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"Provisional" Acceptance: Advice, Please!

ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
edited August 2012 in Theater/Drama Majors
I'm not sure I worded the title correctly, but I need some advice and guidance. In looking at colleges for my daughter, I see that some BFA programs have "provisional" acceptance for the first semester or even the first year. After that time, there is a review to determine if the student continues in the program. I am also finding that there are some colleges who do not do this. (I do understand that students are being evaluated constantly and could potentially not continue in the program, but I'm looking more at those provisional type acceptances.) This process worries me greatly. I'm very concerned about putting the money, time, work, and effort in the first semester or year and then being told you aren't good enough to continue. (Just as a refresher, my daughter is technical theatre, no performance. Also, she is going the BFA route and would prefer conservatory or as close to conservatory as possible.)

I am going to list the schools she is considering at this point. If any of you know that some of these have the provisional acceptance, please let me know. We had really looked at UNC-Greensboro, but we pulled it off because of the provisional acceptance.

Finally, if you have any experience or any information to share regarding this practice, I would love to hear it.


Point Park
University of Central Florida (just noticed this morning about provisional)
Coastal Carolina
Virginia Commonwealth
Columbus State University (our "best" theatre program in GA)

We have pulled University of the Arts and Western Carolina off the list. U of Arts is just way outside our price range, and Western is way too much in the mountains of nowhere for my daughter. :)
Post edited by ugadog99 on

Replies to: "Provisional" Acceptance: Advice, Please!

  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,007 Senior Member
    Not sure exactly what you mean by "provisional," but I believe at Point Park and VCU students are first accepted into the BA and then audition again at a later time (not sure if it is end of freshman or some point sophomore year) for the BFA.

    I have heard that UARTS can be generous with scholarships, so may be worth looking into.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using CC
  • austinmtmomaustinmtmom Registered User Posts: 2,356 Senior Member
    I can tell you what I know from the parent perspective. Coastal Carolina has freshman juries and sophomore barriers. They provide great feedback on where you are in your training, what you need to work on, faculty expectations of you, etc. If you are working hard, growing as an artist, doing all the things you should be doing, then there should not be any issues for you during this process. CCU is not trying to cut anyone. Have people been asked to leave the program? Yes. But it is very rare and I promise that, from what I have seen, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that those asked to leave were not putting in the effort and doing the work. If you want a student perspective, I would PM AlexaMT and she can answer any questions you have.
  • MichaelNKatMichaelNKat Registered User Posts: 4,220 Senior Member
    My daughter graduated from UArts in May 2011. UArts is very generous in both the amount and number of merit scholarships. My daughter's scholarships were quite significant and the amounts offered have only increased at each scholarship tier since she matriculated in August 2007. If you believe the school is otherwise an appropriate one to include on your list, don't initially knock it off because of cost concerns. Most students hear whether they are accepted within 2 weeks of their audition and the acceptance packet contains a scholarship offer. At that point, you can make a better informed decision about the econcomics. You could be very surprised at how the scholarship offerings bring the net cost down to the same ball park as less expensive schools that don't have the same level of scholarship opportunities.
  • ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    Thanks for the information. UCF is the school that uses the term "provisional." That was actually the first time I had seen it used. UNC-Greensboro is the other school where I knew you were admitted to the school but not the BFA program as a freshman. After the first semester, you auditioned to the BFA program. That worries me in both schools. I didn't know Point Park was the same way. Hmmm....back to the research, it appears.

  • snapdragonflysnapdragonfly Registered User Posts: 646 Member
    I don't have a kid in one of those programs but we interviewed a lot of schools with them.

    I ended up actually preferring those kind to the ones that sort them out first, in most cases.
    We asked a lot of questions and almost universally the answers I got were just like what austinmtmom said - that the kids are evaluated on their own work and growth - which is not the same at all as a cut program where a certain number of kids are guaranteed not to make it based on numbers. While they aren't going to outright promise upfront that a prospective student will make it into the BFA program, I was consistently informed that the kids who were not allowed into the BFA programs were kids who were making extremely poor choices about their priorities - the kind that most of the other kids would rather see go anyway, usually, and that would probably get them kicked out of the BFA program even if they were already in it.

