The entire university gives a few full scholarships every year. I’m not sure about what other scholarships they offer. I haven’t heard of anyone getting instate tuition but again I’m not totally sure. They do have to sing in the audition but they don’t dance. They do read the resumes and artistic statements so they will know about the dance training. Best of luck!
Hi all! I’m so excited to finally share my decision. I am a tech major instead of MT, but figured this was the best place to post.
Programs Applied to: UNCSA, Carnegie Mellon, BU, Syracuse, DePaul, Illinois Wesleyan, TCU, Evansville, Webster, UCF, Florida Southern, Missouri State, UF, Nazareth, U Alabama, Ohio U, Millikin (BFA Theatre Design/Technology or BFA Scene Design if available)
Prescreens: UNCSA, Carnegie Mellon, BU, DePaul, TCU (all passed)
Accepted to: Syracuse, DePaul, Illinois Wesleyan, TCU, Evansville, UCF, UF, Nazareth, U Alabama, Ohio U, Millikin
Withdrew: Webster, Florida Southern, Missouri State (applied academically, decided not to artistically)
Rejected from: UNCSA, BU
Wait-listed at: Carnegie Mellon
Coach: No official coach, but I did have my technical theatre teachers (who all have professional experiences and also went through the BFA application process) assist me with my portfolio and interview skills.
Summer Programs: 2 summers volunteering with a local community college for their summer musicals. Accepted to DePaul’s 2020 summer theatre intensive, but decided not to attend after it was moved online.
I started taking theatre classes in 6th grade. They mostly revolved around theatre history and acting, but there was also some work with sets and props. I began performing in shows, as well as making some small props for them. I was able to do this 6th through 8th grade. At the end of 8th grade, I auditioned for the technical theatre department at my city’s arts high school and was accepted.
Attending the arts high school greatly improved my skills. I was able to take 4 arts classes each year, including things such as stagecraft, drawing, props, set and costume design, lighting technology, and CAD. My sophomore year, I earned a superior for a set design I took to a Thespians competition, and junior year, I won Critic’s Choice for the same category. I was also allowed to assistant design a total of three productions in school, as well as fully designing a show for a community theatre. I was also able to hold positions of deck crew head and student technical director.
I wanted lots of college options. I chose a mix of affordable state schools (unfortunately, my state doesn’t have any notable tech programs), private and out-of-state schools that were known for being generous with aid, and a few “reach” schools that I likely wouldn’t make it into or wouldn’t be able to afford.
The list came down to: UNCSA, Carnegie Mellon, BU, Syracuse, DePaul, Illinois Wesleyan, TCU, Evansville, Webster, UCF, Florida Southern, Missouri State, UF, Nazareth, U Alabama, Ohio U, Millikin
I applied EA to every school that offered it, then RD to others. I passed prescreens from each school that required it.
November 8th: UF Interview
First interview! I was honestly really unsure how it went and was pretty nervous. I made sure to take plenty of notes afterwards so I could improve my interviews going forward. Accepted November 16th.
November 20th: Nazareth Interview
I was a lot more confident this time, since I had created some notecards for myself. Those interviewing me were super friendly. Accepted February 5th (I was surprised how long the decision took!)
November 24th: Millikin Interview
The longest interview I had. It was almost an hour, so I was able to go into a lot of detail describing my portfolio. Interviewer said she would nominate me for a theatre scholarship! Accepted around 2 months later.
December 5th: IWU Interview
Pretty similar to my interview with Nazareth, around 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with the staff. Accepted January 28th.
December 6th: TCU Interview
My shortest interview, only 10 minutes! I was still able to highlight some of my favorite portfolio pieces, though. Despite the short interview, I felt I really connected to the interviewers. Accepted March 3rd, received notification of Chancellor’s Scholarship in Theatre (full tuition) on March 10th.
