I’d love to get feedback from someone who has done the Harvard/NEC dual degree program.
Also interested- can you pm me as well?
PM’ed you @hbyjby13
My son didn’t want to apply to the dual degree, saying that only G-d could do both. Then he finally talked to someone he knew who had recently completed it. The guy pointed out that it was no more work than the load carried in high school by the kind of people who are qualified for dual degree, and in fact is often less.
Students spend the majority of their time at Harvard in the first 3 years, and more time at NEC in years 4-5. You can be accepted at both schools and NOT get into the double degree program, which is very competitive. It is possible to apply to the double degree program after the first year at Harvard, but not afterward.
There are reasons to NOT do the double degree program. One obvious reason is money. If you have financial aid at Harvard, you will still pay extra for the time at NEC and for the 5th year you are reevaluated by NEC for financial and merit aid. It may be better to do a 4 year BA, or a 4 year BM, then try to get a masters or doctoral program that is funded (master’s are not often funded unless part of a doctoral degree). Then again, the 5 year double degree program saves the cost of a the second year of a master’s, another consideration.
Some students like to be on one campus, in one community. (Harvard and NEC are not linked by subway and the bus down Mass. Ave. can be slow!)
Some students may want the extra year of a master’s to develop.
Some students may want a different grad school after 4 years of developing their playing and career interests.
Some students want the full immersion in an NEC BM from the start, and some students can get what they need musically while at Harvard only. either by majoring in music or something else, while continuing lessons, practice and performance in and out of the classroom.
I am not sure which scenario most closely resembles the life of a committed high school student who excels in both academics and music, but I think that many of the double degree students are quite happy with it.
If you get into one of the schools, or get into both schools but not the double degree program, it is not the end of the world. I know several musicians who did the double degree, and several who did, and many of both groups went on to further study and/or careers in music (and some who continued music as amateurs and went on to other paths).