UCLA or NYU





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Discus: College Search and Selection: April 2004 Archive: UCLA or NYU
By Valerie (Valerie) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 07:56 pm: Edit

Hi Everyone,

Anyone have an opinion on the difference of experience one would get going to UCLA vs. NYU as a whole? Also to consider that previous experience has been 5 years on subarban and mountain location at private boarding schools for 8 through 12 grade. What do you think?

Valerie

By Bluestar86 (Bluestar86) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 11:49 pm: Edit

it depends. what do you plan to major in? is cost a major concern?

westwood is awesome and you'll probably get more of a college experience from ucla but... the village is awesome and if you got into tisch or stern then ucla doesnt compare there.

By Valerie (Valerie) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 05:48 am: Edit

Bluestar86

Thanks for input. UCLA's TIT BA Theatre/Drama vs. NYU's Tisch BFA Theatre with Lee Strasburg studio. Both schools good. Both school's programs good. I am aware that some BA programs are on equal ground if not better than some BFA programs. Not quite sure though about the difference in quality between these two schools. Cost is a hugh concern. In the past 5 years have UNEXPECTANTLY spent over $200,000 out of pocket for S's education. My husband is frantic with depression over loosing the bonding with his son these past formative years and the financial ruin. I am not sleeping well b/c of worry. Everyday we worry if we have done the right thing for him. Plus, I can't begin to describe how difficult it has been to try and nurture and raise this child 2000 miles away by phone. We both our concerned about his educational future as being the right one for his adult future, longevity and personel welfare. That being said, S is a very gifted young man. Top loaded acedemics, although SAT's low 1300's. Very diverse in other subjects and interest, Especially profecient in Corporate Webpage design, Business activities, Production. Architecture. Creatvie writng. first chair Cello. Although had to give it up to concentrate in Theatre - His Passion. Comparitive Religion, Mythology, Sci Fi. Top loaded Theatre, heavy aspect in all areas of stage and it's screenwriting to design to management. etc. Many extra EC's. Founder and Editor of school Newspaper. Founder and president of school Theatre Student Council. Loves kids, loves directing, although his real passion is for the stage. Understands that each school teaches their theatre program from a different perspective. One from Film, the other from Stage. My husband and I understsand that too but don't fully get that one school would be above the other in long term. 5 years of 8wk summer Musical Theatre camp. Excellant singing voice, excellant voice projection. Great comedic timing. Did a 10 minute lip sync of Michael Jackson's 1988 Grammy awards music presentation this past Fall. Had the audience out of their seats half way through performance, dancing and mooving to the beat. Receiveced a roaring appalause that started before performance was finished. With the risk of sounding boastful, this is not unusual for him. However, My Husband and I are quite overwhelmed. We want our S to get his education but not sure what direction to lead him in. He of course wants the energy and grit of NYU. We are not sure it's worth the $45,0000 a yr in tuition plus another $7,000 (conservatively) for his other expenses needed. That figure being steep enough has to be divided into 8 payments that the school requires. Ah, we do NOT qualify for finAid, even though discretionary money is zero at this time. We were told by NYU yesterday, that because of income, owning a house and paying previous private schooling we are out of luck for any consideration for aid, grants, awards, etc. plus even with high out of pocket medical cost last few years, they said 40% of income had to show for the expenses.

So, I guess i am looking for perspective on the long term quality, opportunity and explanation on both school's programs and their environment to justify one's school expense over another for his future. UCLA $18,000 with another projected $8, to $10,00 more for added expenses. Oh, UCLA, a Car will be needed sooner than later, we figure. NYU, No. So, I guess I am looking for perspective to help make final decision. He did apply to 18 other schools, were down to these two. I apologize if I gave too much personal info but don't know any longer how else to explain reason for our questions and concerns. Thanks Valerie

p.s. we are trying to borrow $250,000 for his college education. IFFY at best. we are depleted. House is upside down in value against mortgages too. NO oooo, We DON't want him to defer, go to the CC or head to L.A. or NYC to try and make it. Education and degree FIRST

By Valerie (Valerie) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 05:55 am: Edit