December 7th: UNCSA Interview
This one was an all-day event, 9am to 5pm. They started with a video tour and staff describing the program. By the time interviews started, I was exhausted! Despite this being my top school for a while, I really didn’t think the interview went well. I had a bad feeling from the moment the Zoom call ended. Rejected February 12th.
January 22nd: UA Interview
Went pretty well! I really liked the staff and was able to speak with some of them before the interview. Accepted on the spot.
January 23rd: DePaul Interview
Despite knowing how competitive the program was, I actually wasn’t too nervous about this one. My interviewer was very welcoming and said I would likely get a big scholarship offer. I had a good feeling about the interview. Accepted March 8th.
January 28th: CMU Interview
Super nervous about this one! My interviewers were very friendly and asked me detailed questions about 3-4 of my portfolio pieces. I felt good about the interview, but I was aware how slim my chances were. Waitlisted March 27th.
January 30th: Evansville Interview
One of my more average interviews, similar to Nazareth and IWU. Not sure of my exact date of acceptance (I received a letter in the mail), but it was about a month later.
February 1st: Otterbein Interview
I had a lot of fun with this one, but it was shorter than I expected. I was able to speak to some of the staff before and really liked the vibe of them and the school. Accepted on the spot.
February 6th: BU Interview
Another one I was nervous for. My interviewer was super nice, and told me that he’d recommend me for the BFA program, but the academic department still had to approve as well. I felt pretty good about it afterwards! Unfortunately, rejected March 27th.
February 13th: UCF Interview
Another one I felt average about. I had been able to talk to a lot of student beforehand to get a good feel for the program. Interviewers all seemed to like my work. Accepted March 5th.
Despite my strong stats (3.93 UW GPA, 4.51 W GPA, 33 ACT, top 5% of class) and a lot of strong interviews, only 4 schools ended up being affordable. These were UF (Bright Futures scholarship), UA (Presidential Scholarship with theatre work-study), UCF (Bright Futures and Provost Scholarship), and TCU (Chancellor’s Scholarship).
I eliminated UF first, since I was told I would likely only get to design 1 show while being there (due to their strong graduate program). I then eliminated UA, due to the fact they also had a graduate program, and the location.
Between UCF and TCU, I thought that TCU had the stronger program. It was smaller in size with more opportunities to design, two factors that were very important to me when selecting schools. However, in the end, the cost of UCF would have been around 5k, while TCU would have been around 13k. After reviewing finances with my dad, we found it would be impossible for us to afford TCU (I come from a large family, so it’s been important to us to find the most affordable options possible). I emailed TCU to let them know about the situation, and was told that they would see if there were any additional scholarships they could offer me. A day later, I was told I received an extra scholarship that made it cheaper than UCF!
A week after, I was able to visit TCU with my dad. I really connected with the students and staff, and felt extremely welcome within the school. The facilities looked great and the student work I saw was very high in quality. The tour we took helped to make the decision final for us.
Final Decision: TCU for BFA Theatre Design and Technology!
Congrats Techie!! always LOVE when the students themselves post & love when a Non MT like my friend @Loganator did last year joins the party, congrats and enjoy being a Horned Frog!!
can you pm yet? if so please pm me and I will be happy to give you a little inside information!
Congratulations, @003techie! What a fantastic interview season and results! This Tech Mom is super-excited for you.
The design opportunities being limited for undergrads because of a grad program is a huge consideration. We saw that with other programs as well. (I’m highlighting that piece for future Tech Types!)
TCU is a terrific program. If you’re not in Texas already, you’re getting here as soon as you can. Welcome!!!
Great to see an experience from a techie! Hopefully I can sit down and write my DD’s out (She’s underwater with her senior project right now)
Congratulations to your DS! I read and loved your story! I connected with the fact that your son sparked an interest in MT in HS.
