Why arts boarding schools can expand your college opportunities
From developing a professional portfolio to personalized audition preparation to faculty connections, arts boarding high schools are gateways to your top-choice schools and career paths.
As a young artist, you’re often told that there’s one clear path to the career of your dreams: Work hard, get admitted to a top program, and make the right connections.
Easier said than done.
If your plan includes attending a conservatory or selective college, an arts boarding school can give you a competitive advantage. From regular college visits to personalized advice from experts, here are just a few of the reasons why arts boarding high schools can expand your college opportunities.
- Professional guidance. Arts boarding schools hire dedicated teams of academic and college counselors who specialize in helping young artists achieve their goals. Their experience will be invaluable in selecting colleges to apply to and preparing an application that stands out from the crowd.
- Audition/portfolio preparation. If you plan to major in the arts, your audition or portfolio is one of the most important components of your college application. Your artistic faculty will guide you to help select, prepare, and perfect material that best showcases your talents. They can also provide audition coaching and tips on the entire process, from managing nerves to candidate interviews.
- College preparatory academics. Artistic accolades are only one part of your application: most colleges also evaluate academic performance. Boarding schools provide rigorous and diverse academic courses that will prepare you to excel in college and beyond. Many schools also offer advanced placement or dual-enrollment opportunities which allow you to earn college credit while fulfilling your high school requirements. This academic achievement also looks terrific on your transcript.
- Balancing arts and academics. At arts boarding schools, the arts are anything but extracurricular. Your schedule is balanced between deepening your artistic skills, while nurturing your intellect. Your academic courses will often be integrated with themes you are exploring with your arts curriculum and vice versa, providing overall a richer, more satisfying high school experience. The more engaged you are in your academic classes, the better your performance.
- College fairs/visits. Many high schools host college fairs of some kind. The difference with arts boarding schools is that they primarily invite colleges with strong arts programs. With more top-choice programs in attendance, you’ll be able to focus your attention on schools that align with your career aspirations. Outside of organized college fairs, many top programs send representatives to arts schools to conduct onsite auditions, portfolio reviews, and informational sessions.
- Recording assistance. Many colleges and conservatories conduct pre-audition screenings to streamline the on-campus audition process. You’ll be asked to submit audio or video recordings of your selected pieces—a process that many families find intimidating and cost-prohibitive. Arts boarding schools often offer complimentary access to top-of-the-line video and audio equipment; some even have professional production teams on staff to help you record the perfect audition.
- Faculty connections. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” As experts in their field, arts school faculty are well connected to other top artists, including university professors. These connections can result in a variety of opportunities, such as master classes and guest artist performances at your school, or an introduction to a future mentor.
- Guidance to other paths. Some young artists choose to enter training programs, apprenticeships, and internships instead of pursuing post-secondary programs. If you feel that college isn’t right for you, your arts boarding school faculty and counselor can help you chart your next steps.