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Congrats Devonna !  DD did receive some scholarship money with her acceptance.  She has decided not to attend but knows someone there who loves it . Good luck to everyone !

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Devonna, we ask that you edit your profile to indicate your status as a parent.  It will make it easier for you to post in the Parent forums and it will help folks know with whom we are conversing. :)


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As far as the SUNY Purchase Track record, research the following dancers:

Raven Barkley, Charlotte Ballet, graduated in 2015 and was recently named to the Dance Magazine “25 to Watch” list.  DD went to the Charlotte SI last summer.  

Ashley Mayeux graduated in 2011 and joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet, but recently joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  

Samantha and Jenelle Figgins (identical twins) graduated in 2011.  Samatha has danced with Complexions and Alvin Ailey  Jenelle, a Princess Grace Award winner, has danced with Dance Theater of Harlem and currently dances with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.  

Of course, there are many more Purchase grads in other ballet and modern companies-which you can research on the school’s alumni site.  These are my DD’s idols.  She is thrilled to be following in their footsteps!





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MichelleThompson,  have you asked Purchase if she can accept and defer enrollment for a year or two while she is a trainee?

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Thank you Julisha and Amie for the information!  Very helpful :)

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Hello all-

DD is having a very hard time making a decision about which program to attend. 

If there is anyone who can shed a little more light on SUNY.  We’ve visited campus, know the area but are looking with anyone with RECENT first hand experiences within the program & campus life to share.

Thank you

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Stefanie, I highly recommend you reach out to the dance department and ask if they can put you in touch with a current student.  They will probably give you students that will represent their department in a positive way, but you can still find out a great deal.  DD has done that with other universities and it really helped. 

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We called Suny Purchase and spoke to a very nice women in the Dance dept that gave us an in depth look at Purchase. Prior to that we spoke to a young lady of the alumni that gave us some great information as well. 

I am so happy to say that my daughter accepted their offer and registered last night! Such a relief! 

Now, does anyone have any insight as to what dorms to pick? :party:

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On 4/1/2018 at 8:37 AM, stefanie said:

Hello all-

DD is having a very hard time making a decision about which program to attend. 

If there is anyone who can shed a little more light on SUNY.  We’ve visited campus, know the area but are looking with anyone with RECENT first hand experiences within the program & campus life to share.

Thank you

Hi Stephanie, we too had difficulty deciding between her offers. SUNY is on spring break right now and I was able to speak to an alumni member and someone in the dance department that was able to give us a better picture. Hopefully that will help :)

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  • 1 month later...

Is anyone attending Orientation on July 18th?  If so, would love to meet.:D

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We are going the 17th, bummer!!

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  • 3 months later...

I wasn’t sure whether to post this review at first, but decided that it might be helpful to others now or in the future.  DH and I had a negative campus experience, but I tried to be objective about the rest of the program.  Plus I’m hoping that others will chime in with more reviews or reports as a current student or what they experienced during their campus tour/audition.  Perhaps our experience was just a bad moment and there are others with more positive moments or maybe our moment was just one of many.


  • BFA in dance but can choose your concentration- modern, choreo, ballet, or dance production.  Process to “choose” the concentration was vague. Do students need to get approval from the department?
  • Everyone starts out in general dance performance and then moves into their concentration later.
  • Modern classes begin in the different techniques, Graham, Limon, etc , and then move to a more fusion type modern in junior/senior years.
  • Conservatory style program, classes held daily in both modern and ballet.
  • Study abroad included London, Australia, and Asia.
  • Performance a big part and dancers are able to do well-known rep in ballet and modern, also new works.
  • Professor giving the parent talk was professional, knowledgeable, and connected to current dance world.


  • Dancers were separated into groups of about 50 (depends on how many are auditioning that day).  From DD and friends’ reports, there were varied experiences in the audition depending on the teacher, and number/caliber of dancers who were auditioning.  But, overall, typical ballet audition class and modern audition.
  • Students had lunch break and then list was posted of who they wanted to callback for solos.
  • Solos performed in order on list with short interview questions as well.

