Ailey School FAQs

The Ailey/Fordham BFA Program requires the standard college application for Fordham University and the BFA Dance Application for The Ailey School. Please ensure you include all supplementary materials required for each application as listed. Fordham University requires an application fee; The Ailey School does not. If you are invited to audition, there is a small audition fee required at that time.

Both the Dance Application and the Fordham Application are due on November 1.

Fordham University and The Ailey School are two separate institutions and therefore have different application requirements. The decision for acceptance into the BFA program requires that a student be mutually accepted to both institutions. The separate applications allow each school to evaluate the student respectively.

Fordham University requires both the FAFSA (Federal Application for Financial Student Aid) and the CSS Profile. Both applications can be completed online. If you have more questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at Fordham University by calling 212-636-6700.

No. Because the program syllabus is based on a full year, transfer admission is granted for the fall term only.

No. The Ailey School will hold placement classes for all new students, after which those with little to no experience with either modern technique will be placed in level one for both.

The same artistic panel adjudicates each audition and the same audition material is given in each city, which allows for a fair audition process for all students. If you are interested in viewing the facilities of The Ailey School and Fordham University, this can be done once you are accepted by scheduling a visit. Additionally, Fordham University holds an open house for accepted students in April where you will have the opportunity to meet current BFA students and faculty. Please make arrangements to visit in advance.

The maximum length is three (3) minutes, but it should not be less than two (2) minutes.  Your solo should be professionally choreographed by a teacher or choreographer. 

You will be informed by Fordham University, not The Ailey School, in mid-March.

The number of students accepted in a given year is determined by the total program enrollment. The typical class size does not exceed 35 students.

The Ailey School will choose students who are exceptional dancers just as Fordham University will choose students who excel academically, with no emphasis placed on the applicant’s gender.

After taking placement classes, all students receive a customized dance schedule that reflects their previous training. A student’s schedule might consist of a dance class at Ailey in the morning, an academic class at Fordham, a lunch break, and then one or two more dance classes. There are no dance classes or rehearsals on Saturday or Sunday.

All BFA students will take classes only at Lincoln Center campus.

All BFA students will live at the Lincoln Center campus if they have chosen to live in the dorm. Fordham has two dormitories that students can live in: McKeon Hall, which is dorm-like rooms for first-year students, and McMahon Hall, which is suite-like housing for upperclassmen. If a student accepts housing as a freshman, they are guaranteed housing throughout their four years, as long as they remain in the dorm. Students may live off campus if they wish but it is very difficult to move back into the dorm once they have moved out.

All dance technique courses are taken at The Ailey School, along with a few dance academic courses such as Anatomy & Kinesiology and Performance and Art. All academic courses are taken at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, along with a few dance academic courses such as Music for Dancers and Dance History.

The freshmen and sophomores participate in workshops which result in performances in the fall and spring. The juniors take a Repertory Workshop that culminates in studio showings and performances. In the senior year, students will participate in Ailey/Fordham Student Dancers (AFSD) and perform numerous times in the tri-state area. Various student-run concerts and private engagements offer students more opportunities to perform as well.

Students who wish to enroll in the Scholarship Program, Certificate Program, Independent Study Program, or Summer Intensive must attend an audition at The Ailey School or at one of our national audition sites as listed on our annual audition itinerary.  Independent Study Program and Summer Intensive applicants have the option of auditioning by video.
Students who wish to apply to the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program should refer to the Admissions section of the BFA Program page.

No.  An in-person audition is required of all students who wish to be considered for acceptance to the Certificate Program or Scholarship Program.

There is a $20 audition fee for all Scholarship Program,Certificate Program, Independent Study Program, and Summer Program auditions.  You can sign up for the audition and pay the fee by following the links on the Admissions page of the web site. There is a $35 application fee for BFA applicants, and an audition fee for those applicants who are invited to attend an audition.

You may sign up by locating your audition city on the audition calendar and paying the audition fee online.

There is a $20 fee for all Independent Study Program and Summer Intensive applicants who wish to audition by video. You may pay the fee online at the links provided on the program pages.

No, we do not schedule private or in-class auditions.

Students may audition once per calendar year. If you are not accepted at your first audition, you must wait until the following year to try again.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by e-mail within three weeks of an audition.

