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Columbia Film MFA, Fall 2020 Application

Memz

Active Member
I just got in for creative producing - but I’m unsure if I should go for it right now when classes are online? What does defer actually mean?

Hey! So I’ve been chatting to admitted students for the past two months re deferring / not deferring and can provide some info and perspectives on this if it would help you. Just PM me. Could also add you to the admitted students WhatsApp group if you want to talk to students there. Some have deferred for next year and some have decided to attend now.
 

LJ99

New Member
Pulled off from the CP waitlist too... but unsure whether to enrol or not, are there still any in-person classes in Columbia's fall term?
 
Here’s the letter I received on June 1:


Dear Claire,

The practice of filmmaking is one of thorough preparation, and then being ready to adapt to the unexpected. Over the last three months, as NYC responded to the crisis of COVID-19, the Faculty, Staff and Administration of the Film Program immersed ourselves in contingency planning for 2020 in order to deliver our curriculum effectively and maximize opportunities for safe film production.
While much is changing, our core principles endure: We remain a program that embraces storytelling, integrity and authenticity. We remain committed to collaboration and community. We are proud of our tradition of set safety, and our responsibility to each other. We are a program that prides ourselves on the resiliency and innovation of its graduating filmmakers. We know that many of you are making plans for next year and have questions about how the program will unfold. Here is what we know so far about the 2020-2021 Academic year:

(1) We will begin most of our classes on Sept. 8th as usual.

(2) We expect Orientation and our Fall semester will begin online.

(3) Directing 1 and Directing the Actor 1 are the exceptions to the Sept 8 start. These classes would likely begin mid semester, extending into the summer term, ending in early July. This optimizes our chances for in-person/production work by allowing for de-densification on campus. There is no additional tuition cost to this extension, though students will need to remain in residence.

(4) We anticipate that we will be able to return to campus in small groups (the number to be determined) sometime in the Fall. This will most likely be in a “lab” setting where most instruction will continue online while supporting work including casting, rehearsals, office hours, and perhaps some instruction will take place in low density labs, classrooms, rehearsal and production spaces. We are calling this “lab work” to access a special dispensation that we are seeking from the University to allow for small group meetings and production. We don't foresee MFA Film classes running beyond early July, as the remainder of the summer is when our students traditionally focus on making their required films.

(5) Required lectures and sections of required workshops will be held on online from 9am to 12:30PM U.S. Eastern time. At the start of the Fall term, students can expect 3 hours online a day to fulfill their requirements, plus additional offerings (events, supplemental materials) that can, if needed, be viewed asynchronously (“recorded” for later viewing).

(6) It is important that students committing to our program have access to a computer with dependable internet speed. Minimum bandwidth is 600kbps (up/down) and recommended is 2.5 Mbps (up/down).

(7) We understand that many of you are not certain when you will be able to be in residence in NYC. The required curriculum will remain Zoom accessible (with 9AM-12:30pm Eastern scheduling option for those in 7-12+ time zones) for the academic year.

(8) Some of our classes can also be accessed asynchronously. However, students should be aware that there are some workshops that just do not work asynchronously.

(9) At this time we cannot be sure how long we will be working online, and/or in small groups only, and when we will return to “the new normal.” It is likely some classes will continue as online only rather than hybrid or small group classes throughout the Fall. We will keep you updated as the timeline evolves. We expect to remain at the vanguard of safe
set practices and to keep collaborative production at the heart of our program.

Adapting to this new reality means the film and television community must develop new protocols, methodologies, and marketplaces. Columbia Film has been — and will continue to be — at the forefront of re-imagining this future. To do this end, we will have to remain nimble, and it is likely our curriculum and benchmarks will evolve during your first year. Our program has always been a living breathing one, one that has always looked ahead at the opportunities that arise in a constantly changing environment. We look forward to having you be part of that adventure.

We would like to invite you to a Zoom meeting this Wednesday, June 3rd at 9am, to discuss all of the above in more detail. The link is as follows: https://columbiauniversity.zoom.us/j/97454540676

Best regards,


Hilary Brougher
Chair, Film Division
Associate Professor of Practice, MFA Film

For links to the most up to date information from offices across the University, including Columbia Residential, the International Students and Scholars Office, Health Services, and many more, visit our COVID-19 Guide for the School of the Arts Community. Additional information can be found at the School of the Arts COVID-19 Preparedness Resources page
 
Pulled off from the CP waitlist too... but unsure whether to enrol or not, are there still any in-person classes in Columbia's fall term?
when did you get the call about being pulled off the waitlist? do you know if anyone got pulled off the Writing/Directing waitlist?
 

