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College Freshman looking to transfer

SalahNikSalahNik 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello! I’m currently going into my freshman year at Michigan State University and I’m going to be in their BFA Acting Program. However, the more I look into the school, the more I feel it is not for me, and I’m almost sure that I’m going to be transferring to a new acting school come next fall. However, I have so many questions about this. As of right now, the list of schools I have are as follows:
CCM
Point Park
Michigan
Marymount Manhattan
CalArts
UNCSA
Depaul
Penn State
Is this list too competitive? Should I apply to more schools, and find some less selective ones? Also, in terms of transferring, what are my chances of actually getting into one of these programs compared to a high school senior? Please let me know, thanks!
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Replies to: College Freshman looking to transfer

  • PublisherPublisher 7721 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    How many students enter the BFA acting program at MIchigan State each year ?

    Assuming that it is a small cohort, then any fears regarding the size of MSU--if that is your concern--should be alleviated as this should make your experience close knit & intimate.
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 1850 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Off hand, I would say that list is way too competitive. Those schools don't lose many students and if they do the competition for spots will be tough. But let's back up - you haven't even started in a program and you want to transfer? I assume you auditioned this year - where did you apply? You know BFA applications take preparation, planning, time and money. How are you going to manage all that and still rock your first year at Michigan State? And how are you going to transfer if you don't? Most BFA schools will start a transfer student at year 1 so doing one year somewhere and transferring means you are guaranteed to lose time and money.

    I think you need to stop and look at your mindset - are you just still upset over rejections from the application process (which is BRUTAL) so you're prejudicing yourself against the school that accepted you? Michigan State has a pretty reputable program, why is it you're so sure you won't be happy there?

    This is "tough love" but it's a tough world. Before starting this year you need to decide that you'll either go to Michigan State and give it your all and really make a go of being the best actor you can be there - or seriously, call it off, take a gap year, get your head straight and reapply as a freshman to programs where you are sure you'll be happy. But you can't just have the lottery-win schools on your list, you'll need to widen that net quite a bit to include schools with higher acceptance rates.



