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  • College Prep Timeline For The Arts: September

    The monthly planning guide for visual & performing arts students


    Welcome back to school! It’s a new year with new challenges — academically, socially, and artistically. To help you adjust and adapt, examine future goals so that courses can be chosen to complement those goals and serve as good prerequisites for college. Explore all of your skills in the arts, and plan for extracurricular activities as well, allowing flexibility for new or growing interests. Taking control of all your options in high school can help build the confidence you need for success!


    Senior Arts Students — Finalize your college list. 
Use the information you’ve gathered from college visits, interviews, and your own research to determine the schools to which you will apply. It’s okay to apply to colleges that you think will be more difficult to get into. But it’s also important to add a few safety schools to your list. Talk to counselors, teachers, and parents about your final choices. Register for and take the ACT, SAT, or SAT Subject Tests as necessary. Be sure you have requested that your test scores and transcripts be sent to the colleges on your list.

    Senior Parents — Get your college applicant in gear. Start the year off right by setting aside an evening for dinner out with your college-bound child. Go over the strategy for the school year. Discuss plans and goals and review the list of potential colleges. If necessary, search with your student for a few more schools to make sure you haven’t overlooked any. Also discuss plans to attend college fairs and meet with any college representatives who may be coming to the school. Go over which college sites have been visited and which ones haven’t. Finalize plans for college visits. Have your student start the application process. Does your child still need to take the ACT or SAT? Find out the dates and have them register! If it all seems overwhelming, reassure your child that you’ll be there to support them every step of the way.


    Junior Arts Students — Evaluate education options and artistic skills. This is a good time to begin to set a more specific path toward college goals. Do you want to pursue the arts as a major or possibly a minor? If so, you should consider meeting with a professional for an artistic evaluation. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you can focus on enhancing and elevating your skills to increase your chance to get into the best program. Also, register for the PSAT. It qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship program, which means you could earn money for college. In addition, it’s great practice for the SAT.

    Junior Parents — Set the bar. Make sure your child registers for the October PSAT. This is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship program and a good way to practice for the SAT. Go to the fair. Check into college fairs and high school visits from college representatives. Encourage your child to attend and to get familiar with the college resources available at school. Take note. If you haven’t done so yet, get a Social Security number for your child. And if your arts student is in need of specific counseling to prepare for college, it’s available.


    Sophomore Arts Students — Stay on course and adjust. Work with your guidance counselor to make sure you’re enrolled in the courses you need to prepare you for college. Keep on track with your classes and if adjustments are needed, make them. Move on to the next appropriate level of classes in the core subjects — English, math, science, history, and foreign language.

    Sophomore Parents — Encourage preliminary testing. Make sure your child gets in touch with the school guidance counselor about taking the PSAT/NMSQT. Although the “real” PSAT/NMSQT is taken in October of junior year, this is a great way for your child to get familiar with the test. Students considering taking the ACT should ask about the PLAN schedule. The PLAN helps immensely in predicting your child’s performance on the ACT. Both tests will help your child prepare for the “big tests” next year.


    Freshman Arts Students — Get to know your guidance counselor. 
And let them get to know you and your interests. Your counselor is ready and more than willing to help you make sense of your college and career options. Your grades appear on official transcripts starting this year, so take your work seriously and explore your interests. As soon as you can, set up a meeting to talk about your plans for high school and the future.

    Freshman Parents — Offer support and guidance. The initial weeks of high school can be a difficult adjustment. Keep an open dialogue about how classes are going. Make sure that your student has connected with the guidance counselor, and you should do the same. If your child has particularly strong academic interests, encourage them, but don’t lose focus on strengthening areas of weakness that can’t be ignored, such as English or algebra. If your child is struggling, now is the time to get a handle on it. Or, if the work seems too easy, talk to the school about placing your child in a more advanced classroom setting.


    September is a great time to get a head start on college consulting. Learn all about ArtsBridge college counseling and see how former college deans of admissions are able to offer specialized guidance to bring out the best in each and every high school student.





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