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balletbean

Fees, Living and Uniforms......... at US

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Hi folks, this post is really geared towards those that have experience of DD's at US's. 

 

On top of the fees charged at US and rent/food expenses, what are the additional costs for the bank of mum and dad! ;) 

 

i.e How many pointe shoes does a DD get through per term?

Tights and uniforms, insurance, examinations, trips, theatre visits, costumes if any and finally the 3rd yr on tour expenses they may incur etc. 

 

I am trying to add up the final bill, whilst sitting down and pouring myself a rather large drink!! 

 

Thank you

 

 

 

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A related question, rather than an answer (sorry Balletbean!). We were wondering about funding for those colleges which do not offer a degree, so you can’t access student finance for fees. We would not be eligible for any sort of Dada or means-tested funding, but could not afford (typically) £17k a year fees plus living expenses. Presumably you can get some sort of career development loan, but would banks be happy to loan tens of thousands of pounds to a 16 year old aspiring dancer?? And presumably the repayment terms are less friendly than student finance - i.e. it has to be paid back in full regardless of earnings?? 

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Balletbean - I'm afraid that answer is going to vary depending on the US your DD attends. Uniform, for example, some may specify certain items (brands and suppliers) whilst others let you source items yourself and unless things have changed some, like Tring, require students to have school uniform whereas Hammond US do not require academic school uniform. In similar fashion some may charge for academic exams like A levels but for others they are included in the fees. Trips and theatre visits will depend on location. My DD probably had on average 3 a year ranging from £12 to £30. Ballet and other dance exams with external boards like RAD are usually at extra cost ,plus travel to and from the exam centre . Insurance - shop around . Costumes - DD's school had a set amount per year that parents were invoiced for production costs (including costumes) - less than £50 but there were always items to buy separately for some dance numbers - often from somewhere like primark. Her school provided tutus for shows. Again this will vary. There was a one off fee for the tour/graduate showcases for the final year and school then provided coaches/trains to venues - cannot remember the cost but considerably less than if we had had to pay for even just the travel ourselves. Pointe shoes - I cant really answer. They always lasted well for my DD .

 

BlueLou - I'm not 100% positive but I thought career development loans were for aged 18+ only and only available for 2 years with a cap of about £10k?

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Yes its a 'how long is a piece of string' question but I will try to give you some useful points. Insurance: my dd's stuff is covered by our household contents policy, suggest you  contact your policy provider to check. Sometimes there are caveats such as need to have own room that locks. Travel expenses: how often are they coming home - or you visiting them. If contemplating using trains get them a 16-25 young persons railcard and always book as far in advance as you can. Dance gear obviously it depends on what the school wants and often the uniform changes by year. Make friends with existing students/parents of students, you don't have to buy everything new. Most dance shops give a 10 or 15% discount for full time students, I long since lost any inhibitions about asking if it doesn't say. Tights are best bought cheaply and in bulk as they do not last especially if dc are doing own laundry. Also shop around for things like warm up outfits - can cost anything between £20 and £60 for the same thing. I have had some good bargains on e-bay. Pointe shoes always have at least 2 pairs on the go, ideally 3 in case of sudden death (of the shoes). Canvas flats positively melt into holes. I  have pictures in my phone of all the shoes etc so that I do not have to remember the sizes in case I need to post more. Just hope my phone is never stolen. On the plus side my dd has very few clothes that are not dance related (doesn't have time to wear them) and spends very little money except on food. We bought dd a store cupboard of food at start of term and it just needs replenishing . Also no longer spending a fortune on dance festivals, workshops and private lessons so not quite as skint as initially feared.

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On 03/11/2017 at 17:37, mnemo said:

Just hope my phone is never stolen.

 

Well, I hope you back it up regularly?

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8 hours ago, alison said:

 

Well, I hope you back it up regularly?

It was more the thought of being mistaken for a mad crazy shoe obsessed person.

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Re the question "How many pointe shoes does a DD get through per term?" for us the answer is one pair of pointe shoes per week.

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On 11/3/2017 at 13:37, BlueLou said:

A related question, rather than an answer (sorry Balletbean!). We were wondering about funding for those colleges which do not offer a degree, so you can’t access student finance for fees. We would not be eligible for any sort of Dada or means-tested funding, but could not afford (typically) £17k a year fees plus living expenses. Presumably you can get some sort of career development loan, but would banks be happy to loan tens of thousands of pounds to a 16 year old aspiring dancer?? And presumably the repayment terms are less friendly than student finance - i.e. it has to be paid back in full regardless of earnings?? 

