Waitlisted at Columbia/AFI/UCLA/USC/UT/FSU/NYU/Chapman/LMU

Zeno

Active Member
Just saw Chris's post saying traffic on the site had slowed and congratulating everyone on their efforts for this years round. My reaction was: thanks Chris but hold on there just a second! I've met a few folks who are waitlisted and holding out for first choice schools. I got into Art Center College of Design with a scholarship but I'm going to play a little high stakes poker by putting off an answer because I'm waitlisted at my first choice, Columbia University (Screenwriting/Directing). How many of you are in this position and what's your story? Why are you holding out? Or have you taken yourselves off a waitlist for other opportunities? There are more than me who'd find the thoughts helpful and informative.
 

mr.wanderer

New Member
Hey, there, Zeno. I am also waiting for Columbia's Screenwriting/Directing. I was rejected from all the other programs, so the waitlist here is pretty much my last chance, for this year.

I applied — very late in the game, admittedly — to Feirstein, at Brooklyn College. I haven't heard anything back from them, however, which I'm taking as bad news, since their turnaround seems pretty rapid from what I've read on here.

I'm not holding my breath for either school, but it's not over until it's over. Still, I'd love a solid answer soon. Having to possibly wait until the end of the summer sounds pretty painful, especially since I'm going to need to sign a lease and make some big logistical changes over the next couple of months.
 

Zeno

Active Member
Hey, there, Zeno. I am also waiting for Columbia's Screenwriting/Directing. I was rejected from all the other programs, so the waitlist here is pretty much my last chance, for this year.

I applied — very late in the game, admittedly — to Feirstein, at Brooklyn College. I haven't heard anything back from them, however, which I'm taking as bad news, since their turnaround seems pretty rapid from what I've read on here.

I'm not holding my breath for either school, but it's not over until it's over. Still, I'd love a solid answer soon. Having to possibly wait until the end of the summer sounds pretty painful, especially since I'm going to need to sign a lease and make some big logistical changes over the next couple of months.
Similar boat, being waitlisted in their screenwriting/directing program. You're the first I've run into directly. I interviewed at a pleasantly surprising amount of schools (UCLA, AFI, Columbia University). Everything beyond that was gravy for me. Like you, rejected by all but Columbia University. And Art Center, where I was accepted w scholarship. Rejected without so much as a peep from UT Austin but I too applied to that one last minute. Funny, had read about Feirstein at Brooklyn College. Brand new film school? Has yet to establish itself fully. But, very impressive. Think reputation and institutional muscle are the octane for our drive and creativity. This is why I went with the name brands. Ha. But if you got waitlisted at one of the top five film schools in the country, you're competitive. And you must be doing strong work. What's your work like and curious how your interviews went. Mine is definitely political but local or microcosm for a larger issue. Heck, my Columbia University scene was a dramady about assisted suicide. And I talked about going to a development workshop overseas. Interview was when I was finally on a roll after my serviceable ones at UCLA and AFI. Nevertheless, waitlisted means we are compelling candidates to the committee but others had a slight edge so they get first position. It ain't over till it's over. Know it might very well happen according to my sources but keep putting irons in the fire. I'm in post on my latest short, meeting with productions companies for commercials, and prepping for round two of applying to grad schools.[/QUOTE]
 
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Tristan

New Member
I was waitlisted at LMU for screenwriting three weeks ago, and they said spots typically wouldn't open up until mid-May. I asked them today and the admission director said "as of now, no one has dropped out; therefore, I have no open spots for the 2017 cohort." I don't know if that means I have to wait for people who've confirmed their acceptances to suddenly decide not to go, cuz that sounds very unlikely.
 

Zeno

Active Member
Hey Tristan, you should ask about LMU's deadline for those accepted to send their deposits in. Columbia University had theirs on April 15. Shortly after this the Admissions Committee gets together to re assess those on the waitlist to offer them any spots that open up. Looking at the tracking sheets from last year, this is exactly what happened. I'm going to assume the person you spoke with didn't make that connection. Usually the first person who answers in an admissions office is a well intentioned work study student. Also, you may want to send a continued letter of interest if they accept them (and another letter of recommendation or two). Important to thank them for including you, say you would choose them first if accepted and why, and maybe a recent example of progress with your work. Here are a couple examples (think these are undergrad but they can be retrofitted for grad school): Sample Letters of Continued Interest for Waitlisted Students Definitely ask if you can first as this can backfire if not allowed. Columbia said I could send the letter but not the recommendations.
 
