Making your performing arts college list

Published June 4th, 2015

Choosing the perfect college is a hard enough task as is. Add the undertaking of picking the ideal performing arts program housed within your dream college and it can be enough to make your head spin! Summer is the time for students entering their senior year to solidify their college list and start to get organized on each school’s academic and artistic requirements. So, here are some of our top tips on how to narrow down a performing arts college list that will make you happy as both a human being and an artist!

1.) Location

It’s important to decide whether or not you’d thrive being on a typical college campus or in a city. Urban versus rural locations offer a myriad of different pros and cons. Does the idea of a big city where you’ll see brand new faces everyday terrify or excite you? Would you like to have the option to attend a football game or hang at your sorority house after acting class is done for the day? Location is an easy way to narrow down your list.

2.) Conservatory versus Liberal Arts

Conservatories offer an intensely focused curriculum in your chosen major. Liberal Arts schools tend to offer more flexibility in your course load – so, if you are looking to minor in a different area, that may be possible. To make things more confusing/interesting, often Liberal Arts schools will house conservatory-style like programs. Do your research into each program on your list and figure out how much flexibility you want (or don’t want) within your major.

3.) Being Realistic

Most top tier performing arts program accept less than 5% of those that audition. It’s common for students to have a list filled with these amazing programs as they are usually the most well known. Make sure to flesh out your list (add some Match Schools and Safeties) with programs that either: have a larger starting freshman class size, have a bigger acceptance rate, are up and coming programs or are non-audition. It’s much more exciting to have a handful of acceptances at the end to weigh pros and cons with as opposed to having one or none.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list with these three factors, do some extensive research on the schools to make sure they are all perfect fits. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • Use our Directory to search for schools with filters that include: area of study (dance, music, theatre, etc.), organization type, area of interest and more!
  • Watch Youtube videos of the senior class showcase. Like what you see? That could be you at the end of your four years! Here’s a fantastic senior showcase from Pace University’s Musical Theatre class of 2015.
  • Find current students who attend the school on Facebook who are either friends or friends of friends. Students are usually very happy to chat about why they love their program! Shoot them a message and get the details.
  • Check out the course offerings. Are you really into classical theatre and want to make sure you’ll have the opportunity to study it? Make sure you’ll get your fill at each school!

Summer is the time to get organized. So, make that college list and start to get excited! The best is yet to come!

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