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Articles / Applying to College / Music Supplement for Deferred Ivy Hopeful?

Dec. 23, 2009

Music Supplement for Deferred Ivy Hopeful?

Question: I recently applied through Early Decision to an Ivy League school and was deferred. I have a lot of experience in musical theater and singing but little formal vocal training. Would it be beneficial to create a music supplement to submit to the school?

Sorry that you didn't get the news you wanted from your ED college. If it's any consolation, you're certainly in good company because thousands of outstanding students get deferred and even denied by the Ivies each December.


Submitting new information can be a wise strategy for deferred applicants, so your plan to send a music supplement has potential. For Common Application schools, use the Common App arts supplement and follow its guidelines. For all colleges, be sure to check out the application instructions on the admissions Web pages for information about submitting supplementary materials.

However, keep in mind that, at the Ivy and "elite" level. competition is as steep in the arts as it is in the classroom. Before you send your DVD, solicit feedback from a trusted critic (music teacher, professional performer, etc.) You could actually hurt your admission odds by sending material that doesn't measure up to Ivy standards. But don't worry about creating a DVD that is slick and snazzy. Colleges don't care about titles, scenery, etc. Just make sure that it's technically good enough to show you in your best light and that your performing skills will match up to those of other rising stars.

Good luck to you in the Regular Decision round.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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