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How extensive is each acting schools application?

5boys5boys Registered User Posts: 1,775 Senior Member
edited March 2013 in Theater/Drama Majors
I was wondering if anyone can shed some light on how much " extra" work each application to each school is. Does it vary? Can you use the same essays on the common app in the arts supplement? My DS has about 20 schools on his list to date. A mixture of LAC's and BFA's with a couple likely non auditioned BA's. I think he needs a pretty wide net, so I'm basically asking if he is committing an early death with this amount of work????
Post edited by 5boys on
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Replies to: How extensive is each acting schools application?

  • MarbleheaderMarbleheader Registered User Posts: 694 Member
    Unfortunately, every school is different, so you have to read the directions for each one. Some of the supplements don't involve hardly anything, while others require a separate essay.

    Nothing's simple! We are doing our scholarship booklet now (all due by April 1) and each scholarship needs specific things. All the essays are just a hair different, so you can usually start with one and tweak it. Same with the college essay - just make sure you tweak it correctly for each school!
  • theatermom2013theatermom2013 Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
    Marbleheader is right. Each one (even on the common app) has a different supplement and a slightly different essay or statement. Like she said, some are a little different so he can tweak something he might have written for another school. My advice would be to start very early and make a habit of spending x number of hours on filling them out every week. The Common App goes online in August, so if he is not in school yet he can start on those. My daughter did 12 applications. And I will say she was thoroughly sick of it by the time they were done. Some were easy peasy, some took a couple of days. Good luck!
  • Gwen FairfaxGwen Fairfax Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    D wrote A LOT of essays, for 14 applications! Something like 30, including the short answers. Once you get the essential ones done though you have a lot of material that you can use again-- you know what you want to get across about yourself. (As Marbleheader says.) Several schools want another essay to be turned in with auditions.

    I think the trick is to write the common app essay over the summer. That's the big hurdle and once you're over it you can find a few hours here and there for the others. Another trick is to remember that everything takes a back seat to the audition. So no stress about a good enough essay, good enough grades and scores.
  • ActingDadActingDad Registered User Posts: 680 Member
    Amen to Gwen's point about the essays. Write a good essay of course but its not worth agonizing over. Hard to imagine that any admission decision at an audition school has come down to competing essays. This may be less true at non-audition programs.
  • Times3Times3 Registered User Posts: 1,373 Senior Member
    Yes, it depends on the school--I would definitely sweat over the essay for BU or NYU, not so much for the conservatory programs that rely mostly on auditions. Keeping track of things was one of the bigger challenges for us--like the one that he had to bring with him to the last audition of the year! However, if he's applying to liberal-arts colleges--especially those with extra questions for merit scholarship applicants--then he will need a lot of organization (spreadsheets are your friend here) as well as very strong writing. Start early, and I hope he can enlist the help of a great college counselor or English teacher so that you don't have to be the supervisor--it really helps to have a different set of eyes looking over it all.
  • researchmavenresearchmaven Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    My daughter managed to complete applications for 18 schools, (3 of those non-auditioned). She began writing the common app essay over the summer before the common app went live. Many of the auditioned schools also wanted a statement of purpose. Some if it could be reworked for multiple schools but she really tried to address the unique strengths of each school that she particularly admired and wanted to learn from. It took strong time management from July through the first week of November, when she submitted her final application. (She began preparing for her monologues in June) Then, of course, she was accepted to her ED school! But better safe than sorry.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using CC
  • ActingDadActingDad Registered User Posts: 680 Member
    Once you get past about 7 schools worth of essays, we found very little additional essays that weren't either a repeat of earlier ones or just a minor twist.
  • Times3Times3 Registered User Posts: 1,373 Senior Member
    ^Definitely agree with researchmaven re: starting the Common App essay early. In case you haven't seen it, the new essay prompts are here: https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Docs/DownloadForms/2013/EssayAnnouncementFinal.pdf
    Since your son is looking at liberal-arts colleges as part of his mix, do make sure he reads the application instructions VERY CAREFULLY for each school. I have a flurry of anxious students at my door every fall, asking for help in preparing three or four different types of supplements for their applications. Seems like almost every school has a different requirement (even if they are on the Common App). Time to make another spreadsheet....! Hopefully your son's list will be winnowed somewhat by the fall, but it's easier to make the spreadsheet (and calendar) early, then remove schools as necessary, so that you at least have a sense of the big picture.
  • photomom5photomom5 Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    Truly the more work you can do over the summer, the better off you are. And this also includes your headshots and your resume...
  • thisispainfulthisispainful Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Well, yes, it will be a lot of work, but a lot of people do it! I am sure your child is no exception and if it is like my daughter's experience, most were common app schools with minor supplements to some. If writing doesn't come easily it will be more of a challenge of course and you may want to consider cutting a few schools from the list. We asked my daughter to pick 5 schools to apply to and then Fordham sent her an email waiving the application fee so she applied there too making a total of 6. (It ended up being a little over $500 just with the five and a freebie after submitting test scores.) I think it was good because it got her to really think about what she wanted, but she still got a variety, but it really helped that she knew she wanted to do technical theater.
  • theatermom2013theatermom2013 Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
    Yes, let's not forget the fees. The application fees, plus some have materials that need to be uploaded and there is sometimes a fee for that, and then the audition fees. It would get pretty pricey (before any of the traveling etc.) doing 20 schools.
  • amtcamtc Registered User Posts: 2,864 Senior Member
    I remember when my daughter was applying to colleges five years ago the U. Michigan application was incredibly extensive and time consuming. They wanted a list of every song you ever performed, every show you'd ever been in, all sorts of minutiae like that, way past a standard resume. Most applications had some form of this as well, so that might be something he can start putting together.
  • NJTheatreMOMNJTheatreMOM Registered User Posts: 3,673 Senior Member
    They wanted a list of every song you ever performed, every show you'd ever been in, all sorts of minutiae like that, way past a standard resume. Most applications had some form of this as well...


    I've never seen this. Is this a common requirement for MT program applications?
  • MarbleheaderMarbleheader Registered User Posts: 694 Member
    Yes - an older friend of S applied to many MT schools, and his mom freaked me out one night telling me about putting together the list of songs (you need all the songwriter/copyright info and stuff) and shows and parts, etc. She put all this info on the back of her son's headshot (at great expense). My son had a basic resume and head shot, and that got us through, since none of the schools he planned to apply to asked for more than that.
  • MTDancerMomMTDancerMom Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    As my D narrowed down her school choices last year, I started filling out a spreadsheet with requirements and cost (application fees, pre-screen fees, audition fees, etc). She applied to 14 schools and there is no way we could have kept it straight otherwise. Just checking up with the schools to see if all items were received could be a bit overwhelming.

    Oh a very good note, she had her essays 90% done during the summer. We made copies of the applications of the schools she was interested in this time last year, so that we knew the types of essays and information that we would need this year. All of her applications were completed by Oct 15. She was able to be in 2 fall plays/musicals because of the upfront work she did.

    Her counselor laughed at me her Junior year, but tried to hire me this year to drive/motivate some other talented but procrastinating students.
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