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Where is money better spent, undergraduate or graduate?

Discussion in 'Undergraduate Film School Discussions' started by Jacob Kessler, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Jacob Kessler

    Jacob Kessler New Member

    May 3, 2017
    This coming fall I will be a sophomore at Pace University in NYC. I am not a huge fan of the school's film program due to its underdevelopment, lack of professional level resources, and overwhelming focus on film studies as opposed to film production (though it claims to have an even balance between the two), but I am there based on the fact that because of a parent faculty member I go for free. Though room and board costs are not omitted, I commute from NJ so the only costs I'm paying are for train tickets (which is nothing compared to the $20k a year room and board price tag). I didn't apply myself as much as I could have in high school (2.9 GPA, 1950 sats) so I didn't bother applying anywhere but Pace. But over the past year I worked harder than I ever had before at academics and finished the last semester with a 3.82 (which balanced out into a 3.5 for the year). I also finished with a slew of extracurricular activities added to my resume (Environmental Film Series organizer, Photography magazine editor) and two internships at different production companies. I decided to apply to transfer to several other film programs. Thus far I've been accepted to SVA, Pratt, and DePaul and have nearly completed my applications for Emerson and NYU (my top choice). This summer I'm also taking classes at NYU as part of the Filmmaking Certificate Program. With my improved academic standing, experience, and body of work I'm fairly confident that I can get into NYU's undergraduate film program. But at this point, I'm questioning whether or not I should move forward with the transfer application process or continue to improve my grades and skills while taking advantage of a free undergraduate education so I can raise the bar even higher for where I can go for graduate school (spending the money my parents and I have saved for that instead). Since a top tier undergraduate and graduate program would come out to the around the same price, it pretty much comes down to a choice between the two. Any advice to help with this tough decision would be much appreciated.
  2. Chris W

    Chris W FilmSchool.org Owner Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2002
    Featured Threads:
    I think your doubts are merited. A FREE undergraduate education is a great opportunity.

    It sounds like you are very motivated and that should get you far. Personally, I'd lean towards continuing to do the program at Pace but continue to enrich it with even more extra curricular activities, more internships, etc. I'd also look into PAing on sets and doing that as well.

    That would continue to give you a good base after you graduate to even work in the industry for a while after undergraduate and then go to graduate school after getting some work experience if you decide to got that route as well.

    A graduate program will also be more focused and there is usually a much better student to teach ratio.

    I'd see what other people say in this thread too but if it's FREE personally I'd lean towards making the most of it and work and study your butt off.

    It's cliche but film school really is what you make of it.... and you can make your film school experience a great one anywhere if you have the right attitude and motivation about it.
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