If you dream of becoming a star, and you’re serious about pursuing a career in film, TV, or theater...you can either go to drama school or hope for the best and be lucky enough to be cast or have the right contacts.
So let’s say you go down the route of studying drama so that you can put in the effort and hopefully gain the skills and experience to build yourself a future out of it...how much is it going to cost? Drama schools are famously expensive, and it can also be pretty hard to even get a spot there in the first place.
In the United States, there is no shortage of big dreams and big stages. But on average, the degree for drama school alone will cost between $80,000 and $200,000, give or take.
Of course, on top of that, you also need to pay for accommodation, travel, materials, living expenses...so the overall cost of drama school can reach an average of around $300,000. Yup, it’s a lot.
The good news is, that is just the average. There are drama schools that will cost less, and a few drama schools that will cost even more. It’s all about finding the right one for you, or figuring out a way to get the money!
Can you get a scholarship for drama?
Yes! You can indeed get a scholarship for drama, in which case you will be able to attend drama school and the costs will be funded for you, either completely or partially, without you having to give the money back in the future.
Getting a scholarship is one of the best ways to be able to afford drama school. The issue is, it’s not that easy to get a scholarship, and there are lots and lots of people looking to get one or to get into each particular drama school.
So, how do you get a scholarship for drama? Well, each drama school will have its own set of available scholarships, and they will have their own sets of rules and requirements that you have to meet in order to compete for the scholarship.
Sometimes these scholarships will be aimed at helping those with fewer means to attend, and sometimes the scholarships are there to fund those that show special potential or talent.
The best way to figure out how to get a scholarship is to check the information available for each drama school you are interested in.
Plus, each scholarship process will be different. So some will be a long process of paperwork and documents, while others will be interviews, and some might even require you to compete for the scholarship, by showcasing your talent and potential through a certain casting or acting exercise!
Sometimes, you can also get scholarships that are independent of the drama schools. They might be nationwide scholarships, or they might belong to certain charities, trust funds, or organizations, that are looking to help certain people get into drama school.
Do your research with plenty of time in advance, and you might be able to snag a scholarship to pay for your drama school!
What are the top drama schools in the US?
We’ve covered that drama school is pretty expensive, but that you can sometimes get a scholarship to pay for it. But as we also mentioned, the cost of drama school will vary between each specific school.
Usually, some of the most well-regarded schools will be the most expensive, but that doesn’t mean some of the more accessible drama schools are any worse.
Here are some of the top drama schools in the US, and their average cost:
Located in New York City, Juilliard offers a 4-year course and has had notorious alumni such as Robin Williams, Jessica Chastain, and Laura Linney.
The tuition cost for this drama school is around $70,000 per year.
- Tisch School of Arts:
Located in New York City, the Tisch School of Arts offers both a 3-year and a 4-year course. It has had notorious alumni such as Debra Messing, Alec Baldwin, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The tuition cost for this drama school is around $50,000 per year.
Located in Los Angeles, in California, UCLA offers both a 3-year and a 4-year course, depending on what type of course you choose. It has had a few notorious alumni such as Rob Reiner, Ben Stiller, and Mayim Bialik.
The tuition cost for this drama school is around $30,000 per year.
- Yale School of Drama:
Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale School of Drama offers a 3-year course and has had alumni such as Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, and Tony Shaloub.
The tuition cost for this drama school is around $33,000 per year.