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Options in paying tuition.

In Part I we explored why and where go go for college dance programs. Now we investigate our options for payment.

Scholarship and tuition discussions require patience and a sense of humor. Negotiate. Generally, the average cost of in-state colleges is about $6,000 per semester for residents, and $16,000 for private schools. Hiring a private consultant to "work" with you on the numbers and possibly give you misleading financial information will not help. Fortunately, dancewear and textbooks are relatively inexpensive.

Are you a candidate for an arts scholarship? Ask the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, 3915 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137. What luck! Talent counts. You won't need the usual advantage of having a rich relative or at least one parent who gave a large gift to the college, is famous, or is an alum.

Remember our suggestion to investigate early admission options, Part I? This is where you might become confused and gamble on an early decision option that admits you to a school before you know what kind of financial aid you will receive.

Early decision schools decide upon acceptance and financial awards in December if all your information has been received in November. Now pay attention: Acceptance and your commitment to a school before you know what kind of aid package you can negotiate will obstruct your control over the financial process.

More schools, however, are making early decisions to assure themselves of prepaid tuition--an advantage to students since that tuition will be at the rate for the previous year--and to relieve student anxiety caused by waiting months for an answer to an application. If you are deferred or rejected by your early decision school or if the aid package is insufficient, you still have time to apply to other colleges.

A variation on the single-deadline admission is the rolling admission procedure that admits freshmen as the school's admission system goes along. In this procedure, if all your forms are submitted in October, your candidacy is considered in October. If the school has a rolling admission procedure, rejection will come when the freshman class is filled. Why wait? Apply to several schools. When you are sufficiently confused, call up the financial aid information page on your computer:

http://www.cs/cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/

mkant/Public FinAid

Ask about loan programs. Basically, financial aid falls into three categories: Gift-aid, grants, and scholarships. Gifts do not have to be repaid; almost all others do, some with interest. The federal government funds two programs: Pell Grant and the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant available to the most needy students. Some colleges sponsor work study programs on campus or in the community.

Call (800) 942-2677 for information on a new federal program called National and Community Service for high school grads, then keep asking your guidance counselor's advice or make an appointment with the financial aid administrator's office at colleges in which you are interested. State agencies that sponsor students can be discovered by calling (800) 4-FED-AID. All in all, it's a complicated process, one that requires that you fill out forms accurately and almost continuously.

Where do you stand in your choices? Higher Education Arts Data Services tells us that: Total dance major enrollment to liberal arts degree programs increased 14.9 percent between the [illegible] of 1982 and the fall of 1994. Enrollment levels throughout this period have been sporadic but, in general, a decline in enrollment in the early 1980s was offset by a steady increase in the early 1990s. Total dance enrollment in professional degree programs grew a mere 4.8 percent overall during the period 1982 to 1994. Enrollment dropped considerably from 1983 to 1985. However there has been an overall increase of 121.9 percent between 1985 and 1994.

Assure your parents that you will be so busy with classes and rehearsals that you are not likely to be involved in parties with cigarettes and alcohol, binging, or becoming anorexic, since you know that the body is your instrument. As for sex, drugs, AIDS, rap, and rock 'n' roll, you have heard all about that since grade school, as well as having experienced the uncensored Internet. Gently tell them that the student body has changed since they went to school from upper- and middle-class students to 60 percent latchkey kids, with 24 percent coming from minority groups. Dorms are frequently coed.

Be ready with your essay (if necessary), Social Security number, scores of your Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Test of English for a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if necessary, or American College Test (ACT, used in the South), resume, photo, audition material, and other applications.

Have you kept up your schoolwork, completed the financial documents, and continued with your regular dance classes? And kept your sense of humor and excitement? Good for you. Have a wonderful time dancing in college.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Dance Magazine, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Is College Dance in Your Future?, part 2
Author:Horosko, Marian
Publication:Dance Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 1997
Words:815
Previous Article:Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center.
Next Article:A step in time: Bournonville class at the school of the Royal Danish Ballet.
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