No. The Ailey School does not provide performance critiques or discuss the artistic panel’s decision after an audition.

Students may take both Horton and Graham-based modern even if they have no prior training in those techniques. However, in some cases Faculty Advisors may feel it is more beneficial for a student to concentrate on one technique only. This is decided on a case by case basis between Faculty Advisor and student.

Each student at The Ailey School is placed in levels according to their individual proficiency in ballet, Horton, and Graham-based modern. Levels are determined at the audition or by the department chairpersons during placement classes at the beginning of the students first term of study. Students are advised that levels at The Ailey School may not correspond to the levels at their prior schools. The Ailey School has 7 levels of ballet, 4 levels of Horton, and 4 levels of Graham-based modern. Pointe, Partnering, and Men’s Ballet are offered to students in ballet IV or higher. Students are placed jazz levels according to their ballet levels.

Yes. The Ailey School has limited housing during the academic year at The Ludlow Residence dormitory in lower Manhattan. Housing at The Ludlow Residence is partially subsidized and granted to students based on their financial need and artistic merit.

Yes. The Ailey School offers housing at the nearby Fordham University dormitory for students 15 years and older, and at the Ludlow Residence for students who are 17 year of age and older. Students must be enrolled in the Summer Intensive to be eligible for summer housing.

Admission to Ailey II is by invitation only.  Students from the school's full-time training programs are invited to audition for Ailey II by The Ailey School Co-Directors and the Ailey II Artistic Director.

Only advanced students who are on Threshold or in their last year of study and are preparing to enter the dance field may request permission from The Ailey School Co-Directors to perform outside of the School.

Yes. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available to students who meet the artistic criteria for acceptance to the Scholarship Program. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis during the academic year and summer term by audition only. Merit-based scholarships are not available to students in the Independent Study Program or Certificate Program, although those students may apply for need-based Federal Financial Aid.  

International students must successfully complete the program in which they are enrolled in order to be eligible for Post -Completion Practical Training: three years in the Certificate Program; one year in the Independent Study Program; and one year in the Scholarship Program. Students who wish to apply for OPT must first have a final evaluation meeting with their Faculty Advisor at the end of their last semester of study. Once it has been confirmed that all program requirements have been met and that there have been no excessive absences, the student may meet with the International Student Advisor to request OPT.

Yes. Professional Division students who are enrolled in any of the full time programs may attend Ailey Extension classes for 1/2 price on weekends only.  Students may not attend Ailey Extension classes Monday through Friday.

No. Students are not allowed to take any Professional Division classes other than the classes that have been assigned to them by their Faculty Advisor.

Students who wish to attend the Pre-Professional Program must audition for acceptance. Auditions take place at The Ailey School several times a year and are posted online on the Pre-Professional Admissions page. Once students are accepted they will be placed in the appropriate level in the structured curriculum. 

No, students under the age of 16 cannot participate in professional level classes, regardless of their years of training or proficiency.

Yes! Because the Junior Division Program is curriculum-based, students must participate in every class assigned to his or her level in order to meet the requirements to advance to the next level.

Yes. Junior Division Students must attend all of the classes scheduled for their level.

Tuition fees are based on the level and program in which the student is placed. Please visit Tuition and Fees for details.

Some school year discounts are available if certain eligibility requirements are met during enrollment. For example, a 10% discount applies when tuition is paid in full in ONE installment by the deadline. Review enrollment materials for more details.

Once in Level 3 or higher, students in need can request some tuition assistance twice per school year (if the student was enrolled the previous academic year). Application instructions are provided during re-enrollment with the assigned schedule. First year students are not eligible. Tuition Assistance is different from the merit-based Scholarship Program. They cannot be combined. Tuition Assistance can only be combined with tuition discounts.

Yes, intermediate and advanced students between the ages of 15-17 may audition for merit-based scholarships. Scholarship audition dates and times will be posted on the Pre-Professional Program page and on the Audition Calendar.

In lieu of traditional academic Report Cards, The Ailey School issues written evaluations that are an overview of your child’s growth and development.

Class schedules are based on student placement and class levels.

Students are not allowed to sample a class. Anyone participating in Junior Division classes must be enrolled in the Junior Division program.

No, students must participate in the full curriculum of classes assigned to their level. There are no open classes available in the Junior Division.

