Looking to be chanced for Film/TV Production, Broadcast Journalism

Hi! I’m a high school senior in Southern California, and I’m just wondering how accurate my ranking (safety/likely/target/reach) is of the schools I have listed. Additionally, I am very interested in attending Boston University and am wondering if I should apply ED. Thank you!


  • US domestic (US citizen or permanent resident) or international student: US Citizen
  • State/Location of residency: California
  • Type of high school (current college for transfers): Public High School
  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional): Female, White

Intended Major(s)
Film/Television Production, Broadcast Journalism

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 3.84
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.11 (A-F Grading Scale)
  • Class Rank: School does not rank
  • ACT/SAT Scores:
    ACT Composite: 31
    ACT Reading: 34
    ACT English: 35
    ACT Math: 28
    ACT Science: 28


Dual Enrollment: Digital Media 1-2, Broadcast Journalism 1-2, taking Digital Media Adv. in spring

(Taking AP English Lit this spring)
Honors Courses: Honors Freshman English, Humanities
Math: Integrated 1-3 through Pre-Calc
Foreign Language: Through 5-6

Advanced Choirs all four years (also listed in Extracurriculars)


Stable Award (Tenacious), December 2019
Teacher-nominated award due to showing tenacity in an Integrated One Math classroom.

Stable Award (Balance), May 2021
Teacher-nominated award due to display of balancing priorities.

Silver Star Award, June 2021
Awarded by high school for maintaining an overall 4.0 GPA in Sophomore year.

9th District PTA Reflections Award of Merit, March 2019
Award for photography.


Internship via School District Career Technical Education (CTE), August 2022-Present, 10-15 hours/week
Selective, digital media internship consisting of nine students from high schools across the district. Interns produce monthly videos about programs and special events throughout PUSD.

UCLA Summer Institute Digital Filmmaking, July 2022-August 2022, 2 weeks
Rigorous, two-week program where students learn how to craft a short, narrative film.

School District CTE Summer Film Workshop, July 2021, 2 weeks
Two-week workshop in which a student-led production crew writes, shoots, and edits a short film with mentorship from industry professionals.

Digital Media Live Production Team, August 2021-Present, 5 hours/week
Operating cameras and switcher in order to live stream student events at the high school.

Vice President of Digital Media Live Production, September 2022-Present
Coordinating and managing the live production team.

Madrigals, August 2021-Present, 7.5 hours/week
Audition-only, advanced choir which performs at sporting events, festivals, and concerts.

Madrigals Social Media Manager, August 2021-Present, varies
Involves posting to the Choir’s Instagram and promoting concerts.

Madrigals Historian, August 2022-Present, varies
Involves social media managing as well as photographing choir events and creating an end of year video.

Advanced Women’s Ensemble, August 2019-June 2021, 7.5 hours/week
Audition-level choir which performs at festivals and concerts.

Crew Member at Movie Theater, October 2021-June 2022, 15 hours/week
Crew member position in a fast-paced environment with many employees and guests. Position included selling tickets, working concessions, and ushering auditoriums.

Etsy Shop Owner, Summer 2020, 4 hours/week
Created, sold, and shipped video game trading cards.

Pet Sitting, December 2017-Present, varies
Responsible for all basic animal needs while pet owners were out of town.

Honors Humanities Tutor, September 2021-Present, 6 hours/semester
Teacher-recommended position involves assisting sophomore Honors Humanities students with essay writing.

National Honors Society, August 2020-Present, 9 hours/semester
Accepted for my commitment to academics, service, and character. Engage in community volunteer services within the community and attend monthly meetings.

Peer Counseling, August 2020-Present, 4 hours/week
Provide tutoring and social/emotional support for other students.

Blue Crew, June 2021-Present, 3 hours/month
Providing incoming freshmen and new students with campus tours.

Bridge Program, Summer 2021 and 2022, tutoring incoming freshman students.

Book Club (President/Founder), September 2021-Present, 2 hours/week
Planning and running monthly discussions on selected pieces of literature.
School Human Relations Conference Leader, Spring 2022, 5 hours

Next-Gen Politics, August 2021-Present, 1 hour/month
Engaging in a friendly debate on relevant political topics.

Black Student Union, August 2020-January 2021, 1 hour/month
Learning and spreading awareness on topics regarding people of color.

Do Good Crew, August 2019-June 2020, 2 hour/month
Spreading kindness and positivity through monthly, club-chosen activities.

Voice Lessons, 2015-Present, 4 hour/month
Weekly lessons studying proper vocal and musical techniques.

Cost Constraints / Budget
Some financial need.


  • Safety
  • Temple (EA), Depaul (EA), Loyola University Chicago, UC Santa Cruz
  • Likely
  • Fordham University (EA)
  • Match/Target Reach
  • Boston University (ED), UC Santa Barbara, Vassar, George Washington University, American University, Lafayette College
  • Reach
  • Wesleyan University, Chapman University/Dodge (EA)

What is your weighting system ? .5 for Honors. +1 for AP?

Eclectic mix of schools.

No Syracuse ?

If BU is truly your #1 and you can afford it and more importantly your parents want to afford it, then sure. Have them run the NPC.

Not sure I’d submit the ACT. Last years range 25/75 was 31-34 and less than half of entrants submitted per common data set.

