Fall 2023 Brooklyn College Feirstein Acceptance - Now What?

djo__

Member
I just got into BC Feirstein (for Screenwriting) & have noticed a few others on here have as well. Because it's such a young program, I thought it could be good to pool any info we've gathered to help us with our decisions.

I'm talking to someone I know who is a recent alum later this week but from what I gathered at the tour last fall and from the filmmaking community here in NYC:
-its the most affordable by a lot
-the teachers often also teach at NYU and/or Columbia
-they offer a similar curriculum to those two Film MFAs
-they are young so their network isn't as vast but the students and alum I've met all seem very happy with their experience in the program
-one of the most diverse programs
-made Hollywood Reporter's top 25 film schools list, which is impressive if you consider Feirstein's first class started in 2015
-at the tour (and in my interview) they spoke about how they're developing the program by listening to students' feedback

-there's a two-week turnaround to make a decision & lock in your spot once you've been accepted
-they don't give any aid package info until you've done this (which is weird imo)
-because they're so new we can't have "proof" of the program's long-term efficacy
-seems that some students on here have complained that they favor the directing students and are in flux but these accounts are from a few years ago so maybe that's all been ironed out


Anyone out there also mining for info on BC?? If you have anything to share, please do! I would appreciate it and I'm sure others would too
 
I just got into BC Feirstein (for Screenwriting) & have noticed a few others on here have as well. Because it's such a young program, I thought it could be good to pool any info we've gathered to help us with our decisions.

I'm talking to someone I know who is a recent alum later this week but from what I gathered at the tour last fall and from the filmmaking community here in NYC:
-its the most affordable by a lot
-the teachers often also teach at NYU and/or Columbia
-they offer a similar curriculum to those two Film MFAs
-they are young so their network isn't as vast but the students and alum I've met all seem very happy with their experience in the program
-one of the most diverse programs
-made Hollywood Reporter's top 25 film schools list, which is impressive if you consider Feirstein's first class started in 2015
-at the tour (and in my interview) they spoke about how they're developing the program by listening to students' feedback

-there's a two-week turnaround to make a decision & lock in your spot once you've been accepted
-they don't give any aid package info until you've done this (which is weird imo)
-because they're so new we can't have "proof" of the program's long-term efficacy
-seems that some students on here have complained that they favor the directing students and are in flux but these accounts are from a few years ago so maybe that's all been ironed out


Anyone out there also mining for info on BC?? If you have anything to share, please do! I would appreciate it and I'm sure others would too
Hey, I got in too! Haven't seen a whole lot of talk in forums about it, so thanks for consolidating this info!

I think another big pro to their program is I heard they have really good, state-of-the-art equipment. One big con though is that they don't offer much assistance in terms of jobs and don't have much of an alumni network because of how young the program is. Also, the ranking from THR heavily weighs the Steiner Studios lot into its decision, but since Feirstein students don't really have access to anything beyond the student spaces, they don't actually have the amount of sound-stages available to students that they advertise and that THR factors into their ranking. That said, the professor I talked to said that there's a few studio spaces specifically for student projects, and that availability is rarely/never an issue.

One question, where did you hear that there's a two-week window to make a decision? I haven't made my decision yet because I'm still waiting to hear back from other places, but it would suck to lose my spot because I didn't commit in time.

Good to connect with another BC admittee!
 
Hey, I got in too! Haven't seen a whole lot of talk in forums about it, so thanks for consolidating this info!

I think another big pro to their program is I heard they have really good, state-of-the-art equipment. One big con though is that they don't offer much assistance in terms of jobs and don't have much of an alumni network because of how young the program is. Also, the ranking from THR heavily weighs the Steiner Studios lot into its decision, but since Feirstein students don't really have access to anything beyond the student spaces, they don't actually have the amount of sound-stages available to students that they advertise and that THR factors into their ranking. That said, the professor I talked to said that there's a few studio spaces specifically for student projects, and that availability is rarely/never an issue.

