Surprises at Juilliard

Hi, my name is Katie and I’m the Dance Admissions Coordinator for The Juilliard School.I’m new here (I started at the end of August 2007), so this is my first application and audition season.From what I can tell so far, it’s going to be a pretty interesting ride!

I’d like to share with you a few of the things that surprised me about Juilliard when I started working here:

  1. The friendly, accessible people who work and study within this intimate community.Juilliard is small – only about 1,000 people, so it’s easy to start recognizing names and faces.I think there is a lot of intimidation associated with the Juilliard name, and that comes from simply being unfamiliar with the school.As soon as you take a tour, observe a dance class, or speak with an Admissions staff member, you realize that Juilliard is a place with real people who don’t just care about dance, drama, or music – they truly care about one another.
  2. The financial aid situation.When I was applying to colleges, cost was one of the top factors influencing my decision.I didn’t even consider applying to private colleges or conservatories, based on the fact that tuition was so high.Juilliard’s tuition is of course higher than a state school, but since the number of students we accept is a lot smaller, we can work more closely with each accepted student to make it financially possible for them to attend.Juilliard recognizes that any student we accept will be high-merit due to the intensive audition process, so scholarships are usually based on financial need.It’s even possible for undergrad applicants to request an application fee waiver.No student who feels ready for conservatory training should let the cost of tuition prevent them from applying!
  3. The audition process.Yes, it’s intense.But the faculty truly want to make applicants feel comfortable so that they can perform at their best.We don’t want to miss out on someone’s great talent, simply because they were too nervous or scared.The faculty is rooting for you!
  4. The amount of bad information, urban legends, and just plain silliness that circulates about Juilliard.When we were researching the best way to start this blog, we looked on the internet for other blogs or personal accounts that had to do with Juilliard.It was astounding to me how easy it is to find incorrect information or, um, interesting “stories” about the Juilliard experience.The truth is, you can find the best information on our website, and if you have a question you can’t find the answer to, we have an entire office devoted to helping you!We are at our desks waiting for your phone calls and emails (and applications!), so please utilize the Office of Admissions if you have a question or concern: (212) 799-5000 x223 or [email protected].We also have current Juilliard students lead our tours and participate in each division’s Spotlight events, so there are plenty of opportunities to speak with real students about their experiences (as opposed to taking an anonymous blogger’s word!).
  5. The level of intelligence in an arts conservatory.Since Juilliard doesn’t require the SATs or a minimum GPA to gain admittance, it’s easy to assume that students don’t exactly “make the grade.”The truth is, Juilliard has students who are not only brilliant artists, but also amazing writers, philosophers, thinkers, and doers.I’ve read a number of the current students’ application essays, and some of them are truly inspiring.I’ve attended a rehearsal of works choreographed by students, and they are extraordinarily smart creators.Students have written grants to get projects funded, including arts outreach trips to Africa and South America.These are amazing people who are blessed equally in gifts of artistry and intelligence.

I hope you will come back to read more of our blog entries and “get to know” us.I think it will help make Juilliard feel more accessible to you, which is exactly what we want.We’re excited to meet you!