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Chapman Deposit

Discussion in 'Graduate Film School Discussions' started by jj45, Mar 15, 2016.

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  1. jj45

    jj45 Member

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    So it's looking like Chapman will be my choice for grad school (still waiting to hear from LMU but I'm not hopeful as I know a lot of their decisions have already gone out, so I think I'll call them today and just ask) and I'm very grateful as it was one of my first choices... HOWEVER, is anyone else completely perplexed by the $1000 deposit? It just seems crazy to me that they ask for that much and soon after receiving a letter... Does anyone know why they charge that much for a deposit? Has that turned anyone off?
     
  2. juliabulia

    juliabulia Member

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    Hey jj - it it's your first choice, don't be put off by the deposit. At most schools, the deposit is non-refundable but it goes toward your tuition for the first semester. So if you want to go there, you're just getting a head start on the tuition. I did some quick googling and found a site that purports to be the "official tumblr" of the Chapman admissions office (lol) where it says thats the case: http://chapmanadmission.tumblr.com/post/85035330293/does-the-housing-deposit-and-enrollment-deposit

    The reason that a school would charge such a high deposit is that they want people to commit to them as a first choice. If people have already shelled out $1k, they might be more willing to stick with that school, even if they hear back from another school down the line. So basically, Chapman is just asking for a commitment from you that you'd like to attend!

    Also, re: LMU - I got accepted there, but I am fairly certain they've only sent it out to a few people so far, and if they don't have a whole class committed by April 1, I'm sure they'll send out more admits. That's pretty much the case at most schools - any time you see someone deciding between "UCLA and Columbia" or "LMU and Chapman" means a slot could open up at either school. Some schools do it via an official waitlist (like USC and Columbia), where as other schools just give you the call as they have slots available.

    Good luck with your decisions!!
     
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  3. WriterGirl

    WriterGirl Member

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    What's putting me off is more that they want it so soon than the actual amount (because of what @juliabulia said). They clearly know who their competition is, so they clearly know some of those schools haven't sent notices yet... I think it's unfair to put students in such an awkward, and potentially financially harmful (if you happen to get accepted to another school you prefer over them) situation (I personally don't just have some disposable 1K laying around) :eek:
     
    #3 WriterGirl, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  4. juliabulia

    juliabulia Member

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    I think in my initial reply I thought @jj45 said it was their first choice - but after a second reading realized they're still waiting to hear back from places! That definitely changes things.

    I think it's a bargaining chip on behalf of the school, and a way for them to get committed students and not people who just want to hold a spot. It does suck that it could potentially put people in a bad financial situation, though - especially when you'd be happy to be a student there, but just want to weigh your options.

    @WriterGirl, in your case where it seems like you're holding out for schools that will probably notify you after the deadline has passed - that really sucks :confused: I have no idea what I'd do in that case! It seems the choices are either gamble on an admit at one of the other schools - or that Chapman will still have slots available after the deposit deadline has passed - or to bite the bullet and pay the $$$ to have something locked down. But I agree, paying more than a month's rent (at least for me) isn't an easy thing to do, nor even financially possible for most people, welp.
     
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  5. WriterGirl

    WriterGirl Member

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    @juliabulia Specially because Chapman didn't offer me any sort of financial help at all, so I'm inclined to wait and see if any of the other schools like me more, and decide to be more generous in that regard... It is a gamble for sure o_O
     
  6. jj45

    jj45 Member

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    @juliabulia Thanks so much for your response! Chapman was always one of my top choices, and now as it stands in terms of where else I've been admitted, it's become my top choice. However, I haven't heard from LMU yet and Chapman and LMU were always equal for me so if I do happen to get in to Loyola, I'm not quite sure what I would do.

    My issue with the 1000 deposit is that it's forcing me to make a blind decision. Chapman didn't give me any special aid - I called them yesterday and they told me that they only give out very few scholarships within their film program, but I'm also quite surprised that they aren't able to offer TA positions, work study, or any other kind of grants etc to their admitted students to try and lure them into the program and convince them to choose their school over others. At this point I don't even know what my FAFSA loans would be like cause supposedly that package comes out in April, so if I did commit to Chapman I'd really be making a blind decision. Unless FAFSA gave me the entire tuition in loans, there's no way I could attend, and then could be out $1000 and with no future plans.

