It’s getting close to final decision time (May 1st is just around the corner!) and you may be stressed because you are having a difficult time choosing which college to put your deposit down on. Many times, the final decision comes down to finances and what you and your family can feasibly afford. Your dream school might just be out of reach because realistically, you can’t afford it. That can be very tough to stomach.
I have had lots of conversations over the past few weeks with families weighing the decision to send their kid to a school they can’t afford. While I am a complete and total advocate for college training programs (you’ll need to be trained to be competitive in this field!), you need to be completely honest with yourself about what type of debt you are willing to take on. Graduating with a degree in acting, music or dance gives you absolutely no guarantee for employment in the future and graduating with a mountain of debt can be suffocating.
Do not go into major debt attending a performing arts college. When you graduate, your top priority will be to find work that’s (hopefully) within your field. You’ll most likely need to supplement, for awhile at least, with another job as well. One of the biggest mistakes I see young graduates doing is filling their schedule to the brim with “day jobs” in order to survive and pay for rent, food and….yes, student loans. The first thing that gets eliminated when you do this is auditioning, networking and everything that is fundamental to building a career in the arts. You get stretched too thin. Don’t let crippling student loan debt be one of the reasons for missing a once in a lifetime audition!