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Safety BA Schools?

musique214musique214 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited July 2011 in Theater/Drama Majors
Now that it is the summer before my senior year, I have almost finished deciding my list of colleges. However, while I have several BFA and selective BA schools on my list, I don't have many BA safety schools, because it's hard to tell which ones are good for theater. Could anyone give me suggestions for schools that are less selective but have good non-audition theater programs?
Post edited by musique214 on

Replies to: Safety BA Schools?

  • butterfliesbutterflies Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    If you posted your stats, people could give you more accurate feedback. A safety school for me might be a match or reach for someone else, academically.

    I have Temple and Muhlenberg on my safety list, you could check them out. Vassar is also nonaudition BA, but it's much more selective.
  • OneToughMommyOneToughMommy Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    Agree with Butterflies on all. Her comment about Vassar reflects our experience with our daughter this past year. We had:
    1. Audition Schools
    2. Non-audition reach schools
    3. Non-audition likely schools
    4. Non-audition safety schools.

    It ended up being about 14 schools total, because my D only did five audition schools, which is low. You should probably have at least two non-audition safety schools; the rest will depend on your personal preferences, finances, and stamina (for visiting schools and filling out applications).

    Happy to make suggestions once you post your stats and any other relevant information about your qualifications.

    Best regards.
  • theater momtheater mom Registered User Posts: 535 Member
    At the risk of opening up a can of worms here, I just want to say that you may want lots of REACH schools (and since audition schools are all reaches, you'll need lots of audition schools if you have your heart set on those) but only a handful of LIKELY schools and one SAFETY for the non-audition.

    Likely schools should be those you have good reason to believe will accept you. Safeties are affordable schools that you know will take you. You don't need safeties for your safeties.

    The application process is both time-consuming and mind-numbing. After you have written the same essay in a slightly different form at least a dozen times, it is just not as interesting as when it was fresh. Many non-audition schools also ask for interviews which can be hard to schedule if you have a lot of auditions. Don't make it harder for yourself (and everyone else) by adding schools you don't want to your list.

    Do your research and ask for help to determine schools where you stand a good chance of acceptance.
  • musique214musique214 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thank you for the tips! I have 14 schools on my list right now, but I'm trying to narrow down the list and then add a few safeties.

    My SAT scores are 710 Critical Reading, 700 Math, and 720 Writing.
    My grade average is about an 84 (my school doesn't do grades on a 4.0 scale, but I think that would be a 2.9).

    Also, if it helps, I have leadership positions in my school's Women's Rights Club, Improv Troupe, and Drama Department (I'm the First Drama Head). I've been in six plays at my school so far, and I'm in three of my school's singing groups: Glee Club, Chamber Choir, and an a capella group.

    Hope that helps! Please let me know if I should add any other useful information.
  • musique214musique214 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    theater mom, You have a very good point. Since I don't know which schools I would DEFINITELY get into, though, I might apply to two or three safeties just in case.
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    We used the same application plan as OneToughMommy. My D also only did five auditions, which is not the best odds, but she lucked out. She applied to ALOT of schools, I will be honest. She wanted to keep her options open, and really was interested in going almost anywhere geographically, so we threw out alot of darts.

    As a result, she had some wonderful choices in the spring. If she hadn't gotten into a BFA program, she still had great options among the BAs. Before the decisions came in, she said that she was glad that she had given auditioning a shot, and she would feel better about pursuing a BA knowing that she had at least tried, AND that she would still be determined to make it in the theater world!

    Personally, I think the likely schools -- also known as match -- are just as important as the safety schools. If the auditions, or a first BA choice doesn't work out, I think it's important to have a school where you feel happy about going -- and not just something you feel you are settling for.
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    Don't forget, too, that applying as a theater kid to a school known for the arts means that the competition is even tougher, such as at Vassar, which already is extremely tough to get into.
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    It is true that the application process is grueling. A few schools got tossed along the way, but then they sent an extension after the deadline had passed (hmm... how did all those schools experience technical difficulties ??), so my D ended up sending in her application late to some.

    Some schools don't have supplementary essays, so unless application fees are a big consideration for you, these are easy to keep on the list!
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    I see that I have not addressed your initial question! Can you post your application list as it stands now? Then we can fill in some holes. I have to say, though, that I think you should also look for some schools that aren't as "known" for theater, but still might offer great opportunities -- especially a chance to be a big fish in a small pond. Consider how many kids are going to be auditioning at the "known" schools...

    Plenty of actors come from all sorts of backgrounds. My S goes to Grinnell (not as a theater student though; his sister's the actor..), and there is a wonderful interview in the college magazine with Emily Bergl, who was on "Desperate Housewives." I think it's really worth reading. Her insights into theater, acting, auditioning and the value of a good education are wonderful. There is also a Grinnell grad currently getting an MFA at Tisch for musical theater writing. My point is not to tout Grinnell per se, but to show that there are many paths to artistic success.

    I'm sorry I can't post a link just to the article; you have to download the whole magazine. But, as I said, I thought her interview was really worth reading!!

    Grinnell Magazine Summer 2011 PDF - About Grinnell | Grinnell College
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    The other thing about studying theater in college, is that you can also take summer or semester programs to supplement your training. Just as an example, Tisch has a semester program for students from other schools, and its study abroad (at least its summer programs; not sure about the semester ones) are open to students from other colleges. There are other programs (La Mama, O'Neill in Connecticut etc.) that have these kinds of options, too.
  • theater momtheater mom Registered User Posts: 535 Member
    It is tough to know what schools will definitely take you but ask your counselor. For my daughter, it was a state college in a nearby state, one with reciprocity for California, open to anyone with a threshold GPA. In retrospect, I can see that some of her likely schools were also quite safe and you need to factor this into the equation as well. Several VERY LIKELY schools are almost like another safety.

    A lot of students underrate their chances. This is not so problematic as over-rating but it's not helpful either. However, once again, a counselor can best help you do this.
  • OneToughMommyOneToughMommy Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    I don't think TM and I are really at odds. I think that if you have one definite safety school that you are definitely happy to attend, then by all means leave it at that. The thing is, in the case of my D, and probably other prospective BFA students, there was just too much else going on to figure out which of the possible safeties was a good fit, so she applied to several, figuring she'd give them a closer look if and when it became necessary to do so. (It wasn't, but after the first few auditioned rejections, having some "safety" acceptance in her pocket - with offers of merit scholarships - eased the pain and anxiety a bit.) YMMV, just one more thing to think about.
  • OneToughMommyOneToughMommy Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    Also, I second SDon's suggestion. Now that we have some information about you as an applicant, if you could post the list of schools you're considering we can give you our thoughts about your chances.
  • momof3sonsmomof3sons Registered User Posts: 5,116 Senior Member
    musique-sorry I didn't see this thread earlier, but I think that Muhlenberg is a great "safer" school for you with your SAT scores. I honestly don't understand what your GPA equates to, though. Assuming it is in line with your SAT scores, I believe that you would be offered a substantial merit aid scholarship from Muhlenberg for your academic achievement. They have a terrific theatre program with beautiful theatre facilities, and while auditions are not required, if you do make it to campus and can audition for the head of the department, you may also be offered a talent scholarship in addition to a merit scholarship.
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