Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I was trying to come up with some good titles for this blog, and a couple that occurred to me were:

Ask and you shall receive

Or

Be careful what you wish for.

If you are an applicant to Juilliard this year in the Music Division, you have recently been asked to complete a survey for us. This is pretty standard for Juilliard Admissions – we like surveys! We are dedicated supporters of Survey Monkey, and collect lots of good information that help us understand how to improve our processes, from how we recruit to how we run auditions to even how we inform students of their admission status (that’s how we knew that our applicant pool was ready to go paperless – from responses on surveys saying that we should get the audition results up online!).

In this year’s survey, we included an open comment field, and asked everyone to give their thoughts on how we could better inform prospective students about the School, and/or improve the application process.

Well.

Ask and you shall receive.

And hey – be careful what you wish for!

But also – tidings of comfort and joy.

We got such great responses. I would estimate that half said that their experience with us was very good – and many that said that our application was one of the easiest that they had done.

As for the other half – it wasn’t bad news, or bad comments, or in my opinion, bad anything. I’ve gotten such great ideas already for how we can do things next year! We heard a lot about our website (we’re working on it, folks!), and that it would be helpful to have checklists, everything in one place rather than in multiple documents or web pages, clearer instructions – and these are things we can do. But we needed to know that these things were needed – otherwise, we would have gone on thinking that everything was perfectly fine.

In fact, that’s part of the reason that this blog exists – in fall 2007, when I was applying to nursery schools for my daughter, I realized how little information I had about nursery school – and more than that, how little information I was actually getting from the schools themselves! We (the Admissions staff) have a wealth of information about Juilliard and our admissions processes that is in our heads – we think that we are explaining things in our print materials, website and application, but perhaps we only think that because we are so intimate with it. And perhaps, to someone who hasn’t done this before, the whole thing seems completely mysterious and vague and unclear and confusing. I think that our blog helps (oh, and we got some comments on the survey that said it does!), but we can do more.

So, while I am comforted that many are having a good experience applying to Juilliard, I also find joy in the many comments that will help us do things better.

Thank you to all who responded – I hope you in turn will find comfort and joy in knowing that you will make the Juilliard application experience better in the future.