Although NOCCA is tuition-free, students still have to cover expenses related to their training. The NOCCA Institute’s Student Success initiative (formerly the Financial Aid Program) helps pay for such things–particularly for students from households with incomes at or below the poverty line or from families managing unexpected hardships. Student Success has two funding programs: one covers the cost of participating in NOCCA’s school-year program, and the other helps NOCCA students enroll in summer training programs across the country.
The Institute’s Term-Time Program offers support to students for the equipment, supplies, and private lessons they need to keep pace with NOCCA’s curriculum. For example, shoes for young dancers cost about $60, and a student may go through six pair in a year. Musicians must take care of their instruments and are typically required to take extracurricular lessons. Without Term-Time support, such expenses–combined with transportation and other costs of attending NOCCA–would be unmanageable for families on public support or a fixed income.
The Institute’s Summer Study Program allows students to take part in some of the best summer programs in America, including The Juilliard School, the Art Institute of Chicago, and North Carolina School of the Arts. Expenses for these programs can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per child. For example, it costs more than $3,000 for rent, meals, subway fare, and supplies for a dance student in New York for eight weeks, and that figure does not include tuition at Alvin Ailey or airfare. Many families can afford only a portion of these costs. Student Success makes up the difference.