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dkimg21

Member
Supporter
Hi all,

Longtime lurker here, but I applied to a few programs to pursue my MFA this upcoming Fall. So far, NYU flat out rejected me. However, I was accepted to the UCLA Production/Directing program and waitlisted for Columbia's Screenwriting/Directing program, both after interviews. Even though I was accepted to a single school, I have no idea why I'm having a tough time deciding.

Here are some of the factors affecting my thought process:

1. I have some roots in NYC, having attended college in upstate NY and completing 2 internships. A lot of my networking (and friendships) are on the East Coast. I'm also very familiar with the area and the culture, but I know career opportunities are limited.
2. I am not as familiar with LA, but I have traveled there a few times. It is a place I want to live in eventually, but I don't know how different the cost of living is between LA and NYC.
3. Cost of attendance is unknown for both schools at the moment, but I do know that UCLA comes with a much lower price tag than Columbia's. I have no idea if Columbia would offer a waitlisted student any grants/scholarships (would love some insight on this!).
4. COVID 19 affecting NYC a lot more than LA at the moment

Again, it's probably a much easier decision than it looks. Though, I would love to hear some of your thoughts between the two schools. When I applied, Columbia had a slight edge over UCLA for me because of location.

**Also, I'm wondering if I should put off grad school until the following year? I have tried to reach out to UCLA about deferment options due to COVID-19, so I'd appreciate it if anyone has any knowledge on this! As much as I want to move out of my parents' place, I also want to make sure I get the full "film school experience" by the time I leave.

Thank you all in advance!
 
UCLA seems to be an excellent film school and your very lucky you got accepted. From experience, I was waitlisted at NYU last year and never got off the waitlist so I would keep an open mind with the waitlist as if there’s an equal chance you may or may not get in. I’d suggest to move forward with UCLA, it’s an excellent school and I think LA is a great place to be if you have a vehicle to drive. It’s also more affordable than NYC, or at least for the same rice of a room in a small apartment you get lots of space in a house. However, if your heart is set on the east coast, you could always try applying next year. Perhaps ask for the security deposit deadline from UCLA to be delayed at least by May to see if Columbia says anything to you. As far as Covid is concerned, I would not at this point ask for a deferral yet. We all have to wait and see what happens, there’s too many unknowns still. I’m sure if the situation wasn’t still good by August and you’d rather not take online classes you could talk to the school by that point for options.
 

dkimg21

Member
Supporter
UCLA seems to be an excellent film school and your very lucky you got accepted. From experience, I was waitlisted at NYU last year and never got off the waitlist so I would keep an open mind with the waitlist as if there’s an equal chance you may or may not get in. I’d suggest to move forward with UCLA, it’s an excellent school and I think LA is a great place to be if you have a vehicle to drive. It’s also more affordable than NYC, or at least for the same rice of a room in a small apartment you get lots of space in a house. However, if your heart is set on the east coast, you could always try applying next year. Perhaps ask for the security deposit deadline from UCLA to be delayed at least by May to see if Columbia says anything to you. As far as Covid is concerned, I would not at this point ask for a deferral yet. We all have to wait and see what happens, there’s too many unknowns still. I’m sure if the situation wasn’t still good by August and you’d rather not take online classes you could talk to the school by that point for options.


Thank you for the advice! Sorry for the late response. I spoke with someone from UCLA, and it looks like there isn't a deposit. Also, it looks like they'll keep providing updates depending on how the pandemic transforms.

As of a few days ago, I committed to UCLA! I really thought about it, and I think it would be an awesome adventure to meet new people. While I love the East Coast, the West Coast offers just as much, if not more, for people like me.
 

ams2020

Member
Thank you for the advice! Sorry for the late response. I spoke with someone from UCLA, and it looks like there isn't a deposit. Also, it looks like they'll keep providing updates depending on how the pandemic transforms.

As of a few days ago, I committed to UCLA! I really thought about it, and I think it would be an awesome adventure to meet new people. While I love the East Coast, the West Coast offers just as much, if not more, for people like me.
Are you remaining on the Columbia waitlist or no?
 
Thank you for the advice! Sorry for the late response. I spoke with someone from UCLA, and it looks like there isn't a deposit. Also, it looks like they'll keep providing updates depending on how the pandemic transforms.

As of a few days ago, I committed to UCLA! I really thought about it, and I think it would be an awesome adventure to meet new people. While I love the East Coast, the West Coast offers just as much, if not more, for people like me.
Congratulations! Just wanted to comment that having lived in LA for four years and now living in NYC, LA is definitely cheaper in most ways. I do recommend living as close as possible to the campus, because the traffic is as bad as they say (especially in certain directions, for example living further east and commuting to the west side is terrible).
 

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