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Replies to: Pitt FAQs

  • thenextbigthingthenextbigthing Registered User Posts: 394 Member
    How did you finance yoir education as an out of state student? Do are RAs get discounted room and board or is it free?
  • AwesomeOpossumAwesomeOpossum Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    @thenextbigthing

    I initially had two scholarships when I started Pitt: one $10,000 per year (= $5,000 per semester) scholarship from the Honor's College and a $2,000 per year (=$1,000 per semester) scholarship from the Engineering School. This amounted to $12,000 a year, which made attending Pitt cost about $20,000 a year, including Room/Board/Books. This was equivalent to my going to a state school, so my parents could afford sending me to Pitt.

    However, starting the spring of my Junior year, my scholarship changed to an Endowed Scholarship Fund. Basically, an alumni from the Engineering school graciously pays my full tuition (about $26,000 a year, or $13,000 a semester) for me. So, that was a big relief, and my last 3 semesters at Pitt will only cost about $3,000 each for Room/Board/Books/Etc. Quite a relief.

    RAs get free Room/Board (i.e. lodging in the dorm they are assigned to and a meal plan) with each year that they work. A nice perk is that for most dorms, they get a single room to themselves, even if the room is meant for two people (they'll only put one bed in the room, so essentially, more space!)

    I think the meal plan is something like 125 passes and $300 dining dollars per semester (but I can't remember exactly which one it is). You can be an RA starting your sophomore year, but it is incredibly competitive to get the position, and you are never guaranteed your position from year to year.
  • melox93melox93 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    Hi AwesomeOpossum! Pitt is my first choice school and I was interested in the Symphonic Orchestra. I have a few questions. First, what is it like? Is it competitive? Was it a fun experience for you? I play the flute and wanted to continue music in college :) Thanks!

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  • AwesomeOpossumAwesomeOpossum Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    @melox93

    I assume you mean the Symphonic Band and not the Symphony Orchestra, since I was in the former, not the latter.

    Anyways, the Band is super fun and relaxed! Most of the kids are people who did Marching Band in the fall and want to continue playing in the spring (I am not one of them :P). The director, Jack Anderson, is SUPER nice and really friendly! Also, the Band is a 1-credit class which you can sign up to take (I didn't have room in my schedule to sign up for it) and get an easy A on your transcript! (Not required, though). I'm not sure how competitive it is to get into, I play bassoon and am guaranteed a spot every year because...well there's only two of us! Bigger sections like Clarinets and Flutes might be harder, but I don't know of anyone who got turned away (but for all I know, someone may have been). Also, Band is only in the spring, and it's a pretty light rehearsal: 2x a week (Tues/Thurs) from 6-8pm. One concert in April (plus playing at Commencement if you aren't a senior).

    Orchestra is different. The conductor is a violin professor (I believe) and it practices and performs year-round (both semesters). I don't know much about that, especially for a flautist (my friends played Cello and Viola). But, here is the site to learn more: Symphony Orchestra | Department of Music | University of Pittsburgh

    Symphonic Band doesn't have a site, but here is the website of the Director: UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE - Athletics News
  • clarinetzclarinetz Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    Hey, if you don't mind me jumping in with some info about the orchestra (since a few people are asking):

    Orchestra meets Wednesday nights throughout both fall and spring semesters, as well as non-mandatory Monday nights before concerts. We typically have about 3-4 concerts per semester, also on Wednesday nights. The orchestra is made up of all majors (very few people are actually majoring solely in music). It's a very laid-back experience and good if you were into band/orch in high school and want to keep playing. Auditions take place at the beginning of the semester--there will be sign-up sheets posted inside the music building.

    melox93--Wind players do not usually get as much play time as the strings. This is because the conductor takes in more wind players than he needs (especially for flute/clarinet/oboe), and then rotates them so that everybody gets a few songs to play. I personally don't mind this arrangement because it's less music for me to practice. I'm a clarinet player and I love being in the orchestra. We're not particularly good (our concerts are hit or miss), but we have fun. Feel free to message me if you have any more questions about orchestra!
  • AwesomeOpossumAwesomeOpossum Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    @Clarinetz

    Thanks for the clarification :) So glad to get some more details from someone (other than my random guessing)