My DS is currently a jr. in HS and also was late in realizing his love of MT. I am feeling very overwhelmed as we are starting the college process and there is so much info regarding MT programs, and he mostly has dance experience with very little voice and acting experience. He has only participated in school musicals and was to do his first production with a private company when covid hit. Do you have any suggestions for how to begin to tackle all of the information that is out there and how to deal with the limited background/experience he has.
This is a particularly good situation to use a coach on. I assume other coaching services are similar, but we are using College Audition Coach (the one that runs Moonifieds) and have been very pleased with the volume of information on different programs they provide for their students. It really takes a lot of the guess work about programs out of the mix. I am not sure she is still taking juniors this year but it is worth looking into. We have local kid who was an excellent actor but weak to very weak in the other areas and they got him up to speed and into a number of programs. I have also seen a couple of prestigus summer programs still looking for boys. SSTI still has spots I believe.
@dramadrama Just second-ing @Theaterforme’s SSTI (Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute in Hilton Head, SC) suggestion – there is still a spot for a male in Session Two, and there are spots in both Essentials Sessions. Either Essentials or the full Session would benefit him immensely. The week between performance weekends of the four-week programs is filled with master classes and college audition prep.
Congratulations @003techie !
I love your explanation of how you categorized your mix of schools to purse for auditions and how you narrowed down your choice to arrive at your best fit. Any advice on identifying schools that are generous with aid?
The presence of a grad program was definitely a HUGE consideration! I’m so excited to get to move to Texas this fall
I would love to see that! It’s always so good to see what the process was like for other tech majors.
A lot of the information I got about schools with good aid came from here! I remember seeing a post a while ago about someone who had gotten their tuition fully covered by TCU, so that’s what motivated me to apply there. I also looked at in-state publics (UCF and UF with Bright Futures) and out-of-state publics with automatic merit scholarships (Missouri State, SEMO, Northern Illinois, U Alabama, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, U Arizona) for affordability. In my experience, the net price calculators for private schools were mostly accurate (like Nazareth, IWU, and Evansville). Some schools, like Millikin and Otterbein, surprised us by meeting our EFC (even though the EFC didn’t accurately reflect what we could pay).
The grad program piece was mostly responsible for knocking my D’s top choice “on paper” off of its perch, unfortunately. We had heard this concern a couple of other places and became wary, and then a grad student conducted her theater facilities tour at the top choice and she learned a lot about the design opportunities. That was a tough decline, especially after her acceptance came with a substantial scholarship and honors college offer, but it was the right call.
I’m about an hour away and I have Mom friends in Ft. Worth, along with a friend whose daughter just graduated from TCU and another who is a freshman there this fall — if you ever need anything, let me know! Being halfway across the country has its challenges (my D is in NJ, so I empathize with your family), and it doesn’t hurt to “know” someone nearby for intel, tips, etc., just in case.
Background When we started this journey we were purposely looking for “hidden gem” programs. My son has always been one to sing. He was humming before he could talk and singing by the age of 2. We were told early on he had perfect pitch and an understanding of music by his elementary school teacher. She loved having him in class and made us promise he would always be involved in music. He’s played an instrument since he was 9 and still does. Back in 7th grade, he drew a future timeline and that is when he said out loud, “I will be on Broadway, either on stage or under it, in the pit band” Then his sophomore year of high school he tried out for Mary Poppins. He received a small role but embraced it. He knew he was a younger student and had to pay his dues. During the production, students dropped out for various reasons. He was asked to take on a different role one month in and went with it, then 3 weeks before curtain, he was asked to take on the role of Mr. Banks. He was nervous but committed. He was part of the ensemble as well as the smaller part he had so he knew many of the songs, what he needed to do now was learn the lines. He was so nervous but buckled down. Opening night came, he took in a deep breath, went on stage delivered his first line, and was hooked. After, when the performers were in the hallway greeting guest, so many adults were complimenting him and telling how amazing he was, he fell in love. He had all this music experience, however, he was only a mover, and before all our prep had not had traditional vocal lessons. We set up vocal lessons, and dance lessons in February of his Junior year, then covid hit and delayed those plans until we could all meet again, later in the summer.