Hip Hop is not a part of our curriculum. Students interested in Hip Hop classes should contact the Ailey Extension for information on their Teen Extension Hip Hop classes.

Enrollment for the First Steps/Bounding Boys program takes place annually in late July. Enrollment takes place online and is on a first-come/first-served basis and tends to fill quickly.  
If you are interested in being placed on a waiting list at any time of the year other than the July enrollment period, please email juniordivision@alvinailey.org providing the following information and a packet will be mailed to you:

  • Parent's name
  • Student's/child's name
  • Student's/child's date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

The placement of Junior Division students is determined by their proficiency in ballet.

If your child is going to miss class, please email jdattendance@alvinailey.org and include the student's name and level in the subject line. (Example: Jane Smith, 2A-3)

Parents should contact the following assigned Parent Liaisons:

Evaluations tend to differ from class to class due to the energy level or the focus of the class. For example, a student’s energy level from Ballet to West African is different. It also depends on the energy of the class.

If your child received a mark in that area the instructor most likely commented on how they could progress at the bottom of the evaluation. Encourage your child and let them know they can improve in those areas; encourage them to stretch at home. Many instructors provided students with exercises throughout the school year. Have them speak with the teacher to receive further explanation or exercises in which they can improve. If you still need further clarification, please contact your parent liaison.

Students are permitted 3 absences per term. If a student will be out, it is best that the parent notifies the Junior Division office at jdattendance@alvinailey.org. Students are permitted a 5 minute grace period for lateness. After that, students will be asked to observe.

It is the norm for students to spend two, sometimes three years in a Level.

Unfortunately, because of the popularity of our Summer Intensive Program we do not allow partial participation or latecomers to the program. If you are 16 years or older and can only attend The Ailey School for a short duration of time during the summer, we recommend you contact The Ailey Extension at  aileyextension@alvinailey.org for information on how to attend classes on a drop-in basis according to your individual availability.

If you plan to attend the Summer Intensive regardless of whether or not you receive a Scholarship, you should submit your $300 deposit by the deadline in order to reserve your place. In the event that you are awarded a Scholarship your $300 deposit will be transferred towards payment of remaining school fees.
 
Please remember that the $300 deposit is non-refundable. If you are absolutely certain that you will not be able to attend the Summer Intensive unless you receive a Scholarship, we advise you not to submit a $300 deposit.

Merit-based scholarships are awarded by audition and cover the cost of tuition only. Some participation fees still apply and are the responsibility of the student.  Scholarship auditions take place at The Ailey School prior to the summer intensive.

Professional Division students attend a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 15 classes per week, which may include a repertory or elective workshop. Classes take place Monday through Friday. A typical schedule includes a daily ballet class, a daily Horton technique and/or Graham-based modern technique, and 5 additional elective classes and/or workshop.

All students who have attended an audition have been placed in the appropriate levels by the audition panel.   
 
Students who auditioned by DVD and photographs will be placed by the School Co-Directors based on the material demonstrated in their DVD, as long as they have followed the DVD submission guidelines. Those applicants who have not provided the required material will have their DVD returned.

Students should keep in mind that levels at The Ailey School do not correspond to the levels at other schools. Therefore, the level you attend at your current school has no bearing on the level you will be placed in at The Ailey School.

Professional Division students will receive a Class Selection Form after they have made a $300 deposit to the program. They must indicate their preferred modern technique (Horton or Graham-based modern) and their preferred choice of elective classes and/or workshops.* Students must return this form by mail or e-mail to The Ailey School Admissions Office.  Based on the technique levels students have been placed in, and their choices of elective classes/workshops, Ailey School Faculty Advisors will create a schedule of 12 to 15** classes for each student. Students who have met the minimum level requirements to audition for repertory workshops will have the opportunity to audition on the first day of the summer program. If chosen for a repertory workshop, the students schedule will be adjusted to accommodate that workshop.

*Due to studio space limits, there are a maximum number of students enrolled in each class/technique. Therefore, students should keep in mind that they may not get their first choice of technique or elective classes.

** The maximum number of classes/workshops students may be scheduled for is 15. There are no exceptions to this rule

Professional Division Students schedules will be emailed after all tuition and fees have been paid in full and all the required enrollment materials have been received by the Admissions Officer. Only those students who have completed this process will be allowed to start class. Those who have outstanding balances or missing enrollment materials will have to settle their accounts on the first day or Orientation.

