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Rankings by 'Sticker Price'

fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman Registered User Posts: 827 Member
edited July 2009 in Theater/Drama Majors
I got curious about what some of the frequently discussed drama programs now cost because of another discussion and decided to check for myself. This was a quick search over two mornings while I was having my coffee which means I was caffeine-deficient during half of it and hey ... I'm a dumb, sleep-deprived conservatory student; so feel free to add more schools or correct my figures if you have something more accurate and up-to-date. :) There is also a mix of 2008'-09 and '09-'10 tuition, room & board, fees, etc. depending on what was available ...

SUNY Purchase - $23,683 out-of-state $15,783 in-state
UM Guthrie - $25,144 out-of-state $21,144 in-state
NCSA - $28,826 out-of-state $16,085 in-state
Rutgers - $31,718 out-of-state $21,504 in-state
CCM - $33,764 out-of-state $19,362 in-state
Otterbein - $33,780
Evansville - $35,426
Chapman - $36,978
DePaul - $38,874
Emerson - $42,339
Juilliard - $46,410
Ithaca - $46,685
Pace - $46,834
UCLA - $47,136 out-of-state $24,357 in-state
CalArts - $48,680
Syracuse - $50,100
Boston U - $53,000
USC - $53,618
CMU - $53,660
NYU - $58,226

Obviously, this doesn't include financial aid and scholarships and some of these schools are typically more generous than others; but if you're middle class, not a top academic student with beaucoup leadership and service, and/or not recognized by NFAA, National Shakes, etc., you can't count on much of that. I'm not saying to not audition for ANY of the more expensive schools because you could get lucky. I'm just suggesting that you might want to mostly stick with the ones you think you might be able to swing without that luck. It breaks my heart to see kids work so hard to get in some of these places and then not be able to afford to attend when they might have done better had they stuck to a less expensive grouping of schools. Happens every year ...

P.S. Looks like they've all gone up since I went through it except for UM Guthrie which is actually a good bit cheaper if that number off their website is correct. Wonder how they pulled that off ...
Post edited by fishbowlfreshman on
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Replies to: Rankings by 'Sticker Price'

  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,661 Senior Member
    The thing is.....need based aid DOES exist and so do merit scholarships for either talent or academics. So, the bottom line is the real cost. My kid got need based aid offered at 7 BFA programs, as well as scholarships and so one really has to look at what the cost is to attend once the FA package comes in. In my D's case, it turned out that the best offer of the most money she was given was from NYU, the most expensive school on your list and so it cost less to attend. By the way, we are middle class.

    Also, when you get cost of attendance, make sure you compare apples to apples.....some schools will list tuition, room, and board (that is the figure I prefer to go by) and some will list personal expenses and travel and books which can vary between students.
  • skipsmomskipsmom Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Rumour has it that Harvard went 300 deep into its wait list this year.... primarily for financial reasons. That should tell us something. I imagine more people (parents, probably) would be likelier to go $200K in debt for a Harvard education than for one that has a less promising earning potential. Would you agree, Soozievt? I wonder what kind of effect all this will have on the admit rates and then on the cut rates later on.

    At one highly selective but less expensive MT school we were told that they admitted many more students than they normally do because of the economy, and had been very surprised by an MUCH higher than expected acceptance rate by those students. You have to wonder if cuts will HAVE to be introduced or reinstated at a program that finds itself with 20% or even 30% more students in a single year.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,661 Senior Member
    That rumor about Harvard cannot be true. The colleges, such as Harvard, won't even be looking at their wait lists until after May 1 which is the deadline for accepted students to send in their intent to enroll. They accepted more students than the number they need to yield. If their yield is not enough after May 1, they would have to utilize the wait list. Perhaps you heard that 300 are on the waitlist? I don't know how many are on the wait list but they have yet to even go to their wait list!

    By the way, Harvard has EXCELLENT financial aid policies in terms of need.
    I imagine more people (parents, probably) would be likelier to go $200K in debt for a Harvard education than for one that has a less promising earning potential. Would you agree, Soozievt?

