Questions to ask the percussion faculty and students at each school you consider:
percussion faculty demonstrated they are sincerely interested in having you join their
•Are the percussion faculty excellent performers and teachers? Have you seen their biographies? Have you heard them perform live or on recordings?
•Is the percussion curriculum flexible enough to adequately address your individual career goals?
•Have you been invited to observe the percussion faculty teach private lessons? Can you study with them to help prepare your audition and assess their teaching before you commit to their program?
•Will you study with the percussion faculty during your freshman and sophomore years? Some schools, to reduce costs, require freshman and/or sophomores to study with graduate assistants.
•Are small group percussion lessons offered on a weekly basis? If not, why? Have you been invited to observe these?
•Advisement. Is the percussion faculty sincerely interested in assisting in your career advisement and professional referrals? What do the present students say about this?
•Percussion ensemble. Are you afforded performance, touring, and recording opportunities? Will you have opportunities to perform, tour, and record in other school of music ensembles? Have you heard these ensembles? Do they have recent recordings available?
•Instruments and facilities. Have you received a facilities tour? Are the instruments and facilities of excellent quality? Are there enough practice rooms relative to the number of majors? What do the current students say about this? Are the facilities clean and well organized?
•Do you have access to info about the accomplishments of the percussion alumni and their testimonials?
•Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau <http://www.consumerfinance.gov/payingforcollege/costcomparison/> for a helpful college cost comparison tool. Below is an example of their 2012 data - freshmen (in-state) total sticker price minus average grants & scholarships = balance you owe (schools listed from lowest to highest student cost):
•Youngstown State University - sticker price $19,923, Average Grants & Scholarships $7779, Balance = $12,144
•University of Akron - sticker price $8,932, Balance = $13,619
•Bowling Green State University - sticker price , Average Grants & Scholarships $7,569, Balance = $14,773
•Average Public University (4 yr, In-State) sticker price Average Grants & Scholarships $5,750, Balance = $15,697
•Kent State University - sticker price Average Grants & Scholarships balance = $16,335
•Ohio University - sticker price Average Grants & Scholarships $5,641, Balance = $17,702
•Ohio State University - sticker price Average Grants & Scholarships $8,618, Balance = $18,253
•Baldwin Wallace University - sticker price Average Grants & Scholarships $17,910, Balance = $19,866
•Average Private (non-profit) University - sticker price Average Grants & Scholarships $15,530, Balance = $26,694
Other financial considerations:
Ideally, all qualified music students would receive a full music achievement scholarship. Therefore, they would not need a part-time (non-music related) job during the academic year and could dedicate all their efforts to their education and gaining professional musical experience. Realistically, however, most students must work a part-time job to finance their education. The question becomes how do you maximize your time for studies and musical experience?
The solution includes the following. One, prepare the best audition you can - as this is the primary determinant of music scholarships. Two, earn the highest GPA you can - as this is the primary determinant of academic scholarships and is also a requirements (minimum 3.0 GPA) for many music scholarships. Three, consider student loans as an investment in ‘time’ to pursue your education. Four, choose a teacher and school where you will be given opportunities to earn income via music related employment.
The primary challenge for most music majors is the considerable time management issue of allocating at least 21 hours per week practice time. Considered as an aid to buy yourself time, student loans are an outstanding investment, especially considering the low interest rates and re-payments.
A body of recent neurological research confirms that to achieve peer recognition as a “master” or “expert”, in music or other fields, that at least 10,000 hours of focused individual practice must be accumulated. Such research has not identified such mastery occurring with less than 10,000 hours. This equates to roughly 3 hours daily or 20 hours per week, for 10 years. See - Levitin, Daniel. J. This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. New York: Dutton, 2006. Discussion of environmental and genetic effects on musical mastery, the science of music, from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience.
How many performance and teaching referrals will you receive from your university teachers and student colleagues? Have you asked faculty and current students about this? Professional work income is invaluable. Some students spend 15 or more hours per week working non-music related jobs to help finance their education. Although financially effective, this is obviously not musical experience and may limit your career progress. We help our students gain employment opportunities to hasten their transition from student to professional musician.
•Tuition and out of state fees
•Books and other student fees
•Room and board
2. Financial assistance
•University work-study opportunities
•Costs minus financial assistance and student income = the bottom line
excerpts from - Gene Grilli, YSU vice president for Finance and Administration, remarks at at a summer 2012 Board of Trustees meeting in Tod Hall, where the board approved the university's FY 2013 budget:
Some trends in our communities seem to be clear, but they cause us concern as we work to understand our new normal. Clearly, the economic downturn in the nation and indeed the world affects us all.
In the face of competing needs and lower revenues, states are reducing their levels of financial contribution to higher education, leaving students to bear the financial burden of attaining a college degree. Students and families, concerned about the future, want an education that yields promise of good employment with low or no tuition debt.
Competition for our traditional and even non-traditional students is growing and that competition has the face of a community college, a for-profit institution or increasingly a web-based program.
The new normal may, in fact, not be normal. Change may be our only constant.
In higher education today, agility – our ability to quickly and effectively respond to change – will be the most important characteristic of a successful university. Without reservation or doubt, YSU is moving to become an agile, first-tier university with a will and capability of meeting whatever is next.
Consider this: Over the past two years our State Share of Instruction has been reduced by over $8 million dollars. We have faced a decline in our enrollment in both the fall of 2011 and summer of 2012. We, along with other universities have faced unprecedented increases in our health care cost.
But now consider this: The university’s general fund budget for the coming fiscal year will be $2.4 million lower than the FY 2012 budget. The consumer price index over the past 12 months rose by more than 2%. Yet the budget presented to the Board last week represents a decrease from the previous year. The university is exercising fiscal restraint, and operating within its means.
We should take special note that even with a 3.5% tuition increase this fall, YSU will remain the most affordable public comprehensive university in Ohio. YSU’s tuition will be $2,200 below the state average for comparable universities.
Ohio Comprehensive Public Universities*
Annual Undergraduate Tuition, FY 2013 Projections**
Youngstown State University
Wright State University
Cleveland State University
University of Toledo
Kent State University
University of Akron
Ohio State University
Bowling Green State University
University of Cincinnati