One question, where did you hear that there's a two-week window to make a decision? I haven't made my decision yet because I'm still waiting to hear back from other places, but it would suck to lose my spot because I didn't commit in time.

Good to connect with another BC admittee!
Yeah I’ve also seen stuff re Steiner Studios! Didnt realize THR used that to rank…

Do you live in nyc? Im in Brooklyn and when i went it was definitely separate from Steiner Studios but on the lot (lol i got lost and wandered over there). Their EQ *is* impressive— Alexa cameras (& rentable panavision film cams), Arri G&E equipment, tons of props/costumes & I counted 2 studios- 1 with a green-screen. Plus impressive editing suits & sound EQ. Needless to say- one of the more impressive EQ resources I’ve seen at these grad schools

The two week window was at the bottom of my acceptance letter but not the email— so you have to log into your app and open it to see…I’m also stressed about the timeline bc I’m still waiting to hear back from Columbia

& yeah! Great to connect :)
 
Yeah I’ve also seen stuff re Steiner Studios! Didnt realize THR used that to rank…

Do you live in nyc? Im in Brooklyn and when i went it was definitely separate from Steiner Studios but on the lot (lol i got lost and wandered over there). Their EQ *is* impressive— Alexa cameras (& rentable panavision film cams), Arri G&E equipment, tons of props/costumes & I counted 2 studios- 1 with a green-screen. Plus impressive editing suits & sound EQ. Needless to say- one of the more impressive EQ resources I’ve seen at these grad schools

The two week window was at the bottom of my acceptance letter but not the email— so you have to log into your app and open it to see…I’m also stressed about the timeline bc I’m still waiting to hear back from Columbia

& yeah! Great to connect :)
Great to hear the firsthand scoop on all the EQ resources! I don't live in NYC but am planning to move up this summer.

Weird, I don't have anything like that in my acceptance letter. I'm directing track, so it's possible that the different tracks have different policies on how soon a commitment needs to be made, although I can't see why. I sent an email to graddocs@brooklyn.cuny.edu to confirm. Might call the number listed at the bottom of the letter if I don't hear back.

Also, in terms of Feirstein, I've been trying to figure out what graduated alumni have gone on to do. It looks like it's been a mix of independent films, teaching at CUNY or other schools, and production/post-production jobs in NYC and LA. Not a whole lot of film festivals or competitions from what I found. One guy did have a short film on Criterion Channel (Joe Stankus). Have you found much info on alumni?
 
Great to hear the firsthand scoop on all the EQ resources! I don't live in NYC but am planning to move up this summer.

Weird, I don't have anything like that in my acceptance letter. I'm directing track, so it's possible that the different tracks have different policies on how soon a commitment needs to be made, although I can't see why. I sent an email to graddocs@brooklyn.cuny.edu to confirm. Might call the number listed at the bottom of the letter if I don't hear back.

Also, in terms of Feirstein, I've been trying to figure out what graduated alumni have gone on to do. It looks like it's been a mix of independent films, teaching at CUNY or other schools, and production/post-production jobs in NYC and LA. Not a whole lot of film festivals or competitions from what I found. One guy did have a short film on Criterion Channel (Joe Stankus). Have you found much info on alumni?
Yeah Im digging around trying to find alum experience post grad— I’ll post what I find!

Re deposit/enrollment: Wait that’s so weird! Im probably going to push back on what they told me (esp if not everyone gets that lol) since there’s so many schools that send out decisions later…This is what it says in my letter:
 

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Congrats. I got in today too. I didn't have a great feeling from my interview, so I'm not sure I'll end up taking it. Not having any aid information makes it hard as well, as other schools have been able to offer some. We'll see, I might try and get out to visit the space by the end of the month. I've never been to New York, so maybe I'll just fall in love with it.
 