    If you read CC's many forums such as the Parent Forum, there ARE people who are willing to pay certain amounts for X college but not for Y college or for X major but not for Y major. I am not one of those people, however. I would pay the SAME amount for my child to attend ANY college they chose that met what they wanted in a college and no matter WHAT major they were interested in and any so called "earning potential" (I have one child in musical theater/acting and one in architecture and their choice of major had NO bearing on our choice to pay for their colleges and grad schools). We saw it as paying for our kids to get an education and not what job they may get after they graduate. The best education was the school that fit what they wanted in a college.
  • IMHopefulIMHopeful Registered User Posts: 341 Member
    Costs will most likely weigh into decisions on which school to attend, but I wouldn't have it limit the schools considered or auditioned. I agree that merit scholarships can be limited (especially at the most academically elite schools), but my D got good merits from all but one of the audition schools that accepted her (and a few that didn't). Evansville topped the list with over $19K/yr for four years -- but she didn't get into the program there. Webster gave her $15K -- but she didn't get accepted there either. She was accepted to Hartt but only got $7K -- the lowest scholarship -- which put it lower in consideration because it was less affordable than her other options. Point Park gave her $14K, and Illinois Wesleyan gave her $17K (her ultimate choice). The only school she got nothing was USC since their merit scholarships are limited to a small group of very elite students. It is also true that some schools (like Northwestern and the Ivies) give no merit scholarships at all -- only needs based aid -- so be aware of which schools fall into that category if you are expecting that merit will be needed to make a school affordable. So sticker price is important to consider, and if you want to go to the most elite universities, that is probably what you are facing -- but as soozie said, need based aid is also available at all schools. If you can pair that with some merit aid, the bottom line cost may provide somewhat less sticker shock.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,661 Senior Member
    Actually, the "elites" which don't have any merit aid, have some of the best need based aid. My D attended Brown and the need based aid was very good. It is even much BETTER now since she left as schools like Brown have come out with much better financial policies. It would have been a lot less cheaper if she were currently a student there (she graduated last May, though did get good financial need based aid there).
  • IMHopefulIMHopeful Registered User Posts: 341 Member
    You are absolutely right -- I should have made that caveat. In my comment, I was thinking more about those who may not qualify for needs-based (or very much needs-based) aid. I should also add that some schools will negotiate the aid package if it will be the difference between being able to attend or not.
  • skipsmomskipsmom Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    " We saw it as paying for our kids to get an education and not what job they may get after they graduate. "

    If a family qualifies for financial aid and can choose between several tiers of cost without much penalty because their expected family contribution is the same regardless---and the school bridges the gap ----that makes sense. However, if you are choosing between schools that cost $23K or $53K and you are paying the sticker price, it is a very different decision. Some families would pay the same amount yearly regardless of the actual cost, so the decision might be easier.

    We value education highly, both for its own sake as part of the development of a young adult, but also for its ability to maintain them in a reasonably remunerative career afterwards. I personally haven't met anyone who doesn't take that into account at all.

    I heard the story (300 from H waiting list) from a private college counselor who has a friend who works in their admissions department. Perhaps I misunderstood and he meant that they put 300 more on their waiting list than they usually have? They discontinued early admission, which put them into unfamiliar territory this spring.

    Some top tier (in expense) schools that have made a solid commitment to financial aid may end up with an interesting mix of the 'full ride' eligible who pay nothing and the super wealthy whose incomes or savings have not been affected by the economic downturn. It will be interesting to see how next year shapes.
  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Confused here as to whether the numbers that fish posted are a combo of tuition and room/board and fees for every school listed there. If so, NYU is a little too high. I would say that with everything, it comes to about $55K-$56K, though I recognize that is not much better!

    Yes, Minnesota/Guthrie reduced their tuition. The BFA ATP also has some scholarships that help.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,661 Senior Member
    skipsmom, our value system may be unusual then. We let our kids pick any college they wanted and did not examine the cost or which FA package was better (the offers differed....my oldest even had a free ride that she declined). We did not think that X college was worth more money than Y college due to reputation or what career may result from the college. By the way, how much it was gonna cost us at each school varied a lot as the need based FA packages and scholarships varied a lot. It was NOT the same cost from college to college at all.

    Our child's intended major had no bearing on any of our decisions either. I don't see college as simply training for a career but as four years of an educational and life experience, no matter the major. By the way, we are footing the bill for older D for grad school....which is 3.5 years. She had six grad school options. Some offered substantial scholarships. The one school that did not offer her a scholarship, MIT, is the one she is attending. We let our kids pick whichever school fit them the best. We may be unusual, I don't know. Their intended career or major had no part of any of our decision making. The girls created their college lists, chose their majors, and then chose to where to attend. I don't care what my kids major in. They are getting a college education. Many people in the work force work in jobs that are not even related to their majors. It is not like my kids can only do ONE thing. I hope they do get to work in their intended fields of interest for their sake.

    And I think a college education itself is good to have in terms of gainful employment. But which school they attend or which major they chose....I could care less, as long as they are happy. We had no say in where they applied, their majors, or their choice of where to attend. It was all their decision and we are footing the bill and will be paying it off for years to come.

    Does everyone think like this? I am sure they don't. Just sharing my experience. I also went to college and graduate school and my parents paid for it (same with my husband and his parents) and my parents did not sway me where to attend or what to major in and in fact, I entered a very low paying field....education! I went to a very selective college (Tufts) and a very selective grad school (Harvard) and all to enter a very low paying field....education. But my own education was very worthwhile....not for the jobs or pay I got after I graduated but for the education of my mind and the growth experiences I attained during those years. That's how I see paying for my kids' educations.