We worked hard carving out our list of Reach, Fit and Safe Schools. Researched and asked questions. Met with some friends to talk over options, hired a vocal coach, and got enrolled in lessons, then Covid hit. That pushed both lessons back about 6 months.
In the end, he applied to 25 schools (many free applications this year, one thing Covid gave that was a plus).
In the end, he had:
14 Prescreens, 6 Redirects, 12 auditions(some did not have prescreen)
He received 2 BFA’s 14 BA programs 2 waitlists and 2 non-auditions.
Programs Applied to Arcadia University, Ball State, Castleton University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Dean College, Elon University, Keene State College, High Point University, Indiana University-Pennsylvania, LIU-Post, Marymount Manhattan College, Molloy/CAP 21, Montclair, Muhlenburg College, Niagara University, Pace University, Plymouth State University, Rider University, Slippery Rock University, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Fredonia, University of Hartford, UNC Greensboro, Wagner College, Wells College, and Western Connecticut University
Prescreens: Ball State, Rider University
Accepted to BFA Programs: Manhattanville College and Niagara University. BA Programs: Arcadia University, Castleton University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Dean College, Keene State, High Point, Indiana University-Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, SUNY Fredonia, UNC Greensboro, and Wells College
Withdrew: Ball State, SUNY Cortland
Rejected from Elon, LIU Post, Marymount Manhattan College, Molloy/CAP 21, Montclair, Muhlenberg College, Pace University, Western Connecticut University
Wait-listed at Wagner College
Coach: Drew at College Audition Pros
Summer Programs: He was signed up but Covid canceled it
Last Thoughts: Listen to everyone when they say your child will find their home!! I was so nervous with him deciding this so much later than most. Due to this, we made a larger list, but we made sure to cast a wide net. The only schools we considered “safe” were the local state schools. We obtained so much valuable information from here and an MT Parent group. The most important piece of advice I can give, don’t try to gauge where your child will land based on the previous year’s results or on what other people say. I will also suggest not digging too deep into decisions that you and your child can not control. It’s a waste of time to try and understand why they received a NO. Make sure you run the Net Price Calculators before applying to any school. Remember that even though you need to apply to many schools, research them and make sure your child will want to attend if they are their final result. The worst thing I have seen happen is when a student falls in love with a school that they end up not being able to afford, or on the flip side, they only get into schools they have no interest in attending. These are key pieces going into this process. I had a very thorough conversation with my son before we began and in the end, the decision would rest upon where he got in and where we could afford and make certain anything on our list that he was not willing to consider, he takes off before we start. That is why he kept his list in the North East, with only as far south as the Carolinas. I wish all future MT/Acting hopefuls and their families all the best. It’s an incredible journey, intense at times, full of tears and laughter. Embrace what is coming and hold tight. Stock up on wine and enjoy the ride!!
Final Decision: He with be attending Niagara Universityas a BFA Theater Performance major!!
If you are looking for a program to learn Musical Theatre, have a Conservatory feel while adding in some Liberal Arts and Physical Theatre, this is the school!!
Great info! Wishing you all the best!
Thank you for sharing the journey! We are in a very similar place with my rising senior. All the plans for this year went out the window. This so so inspiring!
Best of luck!
Dramadrama this was us. You can read our final decision story from 2024, but feel free to hit me up with any questions. The kid basically dropped everything they could and trained HARD all the way up through and during auditions. We used MTCA and their coaches are incredibly talented and helped get my kid ready. We started with them in May of Jr year so you have time if the kid is willing to put in the work.
You are very welcome, and feel free to as any questions along the way.
@sonnie323 I fondly remember you joining the class of "24 towards the end of our journey & I have enjoyed following yours, congrats to you and your talented son, wishing him an incredible 4 years!!