College Prep Timeline For The Arts: August

The monthly planning guide for visual & performing arts students


As we approach the final weeks of summer, anticipation is in the air for the school year ahead. By spending just a little time each month identifying your objectives, planning ahead, and taking action, you’ll be impressed by how much you can accomplish over the course of the entire school year. Whether you’re about to enter your freshman year in high school or in college, this is an exciting time in your life, so fulfill your goals one step at a time and enjoy the journey!


Senior Arts Students — This is your time. You’ve been preparing for years and now college is almost here. You may be feeling a range of emotions from excited and happy to nervous and fear of the unknown. Just know that it’s perfectly natural and most students are going through the same thing. So open yourself up to meeting all types of people and broadening your experiences. Dedicate yourself to your work and your art, and treat this as a special time… because it is!

Senior Parents — Prepare your student and yourself. Books, bedding, clothing, supplies, encouragement, love… you probably have a good sense of what your child will need to begin his or her college freshman year. But many parents forget to anticipate their own emotional state. Separation anxiety is only natural, especially if this is your first time sending a child off to college. Keep in mind there is an adjustment period, so have patience, stay busy, and remember that one of the best gifts you can give your child is a sense of independence.


Junior Arts Students — Start working now on your application essays. Compose rough drafts of the essays you’ll need for your college applications. The Common App is a free, online application used by over 400 colleges and universities, so see if it applies to your situation. It’s a good idea to have a teacher read and discuss essays with you so you can see which areas need work. Make revisions to your application essays and prepare final drafts. Remember to proofread the final essays. Then proofread them again.

Junior Parents — Help plan for submissions. Keep your child on track with test preparation, if needed. He or she should begin planning and/or assembling any supplemental submissions that will be needed, such as prescreen videos or portfolios. Review and update the list of target schools that you and your child have been developing. Record the pros and cons of each school.


Sophomore Arts Students — Refresh and reconsider. The summer break lets you step back and get some perspective on where you are in school and where you see yourself heading this year in preparation for college. It’s a good time to re-evaluate and refocus your academic and art efforts so that you can be sure you’re on track to accomplish your goals.

Sophomore Parents — Do some early research with your student. You can find all of the college entrance information you need online, as well as applications to many institutions. Summer is a great time for you and your child to check out some of the sites, plan future visits, and bookmark your favorites.


Freshman Arts Students — Discuss college savings. Talk to your parents about planning for college expenses. If your family has set up a savings plan for you, continue to add to it whenever possible. If not, there’s never a better time to start saving for college than now. You and your parents can use an online financial planning calculator to help assess the current savings situation and plan for the future.

Freshman Parents — Talk about financial participation. Now that your student is in high school, it’s important that he or she understand financial roles and responsibilities. Exactly what that role entails is entirely up to you, depending on your personal situation. Whether circumstances call for monetary contributions or simply keeping a tight reign on expenses, now is a good time to clearly communicate the needs and expectations.


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