tuition freedom 

If successful, THE TUITION FREEDOM CAMPAIGN could make NYU’s Graduation Acting Program tuition-free for every student in perpetuity. The GAAA is committed to exploring the feasibility of Tuition Freedom because we recognize the difficulty of sustaining a heavy debt load as an artist and have a deep desire for the program to sustain the excellence for which it is renowned.

Competition for the best students to train is high, especially given the fact that our peer training programs have larger endowments. Tuition in 2008 is @$38,000 and there is an annual increase of @5%. At this point, through scholarships and other grants, we are about half way to achieving our goal of tuition freedom. So we are on our way, but we need your help.

THE TUITION FREEDOM CAMPAIGN is completely alumni driven. Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell and the development office of the Tisch School are deeply supportive of our work. But without the history of a school that spans many centuries and the endowment that comes with that history, our campaign relies on the heart, guts, and ingenuity of its graduates. We have a chance to make an enormous difference in the lives of emerging artists-we should take it.

If you want to get involved in THE CAMPAIGN (ideally by writing a check for the $20 million needed!), which would make our work a whole lot easier), send us a note at If you’re an experienced or wannabe fundraiser, we definitely need your help.

You don’t have to be a wealthy philanthropist to make Tuition Freedom happen – financial donations of all sizes will help us launch THE CAMPAIGN.

Donate to the GAAA Fund HERE!!



Since last we made a progress report so much has happened. We have continued to refine a strategy both long term and short. In the long term, our goal remains constant-Tuition Freedom. But how do we get there?

Over the years we have been charting the growth and participation of our givers. We continue to see a wider range of participation and steady growth to giving. However to meet our large goal, i.e. Tuition Freedom, we need more of both. In order to encourage both we have decided to start small.

We have set as a short-term goal to endow all of our named scholarships. There are several named endowed scholarships (they have a minimum of $100,000). They are the Ron Van Lieu and Paul Walker scholarships. Last year the GAAA board made the final contribution of $3500 to endow the Olympia Dukakis scholarship. This year we have set our sights on the Batima Tene Cochran Scholarship. We are planning on finishing her endowment through our fundraising effort The Big Walk. This is a huge undertaking that needs your generosity-of time, funds and participation. It’s a great opportunity for you to engage others in our quest to create an endowment of a terrific scholarship.

We have also created our very own alumni based scholarship! Last year we were able to award a $3000 scholarship to a first year student that will follow that student for all three years- a total of $9000. This year we are doing it again! An incoming first year will receive a $3000 award that will follow them through their whole career at Grad Acting. We will donate $18,000 over the course of 5 years. This is an incredible achievement. It has happened because of your deep generosity and the tireless efforts of the volunteers of GAAA.

As with most things that are Grad Acting, our effort is homegrown, self-motivated…frankly we are making it up. We need you to help us continue to make it up. Our alumni are unique individuals with strongly held beliefs and a passionate follow through. If you can contribute those extraordinary assets to our effort we can make a bigger difference than we already have.