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mr.wanderer

New Member
Similar boat, being waitlisted in their screenwriting/directing program. You're the first I've run into directly. I interviewed at a pleasantly surprising amount of schools (UCLA, AFI, Columbia University). Everything beyond that was gravy for me. Like you, rejected by all but Columbia University. And Art Center, where I was accepted w scholarship. Rejected without so much as a peep from UT Austin but I too applied to that one last minute. Funny, had read about Feirstein at Brooklyn College. Brand new film school? Has yet to establish itself fully. But, very impressive. Think reputation and institutional muscle are the octane for our drive and creativity. This is why I went with the name brands. Ha. But if you got waitlisted at one of the top five film schools in the country, you're competitive. And you must be doing strong work. What's your work like and curious how your interviews went. Mine is definitely political but local or microcosm for a larger issue. Heck, my Columbia University scene was a dramady about assisted suicide. And I talked about going to a development workshop overseas. Interview was when I was finally on a roll after my serviceable ones at UCLA and AFI. Nevertheless, waitlisted means we are compelling candidates to the committee but others had a slight edge so they get first position. It ain't over till it's over. Know it might very well happen according to my sources but keep putting irons in the fire. I'm in post on my latest short, meeting with productions companies for commercials, and prepping for round two of applying to grad schools.
[/QUOTE]

I'm totally with you on name brands. In fact, I wavered for about a week before just taking the plunge with Feirstein. My thinking is/was the newness of the program could provide students with a greater degree of flexibility and experimentation. I spoke with two students there, and also with one of the program directors (I think), and was pretty encouraged by what I'd heard. Still, of course, I'm well aware of the power of reputation and muscle. Having said that, I was informed yesterday I'd been selected to interview for screenwriting (directing was full), so I have that coming up next week.

UT Austin's a tough one. I'm from Texas, and would have loved to have gone. But some logistical stuff kept me from applying. I'd spent the past ~4.5 years in the military; separated this past November and got all the apps done in a matter of weeks. I was never was able to take the GRE; also, I have no professional experience. Any visual submissions requested by the schools came from amateur stuff I did way back in high school, and the writing from works I'd done off and on in my spare time. So I'm not sure how competitive I truly am, but certainly being waitlisted at one school was something of a glimmer of hope.

For Columbia, I thought my interview went well. The professors with whom I spoke seemed to enjoy speaking with me. They seemed interested in my first 10 pages (from a horror screenplay I've been trying to write), and we talked about my interest in genre as a means of social and political discourse. Then we moved on to some of my work experiences (I'd just nabbed a job to write fantasy fiction for an in-development video game). The three-page scene I sent in was about molestation, so I guess you and I aren't afraid to address sensitive topics in a judgemental forum, haha.

What did you write for your personal essays/statements of purpose, &c &c? I struggled with those, for all schools, and kind of worry some of what I wrote may have rubbed some people the wrong way.
 

revolotus

Member
I was waitlisted at LMU for screenwriting three weeks ago, and they said spots typically wouldn't open up until mid-May. I asked them today and the admission director said "as of now, no one has dropped out; therefore, I have no open spots for the 2017 cohort." I don't know if that means I have to wait for people who've confirmed their acceptances to suddenly decide not to go, cuz that sounds very unlikely.
I accepted the offer at LMU after being waitlisted at my first choice (AFI), believing I didn't have much of a shot. I just got off the waitlist at AFI today. I was WPTV at LMU, not WSCR, (so, unfortunately, it won't open a spot for you), but I will be opening up a spot for someone still on the waitlist for WPTV - it does happen!
 

Zeno

Active Member
Congrats on being selected to interview for screenwriting at Brooklyn College, Mr. Wanderer! Frankly, I think writers hold a lot of the power these days given all the good stuff is on television and the writer rules on television. And you're from Texas. Ha, small world. I grew up for a bit in Texas and my girlfriend is born and bred from Tyler. Have a few industry friends in Austin now.

Tough to get rejected so unceremoniously by UT because my lady really wants to move closer to her family (and my family is in Santa Fe) but looks like we are staying on the east coast a little longer. We think it's because of me not being able to get my GRE scores in to them until February while the rest of my app materials were on time. Regardless, Columbia University is a superior school and program albeit with a significantly higher cost. And it's one of the rare, true hybrid screenwriting-directing programs which is a better fit for me.