Hi, Thank you for your reply. Sorry for the delay in replying but I've managed to drop and smash my laptop. Another unexpected expense, grrrr borrowing my sons in the evenings but my old one held all the audition photographs. :(

 

I think I am on first name terms with the staff at the local Student Finance Dept.  Their lack of knowledge of vocational training is quite frightening considering they are in the business of further and higher education. No student loans available here. Vocational Skills bursary is offered instead of a career development loan, to the tune of £2,750! Hardly enough to cover pointe shoes  and uniform over the 3 years! Funding for fees is in a form of a Grant but falls well short of ENBS fees and others. We are continuing on our research (hence the post about additional expenses) but already had to decline one offer of an audition place due to lack of funding available. It's been very hard for my DD. So close but yet so far. :mellow:

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In third year, there will be audition photos, the cost of which can run to a few hundred. And then there is the cost of travelling to auditions, which if travelling to Europe will be several hundreds of pounds per trip. Even the cheapest flights can run into hundreds depending on the location, not to mention one, sometimes two nights accommodation, food, train fares etc.

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On 03/11/2017 at 13:37, BlueLou said:

A related question, rather than an answer (sorry Balletbean!). We were wondering about funding for those colleges which do not offer a degree, so you can’t access student finance for fees. We would not be eligible for any sort of Dada or means-tested funding, but could not afford (typically) £17k a year fees plus living expenses. Presumably you can get some sort of career development loan, but would banks be happy to loan tens of thousands of pounds to a 16 year old aspiring dancer?? And presumably the repayment terms are less friendly than student finance - i.e. it has to be paid back in full regardless of earnings?? 

This is precisely the reason why my DD's options were limited to degree courses BlueLou. We are over the DADA threshold, and whilst obviously that means we have a good income,we don't have that kind of money lying around and couldn't afford to self fund a diploma course. Well, not without severely impacting on our other children anyway, and I don't see that as an option. Remortgaging would probably have been the most financially sound option for us had we decided to go down that route, but DD decided herself that she didn't want us to go to those lengths, and fortunately she ended up with a choice of offers on degree courses. But it's very difficult - I feel for you.

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Likewise - although we are well within the DADA threshhold, my DS decided that five years of being funded by his parents through vocational school were enough.  He decided on a degree course with generous scholarships available. Fortunately it worked out well for us - my musical DD is auditioning at the same institution today!  

 

Sometimes you just can't have something.  However hard, it's just the way it is.   No, my son couldn't audition for some places because we simply could not afford the plane fare.  Yes he was lucky in getting offers very early.  But is does mean, again, he chose a company in a place he could afford to live on the salary paid, and where we could afford to visit him (cheaper than a trip to DD at her vocational school).  

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16 hours ago, balletbean said:

Hi, Thank you for your reply. Sorry for the delay in replying but I've managed to drop and smash my laptop. Another unexpected expense, grrrr borrowing my sons in the evenings but my old one held all the audition photographs. :(

 

Oh dear.  Is the hard drive not retrievable? :(

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6 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

This is precisely the reason why my DD's options were limited to degree courses BlueLou. We are over the DADA threshold, and whilst obviously that means we have a good income,we don't have that kind of money lying around and couldn't afford to self fund a diploma course. Well, not without severely impacting on our other children anyway, and I don't see that as an option. Remortgaging would probably have been the most financially sound option for us had we decided to go down that route, but DD decided herself that she didn't want us to go to those lengths, and fortunately she ended up with a choice of offers on degree courses. But it's very difficult - I feel for you.

We have spent so long looking at courses and colleges, application forms, photos, audition dates etc….. that I’ve only just got around to researching finance! I had (stupidly) assumed that some form of bank loan would be available for diploma students who didn’t qualify for Dadas. We knew a degree course would be financially better, but thought a diploma would be doable somehow. Apparently not! Have applied for 5 courses, but 2 of them are now looking considerably less viable. This is all very trying. So glad my other daughter wants to be a school teacher …….

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Most DaDA schools have bursaries available for those both with and without the award so don't automatically dismiss. 

 

Shoe and tight usage goes up around appraisals and shows. My dd could easily get through 2 - 3 pairs of shoes a week at these times. 

 

And there will be social events they will want to go to. Even if you ask them to ration the number of events they attend this period covers an endless stream of 18th birthday parties. 

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1 hour ago, BlueLou said:

We have spent so long looking at courses and colleges, application forms, photos, audition dates etc….. that I’ve only just got around to researching finance! I had (stupidly) assumed that some form of bank loan would be available for diploma students who didn’t qualify for Dadas. We knew a degree course would be financially better, but thought a diploma would be doable somehow. Apparently not! Have applied for 5 courses, but 2 of them are now looking considerably less viable. This is all very trying. So glad my other daughter wants to be a school teacher …….