    I do think I'll try giving LMU a call today to ask if there are any more acceptances going out or if they could even tell me the decision on my specific application.

    @WriterGirl I feel your pain. I would say maybe try calling Chapman and tell them you're waiting to hear back from AFI & Columbia and ask if they can hold your place until you've heard from those other schools. Surely they must know all (or at least most) of their applicants also applied to other schools. I think it's worth asking in your case. Just out of curiosity, did you apply to LMU? Also since I know now that you're also in tough position about Chapman, I'll keep you updated on stuff I hear back from them!
     
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  7. WriterGirl

    WriterGirl Member

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    @jj45 Exactly! My issue is that I like to know my options before I make choices! Right now I don't know what the options are and Chapman wants me to prematurely (and expensively!) commit.

    Thanks for keeping me updated! :)

    And nope, I didn't apply to LMU. I don't remember why exactly, but it had something to do with a specific requirement I either didn't have time to fulfill or couldn't afford :confused:
     
    #7 WriterGirl, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  8. Point Break

    Point Break Member

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    I would second calling Chapman and stating your case. They already accepted you, so you're not losing anything by asking them (as opposed to the runaround with LMU's decisions still going out).

    Most of the time, schools are willing to work with you in cases of financial hardship.
     
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  9. marion06

    marion06 Member

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    Hey everyone! So it finally says on my Chapman student portal that a decision has been reached, so I called the admissions office to know when/how I'm supposed to know what the decision is. I have been told that I should get an email and/or a mailed letter within the next couple weeks.
    How long did it take for you guys to receive one of both of these things after it said "decision reached" on the student portal?
     
  10. Rochelle Pascale

    Rochelle Pascale New Member

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    I got accepted into Chapman's documentary film program, but without any scholarships there is no way that I can afford to go. the 1000 dollar fee is crazy, I don't know anyone who just has an extra 1000 dollars sitting around.

    I'll have to go to my second choice school Columbia College. So, my slot will be opening up for anyone on their waiting list. I just can't rationalize going 80,000 dollars into debt....no way could I feasibly pay that off! Columbia didn't offer me any scholarships, but I can take out a loan for 20,000 dollars a year and split the loan between the semesters. The rest I could pay off in cash. I have a friend who lives in that area so I wouldn't have to pay for housing.

    Their school is highly competitive, so I understand their reasoning. They want to make sure the most committed students are going to fill up their slots instead of seeing students drop out or transfer.
     
  11. SaltyDornishman

    SaltyDornishman Fixin' it in post

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    I just sent an email to Eva expressing my concern over the deposit. I indicated on my application status that I intend to enroll, and in my email I notified Eva that I could pay some of the deposit, but not all of it. Not sure if anything can be done realistically, but I would rather it be known to the admissions office that I didn't just neglect to accept my admission. I really would love to attend Chapman.

    I just hate that you get waitlisted if you don't pay it all on time (in two weeks when some people won't know of their status to other programs, on top of it all). As someone upthread mentioned, I get that it goes towards tuition, but not being able to pay it sacrifices your chances of getting in. Because who knows if you'll get off the waitlist. And it's not a small amount either so there should be some leniency. Ufhhhh this is just really stressing me out.
     
  12. SaltyDornishman

    SaltyDornishman Fixin' it in post

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    Hmmmm, I'm wondering.... since the deposit goes towards tuition, could it possibly be paid using any FA awards already given? I just wonder because I saw the awards that I have been given, and its just...I've been accepted, you have decided to give me money to attend, the money more than covers the cost of attendance, can't you take a small portion of that excess and apply it to the deposit??

    Eva has not replied to my email so I think I will try to call the Grad Admissions dept tomorrow, even tho this kind of stuff stresses me out.
     
  13. Rochelle Pascale

    Rochelle Pascale New Member

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    I know Chapman is a really great school, but is it really worth going 70,000 dollars into debt for? What are your odds of landing a high paying industry job? I think if I had been accepted into AFI, then it might have been worth the loans. Chapman?? I don't know how much of a difference Chapman v Columbia College is really going to make in the long run.
     