Congrats. I got in today too. I didn't have a great feeling from my interview, so I'm not sure I'll end up taking it. Not having any aid information makes it hard as well, as other schools have been able to offer some. We'll see, I might try and get out to visit the space by the end of the month. I've never been to New York, so maybe I'll just fall in love with it.
If you're comfortable sharing, what about the interview made you feel not so good?
 
Yeah Im digging around trying to find alum experience post grad— I’ll post what I find!

Re deposit/enrollment: Wait that’s so weird! Im probably going to push back on what they told me (esp if not everyone gets that lol) since there’s so many schools that send out decisions later…This is what it says in my letter:
I heard back from BC grad admissions and they said that ideally, they encourage students to accept the offer of admission and make the commitment deposit two weeks after receiving the decisions email. And they said to let them know if we need additional time.
 
I heard back from BC grad admissions and they said that ideally, they encourage students to accept the offer of admission and make the commitment deposit two weeks after receiving the decisions email. And they said to let them know if we need additional time.

Thanks for asking them!

Did they mention anything about why aid packages aren’t released until we make a deposit?
 
I heard back from BC grad admissions and they said that ideally, they encourage students to accept the offer of admission and make the commitment deposit two weeks after receiving the decisions email. And they said to let them know if we need additional time.

Thanks for asking them!

Did they mention anything about why aid packages aren’t released until we make a deposit?
Nope they kept it very short, didn't mention anything about the aid packages. I think it's just a matter of procedure for Brooklyn College. It is a bit annoying, having to put $250 down before you can hear what type of aid you might receive. That said, I don't think I'll press the issue since I'll probably be asking them to give me another week or so to pay the commitment deposit.
 
Nope they kept it very short, didn't mention anything about the aid packages. I think it's just a matter of procedure for Brooklyn College. It is a bit annoying, having to put $250 down before you can hear what type of aid you might receive. That said, I don't think I'll press the issue since I'll probably be asking them to give me another week or so to pay the commitment deposit.
Haha I feel you/I’m in a similar boat. I’m talking to someone I know who’s an alum later this week so maybe she’ll have insight into their typical financial offerings.

Good luck with the rest of your school notifications!
 
Haha I feel you/I’m in a similar boat. I’m talking to someone I know who’s an alum later this week so maybe she’ll have insight into their typical financial offerings.

Good luck with the rest of your school notifications!
Haha yep a similar boat for sure. Please let me know any insights you might get from her later this week!

And thanks, good luck to you as well!!
 
If you're comfortable sharing, what about the interview made you feel not so good?
It's hard to really put my finger on. It was just a very different experience than the rest of the interviews I did this year. It sort of felt like the interviewer was reading questions off of notecards. I suppose they're all asking the same questions over and over again, but interviewing here felt more like speaking to HR at work than it did interviewing for an MFA program. I don't want to say it was bad, because it wasn't, but I didn't leave the interview feeling inspired or excited like I did at some of the other schools.

Also, in researching the schools I've been accepted to I stumbled across this:

The story is from a few years ago, but it does give me some concern. All that said, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here. I'm sure the school is amazing and I have no doubt we'd all get a great education there. The great thing about Brooklyn College is that the absolute worst case scenario still would have us learning and growing as artists in the cultural capital of the world. Hard to argue with that.
 
It's hard to really put my finger on. It was just a very different experience than the rest of the interviews I did this year. It sort of felt like the interviewer was reading questions off of notecards. I suppose they're all asking the same questions over and over again, but interviewing here felt more like speaking to HR at work than it did interviewing for an MFA program. I don't want to say it was bad, because it wasn't, but I didn't leave the interview feeling inspired or excited like I did at some of the other schools.

Also, in researching the schools I've been accepted to I stumbled across this:

The story is from a few years ago, but it does give me some concern. All that said, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here. I'm sure the school is amazing and I have no doubt we'd all get a great education there. The great thing about Brooklyn College is that the absolute worst case scenario still would have us learning and growing as artists in the cultural capital of the world. Hard to argue with that.
Interesting, thanks for sharing this video! Good to know this about the broader institution. I wonder how it affects the Feirstein School, which is physically at Steiner Studios rather than the BC campus. Could make getting new equipment more difficult, maybe affect their aid packages.