The campus:

  • DH and I walked around campus with other parents we knew, then went on official tour.
  • Beginning of the tour was a sit down talk about the college.  This was long (about 75 min – though we might have started late?) and then we wasted another ½ hour+ waiting for one of the tour guides who was late arriving. Have to admit to being annoyed at this moment…the info session/tour started almost 2 hours ago, but we hadn’t actually seen any of the campus yet.  We had allotted 3 hrs for the tour, thought it would be enough…
  • We started the actual tour separating into smaller groups of about 20-30 with 1 tour guide.
  • Campus is smaller and very walkable.
  • Overall impression of campus was, blah.  All buildings were brown, plants were too.  Left us with a drab impression, maybe it's better in spring? Also, we saw very few students around the school, contributing to the lifeless feeling on campus.
  • Dorm space is crowded and earlier applicants get better rooms. Majority of freshmen live in a converted triple, small double with extra bed, drawers and desk making it feel even smaller (but no extra closet). Room is very limited on storage and space to move around. Tour guide said they try to match up 2 local students with 1 student from far away and tell local students to bring one season of clothes at a time (and implied they go home on weekends-maybe that’s why we didn’t see many students on campus?).
  • Dance studios seemed large and spacious, natural light from the skylights of the building, and lots of nooks with seating for dancers to congregate between classes.   Dancers were rehearsing in one studio.  The dance studios were by far the best part of the campus.
  • There were some parts of campus we did not see as we had to leave the tour early due to another commitment.

The major issue was... During the tour, our tour group was harassed by a group of 3 or 4 young male students. When they walked by our group, they were just loud and a bit obnoxious.  However, after they entered the dorm they made several crude sexually suggestive gestures and motions at us in the 2nd floor stairwell window behind our guide (she did not see them).  Then they went to their dorm room and continued their harassing behavior from the windows of their dorm. We did report their behavior to the college, but the experience left us a lingering bad impression of the university.


White Plains is about 10 minute drive from campus. Nice small town with lots of restaurants and a mall, kind of a suburb of NYC.  NYC is about 45 min to an hour away.  But, there didn’t seem to be much within walking distance of the campus.


DD did not receive a scholarship to this university, but I believe most are only given once a student has responded positively to the acceptance.  Also, out of state tuition was under $20,000 and in state is less than $10,000, both are way better than most other colleges. 

My opinion:  DD decided not to attend this university for a variety of reasons, and to be frank, I was relieved.  The dance program sounds very good.  It has many examples of alumni who go on to dance professionally and it appears the students get good training and many opportunities to perform.  However, the combination of an uninspiring campus, overcrowded dorms, overly late student guides and rude and crude behavior of some students left me with a negative impression.  If it was just the dorms, the late students and campus yes I think my DD could stick it out, because the dance program is so strong.  But for me, it is frightening to think that those male students felt that is was okay to act the way they did toward females or toward anyone at all, not to mention in front of a tour with parents.  Makes me wonder how do they act without a watchful eye.  It has taken me a while to post this.  First, because I wanted some distance from the situation to try to be objective.  But also I think I was trying to wish away the possibility that there might be a problem at a university with such a great dance program.  However, recent discussions on other threads have made me realize it is important for anyone considering Purchase to hear about my experience so they can make an informed decision.  Others may have had a different experience and I encourage them to speak up here.   Nevertheless, I would advise anyone contemplating this university to do some research on the atmosphere, student life, safety, policies, etc. and maybe do a few visits to get a good feel for the campus atmosphere.  It could have been just one small group of students, or it could be more.

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Our experience was much the same, Amie, right down to the harassment and taunting—-and that was about 10 years ago.  I found the student newspaper rather revealing—crude and juvenile. (I always checked those out as a view into the campus collective interests and concerns.) 

DD left campus and as we were waiting for the train asked me “ how do I withdraw an application?” Up until her visit, it had been high on her list based upon the dance program reputation. 

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