College Prep Timeline For The Arts: April

The monthly planning guide for performing & visual arts students


Spring break is over, and we’re entering the home stretch of the school year. Much can be accomplished in these final months, so we’re here to help guide the college preparation process for students and parents. Every step can be a difference maker for visual and performing arts students in the search for the right schools, scholarships, and financial aid packages.


Senior Arts Students — Compare financial aid packages. Financial aid can be a key factor in deciding where you will attend, so be sure to consider each financial aid award carefully. If you have questions, contact the financial aid office of the college to get more information. If you haven’t yet received all of your admissions decisions, you can expect to receive them this month if you applied under the regular application process. One college may offer an excellent package, but your heart may be set on another. If that’s the case, let the other school know — they may be able to do better.

Senior Parents — Stay supportive either way. If your child is accepted, you likely won’t need any advice on how to react positively. However, if a rejection letter arrives, put things in perspective and remind your child that the selection process will be more in their favor with other schools. Being denied is not something to be ashamed of — keep going! Once your student is accepted at another school, compare financial aid offers and contact financial aid offices with any questions.


Junior Arts Students — Start a search for scholarships. Many types of scholarships are available, so spend some time locating the best ones for you. It’s worth the effort. For scholarships from local organizations check with your guidance office, and use online scholarship search tools to select from a wider range. Don’t wait to start looking for scholarships. Begin the process now so you know where to apply during your senior year. You’ll also want to plan ahead when visiting colleges. Call the admissions office to set up a personal interview, tour, and a meeting with a professor or coach if you’re interested.

Junior Parents — Talk, plan, and plan some more. Over the next several months careful college planning will be required, so keep the lines of communication open with your student. Plan all of your remaining spring college visits now so your student can see students on campus and really get a sense of college life when visiting. At the same time, don’t overlook plans for senior-year classes. Help your child select courses that matter, recognizing that colleges weigh senior classes and grades as heavily as they do for junior year.


Sophomore Arts Students — Get your college search going. College search tools can help you decide what factors are important to you so can assemble a list of colleges that matches your criteria. Your guidance counselor can recommend search tools, or try online sites like or Start attending college fairs, ask questions, and review the material you get from each type of school so you can begin to compare and contrast.

Sophomore Parents — Get your student thinking about college. It may seem like a long way off, particularly to students, but the college years will be here before you know it. Plant the higher education seeds now by exposing your child to college fairs and facilitating the beginning of the search. Also keep in mind that summer is around the corner, and you may want to consider a camp or program like ArtsBridge Summer that helps prepare arts students for college.


Freshman Arts Students — Start learning about college. Yes, it’s true that you just started high school, but this is the time to begin thinking about where you want to be after high school. Look at the college information available in your guidance counselor’s office. Spend a little time checking out college websites. Use college search tools and view college profiles. You may even want to start a list of colleges that might interest you.

Freshman Parents — Connect your student with a college student. Often, the best way to introduce a high school student to college is by having them hear about it first hand. So if you happen to have a friend, neighbor, or relative who is in college and doing well, it may be a good idea to have them share their experience. It will help get your student thinking about what they need to do to prepare for their own college career.


For all high school performing arts students, spring is here, and summer is coming fast. ArtsBridge Summer is filling fast. It’s the one-of-a-kind 2-week intensive for acting, dancing, and musical theatre, and it will take place in Boston, August 3rd-17th.

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