By Gus Saltonstall
The Juilliard School is cutting costs — but not in the way you might guess.
The world-renowned performing arts school located within Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side announced on Wednesday that it is making its master’s program in acting tuition-free.
Juilliard graduate students will now be able to attend all four years of the Master of Fine Arts in acting program free of charge. The costs will be covered by existing scholarships and recently announced donations that were matched by school trustee Stephanie P. McClelland and her husband, Carter McClelland.
In its Wednesday announcement. Juilliard said the acting program will join “the school’s growing list of tuition-free programs” starting with the 2024-25 academic year. The school called it a “milestone achievement” that furthers its ambition “to continue to remove financial barriers and expand access to all who qualify to study at Juilliard.”
For some financial context, Juilliard’s four-year master’s program in acting previously cost around $53,000 a year for students.
Juilliard’s transition to no tuition for its graduate acting degree came after the school raised $15 million, which included a major gift from producer John Gore, as well as the matching funds from the McClellands, reported DEADLINE.
“We believe that talent has always been greater than opportunity,” Juilliard President Damian Woetzel said in the announcement. “Juilliard is committed to attacking barriers of access to the highest level of artistic education in drama, dance, and music.”
Juilliard’s other programs that are tuition-free or fully funded by scholarships include eight degrees within Artist Diplomas, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Historical Performances.
Juilliard’s MFA in acting is the only four-year program of its kind in the United States; most similar degrees are three-year programs. The Hollywood Reporter named Juilliard the best drama school in the world in 2023.
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