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Cupcake's avatar

How many colleges/university applications would you recommend a high school student submit?

Asked by Cupcake (11462 points ) August 30th, 2012

- high school junior looking for some guidance for the next 2 years.
– interested in music, so some of the schools will be music conservatories… but not all.
– talented musically and very smart, but not great grades.

He asked me for advice yesterday and I had no idea what to say!! What would you tell him?

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20 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What’s it cost to apply to colleges today? I think I applied to 5 or 6, but it was pretty cheap then.

Cupcake's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe According to this, it’s $50—$80 per application.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I would also say 5 or 6. If you are interested in music go for it. Berklee in Boston offers on-line and on campus classes, try before you commit.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Cupcake What kind of grades, how many outside activities while in school, and what kinds of colleges is he considering? I’m with TW. I think it’s worth 5 or 6 at least. The on-line suggestion was excellent.

Cupcake's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I thought there was one fee for all SUNY schools… but it’s a common application plus $50 for each school selection. Yikes.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Cupcake Let me check. I can see a SUNY from here.

Cupcake's avatar

Grades (other than music… and he takes many music classes at his arts high school) are not that great.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Berklee is a music school, audition and interview is the basis of admission.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Cupcake Yes it’s $50 per app. If he’s really strong in his musical skills I would think that might offset some weaker grades. Plus the other musical classes would look good on the app. I’d still say 5 to 6. $300 isn’t one months car payment anymore, and we’re talking a future. I think the counseling and other things aren’t worth the money. There’s got to be resources at the school he’s at now. Or turn him lose on fluther. We won’t corrupt him too much.:)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I was thinking of Ithaca College, they require an audition too.
and that was supposed to be “loose”. Really, I do have a diploma.

cookieman's avatar

As many as you can afford. Given the nature and cost of higher Ed these days, I’d hedge my bets.

muppetish's avatar

It’s also important to apply to different kinds of schools. Apply to at least two safeties (more affordable, not as far away, not as competitive, etc.), and then the other three can be left to more competitive, one’s that are well-known for the subject you wish to pursue, etc. A friend of mine only applied to the most competitive schools and didn’t get into any of them.

I only applied to two universities because I knew where I wanted to go. It worked out for me, but I don’t really recommend that.

cookieman's avatar

^^ Completely agree with @muppetish

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@muppetish GA. I forgot the safety school too.

janbb's avatar

I would say bet ween 6 and 8 if you can afford it. Different schools might offer you different financial packages as well.

You might want to look into Oberlin College in the Midwest; great music conservatory and very liberal.

gailcalled's avatar

Also check out The Hartt School of Music at the U. of Hartford.

Is your friend a classical musician? The areas that interest him will influence his choices.

Here is one list of the top 30 music schools and colleges in the US.

http://www.uscollegeranking.org/music/top-music-schools-ranking-in-2010.html#axzz253LzxoXX

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@gailcalled U Hart is great school, I took several jazz / improvisation classes in high school at Hartt. Graduated from there too.

Cupcake's avatar

My son is a jazz musician. He knows jazz professors at Eastman School of Music (NY) and Lawrence University (WI)... so those are high on the list so far for conservatories. I am encouraging him to investigate other music paths (production, music therapy, etc.) and consider schools that offer those majors. And then probably a state (SUNY) school as well.

@Tropical_Willie Thanks for the Berklee online info.

@cprevite That’s what I was thinking. I initially said “5–20” without thinking of the application fees. Woah… those fees add up quickly!!

I was so pleased that my high school junior is starting to take college so seriously! We ended up going to Barnes and Noble unexpectedly to get books on choosing a major, lists of colleges/universities, SAT prep and an AP music theory guide. You cannot imagine how thrilled I was with that hour of my life. He’s taking it seriously! He’s taking it seriously! :)

_Whitetigress's avatar

Hey there! My recommendation is this. Don’t worry so much about how many places you want to apply to. Instead, focus on what you want to pursue. Then follow that up with by researching which schools offer that program.

I’ll use my example. I’m an Art with an Emphasis in Multimedia. I’m in California, and want to stay in California. So I look up schools that show information on what majors (remember majors is your choice/field of study and can be changed anytime you feel like) are offered. In my situation I have a website I can go to called, Assist.Org It helps me see what is offered in California throughout all colleges here. And there are only a couple UC’s (A University of California) and CSU’s (California State University) that offer Art & Multimedia as a degree, and some even only offer it as a certificate and of course some don’t even offer it, as their schools are just more oriented toward a certain something else.

I’ve read differences and similarities between CSU’s and UC’s. The networking within UC system looks more prestigious on a resume. But what looks more impressive on a resume than a UC degree is anyone with a bulk of high quality works in their resume. So it all goes down on how hard you want to work towards your field. UC’s are more expensive, they claim to be more investigative and also run on the “college quarter system.” CSU’s have a Spring, Summer and Fall semester.

Tell the student to learn to love math now or it will be a huge deterrent in college. Tell them that math helps with the “getting things in logical order” of the brain. I’m only mentioning this because I was young and naive and always questioned why I needed math only to accumulate massive debt. Plus knocking it out sooner than later was something I did not do. It is holding me back by 3 semesters. But guess what? I also know no one will really look at me in the job field with out a degree in the art industry. So that’s why I push forward. Good luck!

wundayatta's avatar

If you are looking into learning a trade like recording and sound production, then schools like Ithaca College and NYU and there’s a school down in Florida, but I don’t know its name. They are all thought of highly. Sound production is different from perfromance, though. If you go to learn production, you have to have an instrument, but that’s not really the focus. If you want to focus on performance, you’re not really going to be a sound producer. I don’t think there is enough time and energy to prepare for both.

There are, of course, all the best conservatories. Some of them are more competitive than others: Julliard and Curtis Institute. But the other good ones, like Eastman, Oberlin, Berkley, and the others probably give you a great musical education. If you go to Oberlin, there is both a college and a conservatory, and you can double major if you spend an extra year there.

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