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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Financial aid

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My apologies if I missed a previous discussion about this. My DD is almost 13 and I am just thinking ahead at options for her training. She has loved her Nutmeg SI and is now begging to do year round when she is old enough.

It was a serious stretch to pay for this summer program and their yearly tuition would be impossible. I do see that financial aid is available at some of these schools but wondering if others have experience with this. I know that on one income near poverty level we could qualify for something but would it cover a quarter, half, all of it? Do these school even offer full scholarships? Is it worth my time to even consider if I am unable to pay more than say $5000 a year?

I would just rather tell my DD now if it is not possible to send her to a year round school rather than get her hopes up.

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Hello AmyMary,

i do not have personal experience with financial aid but DD has attended a few different schools during her training, including a year away from home.  From what I have seen, students who show real potential and talent may be given financial assistance if they really need it.  Each program varies so you will need to do your research. DD attended Harid where all students receive a tuition scholarship but only some receive assistance with room and board.  

It is hard to stay objective with your own child regarding talent so you might need to ask yourself some hard questions if you are looking for a scholarship.   Has my child been accepted to quality summer programs? Good casting at home studio? Placement at competitions?  Since these questions involve assessments by various teachers/judges you may start to see a trend. That trend can be more telling than the opinion of just their home studio for example. 

Please note that there are many aspects to year round study away from home besides finances to consider. The sacrifices beyond the financial cost that the student and family will make are not to be diminished (family time, academics, friendships, quality nutrition-yes this is a real issue!, etc.). The excitement and anxiety students (and parents) can feel in the SI environment about getting accepted to the year round program is real.  Since  your DD is so young it might be good to take a wait and see approach while you assess the financial viability for your family.  She might find that the right opportunity will find her when the time is right!


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Thank you for the insight. Harid is another school on my radar for consideration. We are really only a year or two into more serious training so the trends you speak of haven't quite developed yet. She is a top student at our home studio and recently was awarded a summer scholarship but we live in a small town so that probably says little. I dislike competitions in general but we will do YAGP for a second time this year. One of the struggles is that the talent in our nearest ballet hub is phenomenal across the board so even getting recognized is a challenge.

I agree that we will wait and see which opportunities present themselves over the next couple of years since this was really our first audition season.

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Might I suggest you audition for the various residential schools you are considering. In the case of HARID, we have a large financial aid package for qualified students. Since all students at HARID receive a full tuition artistic scholarship, what is left is housing and academics. If the financial need is there, the aid is available to cover these additional costs. HARID will not cover airfares and incidentals which must be factored into the equation. Our students arrive in August. Must return home in mid-December through the 1st week in January, a three week time span. They must leave and return again in the Spring for a 10 day time span and then leave again at the end of May.

Please consult our website www.harid.edu for further information.

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Yes indeed that is my plan. What better way for a school to get to know a dancer's capabilities vs a short audition? She wasn't old enough for Harid this year but we will audition next year for sure.

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