If you’ve been accepted at more than one music school, congratulations! But if you’re not sure which one to accept, life will continue to feel challenging until the answer comes clear. Several factors may be involved in deciding on the right music school for you.
Here are some important considerations for students, parents, music educators, and college guidance counselors.
1. At U.S. schools, May 1 is the official deadline for final decisions about which school to accept.
- Schools can’t pressure you into accepting their offer before May 1, nor can they pull any scholarship, grant, work/study or housing option they’ve offered you prior to that date.
- It’s easier for the schools if you decide as soon as possible. Then they know how many spots on the waitlist to fill, how much remaining scholarship money is available, and what their incoming freshman class will look like.
- If you KNOW you’re not going to accept offers at schools, let those schools know as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did, especially if you ever decide to transfer to one of those schools or apply there for graduate school.
- The sooner you decide, the easier it is for you, too. You no longer have the big decision hanging over your head, nor the weird feeling of not knowing where you’re going to be in the fall, and probably the next 4 years.
2. What if you’re not sure?
Prior to May 1, don’t make a decision until you have as much information as you need in order to feel as comfortable as possible with your decision. You may not have a lot of time. So you need to act fast.
- Take a final trip to the school you’re still unsure about. Yes, it may be expensive if it’s out of town. But in the long run, it’ll be a lot LESS expensive than going to a school that’s not the right fit.
- Sit in on classes. Talk to students. Talk with faculty. Hang out in the dining hall. Spend the night with a current student who’s ideally majoring in the same area you’d be majoring in. Be sure to set all of this up in advance!
- Take notes. You have what you need at your fingertips – use it. You will need to compare apples to apples to make your final decision. Be sure to note how it FEELS to be there.
3. If you’re put on a waitlist:
- You apparently now have to accept the waitlist to still be considered for it.
- If you’re still serious about a school you’ve been waitlisted at, see if they’ll accept any additional, compelling, and relevant information you didn’t include in your application, including recent letters of reference.
- If you’re really serious about the school you’re waitlisted at, consider visiting there again, as soon as possible (see tipis in #2).
- You may not hear whether there’s a spot for you until after the May 1st deadline. You’ll have to accept another school in the meantime.
- If you end up getting into the school you’re waitlisted for, and decide to accept, you’ll lose any non-refundable deposits made to the first school. You may also be at the bottom of the list for housing options, so prepare to be flexible.