    I wouldn't be worried about putting my D in one of those and I tend to worry about everything.
  • ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    Thank you so much! I feel better now. I guess I was confused about cuts vs "provisional" status. We will definitely ask a lot of questions! As long as I feel comfortable with the answers they give about not having a set number accepted, we will continue with those applications. Thanks again, everyone! I'm sure I'll be back with more!
  • snapdragonflysnapdragonfly Registered User Posts: 646 Member
    Yes, there is a big difference between those and actual "cut" programs.

    I asked them if they compared a student to other the other kids and the answers I got at the schools we looked at were pretty much that these evaluations do not compare them to other kids like auditions for capped programs do, but rather they just look at the individual's own progress and efforts. I suppose if the number they let progress into the BFA was capped it would be more of an issue but none of the programs we looked at did that. And since many of my D's best qualities (her work ethic, her team spirit, her ability to work well either in groups or independently, how well she handles all the demands of rehearsals, how much her peers respect and like her, and just the general positive influence she is on the cast and crews she works with, etc) don't show up in a five minute audition, I felt that she had a much better shake at an accurate and fair evaluation even if one of these provisional programs were capped. I know auditioners are frightfully good at picking out certain qualities in a minute and a half of auditions but if getting a closer look is only going to help your kid look even better, this kind of program seems like a good fit.

    So ask all about these things and I bet you will find some great schools back on your list.
  • ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    Thanks again, snapdragonfly. We discussed this briefly last night (well...after rehearsals, work on a math project, studying for 2 tests, and....you know, all that senior "stuff"). Now that we both understand it better, we will keep UCF on the list for now (and others that may have the same policy). After meeting with them, we will decide how to proceed.

    Thanks again!
  • ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    For those that have visited and interviewed at colleges with this type of policy, can you tell me what kinds of questions you asked? I want to be sure we cover all our bases on this.

    Again, thank you all so much for your advice. Even though I've been through the college process with another daughter, the theatre route is completely different!
  • photomom5photomom5 Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    My daughter is about to begin her second year at Shenandoah and she loves it. The kids are highly supportive of each other and help each other to succeed. This has been a wonderful experience and as a parent, am delighted with the school.
  • ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    Thank you, photomom. Shenandoah is on her list. Do you live in VA? This is getting to be a frustrating experience. All of her schools (except for 1 or really 2) are out of state. Georgia just isn't known for its theatre power! Finances are a concern, too. There is just so much to sort through!
  • TheRealKEVPTheRealKEVP - Posts: 986 Member
    ugadog, I think the questions you need to ask are simply "What does a student have to do to remain in the program? What would get a student removed from the program? Do you have some sort of "review" after the first semester or first year?"

    They really can't "hide" this from you.

  • ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    Thanks, TheRealKEVP. I just don't want to sound like an idiot when we speak with them. I think those questions will answer what we need to know.
  • MichaelNKatMichaelNKat Registered User Posts: 4,220 Senior Member
    ugadog99, here are some additional questions to ask:
    1. Does the school have a policy of cutting the class size to a specified number after freshman or sophomore year and if so, how is this done and what criteria are determinative?
    2. Must students reaudition after freshman or sophomore year to remain in the program and what options are offered to students who are not accepted to remain in the program. On a related note, what is the pool of students against whom a student is competing in the reaudition process - new freshmen applicants, transfers from other schools, transfers from other programs or tracks within the theatre department?
    3. Does the school require students to pass juries and on what frequency? What is the purpose of the jury? What happens if a student does not pass the jury?
    4. Is a student required to pass any type of screening or evaluation after freshman or sophomore year to move on to more advanced classes and what happens/what options are available to a student who does not pass the screening or evaluation?
    5. If the answer to any of the above is "yes" and that the student must leave the program, is a student given any advance notice that they are in jeopardy, and when and how does that occur?
  • ugadog99ugadog99 Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    Oh my goodness, MichaelnKat, thank you so much! That is exactly the kind of information I needed! Sometimes I just feel so ridicuously stupid when it comes to this process. I know I'm ahead of the game as far as the folks around here, but all you CCers know so much more. I'm making a binder of information we need to know and ask. Thank you so much!
This discussion has been closed.