College decision time is FINALLY here! You have survived your college auditions and all of your hard work in high school has brought you to this incredibly exciting and possibly nerve-wracking moment. Congrats on making it here! You may have a fairly easy decision or a mix of BA and BFA acceptances to sort through. Either way, as you try to make your final decision, take some time to answer the following 5 questions.
5 Questions to Help Make Your Final BFA College Decision
1. How did you feel in the audition room?
Your connection to the faculty and who ultimately you will be spending the next four years training with is crucial. That connection is so much more important than just deciding to go to the program with the most name recognition. College auditions can feel relatively fast, especially if you did the majority of your college auditions at Unifieds, but try to think back on the experience you had with the faculty and staff inside (and perhaps outside) the audition room. Did they make you feel comfortable? Can you see yourself being challenged in their classroom? Were you inspired? If you are still unsure of the connection, it might be worth it to take another college visit and ask to sit in on a class.
2. How did you feel on campus?
Now is the time when YOU get to be "highly selective." My greatest hope for all of my college audition students is to have acceptances at as many college programs as possible, so now they can be super picky. Did you like the dorms? Did you feel safe on campus? What are the facilities like? What is the college's relationship with the surrounding area? What is the student population like? Enjoy the opportunity to picture yourself at that college and determine what environment you would ultimately like to call home for 4 years. If you are still unsure, most colleges have an accepted students' overnight planned.
3. What does each program have to offer?
Now's the time to enjoy learning everything you possibly can about the programs you have been accepted to. Make a pros and cons list of everything the BFA or BA program and college itself has to offer and compare these lists. Sit down with your parents and/or coach and go over the course guide/BFA requirements to check what kinds of classes you will take. Maybe you want the possibility to study abroad? Maybe the opportunity to minor in another subject is important? Is there a Senior Year industry showcase? Is there a new works festival? Are you second guessing the idea of doing a BFA and leaning towards a BA option? If you find info about the college that you don't like, put those in your "cons column."
4. Is the cost worth it?
This is one of the absolute hardest factors to take into consideration and can only be made on a case-by-case basis based on your family financial situation. If you have multiple BFA acceptances and are receiving a considerable scholarship and financial aid package at one of those programs, it may be worth it. Remember that you are heading into a career market upon graduation that is relatively unpredictable, so take your time thinking about your final decision carefully with your family and coaches.
5. What does your gut tell you?
If you've answered the four above questions and you are still struggling to make a decision, take a break from thinking, stop listening to everyone's opinion for a minute, and try to listen to what your own instincts are telling you. I suggest taking a walk, run, or drive by yourself to clear your mind. Deep down, you probably already know the right answer for yourself.
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Tom Morin is a NYC-based acting coach, co-founder of Polish Your Passion, and a professional actor/singer. He holds a B.A. in Theatre & Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.F.A. in Acting from Ohio University and has been teaching for the past 9 years, advising and coaching students through the college audition process and beyond. He loves coffee, Shakespeare, and YouTube.