitlists always seem like a huge letdown to me. Many schools will take you, but how many WANT you?

One important note is that miraculously she stayed 100% healthy for every audition. Not for a single one of her 29 auditions was she ever less than 100% vocal health. I’ll never understand how given her less than stellar health history, but I think mask-wearing in schools during this time was a godsend in keeping her healthy. She did get sick, but somehow she was always ill when it didn’t matter. We were very, very lucky.

March brought 3 more BFA acceptances from Illinois Wesleyan, LIU-Post, and SCAD along with a whopping 7 waitlists. With those in hand, we made plans to visit all those we could over spring break. Viterbo is only 2.5 hours away so that made for an easy day trip and they hosted us for a great day, visiting classes and meeting with the faculty and current students. If it wasn’t for my D’s desire to get out of the midwest this would have been an excellent choice at a great price. The following week, we traveled to NYC and visited waitlisted schools MSM, MMC, Molly/CAP along with LIU. These were mostly just generic visits but wanted to at least see them in person so that we could compare them all with our final stop of the entire process, Montclair.

We visited Montclair on an absolutely beautiful sunny Friday and the campus and surrounding area immediately impressed. Just beautiful and clean and modern. We were so happy as a family to get to meet program director Mark Hardy in person and have him lead us around campus all day. He showed us absolutely everything, introduced us to students, let us sit in on classes, and allowed us to see their world premiere workshop of new material. We were all walking around campus just giggling with excitement. The school was just perfection to us. Honestly, I’m still unsure how a public university can afford such state-of-the-art facilities compared to some of the other programs we visited. My wife kept begging us to play it cool and just think about things after we got home, but my D and I were like “What exactly are we waiting for?” It checked all our boxes: NYC location, beautiful campus, state-of-the-art facilities, affordable tuition, engaging faculty, national reputation, availability of flights due to being from out-of-state. We stopped in the bookstore, bought our merch, took the fun photos we’d been waiting 8 months for, made the long-awaited social media posts, and we were DONE.

In the end, we ended up applying to 45 schools (42 auditioned BFA and 3 non-audition BA)

Final Stats:

Prescreens - 14 passed out of 27

Total auditions - 29

Accepted (5): Montclair State BFA MT (Live Chicago), LIU-Post BFA MT (Live Chicago walk-in), Viterbo BFA MT (Virtual), Illinois Wesleyan BFA MT (Virtual), SCAD BFA PA (Live Chicago walk-in)

Waitlists (7): Molloy CAP21 BFA MT, Marymount Manhattan BFA MT, Manhattan School of Music BM MT, Wright State BFA MT, U of MN/Guthrie BFA Acting, Coastal Carolina BFA MT, Nazareth BFA MT

Pre-screen pass (14): Emerson, Point Park, Carnegie Mellon, Millikin, Coastal Carolina, Shenendoah, Roosevelt, Oklahoma City, Molly/Cap21, Nazareth, Arizona, Manhattan School of Music, UM Guthrie, Illinois Wesleyan

Pre-screen fail (13): Indiana, Oklahoma, Penn St, Michigan, Florida St, Pace, Syracuse, Ithaca, Otterbein, Elon, BoCo, Hartt, CCM

Rejected after audition: NYU Tisch, Baldwin Wallace, Webster, Ball St., Belmont, UNCSA, UArts, Emerson, Point Park, Carnegie Mellon, Millikin, Shenandoah, Roosevelt, Oklahoma City, Arizona, Miami, Western Michigan.

BA acceptances: Cornell College, Columbia College

BA waitlist: Mulhlenberg

Final Decision: BFA Musical Theatre Montclair State University


My son did it a little differently as he only applied to 7 schools for BFA Acting and they were:

Juilliard, Chapman, DePaul, Rutgers, Pace, NYU, Hofstra

Prescreens - Chapman, DePaul, Pace - all passed

After auditions:
Rejected: Juilliard, Chapman, DePaul, Rutgers, NYU
Accepted: Hofstra
Waitlisted: Pace FTVC

He was so very disappointed and was really down on himself questioning his talent and his goals in life. And then, he started his email campaign to Pace as that was originally his 2nd choice after NYU. Yesterday (Monday) he received word that he was off the waitlist and accepted to BFA Acting FTVC.

We made deposits last night at Pace and he is the happiest I have ever seen him!

Side Note - he LOVED Hofstra. They have an incredible department. I love the way they work their BFA Acting program. You apply to the school of Drama as a BA. Freshman year you take classes that would go towards your BFA. Sophomore year you audition. That way the teachers have known you for a year, they understand your drive and your abilities and basically the whole year has been your audition. That way it isn’t all hinged on a 90 second monologue! I would highly recommend people looking into their program. My son just really wanted NYC, that is where his heart is.

Yay! The process is over!!