Solid profile. Best of luck. WIth GW and AU show love. Your labeling seems solid to me assuming match / reach intends a high target. Wasn’t sure Chapman is a reach but perhaps that program is.

If cost is an issue, you might add FSU (reach for program) and U of Arizona…safety. Both would be much lower cost.

Best of luck.

What are your 3 UC GPA’s and please post them. GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub

2021 UCSC admit rate for Film and Digital Media was 57% so I would place it as a Target, not a safety school.

2022 UCSB admit rate overall was 25.9%, UCSB would be in the Low Reach category. No data on major specific admit rate so difficult to determine but since the College of Letters and Sciences does not admit by major, I would use the overall admit rate to gauge your chances.

You might want to consider LMU Los Angeles as Likely/Target.

Best of luck.

Unweighted: 3.83
Weighted: 4.10
Weighted and Capped: 4.0

Hopefully this is what you were meaning! LMU Film does not allow me to easily change my emphasis, so I’m not applying there. Thank you for your reply!

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I toured Syracuse and I loved the tour, but its too remote for me.

I just calculated with the UC weighting system, so hopefully that provides some clarity on my GPA. I included APs with the honors courses.

Unweighted: 3.83
Weighted: 4.10
Weighted and Capped: 4.0

Thank you for the reply!

If SU is too remote…not sure what you mean by remote as it’s smack near the city in a near 700k metro area…then other than being UCs, I can’t see how Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara fit. Same with Lafayette.

It’s more focused but have you looked at Emerson? And then both U of A and ASU - more affordable and both in big - although not Boston urban like - areas.

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S21 felt same about Syracuse and Ithaca. Loved his summer film camp at Syracuse but too far off the beaten path.

We’re PA residents. Visited Temple. Do your own due diligence about the campus and surrounding area. Look at Penn State’s Bellisario school instead.

We liked Fordham for business and NYC is great but not sure about film. Same with GWU and Lafayette.

Did you look at Emerson? Probably was his top choice but didn’t get enough merit. Boston is a great college city. Not much of a campus but the city and location are great.

DePaul I get but Loyola Chicago not so sure. S20 and S21 really enjoyed DePaul. The film facilities at DePaul are top notch. Probably finished 2nd or 3rd for S21.

SCAD Atlanta’s facilities were fantastic and Atlanta is Hollywood east right now. I thought S21 would pick SCAD. He chose FSU for digital media. Did not get into the film school. So far he loves it. He’s worked on sets there. It’s pretty easy to get involved.

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Interesting as Tallahassee is more remote IMHO than Syracuse although FSU is a wonderful school and as the student has need - it’s very affordable relative to other schools for OOS students even without an OOS waiver.

Ithaca for sure as it’s a small town.

It’s such a tough field - I wonder if NEU is a good fit in this major as you’d get a co-op. UMN would be an affordable, after merit, urban school. UW Milwaukee has a highly rated school in the field with affordable OOS tuition. And SFSU would give you an in state option that has a large program.

Good luck to OP. You have a shot at BU ED…perhaps go TO. Others on here have commebted that they will tell you whether or not to submit which is unique. And I suspect you will get at least several acceptances although I would ensure the areas meet your urban (and safe) need because I don’t necessarily see that in your school choice. And of course your desired cost as career success in this area is hard to come by.

Good luck.

Along these lines, Syracuse received recognition this month in Travel + Leisure as a top college town/city:

I think it was more the weather and beaches. Eighteen year-olds.

One more school I remembered was Drexel. We really liked Westphal. If OP is considering Philly it might not be bad. They actually gave a fair amount of merit to both S20 and S21.

If you’re all-in for film UNCSA is another great option. All they do is arts.


I agree with Gumbymom, take a look at LMU for film production. You’ll want to apply early to try to financial aid. Also look at University of San Francisco (USF).

I would have thought Vassar was pretty much as difficult to get admitted to as Wesleyan, especially as a female.


Curious why Emerson is not on this list. In my opinion they have stronger programs in your intended fields than BU. So…why BU?


This school so flies under the radar screen. It’s a public conservatory in Winston-Salem and is terrific for arts focused kids. Like any other conservatory, it’s not a good choice if your student thinks they might want to switch out of the arts.

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@ss109 how much aid do you need? Have you run the Net Price Calculators to see what they say your family net costs will be for schools that interest you?

We visited pre Covid. If you’re all-in for a BFA it’s great. Very nice facilities. Campus is so-so. All they offer is arts so you have to be 100% sure. Not a lot of recognition on CC but for people in the know it’s a T10 film school or close to it.

And I don’t understand why Emerson isn’t on OP’s list.

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One thing is - does OP want film school or broadcast journalism - because they are vastly different.

All I can tell is that they want uber urban and will need some $$ - but how much, who knows?

Emerson is a fine school - but it’s not the full college experience, etc. so it’s not for everyone - but even I asked if they visited, etc.

@tsbna44 Emerson has the strongest program I know if in the interests this student says they want…in the northeast. It is VERY strong in these areas. We know grads who are successfully employed in these fields.

I’m curious why this school is not on this student’s list given their interests.

Why do you say this? Because they don’t have some sports team? It IS a full college experience for those wishing to enter these fields.

Actually I believe they have sports and Greek life. My comment was more the lack of diversity academically. It’s just more focused than a BU or other school OP mentioned. That’s all.