Are these schools hyper-competitive or do students support one another?
This is a great question! I ask this when I make campus visits. Usually I find a variety of answers, so you will want to do some research of your own. Overall, some schools are generally viewed as more competitive and cut-throat than others. This can vary by department, so ask students in your particular discipline. Other schools are generally more supportive, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find hyper-competitive people in your program. Sometimes the answers I’m given depend on the students I’ve asked. One dancer might say the program is ultra-competitive and she doesn’t feel supported by her peers while another dancer in the exact same major may say it is fine. Know your own sensitivities and whether competition drives you to excel or stifles your talent.