Bluestar86

Thanks for input. UCLA's TIT BA Theatre/Drama vs. NYU's Tisch BFA Theatre with Lee Strasburg studio. Both schools good. Both school's programs good. I am aware that some BA programs are on equal ground if not better than some BFA programs. Not quite sure though about the difference in quality between these two schools. Cost is a hugh concern. In the past 5 years have UNEXPECTANTLY spent over $200,000 out of pocket for S's education. My husband is frantic with depression over loosing the bonding with his son these past formative years and the financial ruin. I am not sleeping well b/c of worry. Everyday we worry if we have done the right thing for him. Plus, I can't begin to describe how difficult it has been to try and nurture and raise this child 2000 miles away by phone. We both our concerned about his educational future as being the right one for his adult future, longevity and personel welfare. That being said, S is a very gifted young man. Top loaded acedemics, although SAT's low 1300's. Very diverse in other subjects and interest, Especially profecient in Corporate Webpage design, Business activities, Production. Architecture. Creatvie writng. first chair Cello. Although had to give it up to concentrate in Theatre - His Passion. Comparitive Religion, Mythology, Sci Fi. Top loaded Theatre, heavy aspect in all areas of stage and it's screenwriting to design to management. etc. Many extra EC's. Founder and Editor of school Newspaper. Founder and president of school Theatre Student Council. Loves kids, loves directing, although his real passion is for the stage. Understands that each school teaches their theatre program from a different perspective. One from Film, the other from Stage. My husband and I understsand that too but don't fully get that one school would be above the other in long term. 5 years of 8wk summer Musical Theatre camp. Excellant singing voice, excellant voice projection. Great comedic timing. Did a 10 minute lip sync of Michael Jackson's 1988 Grammy awards music presentation this past Fall. Had the audience out of their seats half way through performance, dancing and mooving to the beat. Receiveced a roaring appalause that started before performance was finished. With the risk of sounding boastful, this is not unusual for him. However, My Husband and I are quite overwhelmed. We want our S to get his education but not sure what direction to lead him in. He of course wants the energy and grit of NYU. We are not sure it's worth the $45,0000 a yr in tuition plus another $7,000 (conservatively) for his other expenses needed. That figure being steep enough has to be divided into 8 payments that the school requires. Ah, we do NOT qualify for finAid, even though discretionary money is zero at this time. We were told by NYU yesterday, that because of income, owning a house and paying previous private schooling we are out of luck for any consideration for aid, grants, awards, etc. plus even with high out of pocket medical cost last few years, they said 40% of income had to show for the expenses.

So, I guess i am looking for perspective on the long term quality, opportunity and explanation on both school's programs and their environment to justify one's school expense over another for his future. UCLA $18,000 with another projected $8, to $10,00 more for added expenses. Oh, UCLA, a Car will be needed sooner than later, we figure. NYU, No. So, I guess I am looking for perspective to help make final decision. He did apply to 18 other schools, were down to these two. I apologize if I gave too much personal info but don't know any longer how else to explain reason for our questions and concerns. Thanks Valerie

p.s. we are trying to borrow $250,000 for his college education. IFFY at best. we are depleted. House is upside down in value against mortgages too. NO oooo, We DON't want him to defer, go to the CC or head to L.A. or NYC to try and make it. Education and degree FIRST

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Valerie,
Has your son looked at the curriculum requirements for the theatre degrees at both UCLA and Tisch? Has he been able to sit in on classes at either or both schools? Doing these things might help him know where he feels most comfortable. I know that at this late date doing college visits would be very difficult. Your decision has to be made in the next 10 days I assume - or you lose your tuition deposit. You might consider making the deposit at both schools, visiting, and then have your family make the choice, even if it means deciding after May 1 and losing a deposit.

I know that I have not yet addressed the quality of the programs issue. I have no personal experience at either school, however, I have heard that the reputation of both schools is excellent. Does your son plan to be an actor, or does he want to more involved in the production end of things? If he doesn't plan to try his hand at performing immediately after graduation he might consider a MFA program. Many graduate programs offer scholarships and/or assistantships that cover the cost of attendance. Planning to pursue a graduate degree would take some of the urgency in choosing the right undergraduate program away.