There are no schedule changes. If a teacher determines that a student should be placed in a different level after the first week of classes, only the teacher can make that recommendation. Students may not request changes in the classes they have chosen or the levels they have been placed in.

Class size varies depending on the technique, the level, the Division, and the studio the class takes place in. Professional Division classes can be anywhere from 20 students to 45 students in our larger studios and elective classes and workshops.

Students wishing to receive evaluations or college credit must provide a letter from their current college or university on official stationary to The Ailey School Registrar, prior to the summer program.  Letters must be received in sealed envelopes no later than June 15. Only those students who provide a letter may receive credit. Requests for credit will not be considered otherwise. Please note: it is up to the student’s college or university to determine how many credits, if any, will be accepted. The Ailey School does not determine which credits are transferrable.

The Ailey School attendance policy does not allow for excessive absences, as stated in The Ailey School Student Handbook.  Absences will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Excessive absences from workshop rehearsals may prevent a student from participating in performances, or result in dismissal from the Summer Intensive.

No. If a student misses a class they cannot make it up.

The Ailey School makes every effort to give students of every level the opportunity to perform by offering elective workshops that do not require an audition. Students in elective workshops will either participate in the Summer Sizzler Performances, or in studio showings at the end of the summer.
 
Professional Division repertory workshops have minimum technique level requirements that are determined by the choreographer and Directors of The Ailey School. Those students who have met those level requirements will have the opportunity to audition for repertory workshops on the first day of the Summer Intensive. Please note: although a student may meet the level requirements for auditioning for a workshop it does not guarantee participation in a workshop. Choreographers and the School Directors will make their casting decisions after all auditions have taken place.

Summer Sizzler Professional Division Performances take place on the last two days of the Summer Intensive Program at 4:30pm and 7:30pm.  

Summer Sizzler Junior Division Performances take place on the last Wednesday of the Summer Intensive Program at 4:30pm and 7:30pm.  Parent Observation of classes are held the last day of the Program.

Tickets are $10 and $20. A limited number of tickets are available to each student. Information on purchasing tickets and on the performance programs will be available two weeks before the performances.   Students are strongly encouraged to communicate information regarding performances to their parents directly. There is no charge to attend studio showings, but space is limited.

Because of the choreographer’s copyrights, photography and videotaping is not allowed under any circumstances.

Unfortunately, because of the popularity of our Summer Intensive we do not allow partial participation or latecomers to the program. We recommend you contact The Ailey Extension at aileyextension@alvinailey.org for information on short-term summer workshops and classes for teens.

If you plan to attend the Summer Intensive regardless of whether or not you receive a Scholarship, you should submit your $300 deposit by the deadline in order to reserve your place. In the event that you are awarded a Scholarship your $300 deposit will be transferred towards payment of remaining school fees.
 
Please remember that the $300 deposit is non-refundable. If you are absolutely certain that you will not be able to attend the Summer Intensive unless you receive a Scholarship, we advise you not to submit a $300 deposit.

Merit-based scholarships are awarded by audition and cover the cost of tuition only. Some participation fees still apply and are the responsibility of the student.  Scholarship auditions take place at The Ailey School prior to the summer intensive.

Junior Division students attend a minimum of 13 to a maximum of 15 classes per week, which may include a repertory or elective workshop. Classes take place Monday through Friday. Generally, students have 3 classes per/day and each class is about one hour and 30 minutes.

All students who have attended an audition have been placed in the appropriate levels by the audition panel.   

Students should keep in mind that levels at The Ailey School do not correspond to the levels at other schools. Therefore, the level you attend at your current school has no bearing on the level you will be placed in at The Ailey School.

Junior Division students will receive a tentative schedule in their acceptance letter.

There are no schedule changes unless the Junior Division Director and Associate Director feel that a student should be placed in a different level. Students may not request level changes.

Class size varies depending on the technique, the level, and the studio the class takes place in. 

The Ailey School attendance policy does not allow for excessive absences, as stated in The Ailey School Student Handbook.  Absences will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Excessive absences from workshop rehearsals may prevent a student from participating in performances, or result in dismissal from the Summer Intensive.

No. If a student misses a class they cannot make it up.

Junior Division students are all placed in a rep workshop and will perform at the end of the summer.