  14. SaltyDornishman

    SaltyDornishman Fixin' it in post

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    Well at this point, I haven't actually been accepted to CCC so it's not a realistic option. It's still speculative.
    But I like the conservatory model of Dodge College, and having compared the curriculum there with the other programs I applied to, I just think I can get what I want from Dodge as opposed to only sort of getting what I want from other schools.
    No matter where I go, I'm gonna have to take on loans. So I might as well go where I feel I would get the most out of a program, education wise and experience wise. It's true no school can guarantee you a high paying industry job, but if a school can give you the tools needed to get such a job in a location where those jobs exist then I'm all for it.

    And it's funny, now that I compare AFI versus Chapman, I feel like Chapman has a stronger conservatory program...
     
  15. Rochelle Pascale

    Rochelle Pascale New Member

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    It seems that your mind is made up and I really hope it works out for you. I just have to say this: There is an industry all over this world for film, television, radio, and media. It makes sense to work with people in LA, since they have so much business there. Keep in mind that most people did not break into the industry by doing it through LA. They did it, either on their own or through other outside sources. It's tantalizing to be an hour away from LA, but that doesn't make you closer than anyone else to becoming a film maker. LA is filled with failed actors, film makers, models, musicians etc...I'd argue that most people in LA are these people. I've been thinking about this lately, but it makes more sense to start outside of LA and move your way into the industry. No one's going to listen to you or consider unless you have a list of contacts to go through. I guess none of us really need film school considering that, but why go 70,000 dollars in debt??

    Again, I hope everything works out for you. We're all in this together!
     
  16. SaltyDornishman

    SaltyDornishman Fixin' it in post

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    Thanks. I think it's really hard for me to articulate clearly why I'm okay with choosing to add more debt to my life lol. Also, I'm actually really into international cinema, and so I have a lot of interests in making movies abroad, particularly in Spanish-speaking countries and South Korea. I don't plan to spend my life in LA. I think that...in some way, anyone who chooses to pursue higher education knowing that it may come with this huge monetary loss has decided that the pursuit of knowledge is more important than any amount of money they become tied down by.
     
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  17. Rochelle Pascale

    Rochelle Pascale New Member

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    Obviously you know what you're ok with, but I'll say this and end it here:

    I'm perfectly ok with the pursuit of knowledge, but a part of that is knowing what is and isn't logical. How are you going to make Spanish speaking films or South Korean films when you have to pay 80,000 dollars off in debt for the rest of your life? Believe me, I don't want a mortgage or children in my future. The only debt I want in life is student loan debt. I'm almost 30 and I don't want to spend the prime years of my life living in poverty trying to pay off debt. I'd rather spend that time traveling, meeting interesting people, working on film sets or working on projects. You can't do these things when you are 80,000 dollars in debt...

    What about housing? How are you going to pay for it? Chapman has apartments off campus, but they're pretty expensive. Orange is a fairly well to do area and finding an apartment nearby will be pricey and competitive.

    I say this as someone who already lives in poverty, who grew up poor. There's nothing glorious about it. There's no opportunity with it.

    Finally: The second you get out of school, they're going to hunt you down for these loans. Are you going to be working 70 hour work weeks at school? Because that's how much you're going to need to be able to pay off your loans. How will you have time for projects or internships? Let alone school...

    It's a tough decision, but at the end of the day I couldn't take the risk you're taking. Maybe it's because I'm a female and know that my biological clock ticks faster than yours.

    How old are you btw?
     
  18. SaltyDornishman

    SaltyDornishman Fixin' it in post

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    I'm a 24 year old female.
     
  19. Rochelle Pascale

    Rochelle Pascale New Member

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    Interesting. When I was around your age, I actually went to a school that cost about the same as Chapman. I received grants since it was a bachelor's degree, but most of it was in loans. I owe 25,000 dollars and my mother took out a loan for 25,000 thinking that she was helping me. She almost went bankrupt and lost our house.

    At the end of the day, if I could go back and make the same decision I wouldn't have gone to that school. I love the professors I had there, I learned a lot there, but it was just too much for not enough. Ironically, it was one of my professors there whose recommendation possibly got me accepted into Chapman and Columbia.

    That being said, I hope you do well at Chapman and good luck to you!
     

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