If I were in your shoes I would choose UCLA in a heartbeat because of the finances. I know that we all want to give our children the best possible start, but if I were your son I would feel guilty about saddling mom and dad with crushing debt. My D will be pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre at Florida State University this fall. We have scrimped for years to give her the best training we could afford to get her ready for college. Of course, that meant that money was not going into savings for her college education. She was told a couple of years ago that there might be some programs that would be out of reach for us financially. Her number one choice school offers almost no financial aid to out-of-state students. D has said for over a year that the worst thing that could happen to her during this intense audition year would be to get accepted at her number one school and then have to turn it down because we couldn't afford it. My husband and I would have felt equally bad. So, I understand what you're trying to say in your post. My D got rejected by her number one choice school. My husband was actually relieved in a sense because we didn't have to tell D, "Sorry you can't go. We just can't swing the cost." At the same time we felt very bad that she got rejected by her dream school. Thankfully, D got accepted to her number 2 choice, FSU, and another couple of very good programs. She actually faced a very tough decision between FSU and Penn State. Tuition at FSU will be $12,000. Number 1 school's tuition would have been around $28,000. Had D been accepted at both FSU and Number 1 school I'm sure I would be facing an agonizing chat with my D. I would have felt that I had to say no to huge loans, however I would not feel guilty.

My own dad, a retired college professor, drilled into me and my 5 brothers and sisters that it was possible to get a very good education almost anywhere. He attended a state school for his BS, then went to MIT and Stanford for his MS and PhD. He was surprised to find that much of what he was being taught at both Stanford and MIT had been taught at the undergraduate level at the state school. He said that he didn't see any real difference in the quality of the education he received at any of the 3 schools. He believes that some of his professors at the state school were better than his grad profs at the prestige schools. I realize that the situation for actors is a little different. It is why my D auditioned for top ten MT programs. Having a degree from a top theatre school opens a lot of doors after graduation. I think that both UCLA and NYU would do that for your son. I'm sure that there are capable teachers at both schools and that your son can get good training in both programs. I would counsel you to remember that you and your husband have to take care of yourselves too. You have to be able to afford to retire some day. None of us can work forever! When your S graduates I'm sure you'd like to be able to help him get started in NYC or LA. It doesn't sound like that will be feasible if you take on the expenses of NYU. UCLA is a great school. Don't feel guilty about having to say no to over $200,000 of debt.

By Hop (Hop) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:24 pm: Edit

As a CA parent who's had two D's in Performing Arts high schools (both currently in college) and having gone through this same conundrum twice, here are my two cents.

Knowing highly talented students in both programs, I would recommend UCLA for your student. Not because of the $$, although that's a consideration, but because the UCLA will allow him to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. While that may sound counter-intuitive, the Theater program at UCLA itself is smaller and allows for more performing opportunities, despite the liberal arts requirements. It will give him a chance to spread his wings in the other areas that you have said he is interested in, such as screen writing. (An aside, my oder D's best friend will be graduating next month from their screenwriting program and has already been offered a major job in the industry. Not bad for a 22 year-old).

At NYU's Strasberg, it is WAY more competitive, hyper-focused and tense. That's not even including the electric buzz of the city itself. The program does not encourage their student to participate in anything that is not Drama. It will be a much larger adjustment. The following is paraphrased from my younger D who is in her second year in NYC and says that "the Theater kids are rarely seen, but often express disatisfaction, partly because they know how much it is costing their parents and partly because they always seem to have to wait for performace opportunities. The Tisch kids are not encouraged toward academics in the same way that a CAS or Steinhardt student is. There is some attitude between the schools. The actual Theater classes are gratifying, but one can get 'pigeonholed' and have a hard time with internal auditions."

To reiterate, UCLA over NYU (I never thought that I would ever say that to anyone, BTW, as I am a huge proponent of smaller schools), not because of the $$ but because it will provide him with more of a well-rounded education, which can only bolster his acting abilities. Smart actor tend to be better actors.

Your son should ask both Theater departments for the e-mail addresses of a couple of students in both of the programs and have a conversation with someone who has an insider's perspective. What would he tell a prospie who was considering his H.S.? He would probably have both positives and negatives that would help that student with his choice. A visit might change everything and is worth spending the money on...

By Mili (Mili) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 01:43 am: Edit

Hi
I got admission in UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UCSB. I want to major in Biology sceiences or Pre Med. major in order to get in to medical school. I unable to decide which college should I go to UC Berkeley Or UCI?

Please reply

Thanks
mili


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