My Chances/My Schools (What programs can I get into?)

Let me start this off with a completely relevant statement. My school is within the top 3%. So don't stand agog and tell me to leave the forums when I state my GPA please kind sirs.
I'm wondering what my chances are at some of the top film schools in the country. My backup is going to Columbia College Chicago, but that's a last ditch effort sort of thing. Last resort, if you will.
Here are my stats. Please comment below with your advice.

Experience: Hundreds of hours editing with Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere. 40 Minute short film with shots in Ohare airport and downtown Chicago. 45 minutes of experimental complimentary visuals to accompany a concert. Close to a hundred stop motion and live action short videos. HD and SD. Chroma keying.

GPA: 3.75
ACT: Estimated to be in the 30-32 range.
SAT: Estimated to be in the 2000-2100 range.
AP Classes: AP Language, Ap Lit, Ap US History, AP Statistics, AP Environmental Science and possibly AP European history or World History (Haven't decided yet).
I also plan on taking several
EC: I just founded a club solely on Film (AKA Film Club). I'm running a school wide Film Festival. Junior Statesmen of America, Human Rights Club, Rotary Interact, History Club and Drama Club.

Sorry about being so needy, but I'm currently raising my GPA from a 3.5 to a 3.75 for the end of my senior year. I currently have a 4.33 this semester and I am going to try to get a 4.66 next semester. This sudden boost in GPA is a result of no foreknowledge of the GPA requirements that some Film Schools deem necessary for their applicants.


I'm no expert, but based purely on your grades and achievements, I'd say you should have your pick of the litter. Close to a hundred short videos? When did you find the TIME, man?! Most film schools don't even have minimum grade requirements, so you have nothing to worry about there, and your long list of extra-curricular activities would look good on any college application.

That said, the final test will be the essays and creative materials requested by the film schools. They don't accept people based on grades and experience alone - you've got to show, through the essays, creative materials and portfolio requirements, that you are a creative person who will have much to offer in their film programs. At the end of the day, it's all about that.

Good luck, in any case. Let's just say that your stats won't exactly be a problem when applying to film schools. Just make sure to showcase and emphasize your creativity and individuality in the essays and creative materials!
Ill talk from my experience im 28.

You have to decide if you want to go directly to a film school or if you want to go study something more theorical. I mean something like philosophy, sociology, literature, comunications sciences... etc.

I say this because I have seen 2 kids of film makers/directors. The ones that had another kind of bachelour and had lots of things to say they knew a lot of things and the ones that were super pro on doing anything technical but didnt have a story to tell...

I can tell you that the best movie editor I know studied philosophy before going to the film school and getting an mfa on film edition, and he is AMAZING, its a matter of time that he gets any kind of prizes he wants.

But again it all depends on you how do you feel and what do you want to learn. I believe that if you apply to a few schools youll get accepted on one or in all, so dont worry. But just be sure on what do you want to learn?? On what do you want to build your fundations??


Well, as I said, neither of these schools put much of an emphasis on grades. There is no "minimum". What's important for USC and NYU is your creative ability and your uniqueness.

That said, your grades are well above the average for both of those schools, so you're in good shape. Don't let that be what worries you.
> "Film schools don't have grade requirements."

Absolutely NOT true. All Colleges have grade requirements which you must get past. If you can't get into the College you won't get into the Film school. Some schools are quite open about the requirements, many are not. The best schools don't need "requirements" as the students are self-selecting.

If you want to attend a top-notch school 3.0 out of 4.0 is the minimum. The closer to the 3.0, the better your supporting material MUST be. 3.0 out of 5.0 you won't have much chance at a top tier school.

UCLA TFT is currently around a 3.3 (the bottom) to get in. That won't get you into the most desired programs, but will get you into the school. This assumes that your supporting material is up to or beyond you GPA. <<< Read that sentence again and let it sink in. The average GPA is 3.53 unweighted. IN 2009 only 68 applicants had a 3.0 or less, 59 enrolled. No doubt they were all scholarship athletes.

USC is about the same for SCA. If you want into the Writer's Program, you better have 3.6 or higher and have outstanding supporting materials or high-powered contacts.

NYU is about the same. UCSD is close to UCLA in acceptance. UCSD is more xfer friendly.

Are there exceptions to the rules? Yes. To get one you have to be a "showcase" student. Do you have an "Oscar?" Palm d'or? Is you father a State Governor? Senator? Studio head? "Oscar" winning Director/Writer/Actor? Have you sold a script to a major Studio? Is your last name Coppola, Spielberg, or Lucas? then you are in.

Other Routes:

California Community College xfers get priority at UC schools. Something to consider as most CC classes are about $100 per (in State, 1 yr to establish res, must reg to vote in Cali, must have a Cali DL or ID). One semester at any UC is the coast of 4 semesters at a Cali CC. Orange Coast College (in Orange County) has the best relationship with UCLA and UCSD of the CCs. OCC students can reg concurrently with UCLA (Irvine Valley College does the same with UCI) Also once you hit 2 semesters at a CC, you are considered a resident of Cali.


Active Member
Your academics will qualify you for any of the schools' general admissions. At this point, the most important things will be your writing samples.

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