I was lucky in that DD had a number of friends a few years older than her at her dance school who went onto full time training, and I learned a lot about the practicalities from their parents. Otherwise I would have been clueless.  I actually started  my planning from the financial perspective and strongly discouraged her from applying to anywhere that we would have been unlikely to afford. Maybe that was a bit brutal, as I expect we could have found some way round the money issues eventually, but having observed other families struggling to self fund, even with bursaries, we didn't want to go down that path. Our other children also have talents and interests that require significant investments of time and money and I don't believe its right to support one more than the others. To DD's credit, she was totally accepting of that, even though there were several diploma courses that she would have very much liked to audition for. I do think it's a shame that student finance isn't available for those courses. Obviously there can never be a completely level playing field - we can afford to supplement DD's loan by more than some of her friends' parents can for instance - but I think extending student finance to diploma courses would benefit more families than it would disadvantage. But in the current economic climate I can't see that happening unfortunately. Students on some academic courses have to work as hard to win places on their sought after courses I'm sure, but they don't as a general rule then have the second fight for finance. I do sometimes wonder if I had my time again whether I would take DD to her first dance class or not!

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Agree with every word Pups_mum. And making heroic efforts to fund one child (by remortgaging your house or similar) also places undue pressure on that child to be a success, as they are only too well aware of the massive sacrifices being made for them by their family.

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1 hour ago, Pups_mum said:

I was lucky in that DD had a number of friends a few years older than her at her dance school who went onto full time training, and I learned a lot about the practicalities from their parents. Otherwise I would have been clueless.  I actually started  my planning from the financial perspective and strongly discouraged her from applying to anywhere that we would have been unlikely to afford. Maybe that was a bit brutal, as I expect we could have found some way round the money issues eventually, but having observed other families struggling to self fund, even with bursaries, we didn't want to go down that path. Our other children also have talents and interests that require significant investments of time and money and I don't believe its right to support one more than the others. To DD's credit, she was totally accepting of that, even though there were several diploma courses that she would have very much liked to audition for. I do think it's a shame that student finance isn't available for those courses. Obviously there can never be a completely level playing field - we can afford to supplement DD's loan by more than some of her friends' parents can for instance - but I think extending student finance to diploma courses would benefit more families than it would disadvantage. But in the current economic climate I can't see that happening unfortunately. Students on some academic courses have to work as hard to win places on their sought after courses I'm sure, but they don't as a general rule then have the second fight for finance. I do sometimes wonder if I had my time again whether I would take DD to her first dance class or not!

An honest and well written post. I also have other children to still take into consideration, even if two are older. Having had the experience of my eldest going down the A level route then MT college I have some experience. It's that experience that has helped me realise early on the difference with classical training (has to be 16 at the latest) unlike MT where age isn't quite such a issue. And the obvious additional expenses. MT are very relaxed with uniform etc and having older students that are  more independent (I won't say mature!) in a position to work in bars or similar in the evening to top up their income. Obviously at 16 and at vocational schools the last thing on their mind is outside work. Sleep, food rest repeat after the long days in the studio. 

I too have had that hard conversation with DD about which schools are doable for funding and which ones we just can't afford even with the grant available. So no point in even completing an application form let alone auditioning. Very hard but she has been very understanding. 

 

Fingers crossed it all works out for you. 

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2 hours ago, Jane said:

Most DaDA schools have bursaries available for those both with and without the award so don't automatically dismiss. 

 

Shoe and tight usage goes up around appraisals and shows. My dd could easily get through 2 - 3 pairs of shoes a week at these times. 

 

And there will be social events they will want to go to. Even if you ask them to ration the number of events they attend this period covers an endless stream of 18th birthday parties. 

Unfortunately even though we live in the British Isles we are not classed as part of the UK/EU and therefore not eligible to apply for a DaDa.

 

My research has also revealed that any in house scholarships are for UK residents only. RBS appear to be the only ones that offer funding for all pupils no matter where in the world they are resident of. 

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5 hours ago, alison said:

 

Oh dear.  Is the hard drive not retrievable? :(

I am hoping that a techie geek will come to my rescue. Fingers crossed ;)

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8 hours ago, meadowblythe said:

 

Likewise - although we are well within the DADA threshhold, my DS decided that five years of being funded by his parents through vocational school were enough.  He decided on a degree course with generous scholarships available. Fortunately it worked out well for us - my musical DD is auditioning at the same institution today!  

 

Sometimes you just can't have something.  However hard, it's just the way it is.   No, my son couldn't audition for some places because we simply could not afford the plane fare.  Yes he was lucky in getting offers very early.  But is does mean, again, he chose a company in a place he could afford to live on the salary paid, and where we could afford to visit him (cheaper than a trip to DD at her vocational school).  

Hope all went well for your DD today. Will you have to wait long to hear the outcome? The waiting can be so nerve wracking. Fingers crossed for her. 

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