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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Factors in Making the Decision Once Accepted


Taradriver

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My DD has made her decision too. Campus visits really helped. It was interesting because the program she thought was going to be "it," turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, and the school she thought she wouldn't like as much, she loved. Her dad and I also feel very good about her choice, which has made it a "win" all around.

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Though we're not in the decision-making process this year, we were surprised at the college our oldest daughter ended up attending. It was a school that was applied to as an afterthought, thinking it was too far away. Its application was sent regular mail instead of being overnighted. Amazingly enough, they gave her a great financial aid package and she very happily spent the last four years there. She was turned off by one of her first choice schools when we were just riding around the campus and checking out the neighborhood! Those glossy brochures look so great - each campus is so different when you finally visit. I wish the best of luck to everyone during this exciting time.

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If only we could see inside their heads! My daughter's choice was almost an afterthought in the application process, and she didn't even apply as a dance major. When we did visit, we checked out the dance facilities and she was instantly smitten. When she auditioned, she felt comfortable and could see herself attending the college. (Plus, there were lots of cute guys!) We had many discussions about distance and financial cost and the implications of both--and she made up her mind. We are happy because it is close, but far enough away for her to feel independent. The true test will be when she is actually there, and we are keeping our fingers crossed, because many of my friends' kids have had second thoughts once they are actually on campus and living the life. Good luck to everyone in making the decision, but keep in mind, life can bring us many unexpected paths!

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  • 1 month later...

As someone who went through the college application process this year, I have to say that the campus visit is the most crucial aspect of the decision. The school that I ultimately chose (Columbia) was not even on my radar prior to my visit, but I knew as soon as I set foot on campus that I wanted to attend. I don't feel that college decisions can be made completely "on paper"; I know many students who made their choices this way and were ultimately very unhappy. Of course, it is necessary to make sure that the school offers the majors you are interested in and will not limit your options in terms of academics, extracurriculars, etc. Beyond that, however, the decision is really up to the feeling you get when you step through the gates and whether or not you can really picture yourself attending that school for four years of your life.

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  • 1 year later...

I couldn't find a more appropriate thread, but I was wondering what the protocol is about informing colleges that you will not be accepting their offer for admission/scholarship. I have always been a fan of "don't burn your bridges", and hope that the school might offer another dancer an opportunity or $.

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If the dancer will be attending another college, then a thank you letter stating that you will be attending another college is sufficient. A friend who works admissions at our local college says the athletes and dancers are the only ones who tend to handle it that way. More general students tend to just let the payment deadlines pass. A nice thing we've instilled in our dancers from SI experiences.

 

If there are reasons such as more scholarship money, lower tuition, etc. that can be outlined it is always a good thing for the college to know why. If the dancer is going to dance instead, a request for deferral might be a good idea so that you have something to bank on for next year there are usually forms.

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I can't speak to dance departments specifically, but generally the letter of admission includes a form to return. That is, you have to let them know one way or another by a specified date. They know that a student can only accept one offer, and have a procedure in place for calling people off the waitlist.

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If it's a request to defer an acceptance to a college, I've been told that most colleges have a form to complete; otherwise you need to write a letter (could be an email?), stating your deferral request and why. (Contin. ballet training or a trainee program for a year is a perfectly acceptable reason.) My dd's college counselor, in fact, says many colleges like students deferring for two reasons: 1) that's one less spot admissions has to worry about filling in next year's freshman class, and 2) colleges prefer students who are ready to attend, versus those who still may be suffering from academic burnout.

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Should one letter be sent to the admissions dept and one to the dance dept? We are in the process of informing colleges ourselves...

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Should one letter be sent to the admissions dept and one to the dance dept? We are in the process of informing colleges ourselves...

 

As someone who works at a college, I would suggest doing two letters. One to the admissions department (perhaps the return form that came with the letter of acceptance?) and another to the dance division. While all schools are different, there are many where communication between admissions and various departments leave something to be desired. Admissions can be so crazy, especially with the constant barrage of mail and phone calls, that they could put notifying the department on the back burner until later in the year. On the flip side, if the letter only went to the dance department, they may think the student already notified admissions, and not share the word. The letter to dance could be more personal, complimenting them on the fabulous facilities, exemplary faculty, etc. The dance world is also surprisingly small, so who knows what choreographer who works at that school will set a piece on your dk in the future!

 

In my previous position at this college, I worked with recruiting and advising prospective adult students. I always appreciated it when a student who did not choose to attend our program sent our department an email or letter thanking us for our time and efforts. A few of those "non" students did resurface after trying other schools and not having good experiences.

 

All the best to you and your dk's! Such an exciting time!

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DD sent letters to both admissions and dance. While the reply deadline is usually May 1st in the USA, colleges do appreciate hearing once you've made your decision.

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