Summer Sizzler Professional Division Performances take place on the last two days of the Summer Intensive Program at 4:30pm and 7:30pm.  

Summer Sizzler Junior Division Performances take place on the last Wednesday of the Summer Intensive Program at 4:30pm and 7:30pm.  Parent Observation of classes are held the last day of the Program.

Tickets are $10 and $20. A limited number of tickets are available to each student. Information on purchasing tickets and on the performance programs will be available two weeks before the performances.   Students are strongly encouraged to communicate information regarding performances to their parents directly. There is no charge to attend studio showings, but space is limited.

Because of the choreographer’s copyrights, photography and videotaping is not allowed under any circumstances.

Students enrolled in the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program may be housed at Fordham University’s McMahon Hall.

Students in the Certificate Program, Independent Study Program, and Scholarship Program may apply for limited subsidized housing at the Ludlow Residence.

Please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@alvinailey.org for information on the Ludlow Residence.

Fordham University’s McMahon Hall is available for students 15 and older. A chaperone program is available for 15 year old students. Please contact the Summer Housing Coordinator at housing@alvinailey.org or 212-405-9138 for information on McMahon Hall.

The Ludlow Residence is available for students 17 and older. Please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@alvinailey.org for information on the Ludlow Residence.

No. Housing is reserved on a first come, first served basis, until all beds have been assigned. Housing deposits will only be accepted from students who have already made a tuition deposit to confirm their attendance in the summer program.  

Limited need-based financial assistance for summer housing is available by application. Only those students who have made a tuition deposit to the Summer Intensive may apply for housing assistance.  In addition, we happily accept payments from your local, third-party supporters. You are also welcome to make small, incremental payments as long as the total housing cost is received ON or BEFORE the final payment deadline.  

 No. Although it is highly recommended, housing in the dormitories is optional. You may request a list of alternate housing options by emailing admissions@alvinailey.org.

McMahon Hall is located a 5 minute walk from the Ailey School at 155 West 60th Street (between 9th and 10th Aves), New York, NY 10023. There is no need for public transportation between the dormitory and the school, as students can easily walk to and from both locations.    

101 Ludlow Street is a 30 minute commute by public transportation. There are several convenient subway lines that travel to and from The Ailey School.

McMahon Hall is a 20-story building with elevator service that offers apartment-style housing with a 24-hour security guard.  Each air-conditioned, apartment-style suite is composed of a common room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and either 2 or 3 bedrooms that can accommodate 2 to 3 students per bedroom. There are 4 to 8 students per suite.  Apartments come with basic dorm-style furnishings. Kitchens are equipped with refrigerators, electric stove-top oven, and sink.  
 
Rooms are NOT equipped with; Televisions, microwaves, dishwashers, cooking ware, dishware, bedding, towels, toilet paper or cleaning supplies.    A complete list of furnishings is included in the Housing Application packet, as well as a list of what household and comfort items to bring.

The Ludlow Residence hall is comprised of single rooms with a shared bathroom, and double rooms with a shared bathroom. The facility is full air-conditioned. Each room has a small refrigerator and a microwave. There is a large outdoor patio, a large recreation room in the basement with a large screen TV, a lounge area, and a common kitchen which is available for student use.  Free laundry facilities are located in the basement.

Although a meal plan is not available during the summer, Fordham University has a cafeteria that is open from 8:30AM to 3:30PM, Monday to Friday. The Cafeteria offers prepared foods and hot meals for purchase.  The cafeteria is closed during the weekends and all Fridays after the 4th of July.  Cash and debit/credit cards are acceptable forms of payment in the cafeteria.   
 
Additionally, The Ailey Boutique located on the ground floor of The Ailey School offers lunch items and healthy snack options during the weekdays. There are several diverse local eateries and grocery stores within walking distance of McMahon Hall and The Ailey School, many of which provide delivery service to the dormitory.  
 
As a reminder, the suites at McMahon hall are equipped with basic functioning kitchens for those students who wish to prepare their own meals.

Resident Assistants and Chaperones who are employed exclusively for the Ailey Summer Intensive Students live in the dormitory and provide a congenial and supportive environment for residents.