Wow, the military. Bet you have stories. Think that gives you a huge advantage in applying to grad school because you stand out. And the funds and support for college for having done military service are notable. My Dad was a Navy man so he definitely benefited. Nevertheless, your service coupled with channeling your socio-political discourse via genre is compelling. Would love to read your stuff if you're willing to share it. And I'm kind of impressed you are waitlisted at Columbia without video?

I'm happy to go into more detail via a private dialogue but will say that I took a risk in my personal statements too. Mine were about dealing with personal struggles that could have been interpreted a couple ways. Certainly, I was sincere and felt I needed to articulate the context for having an imperfect undergrad GPA. Then I went into my wild experience being the only American hustling my way into being accepted into a Romanian film development workshop. Finally, talked about how I hired some non professional actors for a recent project from the disenfranchised areas of the city I live in in Connecticut. Said it was a way to give them purchase on a story set in their world and was a learning experience for me as a storyteller.
 
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Christopher Gooley

Active Member
Hey, there, Zeno. I am also waiting for Columbia's Screenwriting/Directing. I was rejected from all the other programs, so the waitlist here is pretty much my last chance, for this year.

I applied — very late in the game, admittedly — to Feirstein, at Brooklyn College. I haven't heard anything back from them, however, which I'm taking as bad news, since their turnaround seems pretty rapid from what I've read on here.

I'm not holding my breath for either school, but it's not over until it's over. Still, I'd love a solid answer soon. Having to possibly wait until the end of the summer sounds pretty painful, especially since I'm going to need to sign a lease and make some big logistical changes over the next couple of months.

I just applied to Brooklyn! How long did it take for you to hear back?
 

Zeno

Active Member
Wouldn't it be great if you get in for producing and mr.wanderer and I get a spot this time for screenwriting/directing? Great to have this forum to preempt that possibility with this bonding experience if we all end up at Columbia University.

I feel your pain but none of it is personal. Or very little of it is. They're all very strategic and logistical and, frankly, aesthetic, these decisions. They don't know what they're getting until folks are in and creating.

I get the impression you are a tough, determined, and talented dude or you wouldn't have your hands in so many pots and have accomplished so much. This is how you/we will succeed.

So, we either get in this year to Columbia University or not. But let's make a pact to to have a go at another round this fall. As I said to mr. wanderer, happy to offer moral support and strategize.

Columbia University is one of the top universities in the world and a top five film school. A buddy of mine says that it's rare to get in on the first try. He says, you get into Columbia on the second try.

So to get waitlisted is an achievement. Says something about what we brought/bring to the table.

I just applied to Brooklyn! How long did it take for you to hear back?
As for Brooklyn, mr. wanderer would know that. I did not apply there.
 
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Operator

Active Member
Just saw Chris's post saying traffic on the site had slowed and congratulating everyone on their efforts for this years round. My reaction was: thanks Chris but hold on there just a second! I've met a few folks who are waitlisted and holding out for first choice schools. I got into Art Center College of Design with a scholarship but I'm going to play a little high stakes poker by putting off an answer because I'm waitlisted at my first choice, Columbia University (Screenwriting/Directing). How many of you are in this position and what's your story? Why are you holding out? Or have you taken yourselves off a waitlist for other opportunities? There are more than me who'd find the thoughts helpful and informative.
I was waitlisted for Columbia for producing, but I took myself off the waitlist. I was accepted into University of Miami for their MFA in Motion Pictures.
 

Zeno

Active Member
I was waitlisted for Columbia for producing, but I took myself off the waitlist. I was accepted into University of Miami for their MFA in Motion Pictures.
Sounds like Mr. Gooley just got more legroom on the waitlist for producing at Columbia University. Congrats on University of Miami, Operator.
 

Noteyman

New Member
Hi everyone. I'm waitlisted on the Columbia Screenwriting/Directing MFA and at USC in Film/Television Production.
 

Zeno

Active Member
Just contacted the admissions assistant at Columbia University and she said no one has been contacted off the waitlists. Also, said that if anyone drops out, it will be in the coming weeks and months and that they will make contact as appropriate. Kinda boilerplate.
 
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