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  • stagedoormamastagedoormama 795 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    CAMom gives some excellent advice here. Listen to her. Your list is way too competitive. Not only would you have to likely start over again and lose time and money, you will likely be paying more overall as college award money is saved for incoming freshman, and not transfers. And I am completely baffled that you are looking to transfer before you even start.....I agree that you may want to take a gap year and figure out what you really want.
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  • SalahNikSalahNik 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey Camom13! Thank you for your response. I guess I wasn’t really clear enough in my original post, so I’m going to clarify here.
    Last year, going into the audition season, I did not even know/was not sure that I wanted to do Acting until around November. I had several years of acting experience and I had done many plays, but it wasn’t until the end of my senior year show when I realized that I had to pursue this career path. However, to put it simply, the audition season for me was a mess. I was suffering with extreme depression during my senior year, and all in all I did not realize how competitive the auditions I was walking into would ultimately be. I bounced between monologues and procrastinated my prescreens until the very last second. I attended all of my auditions alone, flying/driving around the country without a parent and with no audition coaching. As you can imagine, my results weren’t anything amazing. The schools that I auditioned for went as follows: NYU, Umich (MT), CCM, Depaul, Michigan State, Fordham, Point Park, and Ithaca. Out of those schools, I received acceptances at NYU and MSU, and waitlists at Fordham and Point Park. Of course I was ecstatic and so so grateful for my acceptances from NYU and MSU. However, I could not attend NYU simply because the tuition is extremely expensive. So I was left with MSU. Now, let me be clear: in no way am i saying that MSU is an inferior program. “Don’t bit the hand that fed you” applies here. I am so thankful for my acceptance at MSU and I’m glad to be going somewhere for acting. MSU is my state school and I have had a lot of previous interactions with their performing arts departments (camps, events, shows, etc.) I felt very comfortable at my acting audition and with the faculty, and I’m happy to be going there. However, my issue with the BFA program does not stem from the size of the program, or the faculty. First of all, I’m not comfortable with how much MSU’s program replicates a BA, even though it’s supposedly a BFA. At my orientation, when I got my class schedule, and when i took a look at the schedule for the whole year, the curriculum seemed spread out and not very focused on drama. Acting is only one semester per year, and you’re only required to take acting 3 out of the 8 semesters you’re at MSU. My Other issue with the school is the campus and the location. Whenever I am on campus (and in the past couple of years, I’ve been there a lot) I never feel at home or comfortable. I would much rather prefer to be near a city. I’ve also had a friend who went there and transferred out (he is now at emerson), and he discussed with me that he felt the program was illegitimate, which concerns me a little bit.
    Taking a gap year is NOT an option for me, as my parents would never support it, and part of me fears that if I took a gap year, re auditioned, and didn’t get in once again, I just won’t end up going to school (I know I would eventually, I’ve just been told so many times that if you take a gap year it’s hard to go back to school, and it’s kind of engrained in my mind at this point.) I would much rather go to MSU, get training from my teachers, and then with that new training and knowledge, attempt to re audition. Also, something to get out of the way: I am 100% aware that I would have to restart as a freshman in almost any program I audition for, and I am completely fine with that. That is not what I’m concerned about.
    If my list is too competitive and I need to open it up a bit more, then that’s what I’ll do! some less competitive (?) but still highly regarded programs I was looking at were as follows:
    CCPA (Roosevelt)
    Temple
    Loyola Marymount
    Central Florida
    Do you guys possibly have any information on those programs?
    Also, in response to stagedoormama... I am not quite sure why you are baffled that I’m already looking at transferring. Like camom said, the audition process takes a lot of time, planning, and money. So why not start now? This isn’t something I just thought of doing yesterday, I’ve been planning this since June. All summer, I’ve been saving up money for application fees and a college audition coach. I have my consultation session with MTCA next Saturday, the 24th, and I’ve contacted Michigan, CCM, Depaul, and Point Park, and all of those schools (except michigan) agreed to waive my application fee this year since I already applied last year. I’m even taking acting labs at a professional theatre in detroit. Also, let me make myself clear here: I’m not 100% sure I’m going to transfer. As of right now I would like to, which is why I’m preparing, but I’m also going to go into MSU’s acting program with my head held high and I’m going to give it my all. And if I love it, I’ll end up staying. But, if as I expect, I don’t, then I’ll transfer. But either way, at least I am giving myself the OPTION to transfer by preparing now, rather than waiting until November to see if I like the school, because by then it’s too late. What is more baffling to me is why you guys are trying to tell me to take a gap year rather than attend this schools BFA program. I know it’s going to be hard. That’s why I’ve spent so much time preparing and saving money this summer. I think the last thing I need right now is for people to tell me it’s impossible, because I’ve already heard that enough in the past year. Please respond when you can! Thanks :)
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  • PublisherPublisher 7721 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Starting over as a freshman may be appropriate for BFA classes, but you should receive credit for general education / distribution requirements in some programs which might allow you to still graduate in a total of 4 years of college.
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 1850 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 19
    Here's my take on your situation from a parent's perspective - it's not impossible to transfer but I absolutely wouldn't want my kid starting as a freshman at a BFA program if they felt there was a good chance they'd be unhappy there. This is for many reasons, not the least of which is the funding aspect. The last thing an artist needs is burdensome student loans and as mentioned above most schools save their merit money for freshmen. I am glad you're going to take your best shot at MSU and I really do hope it works out for you.

    In terms or broadening your list, I know a bit about the Temple, CCPA and LMU programs and yes, they are definitely going to be easier to get into than your initial list of schools especially if you have a good academic record. LMU is an academic admit and Temple has both a BA and BFA drama and allows for a "performance track" BA. All three are city schools, albeit in very different cities and LMU isn't what I would call super urban. I would say both Temple and LMU are good choices for someone who wants training but isn't exactly sure they want to go into Acting. MMC is going to be an easier admit than your other BFA schools, UNCSA, CalArts and Penn State are not urban schools so I would personally reccommend you take them off your list. I would also consider adding Emerson, the BA programs at American University, Catholic University, The New School and Wagner. USC would also be a good choice although finances might be an issue there as it's about the same cost as NYU.
    edited August 19
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  • type1momtype1mom 63 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SalahNik Sent you a PM. Happy to share my daughter's journey as a transfer student.
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  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 28 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @SalahNik take a look at the sample schedules of the schools you are thinking about applying to and auditioning at. Compare those schedules to Michigan to see where they are the same and they are different.
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  • planner2planner2 14 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 11
    My daughter is extremely unhappy in her bfa acting program though she will at least finish out the semester. So she is also auditioning as a transfer this year and any insight would be appreciated!
    edited September 11
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