On some level, I would agree about the interview, although I think the conversation I had with my interviewer went a little better. I did get a sense that they struggle with the competitiveness of the industry in a way that no one else I interviewed with suggested. They are definitely punching above their weight and trying to build as solid a program as they can given certain limitations, which judging by that video, might include financial constraints.

Good luck by the way!!
 
From what I've heard, financial packages are limited. But I guess since they're a quarter of the price of most other schools maybe it comes to the same amount?

As far as the financial stability of the institution-- I definitely didn't get the vibe that's in that news special while touring last fall. But Feirstein does seem to be quite set apart from the rest of BC.
 
From what I've heard, financial packages are limited. But I guess since they're a quarter of the price of most other schools maybe it comes to the same amount?

As far as the financial stability of the institution-- I definitely didn't get the vibe that's in that news special while touring last fall. But Feirstein does seem to be quite set apart from the rest of BC.
Awesome, good to hear you got a much better vibe from Feirstein than this video! Makes me feel better about the resources and facilities they offer.

In terms of the financial packages, that does make sense. I guess it's only something we can find out if we make the deposit though. Kinda makes it hard to commit to a place if you don't know what the financial situation will be, but at least it's only $250. I think for Columbia it's $800 and for SVA it's $1000!?
 
From what I've heard, financial packages are limited. But I guess since they're a quarter of the price of most other schools maybe it comes to the same amount?

As far as the financial stability of the institution-- I definitely didn't get the vibe that's in that news special while touring last fall. But Feirstein does seem to be quite set apart from the rest of BC.
Glad to hear those problems don't seem to be plaguing them at Feirstein. You're right about price, for sure. It's cheaper than BU, quite a bit cheaper, even considering funding. I'm not from the area though, so I wonder how much cost of living in New York adds in comparison to other cities. I can't imagine it's cheap. The again, Boston isn't cheap either. A preliminary scanning of apartment costs near BU stunned me.
 
My talk with an alum went great & here are some key takeaways I thought were worth sharing with the caveat that this is one person's experience/opinion:
-- the professors really care, are artists/professionals/know what they're doing & a lot of them work at NYU/Columbia as well (meaning you receive a similar education at least in their classes)
-- the network (professors and peers) is real- the way everyone works together in the first semester helps you get close with each other, they stay in touch post-graduating, and many graduates are working in the industry despite how hard it can be to break in
-- this school may not help you find your voice but if you know your voice already, it will help you learn how to use it (ie. its a craft school); similarly, they did a good job of helping the incoming class all get to the same level by so everyone spoke the same language despite varying experience levels coming in
-- the track system can be tricky since after the first year you're in your major pretty much all the time but if you're able to hustle for your work, that is less of a hindrance (felt like this is more for screenwriters)
-- if you go, go with a plan for what you want out of the experience; that will set you up for success in your thesis and beyond
-- overall, they said they would do it all over again if they had the chance

some of these feel specific to this program while others felt like just generally good grad school advice. hope this helps in making decisions!

------

also just a note on NYC since I see some people are talking about it...I've lived here for seven years & it's definitely a unique place, filled with film opportunities (it's up there w LA imo), but it is expensive, like really expensive. it got worse during the pandemic & there are no signs of it letting up soon, however, in my experience, there's always a way to make it work if it's your dream or you just want to try it out. & in relation to the other cities most people talk about in these subs (LA, Boston, Chicago) cost of living is not that different.
 
This is slightly old info as I was admitted for the Fall of 2021. When I was admitted, they told me they had less funds than usual for incoming students that year. So keep in mind these numbers may be a bit lower than what they typically offer. I think I received about 2-3k a year. I believe I was eligible to receive that each year of the program. Admissions and financial aid decisions then were coming around the height of COVID so hopefully things are back to normal for the department now~!
 
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