    My kids have yet to enter the work force (except the summer jobs they have held in their respective fields). But we think their college educations were worth every penny. Both picked colleges that fit them very well and they got a lot out of their experiences at their colleges.
  • skipsmomskipsmom Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    I think it is somewhat unusual, soozie, although there are obviously shades of gray in this discussion. If a student wants to be an engineer and has two choices of schools---one with a good engineering program and one with a substandard one---would you really not have an opinion or give direction in that situation? To say that a student can major in anything and go anywhere to do it---to me that just doesn't make sense when someone has to earn about $350K before taxes to be able to pay for a $200k education.

    However, we have not and will not ever take out loans to pay for school, so that is a different piece of the puzzle.... I would not want to be paying off my children's educations for years to come but obviously many parents don't mind doing that.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,661 Senior Member
    We do not earn anything near $350K. I don't feel that a college education, which is so expensive, can just be paid for out of current income. One would either have needed to have saved up for it or pay some out of current income and some out of future income. In order to pay for it ALL out of current income, you'd have to be wealthy.

    Your question about two engineering programs, one that is supposedly good and one that is supposedly sub standard....I trust that my kids will pick schools that fit them and weigh all the factors in their decision making. If a program is that substandard, they likely would not have applied to it in the first place. But they did not pick their schools by prestige alone. For example, my older D was admitted to University of Pennsylvania for undergraduate school, and that is an Ivy League university. When she was narrowing her college acceptances, she knocked UPenn off the list and preferred Tufts and Smith College over Penn. All are good schools. I don't feel that my kids applied to "substandard" schools and so I'd be happy with any school they chose and it did not have to be ranked higher than the others on their list, for example (my kids, nor I, were aware of the rankings at the time even).

    We gave NO opinions as to where to go to school to our kids. We lent support and listened to their reasoning and had them look into each school thoroughly and let them decide. We had no influence in their choice of major and would have supported ANY major they wanted to pursue. We want them to pursue their interests. I am not sure what one majors in matters that much as one is getting an education and then in terms of work, it helps to have a college education. If my children wish to pursue low paying fields, that is OK by me. I entered a low paying field myself and I still think my Tufts and Harvard expensive education was worth it. I don't gauge the value of the education in terms of the earnings after college but rather for the education itself and the experience. What we cared about was our kids getting an education for its own sake and not the job the education might lead to. We highly value education and are willing to sacrifice a lot of money for it no matter what jobs our kids ever have in life.
  • skipsmomskipsmom Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    That's $350k as a lump sum over however many years it took to accumulate the $200K, not per year....
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,661 Senior Member
    OK, I misunderstood the 350K, sorry. Yes, the education costs a lot. To us, it is worth the sacrifice and it is not all paid out of current income. We think our kids' educations have been worth it and we can't even yet judge what sorts of jobs they will get as they have not begun that journey yet though my youngest is about to! :) But we are very pleased with the experiences they had at their respective colleges and we think they picked well for themselves and got a real good fit. That was worth the 200K that a college education costs. Now, I have to do it all over again with D1 at her grad school. We want to do it. And we feel our kids did everything in their power to achieve and get to where they have gotten so far and so we want to support that. If my kids were lazy or something, perhaps I would approach it differently. They are driven types who are very motivated and we observe them making the most of the opportunities they have been given and also they create their own opportunities all the time. So, it has been worth it....no matter what jobs they eventually get.
  • skipsmomskipsmom Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Clearly, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to approach looking for a college. What is right and/or appropriate for one family may not work in another. We are 100% opposed to borrowing money for college educations, and therefore our kids have gone to colleges that we can afford with a combination of savings, income, and merit scholarships. I don't think it is that unusual for parents to limit their contribution, particularly if the school chosen doesn't seem---to the parent---to be the best choice for the student and his or her stated interests and goals. Most of the kids I have met are just... well, they are typical 17 and 18-year-olds whose decision-making ability is not fully developed! :)
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,661 Senior Member
    skipsmom, I entirely agree that there is no right or wrong in this college decision stuff. Every family has a different approach as well as different values and so forth.

    We felt the decision about colleges belonged to our kids since it is their life and they needed to be happy with their schools and to pursue their chosen interests. It was their first major adult decision. We saw ourselves as being the support system and facilitators but our kids chose every step of the way. We trusted them with the decision and in fact, we believe they actually made the best decisions for themselves and that their schools were just really good fits (looking back on the four years of college now). We just wanted them to be happy at college and to make the most of it and they have.

    Perhaps if I had kids who had to be pushed and prodded with college admissions and who did not have a lot of effort, I may feel differently. Our kids drove this process. One of our kids even went off to college at age 16. It was her decision to graduate early, not ours. We went along with it and she knew herself and what was in her best interests. My kids have solely chosen their summer activities over the years prior to college and we footed the bill. They searched for the summer programs they wanted and we went along with these. They have initiated every summer job search and we are happy with the choices they have made. Same with their choices for college.

    I guess I am not in a situation where my kids are making poor choices and if I were, perhaps I'd view it all differently. So, we are willing to pay for the choices they are making and have not told them which options to pick. Whichever options they pick, they all seem good to us and so it is about the right fit and their happiness for us.
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