Chaperones and RA’s go through a thorough interview, background checks, and training process. Resident Assistants are available for all Professional Division students residing at the dormitory and Chaperones are responsible for all Junior Division students residing in the dormitory.  Activities are planned throughout the summer for chaperoned students and are led by Resident Assistants and Chaperones.  Non-chaperoned students are also welcome to participate in planned activities. However, those students will not be monitored by or accountable to the Chaperones.

McMahon Hall: There are curfews depending on a students’ age. There is no set curfew for Professional Division students 18 years old or older.

Curfews and room checks are in effect for Summer Intensive students as follows: Junior Division students must be in their apartments by:

  • 10pm Sunday-Thursday
  • 11pm Friday-Saturday

Professional Division students ages 16-17 must be in their apartments by:

  • 12pm Sunday-Thursday
  • 1am Friday-Saturday

The Ludlow Residence: As this is a facility for adult students there is no curfew at The Ludlow Residence for any residents. There is a dedicated Ailey Resident Assistant, and a Residence Hall Director who resides on the premises.

McMahon Hall: Absolutely NO guests are permitted. Parents will be allowed to assist their sons/daughters in the dormitory during assigned Move-In and Move-Out days ONLY. Parents will not be allowed upstairs into the dormitory at any other times during the Summer Intensive Program. During the summer months, McMahon Hall houses Fordham University students and other summer guests in addition to Ailey School students. Therefore, in order to respect the privacy of the Non-Ailey residents we ask that families socialize outside of the dormitory when visiting.

Summer Intensive students who do not reside in McMahon Hall are strictly prohibited from visiting fellow students who do reside at the dormitory.

The Ludlow Residence: There is a guest policy at The Ludlow Residence and students are required to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the on-site Ludlow Residence Hall Director. A detailed handbook will be provided for residents upon confirmation of their housing reservation.

Free internet is available at McMahon Hall and at the Ludlow Residence.

No. Students are expected to maintain a neat, clean and orderly room at all times and to show respect and courtesy to their fellow cohabitants by doing so. Students must provide their own cleaning supplies, and other housekeeping items. Upon vacancy, rooms should be left in the clean condition in which they were found. Any damage or additional cleaning fees will be assessed to those students occupying the room/suite.

McMahon Hall: Washing machines and dryers are located on the 2nd, 10th and 16th floors of the dormitory for student use at no additional cost. However, students must provide their own laundry detergent.

Ludlow Residence: A large laundry room is located in the basement where students may do their laundry for free.

McMahon Hall: Students may receive mail AFTER they have moved in to the dormitory. No mail will be accepted prior to move-in or after move-out dates. Students will be assigned a mailbox and will receive a mailbox code upon Move-In. Students must present their Guest Identification card to the Mailroom staff during business hours in order to retrieve their package. Mailroom hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Thursday and 9am-1pm on Friday and are subject to change. Fordham University does not accept responsibility for the transportation of students’ belongings. Students can only send letters with the appropriate postage from the University’s mailroom. There is a US Postal Office located at 27 West 60th Street, NY, NY 10023 from which students can mail packages home.

The Ludlow Residence: Mailboxes are assigned to students who reside at Ludlow during the academic year. Small packages and mail may be sent to students who reside at Ludlow during the summer and will be received by Security.

As a courtesy to international students who do not live within traveling distance of an audition site, The Ailey School will accept video auditions for the Certificate Program, Independent Study Program, and Summer Intensive. Applicants should follow the guidelines found at How To Apply.
Students wishing to audition for the Scholarship Program must audition in person. There are no exceptions.
International students apply to the BFA Program should visit BFA Admissions.

Because we receive so many requests for private and in-class auditions, unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate special requests. Students who are unable to attend an audition on our annual audition tour may audition by video. (Certificate, Independent Study, and Summer Intensive only).

No, The Ailey School does not accept video auditions for the Scholarship Program.

Yes. The Ailey School holds an annual audition in Toronto, Canada and in Vancouver, Canada. We also hold an audition and workshop in Bari, Italy in the month of July. Please visit the Audition Calendar for dates and locations.

Yes, all international students must obtain an F-1 Student Visa in order to study full-time in the U.S. Canadian nationals do not need to obtain a visa in their passports, but they still need to obtain F-1 Status.

