College Prep Timeline For The Arts: January

The monthly planning guide for performing & visual arts students

Happy New Year! Welcome to the monthly guide designed to help students of the arts with simple, step-by-step college preparation tips. As we make our new-year resolutions, it’s the perfect time for high school students to re-commit to pursuing the dream of higher education in the performing & visual arts!


Senior Arts Students — Begin auditions. Present portfolios. You’ve been developing a passion for your craft so give college programs a glimpse of your capabilities and potential by putting forth your best. It’s time to strut your stuff! Don’t forget financial aid forms. Fill out the FAFSA and if necessary, the PROFILE. Ask your guidance counselor for these forms because no matter what your family’s income level is, the FAFSA is your main priority for financial aid purposes because it will determine how much you are expected to pay.

Senior Parents — Double check deadlines. 
If you and your student have everything you need, file your income taxes and begin filling out financial aid forms, such as the FAFSA. Finish and mail these forms as soon as possible. Pay close attention to make sure you meet the deadlines! Keep in mind that many schools list earlier FAFSA filing dates than may be indicated on the form itself.


Junior Arts Students — Be proactive with your activities. When it comes to extracurricular programs, colleges look for consistency and depth. So take your activities to the next level by taking on leadership roles and positions. Begin essays. Simply take the first step. Explore topics of interest. Once you identify a subject that matters to you, the writing will be able to flow more naturally.

Junior Parents — Communicate & evaluate. This can be a make or break year. Classes tend to be tougher than ever, so ask how it’s going and listen carefully. Continue to assess your student’s academic progress. Does everything appear to be going the way it should? If your child is having difficulty or could simply use advice, now is the time to help provide the support that he or she needs.


Sophomore Arts Students — Take on new roles. This is the time to explore new areas and expand your possibilities. Often the instances where we push past our comfort zones offer the greatest rewards. If you’ve become involved with extracurricular activities, stay involved and work toward leadership positions in the activities you like best. Find out how rewarding community service can be.

Sophomore Parents — Revisit the course schedule. How well is your child fitting in academically? Each student is different, so make sure that your student’s classes are an appropriate fit. If grades are slipping, the course levels may be too high or study habits may be poor. Keep the communication lines open with your kid and his or her teachers to properly evaluate the situation.


Freshman Arts Students — Plan for an exciting, new phase. You’ve been wondering what high school would be like. Well, if it’s not yet what you hoped it would be, make a commitment to take the steps that will get you there. Explore and seek guidance from counselors, consultants, teachers, parents, and students who have been in your shoes. This is your time. Make it great!

Freshman Parents — Demonstrate commitment. As caring parents, we want the best for our kids, so we offer advice… and a lot of it. That’s okay, but if we truly want to get through and make a lasting impact, our actions speak loudest. So in the spirit of making resolutions, let’s pay special attention to following through on what we say we’re going to do. Because when we don’t pay attention, our kids do.


For all high school students, there’s no better time than January to start thinking about plans for June. Whether you’re looking to line up a potential summer job, camp, internship, or arts program, begin to check it out now. Keep in mind that this year ArtsBridge Summer, the one-of-a-kind 2-week intensive for acting and musical theatre, will take place in Boston, August 4th-16th.









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