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Joffrey Ballet School NYC

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I have 3 dancing daughters so am forever in debt. The way I afforded summer intensives was to save all year for them. I opened a separate savings account that I named the dance account and every paycheck I made a payment to it. It came right out of my check just like the car payment and mortgage and so I did not consider it a choice--it was a necessary payment and not money that I could use for anything else. I guesstimated how much SIs would cost for the 3 and divided that by 26 paychecks to decide each year how much my payments would need to be. The girls always got to go. When my oldest one was away at a pre-pro school year round I did tell her that she had to get a scholarship or pay part of her way to wherever she went and she was able to do that. Two are now pros and so only 1 to go and she is 16 so only a few more SIs left to pay for..

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Great to hear about your daughter's scholarship to the BFA program... and her ballet mate's scholarship to Smith! I'm with you on your attitude about all this dance money. In speaking with a guidance counselor who consults with area schools in re college applications, she made it clear that colleges are very impressed with the commitment displayed by any young person who sticks with something that is as demanding as ballet...and not to worry if one's son or daughter didn't have time to fly to New Guinea to work on a housing project over Spring break or take a Eurorail pass and do a photo essay on their Summer vacation while translating the Croation book of birds into Spanish ;) - all these hours spent in ballet will not be counted as naught!:)

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  • 1 year later...

I tried doing a search on these two questions, but I was unable to come up with any previous posts to answer these questions (more a statement of my new status than whether the information is out there). If these are redundant questions, I apologize.


Are scholarships usually made on financial need or on talent and the desire of the program to have a particular dancer? Perhaps a combination of both? I have noticed on some registration forms they ask whether you want to be considered for a scholarship. Since it is not necessary that my daughter receive a scholarship in order to be able to afford a summer SI, I am assuming we should answer "no". Is that correct?


Some SI auditions specify wearing a black leotard. Others do not specify a particular color. In these cases, is it best to stay with the standard black leotard, or is it better to choose a different color (say solid navy, burgundy, etc.-obviously not neon green or shocking pink) so that it is easier for the auditioners (is that a word?) to distinguish between dancers-especially for auditions with alot of dancers? Or is this totally not on the radar screen for an auditioner? If this is an off-the-wall question, please excuse my ignorance, as my daughter has never auditioned before. We are entering a whole new world (if she does audition this year).

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There are two kinds of scholarships: Need-based and merit-based. Some programs only give merit scholarships, some give both. Some programs only give combination scholarships where both need and merit exist.


The one thing I can say with some assurance on this topic, is that there is no standardization about the way scholarships are determined, offered, applied for, etc. among summer programs. It seems to vary widely and often from year to year.


For merit scholarships, you do not need to do anything. At the time of the audition, the adjudicator decides potential candidates for merit scholarships. Some tell the students at the end of the audition in person. Some send the offer along with the acceptance letter, some call and personally offer the scholarship. Most programs offer some merit scholarships. The larger the program, the more likely that the scholarships will be more plentiful and more generous.


For need-based scholarships, they are handled in a variety of ways. Some programs do not offer need-based scholarships at all. Some, have a very formal process to handle need-based scholarship requests. Some programs do ask if you need financial aid at the time of the audition. (If none is required, don't check the box. It only tells the program that they need to consider this dancer for need-based scholarships and they will send you a letter or call you if they need additional information from you to consider your request - after the dancer is accepted. It will not keep them from considering your dancer for a merit-scholarship if you do not check the box. By the same token, checking the box does not affect your dancers chances of being admitted to the program. I think virtually all programs view acceptance and financial aid as two separate issues.) Some ask that you send in a form and 1040 along with your application, others will request this after acceptance. Some programs provide need-based scholarships based strictly on need, others take into account the student's abilities. Because you have a demonstrated need, it does not necessarily mean that a program will grant a scholarship, as you have no way of knowing how many others requested aid and whether their need was greater than your own.


In the case of need-based scholarships, they are usually offered after the student has been accepted, as the paperwork is usually not requested until after acceptance is determined. I think that some programs require the dancers on need-based scholarships to do some work while at the program in return for the scholarship. I think CPYB might be one of these, but I don't have any personal experience with this.


There are some programs (usually the largest) that have more dollars in their budget for scholarships and so they can be more generous. In most cases where they offer both merit and need-based scholarships, programs set aside a set amount for each type of scholarship and when the money is gone in that pool, there is no more. For programs that have rolling admissions, sometimes the scholarship pool is drained or rather low, by the time the last auditions are held.


Scholarships are affected by the program's overall financial status, as well as a variety of other more subjective things. A program that might be quite generous with scholarships one year, may have far fewer dollars the next year, due to economic constraints.


The best way to look at scholarships - both need and merit based - is as a wonderful surprise. And, if offered, they can make decisions about which program to attend much easier. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

I can't tell you how happy I am to have found this site! I haven't been here long but have learned a lot from reading the posts....thanks to all of you!

Does anyone know roughly how many scholarships are given for SI's? I'm interested in knowing about SAB, PNB, Boston, ABT, SFB and PBT. Someone recently told me that PBT doesn't give scholarships at all. Is this true?


Thank you in advance for your input! :)

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Welcome to Ballet Talk! There are a ton of threads regarding scholarships already on the site. Use the Search function to look through them and you may find answers to many of your questions. Be sure and look at the Advanced Options as there are many ways that you can refine your search to find what you are looking for. Since you are new to the board, I hope you will take some time to try the Search function. It is a wonderful feature of this board and it unlocks so much information and puts it at your fingertips!


Here is the most recent thread I found, which will answer several of your questions:


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I can't tell you how many, but FYI, my 12 year old daughter received her SAB letter last year that said she had been "recommended for a scholarship" but we still had to fill out all the financial info and send in our 1040's and all to prove financial need, which, we didn't qualify for. (Anyone who even THINKS that parents of dancers have any extra money laying around are crazy!!!! I don't care what the tax form says! Agree?)


She then was awarded an "honorary" or "merit" scholarship which I understand is given to the younger set that doesn't qualify financially for a monetary one to still give them some kind of "scholarship" status> I think if you're older and they really are looking at you for the future, the financials may not be an issue, so I've read in other posts.


As an aside, I don't think anyone really had knowledge of who was or wasn't on scholarship during the summer. Everyone was treated the same way at least in my daughter's level. The stakes may be higher at higher levels.

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Thank you both! My daughter can't attend an SI without getting a scholarship..per a contract with her school.


I'm going to do that search now! Thanks again!

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Your list of SIs looks just like ours!

We also are a bit in need of financial help

with SIs heading towards $4k for 5 weeks...its painful.

We also have a son that dances but he is a bit young (12)

for going for a 5 week SI.

Our DD went to PBT (great program) last year & we did receive

some help in the form of work study ($500 off tuition).

Not a huge amount of help but appreciated. The work was

easy, attendance taking on the bus, making sure the tables were cleared

after meals, helping the resident assistants at the dorms, etc.

She was also accepted to Walnut Hill w/$1250 financial aid but we had already

reserved her spot at PBT.

Walnut Hill, I believe has historically been generous.

I hope this information is helpful.

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  • 1 year later...

I myself have also participated in the Start Something program and got a scholarship of $5000 to help pay for my ballet training. It's a hidden secret that is definitely worth doing!

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  • 6 months later...

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