In order to obtain F-1 Status, students must document to The Ailey School that they have sufficient financial resources to cover their living expenses and tuition & fees for the first year of study. (Please refer to the document in the sidebar entitled "I-20 Application Instructions").  Once the documentation has been submitted to the Admissions Office, the Director of Admissions will issue an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Non-Immigrant Student Status and instructions on how to proceed.  The Ailey School will assist students with this process from beginning to end. It is not possible to apply for a student visa without first submitting the required documentation to The Ailey School

The entire process of applying for F-1 status can take as long as three months, depending on the country and city in which the consulate is located. This includes the time it takes to gather your financial documentation and submit it to The Ailey School for review, and the waiting time for The Ailey School to issue an I-20 form.  In addition, in some countries there is a long wait for appointments at the U.S. consulate for a visa interview.  Since Canadians do not need to make an appointment at the consulate, the process usually takes less time for Canadian nationals.

Students who wait until the July audition may not have enough time to make all the necessary preparations for obtaining a student visa and finding housing in time for September. Therefore, you must submit the required documentation for your student visa NO LATER THAN JUNE 1 (before you attend the July audition).  

It is also strongly recommended that you begin your search for off-campus housing prior to the audition because housing at The Ludlow Residence is usually fully occupied by July. 

No, it is not possible to attend The Ailey School part-time. It is mandatory for all international students on an F-1 visa to attend school on a full-time basis.  

Unfortunately, The Ailey School does not offer need-based financial assistance to international students who wish to defray the cost of attendance.  Additionally, U.S. Federal Financial Aid is only available to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Resident Aliens (Green Card holders).  International Students may audition for the Scholarship Program if they wish to obtain merit-based financial assistance.

There are several reasons why an international student might have trouble making an online payment. Some international credit cards have daily limits on the amounts that can be charged. Students should contact their bank to inform them that they will be making an international payment in a large amount.

Other reasons for difficulty with international payments are credit card security code discrepancies between the U.S. and other countries. Students who have trouble with online payments can contact the Bursar at 212-405-9519 to make a payment by telephone after the required enrollment materials have been submitted.

It is highly advisable to open a U.S. bank account while studying at The Ailey School. Having an account at a local U.S. bank makes it much easier to have access to your funds for living expenses, tuition payments, emergencies, and other necessities. We recommend setting up a bank to bank transfer with the bank in your country of origin so that you can always have funds at your disposal. The International Student Advisor will assist you with opening a local bank account.

Yes, the USCIS allows students to travel outside of the U.S. during their enrollment at The Ailey School. However, because F-1 regulations are always being amended and changed, students are advised to meet with the International Student Advisor prior to making any travel plans.

Students must obtain an additional signature from the International Student Advisor on the second page of their I-20 at least once a year in order to travel outside of the U.S. Travel within the U.S. is allowed and does not require a passport, nor do students need to carry their I-20 when traveling from state to state.

Only those students who are engaging in authorized employment (on-campus employment or OPT) can obtain a U.S. Social Security number. The International Student Advisor can assist students who are authorized to work with obtaining a social security number.

International students are not allowed to work off-campus during their first year of enrollment. After attending for one academic year, there are several options for employment, although they are limited and restricted to specific guidelines.

On-Campus Employment: The Ailey School has limited on-campus employment for students in their second and third year of study. Students must speak with the Director of Admissions if they are interested in being placed on a list for on-campus employment.

Optional Practical Training (OPT): OPT is a type of employment authorization that is available by submitting an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Students must have completed one academic year to be eligible for Part-Time OPT while they are still attending school. Students must successfully complete their program of study in order to be eligible to apply for full-time Post Completion OPT.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): CPT is a type of employment that is an integral component of the program of study, such as the Certificate Program Student Performance Group (SPG) or the Threshold Level of the Scholarhsip  Program.

The Ailey School International Student Advisor discusses all employment options at the New Student Meeting during Orientation week. Students should also carefully read the International Student Handbook for more detailed descriptions of employment opportunities.  

International students must successfully complete the program in which they are enrolled in order to be eligible for Post -Completion Practical Training: three years in the Certificate Program; one year in the Independent Study Program; and one year in the Scholarship Program. Students who wish to apply for OPT must first have a final evaluation meeting with their Faculty Advisor at the end of their last semester of study. Once it has been confirmed that all program requirements have been met and that there have been no excessive absences, the student may meet with the International Student Advisor to request OPT.