LJ99

New Member
Thank you for sending this letter over! Great that they have given you so much info, I wasn't given anything of this sort to make a decision in a week🤷🏻‍♀️ Do you have any plans before enrolling next year? Finding a film job in the mid of pandemic is just so hectic
 

LJ99

New Member
It was 18th that I got the email, not sure anybody else apart from ppl in this forum, you should be hearing from them pretty soon as well!
 
It was 18th that I got the email, not sure anybody else apart from ppl in this forum, you should be hearing from them pretty soon as well!
thank you for your reply - when they pull you off the waitlist, how long do you have to decide if you want to accept? do you have the option to defer if pulled off the waitlist? thank you so much for your response!
 
Thank you for sending this letter over! Great that they have given you so much info, I wasn't given anything of this sort to make a decision in a week🤷🏻‍♀️ Do you have any plans before enrolling next year? Finding a film job in the mid of pandemic is just so hectic

I am going to stay with my current full-time (non-film) job since I’m lucky enough to still have it and try to save money for tuition. Columbia has had some Q&As with some filmmakers and has a Summer Film Club that meets every week. So I’ll try to stay engaged with non-course programming. I’m also going to try to build better relationships within my network.
 

LJ99

New Member
Hey there, I checked my email inbox and it turned out that I haven't actually got an email reply from the registry lol (tho i have already sent out 2 emails), dunno why I had the impression that they replied... But many admitted students do have told me that the deferral deadline has already passed, it's unlikely that I will be given a deferral... Anyway i decided to give up this offer, hope you will hear soon!
 

Chelsie

New Member
I found out today that I got accepted off the waitlist for directing with a scholarship. Is anyone in the same boat or knows more information about tuition costs for 2020? I'm very concerned about the price point. Even with the scholarship, it's still a ridiculous amount.
 

Chelsie

New Member
Hey! So I’ve been chatting to admitted students for the past two months re deferring / not deferring and can provide some info and perspectives on this if it would help you. Just PM me. Could also add you to the admitted students WhatsApp group if you want to talk to students there. Some have deferred for next year and some have decided to attend now.
Hi there! I’m in the just off the waitlist boat and Have a million questions. Would love to ask you or anyone in the WhatsApp’s group if possible!
 

Memz

Active Member
Hi there! I’m in the just off the waitlist boat and Have a million questions. Would love to ask you or anyone in the WhatsApp’s group if possible!

Hey, sent you a PM!

To anyone else that's accepted moving forward, just want to provide some quick info

- CU doesn't appear to be offering an option to defer to anyone that's accepted at this point. This provides a dilemma for late accepted students as at least 15+ students have deferred right now for the 2021 intake instead - getting accepted next year is going to be more difficult than usual, as there will be less spots available
- Tuition is currently set to remain as is, but current students are pushing very hard on having it lowered. They're in talks with the dean and other representatives from the school. So it's possible things may change
- As per the email pasted above, semester will begin with online classes, with the hope of resuming in-person classes midway. At this point though, no one knows if this will be possible. Will naturally depend on how things develop moving forward.. With that said, Cuomo has said recently they are looking at allowing universities to have in-person classes with certain safety restrictions in place.
- For internationals - borders are currently closed for a lot of countries to enter the U.S., it's a waiting game

If you want to be added to the admitted students Whatsapp group, PM me.
 

qsjourney

Member
anyone know if they are still calling people off the waitlist? anyone have any idea how many people are still on the waitlist for writing/direcitng?
I'm curious to see how many have been put on waitlist too!

I may be wrong but I do believe that they're still calling. People are added to the WhatsApp group almost everyday saying that they've been recently offered spots.
Also from what I gathered, there were at least 12-15 of us that deferred (myself included), and that's only the reported deferrals, there might have been more. I don't know size of the waitlist but there should be some spots available at the moment. I also know people that were accepted off the waitlist but might not go because as for now fall semester may be fully online (they haven't announced it but judging by current status in NYC I'd say it's highly possible).
 

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