We started this process (as it turns out) COMPLETELY blind. We THOUGHT we had researched and knew what we were doing… we literally hadn’t even scratched the surface. My son applied to BFA MT programs at University of Michigan, Pace, Ithaca, NYU, Penn State, and Carnegie Mellon. He never worked with an audition coach, and we really had no clue how important song choice, etc was. Pre-screen denials started coming in pretty fast. We freaked out a bit. Finally managed to do some ACTUAL research. Learned that you need a balanced list. We then submitted applications to: Western Illinois, University of New Hampshire, Manhattanville, Hartt, and Nazareth. Final results:

Pre-screens passed:
Pace (redirected to BFA acting)
Western Illinois
University of New Hampshire

Pace (acting)
Western Illinois
University of New Hampshire
Manhattanville (offer made after pre-screen. No further audition)
Western Michigan University (walk-in at Chicago Unifieds)


Final decision:
After A LOT of deliberation, zoom sessions, phone calls, and campus visits: my son left Western Michigan feeling like he had 100% found l his home. He released Western Illinois, New Hampshire, and Hartt very quickly. Pace was a tough one because it’s a great school, in a great location… but wasn’t MT. Manhattanville… also great location, and my son had an amazing rapport with Beth. Nazareth offers a solid program and has some really great people. Ultimately (even though it wasn’t even really on his radar) WMU won him over with their excellent reputation, impressive facilities, and a deep respect for Jay. Go Broncos!


Congratulations! Montclair is an excellent program, in a beautiful town, close to nyc and in state tuition! What more could you ask for!


We had most of those on our list too. :slight_smile: The Pace FTVC program administrators were so warm and inviting. My kiddo’s fave audition there. Congrats!!

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So first time posting here, but have to say I’ve learned so much from those that have shared in the past. It’s a fact we wouldn’t have made it through this process without the help of parents in the MT forums. Didn’t realize that applying to MT programs was nothing like the regular college application process until I started reading these forums in the spring of 2021(spring of D’s junior year). So after spending hours researching and panicking a bit, I got to work creating a master list of programs that was useful to screen schools. I will post this spreadsheet if possible (likely in another thread – is there a best way to share this tool?)

Our daughter decided on MT fairly late. Covid and the lack of performance opportunities sophomore/1st half junior year did a number on her confidence/interest. But then in Jan 2021, we stumbled into Robert Hartwell’s Broadway Collective program and she began voice lessons again. Things began to change overnight. Being forced to present a finished piece of song, monologue, or dance almost every week with feedback from Broadway professionals built got her going again. She then auditioned for the all-state musical. Getting a part in this forced her to quit marching band her senior year to be able to make the rehearsals. Band served her really well for her musicality, but had she not quit band, she never would have made it through the application process. She had a great performance in her senior musical, which as everyone knows in this forum, finally allowed her to showcase everything that she worked so hard for all these years. And yet some of the best advice we’ve gleaned from a professional is that whether you’ve had good roles, lots of roles, or no roles at all doesn’t at all determine your potential as a performer.

Even though I had this list of schools ready for D to review sometime in spring of Junior year and kept prodding her, she ignored it until late summer. I think she wasn’t 100% committed to musical theater until she started the rehearsals of the all-state production in the fall of senior year. She didn’t start picking out schools or writing essays until fall. We started out with the goal of 15-20 schools by end of October. By the end of the process, she applied to 13, with non-audition schools submitted by December 31. It’s possible for a kid to do this on their own, if they are extremely focused and start the process early. But any support from parents goes a long way. By the way, our D took the most difficult academic loads with a 4.0/great test scores and being burnt out from academics played a big part in her avoiding the application process. She also avoided most (maybe all) schools that didn’t use the common ap or required an excessive number of essays. The late start was the hardest part for me, but luckily we have a neighbor that was good at helping us give our D enough space to want this on her own.
Here are the results and we only ended up visiting schools that offered:

Did not pass prescreens or get accepted to the school: Elon, Yale

Passed prescreens, but no offer: Michigan, Point Park, Penn State, Syracuse

Waitlisted, but no eventual offer: Texas State

Offers: San Diego State (BA – no audition required), Muhlenburg College (BA-only prescreen required), Boston Conservatory (BFA MT), Illinois Wesleyan University (BFA MT), Northwestern University (BA-no audition required), Depaul University (BFA – Acting)

Final choice: Boston Conservatory in MT

Last thing is that the financial aid is all over the place for the offers she got. When I went to Northwestern, I came from a lower income family and they covered almost the whole cost for me. Our D is coming from a middle income family and received no need-based financial aid from any school. Any aid she was offered was artistic/merit-based. So the whole financial piece is a really difficult layer of the whole process for a lot of kids, unfortunately.


Congratulations! That is an excellent program and choice she made!
I agree about the financial aid piece. We are in a similar circumstance. We make too much money, and yet don’t make enough to cut a check. Each school just sees the make too much money part and didn’t give any federal aid at all. If we could do it all over, we would have also applied to some state schools as well.


Think the perseverance of your daughter handling the sheer number of applications and auditions bodes really well for her future!