Pinching Pennies: Tips for Funding Your Performing Arts Dreams

The price of going to college has been increasing steadily for the past 50 years. In fact, for the 2012-2013 school year, the average price of a public four-year university in the US was $24,385 per year (CollegeBoard Advocacy and Policy Center)! And don’t get us started on the price of private performing arts schools and conservatories. Between room and board, activity fees, tuition, college application fees, books and travel, when you’re funding your performing arts dreams, the numbers can be pretty staggering.

We want to help you be prepared to not only follow your dreams but also fund them.

It doesn’t matter if you want to study music, dance, or theatre at a public university or a private performing arts school, every little bit of extra money can help. Below are three penny pinching tips to help artists like you tackle the overwhelming task of funding your performing arts dreams.

1. Apply for all the scholarships!

When you’re spending all your time applying to colleges, the last thing you want to do is apply for more things. But trust us, it is totally worth it. Do a simple search for “performing arts scholarships” and you’re going to come up with a ton of results.

Apply for as many as you possibly can. Hit up the big ones offered by major organizations like our partner, YoungArts. They offer scholarships, grants, and mentorships to rising performing artists. But also check out the smaller ones, like our GetShowcasd Scholarship. Independent scholarships are great to apply to as they typically are more personal.

2. The early bird catches the lowest college application fee.

Most colleges offer discounted college application fees for students that apply early. Sometimes they waive the fees altogether. This may seem like small potatoes compared to the price of tuition, but application fees can add up, especially if you’re applying to lot of schools. The application fees can vary by college, but most are around $50.

3. Don’t go there, girlfriend. That is, until they ask you.

Unless you’re dead set on going to college right in your own backyard, you’re going to have to deal with travel expenses. And while it is definitely important that you make a college admissions visit to the school you’re going to, it isn’t so much important to go to every school you apply to, especially when you’re pursuing the performing arts.

Luckily, there is this wonderful movement for performing arts schools and programs to accept prescreening videos in lieu of an in-person interview. This little video will save you lots of time and money. Instead of traveling to all the performing arts schools you applied to, you can send them your digital portfolio. And you can do this through Acceptd.(Want to know how? Click here.)

Once your video has been prescreened and you’ve been invited to audition in-person (which will happen because you’re super talented), you can schedule your college admissions visit. This helps you kill two birds with one great big awesome money-saving stone.

Most of all, do not give up.

Once you start pinching your pennies, pursuing a degree in the performing arts becomes less scary and more manageable. And there are a TON of organizations out there, like us at Acceptd, that want to help you succeed however we can. You just have to know where to find them.