    @melox93

    And I forgot to mention (not wanting to sound superior :P) but the Band is pretty darn good! We had a really experienced band last year (lots of returning people/few freshman I guess) and the director said the concert we performed sounded great. :) (So, really, you get two options- Orchestra for a lighter load all year, or Band for a heavier load half the year).
  • melox93melox93 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    @AwesomeOpossum @Clarinetz Wow thanks for all the information about the Band! It sounds like fun, I would love to do it! (hopefully I get accepted) haha. It's nice to be able to talk to Pitt students already experienced with this! I was thinking about sending a musical recording along with my application. Do either of you have any tips for the recording? Such as how long it should be? Also what do you think they are looking for when they hear musical recordings? Thanks so much! :)

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  • AwesomeOpossumAwesomeOpossum Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    @melox93

    If you're considering band, I would recommend contacting Jack Anderson directly to set up an in-person audition. (Most people I know did it the day/days they went up for their PittStart (the session where you sign up for your classes) in the summer). If you can't do that, I would still contact and ask what he would most like to hear or look for from you. Like I said, he's really friendly, so no worries about asking him directly!
  • amandakayakamandakayak Registered User Posts: 2,452 Senior Member
    I have some parental logistic questions about marching band - my ds will be going to a late Pittstart session (mid-July) so he contacted Jack Anderson but hasn't heard back about auditioning. So, basically I understand that you come to Pitt for band camp at another satellite campus about a week before orientation. When are you technically able to move into your permanent dorm - before or after band camp? We are from OOS so logistics are concerning!
  • AwesomeOpossumAwesomeOpossum Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    @Amandakayak

    A few questions

    1.) How long ago did your S contact Jack?
    2.) Has he tried calling?

    I ask because, in my experience, Jack always took at least a few days to get back to my by email, and this was in the off season with no marching band to worry about! If your S doesn't hear back in 1 week or so, try a follow-up email and/or calling to get through.

    As for moving in- Your S will move into his dorm, completely, before the start of band camp. I'm not sure if this happens the day before or the day of, I will contact my friend (this year's Drum Major) and ask him specifics. From what I can remember, students moved in early, left all their stuff in their room except what they needed for Band Camp, and then travelled to the Band Camp location with the band for the week. They come back in time for orientation for the freshman (I think by Wednesday or Thursday?).
  • amandakayakamandakayak Registered User Posts: 2,452 Senior Member
    Thanks - he emailed probably 2 wks ago or so. he just left him a message per your suggestion. I'd bet someone needs a vacation and this would be the time for it! I just want to make sure we get this arranged - a primary criteria for choosing Pitt was on the strength of its marching band! That will be great to be all moved in before the rush.
  • AwesomeOpossumAwesomeOpossum Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    @Amandakayak

    Moving in early is a definite PLUS for an OOS student (I myself moved in early and LOVED it). Also, I hope your S really enjoys the Marching Band, I'm not sure he knows, but they are celebrating their 100th year (!) this year, and apparently the festivities and performances are going to be spectacular. It's really a fantastic tradition to become a part of! :)
  • Aq72748Aq72748 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    How did you get the endowed scholarship fund? Is it something that is offered every year to certain people?
  • AwesomeOpossumAwesomeOpossum Registered User Posts: 1,840 Senior Member
    @Aq72748

    It's not something you can apply for. The way I got mine was a bit interesting-- the student who had it before me decided to switch majors. Unfortunately the scholarship was attached to the major they previously had (and the one I'm in), so when they switched, they were no longer allowed to be endowed. The advisor in charge of scholarships recommended me as the next person to recieve it, based on my academic standing and previous scholarships/work. So, they took away my old one and gave me the endowed fund instead.

    A lot of my friends, though, had endowed funds from the start. The major thing for engineering, I think, is applying to Pitt early (I think most applied in September/October), having a really strong academic application, and knowing what you want to major in (and actually sticking with it). Most of the funds are related by majors (because they're alumni!) so that's my knowledge of it...
  • isimarie620isimarie620 Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    Hey---
    I was just wondering about the whole cross registration program with other schools such as Chatham University...I've been told it's possible to cross register for classes, but is it at all possible for a student to take a major at each school? Just wondering :) Thanks!
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