Getting into the profession of acting is a tough job in itself and then surviving the rigorous course is another thing. Some of the world’s best acting or drama schools have tough qualification rounds, where you have to perform well in the auditions. That said, if you have what it takes to be a great actor, the next concern should be the cost of attendance. Many in the USA, take up an acting career from a young age and they would want to graduate from a prestigious drama school. In this article, I have listed out some of the best drama or acting schools in the worlds and have given the cost of attendance for each school along with estimated living expenses.
Cost of Attendance of Top Acting or Drama Schools in the World
Here’s the Cost of Attendance of Top Acting or Drama Schools in the World
01. Juilliard School – New York City
It is one of the topmost prestigious acting schools in the world. Juilliard by some is considered the best drama school in the world with an impressive list of alumni. Over 800 students are trained per year. However, it’s worth noting the getting into Juilliard is harder than getting accepted in Harvard.
Some of the notable graduates are Viola Davis, Robin Williams, Jessica Chastain, Kevin Spacey, William Hurt, Val Kilmer, and others.
- Tuition fee – $43,170
- Rooms and meals – $15,990
- Books and supplies – $3440
- Transportation – $1089
- Total – $63,689
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $44,000.
02. Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art – London
RADA is one of the best and prestigious drama schools in the world and certainly the best drama school in the UK. Apart from being the best drama school in the UK, it is also one of the toughest to get into. You can judge its reputation from the fact that often a class will have just three students for one teacher. Graduating from RADA will surely put you under the director’s and agent’s radar.
Some of the notable graduates are Ian Holm, Peter O’Toole, Mike Leigh, Joan Collins, John Gielgud, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, and others. Some of the recent grads are Glenda Jackson, Mark Rylance, and Diana Rigg.
- Tuition fee for UK/EU – £27,000 or $34,865 for 3 years
- Tuition fee for international students – £57,210 or $73,875 for 3 years
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $35,000 to $74,000.
03. Yale School of Drama – New Haven
Yale is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious acting schools in the world. It is also a privilege to be accepted, and it has one of the toughest curricula. Becoming alumni from Yale is sure to land you a lucrative career right from the start. Many actors who were rejected by the school later turned out to be a talented actor and made a shining career for themselves. So, you can pretty much guess the kind of value it holds to be from Yale School of Drama.
Some of the notable graduates are Meryl Streep, Paul Newman, Courtney Vance, Angela Bassett, Frances McDormand, Sigourney Weaver, John Turturro, and others. Some of the recent graduates are Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke who worked on the ‘Black Panther.’
Tuition Fees & Expenses (approx. $34,000)
- Tuition fee – $31,800
- Estimated living expense – $17,000
- Books and supplies – approx. $300 to $2,700
Total expense for an off-campus student can cost between approx. $50,000 to $53,000.
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $34,000.
04. Tisch School Of The Arts – New York City
Tisch is a part of the New York University, founded in 1965, which today is one of the best schools to study arts. The TSOA is well known to have produced some of the world’s best actors and film directors and had over 3000 undergrads and over 1000 postgrads. The school is also known to have various art departments to meet today’s industry needs.
Some of the notable graduates are Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Woody Allen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Adam Sandler, and others.
Tuition Fees and Expense (approx. $60,000 to $80,000)
- First point per semester – $2,266
- Subsequent points per semester – $1,907
- Per semester – $30,668 (12 to 18 points)
- Room and board – approx. $26,000
- Books and supplies – approx. $820
- Health insurance – approx. $3,500
- Transportation and personal expense – approx. $4,700
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $60,000 to $80,000.
05. London Academy Of Music And Dramatic Arts – London
Founded in 1861, the 157-year-old drama school is one of the oldest institutions in the UK. Unlike US curriculum, students in LAMDA graduate in 2 years, however, getting into LAMDA is a tough job. Graduates from this school have multiple BAFTAs, Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Tony Awards.
Some of the notable graduates are Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox, Jim Broadbent, and others.
- Tuition fee for UK/EU students: £24,720 or $31,892 for two years
- Tuition fee for international students: £41,200 or $53,153 for two years
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $32,000 to $54,000.
06. Brown University – Rhode Island
Brown University has recently become one of the Ivy League Drama schools to provide full tuition for acting programs. Being an Ivy League school, it’s not easy to get admission and moreover, the course will be rigorous and tough.
Some of the notable graduates are Ted Turner, Emma Watson, John Krasinski, Julie Bowen, Laura Linney, Leelee Sobieski, and others.
- Tuition fees – approx. $54,320 to $65,374
- Health service fee – $886
- Health insurance fee – $3,846
- Student activity fee – $62
- Student recreation fee – $64
- Living expense – approx. $29,760
- Total – approx. $88,938 to $99,992
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $60,000 to $70,000.
07. University Of California Los Angeles (UCLA) – Los Angeles
UCLA has a cutting-edge curriculum and now employing Artificial Intelligence to help hone a student’s career. This is yet another renowned research universities in the US with a strong resume of successful actors. The actor’s training focuses on both screen work and business, making them skilled to make it to Hollywood.
Some of the notable graduates are James Dean, Rob Reiner, Ben Stiller, Francis Ford Coppola, Tim Robbins, Jack Black, and others.
