Published: January 12, 2016Category: Blog Written by CLC College Prep
You have a passion for musical theater. Or, perhaps you love to paint, dance, or perform with your musical instrument. You can’t imagine not pursuing a major in your chosen creative area in college. But as you explore colleges, you notice that some offer BA degrees and others BFA (or BM) degrees in your intended major. What’s the difference, and how do you decide between the two?
Generally speaking, all students will complete between 30 and 40 classes during college, regardless of their major or degree. The main difference between a BA and a BFA program is how those classes will be divided between courses in the arts/performing arts and courses in other areas of study.
Students working towards a Bachelor of Art (BA) will usually complete 10 to 12 courses in their major (i.e., studio art, music, dance, theater, etc.). They’ll take the remaining courses towards their degree in a broad range of other subjects. For students studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, that schedule will be reversed. Depending on the school, BFA students may take 18 to 20 courses in their creative area, filling out the rest of their schedule with courses in other subjects. (Some music conservatories offer a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree, which is similar to a BFA in terms of the number of courses required for the major.)
Which degree path is right for you? That depends on your interests and goals.
Students studying in a BA program have more flexibility to study other subjects that interest them. A BA degree also makes it possible to double major in a second subject area and still graduate in four years. For example, a student may decide to study both studio art and business, or music and neuroscience. This flexibility keeps the doors open in terms of after-college career options as well. Therefore, the BA degree is often the most comfortable fit for students who have a wide range of academic interests who aren’t sure they want to focus most of their attention on their creative interest during college.
On the flip side, students who are positive that they want to devote most of their time during college to developing their creative talents – perhaps with the goal of a career in the field – may find a BFA degree program the best fit. The greater number of courses in the student’s area of study often means deeper and more intensive training. For this reason, many consider a BFA to be a pre-professional degree, preparing students for a specific career.
One other difference between BA and BFA programs is that BFA programs often have more stringent admissions requirements and some programs are quite competitive. Students applying to BFA programs should expect to prepare and submit portfolios or attend auditions as part of the admissions process. Although there are some exceptions, most BA programs do not require auditions or portfolios at the time of admission.
Published: January 4, 2016Category: Blog Written by CLC College Prep
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the main form used by colleges to determine eligibility for need-based aid. You’ll want to file your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as you can this year, and then refile yearly while attending college. Beginning in the fall of 2016, the FAFSA will open for submission on October 1st, and will use financial information from the prior prior year (2015 info for the 2017-18 academic year.)
The FAFSA collects basic information about both the student and his/her parents’ incomes and assets, and uses this information to determine an expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the student and family are expected to contribute towards the student’s college expenses during the next academic year. The difference between the EFC and the total cost of attendance at your college of choice is known as demonstrated need. Using the demonstrated need figure, colleges prepare a customized financial aid package for each admitted student who qualifies for need-based financial aid.
This package may include both grants and loans, as well as self-help such as work-study opportunities. Only some colleges guarantee to meet 100% of established need, so financial aid may not cover all of your expenses at a particular college.
Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.govas soon as possible after January 1st. You’ll need your 2015 tax return and other financial records as noted on the site. It is possible to complete the FAFSA even if you do not have your taxes done yet—you can use estimated figures and update later. It’s best to complete the FAFSA as early as possible.
Not a senior? Families of underclassmen can get an early estimation of eligibility for aid with the FAFSA4caster at www.FAFSA4caster.ed.gov.
Published: October 29, 2015Category: Blog Written by Calli
The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, a new organization led by admissions deans at top campuses, has announced an ambitious goal: to make applications more reflective and in tune with how students organize and express themselves. In April, it will offer free online planning tools and in July a new application, for the class of 2021. Read more about the new initiative here.