Well, it’s time to face the facts: your child has decided to pursue their dream and audition for college! With this decision comes a tremendous amount of trepidation and anxiety in the planning and preparing for both the student and parent. You may have had a child already apply and attend college for a different major, but believe me when I say this is unlike the process you have previously experienced.
While this most certainly needs to be a journey that your talented child spearheads, I wanted to offer some suggestions on ways you can help (without causing tension or stress.) This summer is the perfect time to get organized and excited for a crazy journey ahead.
First things first: you need to have a frank conversation about finances. This should happen before you finalize a school list. What are you willing to spend yearly on a college education? Are you willing to let your child attend a school that requires a flight to get to? Before they get their heart set on a school that has a tuition of upwards of $70,000 a year – it’s important to set limits. I think people can fall into the trap of “well, we can audition and see what scholarships you get and go from there” for every school on their list. It’s okay to have a few programs that might be just out of reach financially (but feasible if aid comes through), but you need to make sure you have options that will absolutely work as well with no financial aid. And if they get into their dream school but the money isn’t there, they need to know that it isn’t doable.
While you are chatting about finances, be sure to let them know what you are willing to spend on the actual audition circuit. Applying to schools, sending in pre-screens, booking hotels, traveling, food – you get the idea – really adds up. If you know you’ll be limited to schools that attend Unified Auditions, be sure to let your child know that on-campus auditions might not be a possibility. This conversation can be very helpful in solidifying a college list.