- Tuition fees – $11,442
- Student service fees – $1,128
- Student union fees – $66
- Kerckhoff seismic fee – $113
- Student association fee – $38.25
- Writing center fee – $17.65
- PDST – $11,589
- Health insurance – $3,901.94
- Student programs and activities – $107
- Wooden center fee – $34
- Document fee – $80
- Total tuition fee for residents – $28,516.81
- Nonresident supplemental tuition – $12,245
- Total tuition fee for nonresidents – $40,761.81
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $29,000 to $41,000.
08. National Institute of Dramatic Art – Kensington
NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) is one of the best acting schools in Australia and certainly in the world. Students say that only 4% of applicants get through the auditions and graduating from NIDA will certainly get you the limelight you need. Both entrance and sustenance are harder for the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Kensington.
Some of the notable graduates are Mel Gibson, Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, and others.
- The Undergraduate course duration is three years and has an annual tuition fee of A$14,563.20 or $10,361.43, and the total estimated course fee is A$43,689.46 or $31,084.18 for domestic students. For international students, the annual tuition fee is A$31,020 or $22,070.11, and the total estimated course fee is A$93,060 or $66,210.33.
- The admission fee accounts for approx. A$352.25 or $250.62.
- The initial cost of books, rental bond and furniture account for approx. A$2,000 or $1,422.96
- The cost of living in Sydney for students is approx. A$20,000 or $14,229.60 per year.
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $32,000 to $67,000.
09. University Of Southern California (USC) School of Dramatic Arts – Los Angeles
USC is a research university and has a prestigious faculty. In 2006 the university got a donation of $175 million from George Lucas for expansion. The school is certainly one of the most successful and sought after acting programs in the world. The students are trained of both acting as well as business, giving them a holistic view of the film industry.
Some of the notable graduates are John Wayne, Tom Selleck, Kelly Preston, Forest Whitaker, LeVar Burton, Robert Stack, and others.
- Tuition fees – $55,320
- Mandatory fees – $905
- Room and board – $15,395
- Books and supplies – $1,200
- Miscellaneous – $2000
- Total – $75,300
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $72,000.
10. Guildhall School Of Music & Drama – London
It may not be as prestigious as other acting schools in the UK; it certainly is one of the best, biggest and diverse place to hone your acting skills. The school accommodates over 1000 students from over 70 countries.
Some of the notable graduates are Daniel Craig, Orlando Bloom, Joseph Fiennes, Ewan McGregor, Rhys Ifans, Jude Law, Lily James, Damian Lewis, and others.
- Tuition fee for UK and EU students – £9,250 or $11,924
- Tuition fee for international students – £19,640 or $25,317
- Course-related cost – From £130 to £1,500 per year, depending on the program
- Living cost – approx. £1,400 or $1,805 per month
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $12,000 to $26,000
11. American Conservatory Theater – San Francisco
The ACT is a renowned acting school with a faculty of working-artist teachers. The new dean is the Tony-winning actor Pam MacKinnon. The school is also a popular choice among students because they get an opportunity to audition for products of ACT.
Some of the notable graduates are Elizabeth Banks, Delroy Lindo, Nicolas Cage, Winona Ryder Annette Bening, Benjamin Bratt, Denzel Washington, and others.
- Total tuition fee – approx. $29,000
- Off-campus housing and meal cost – approx. $14,700
- Books and supplies – $500
- Miscellaneous living expense – approx. $6,000
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $50,000. For students residing at home with their parents can expect a total expense of approx. $35,000.
12. CalArts – Valencia
Established in 1961, CalArts focus more on the experimental and innovative aspect of acting and moving making. Students from CalArts get to work with Wooster Group, Stephin Merritt, Richard Foreman, and others. Because of its experimental aspect, companies such as Netflix are betting their chips on CalArts grads.
Some of the notable graduates are Cecily Strong, Alison Brie, Don Cheadle, Ed Harris, Eliza Coupe, and others.
- Tuition fee – $48,660
- Student life fee – $116
- Technology fee – $500
- Room and board – approx. $17,000
- Transportation – approx. $2,000
- Medical – approx. $3,000
- Others – approx. $3,000
- Books and supplies – approx. $2,500
- Total – $76,776
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $77,000.
13. DePaul University – Chicago
DePaul is one of the best research universities with a strong theatrical department. The school accepts only ten students a year for an annual scholarship. It was established in 1898, and have since produced some of the most famous and talented actors in the world.
Some of the notable graduates are John C. Reilly, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Anderson, Judy Greer, Joe Mantegna, and others.
- Tuition fee per term – $13,533
- Tuition fee annual – $40,599
*The figure mentioned above doesn’t include additional expenses such as food, accommodation, books, and supplies.
The total cost of attendance for undergraduate students is approx. $41,000.
It’s pretty obvious that drama schools are expensive and on top of that most of the world’s best drama schools in metro cities that have higher living cost. Although acting career can pay off well even considering the cost of training, then again, getting into one of the top drama schools is a tough job. Becoming a good graduate and surviving in the film industry are two very different aspects. On top of being a good actor, you have to be professional, have business knowledge, and most of all know to sell yourself.