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For most students, the college application process is tedious. For BFA musical theatre auditionees, the process is arduous, painful, exhausting, and stressful. I mention this not to deter you or your parents, but rather, to forewarn about what to expect. Though it is stressful and time-consuming, it is manageable. Plus, the lessons learned from the process will be worthwhile for any performer.

Below is a rough timeline of what one might expect during this over-a-year-long process. The timeline is shifting and starting sooner every year, so the earlier you start, the better off you will be!

College audition timeline
A realistic timeline:

Fall of Junior Year

  • Research college programs

  • Apply for pre-college summer programs

Spring of Junior Year 

  • Register for the ACT/SAT

  • Take the ACT/SAT

  • Begin college essays

  • Continue researching college programs

  • Ask current English teacher to read/critique essays

  • Build/refine repertoire book

  • Keep training and performing

Summer before Senior Year

  • Visit schools, if its cost effective to do so

  • Update headshot, or get them taken if you haven't already

  • Update your resume

  • Narrow down your list of schools

  • Create a spreadsheet to track schools, applications, & other information

  • Draft & edit essays (samples available on my "tips" page)

  • Do a summer show or intensive

  • Select, prepare & rehearse audition repertoire

    • Work with voice teacher or coach to perfect your songs and cuttings

    • Work with an acting coach to perfect monologues and cuttings

  • Begin recording pre-screens (see "August of Senior Year" for specifics)

  • Create an Acceptd account/profile

  • Register for the ACT/SAT again

  • Study to improve ACT/SAT scores

  • Take dance classes

  • Keep training and performing

August of Senior Year

  • Begin submitting college applications

  • WRITE/EDIT essays ad nauseum

  • Request recommendations

    • You'll need 2-3 academic recommendations for the application process

    • You'll need 2-3 performing arts recommendations that will be requested later in the process

  • Prepare & record prescreen material for your top schools. This means:

    • Work with a choreographer to prepare and coach dance excerpts and auditions

    • Book a studio, camera & tripod for recording your dance auditions

    • Book an accompanist to play for your recorded prescreens/auditions

    • Book a studio, camera & tripod for recording your songs & monologues

  • Submit prescreens and program applications AS SOON AS POSSIBLE


October of Senior Year

  • Oct. 1 is a key application deadline. Don't miss it.

  • Take the ACT/SAT again

  • Submit your prescreens, if you haven't already

  • Auditions begin--attend as early as possible

  • School acceptances begin coming in

  • Complete & submit the FAFSA

  • Visit reps at college fairs and when on campus, even if just to say, "Hi".

  • Look at scholarship opportunities and review deadlines


November of Senior Year

  • Nov. 1 is a key application deadline

  • Create a digital calendar for trips & auditions that may be referenced by both parent & student

  • Begin scheduling live auditions as results come in

  • Book travel to Unifieds, regional sites, and colleges

  • Audition if dates are available

  • Results are coming in


December of Senior Year

  • Dec. 1 is a key prescreen deadline

  • Work through/prepare live audition material for each of your schools

  • Results are coming in


January of Senior Year

  • Prep/tweak material

  • NYC Unifieds

  • Major audition & travel month

  • Results & Financial Aid offers are coming in

  • Apply for outside scholarships


February of Senior Year

  • Prep/tweak material

  • Chicago Unifieds

  • L.A. Unifieds

  • Major audition & travel month

  • Results & Financial Aid offers are coming in

  • Apply for outside scholarships


March of Senior Year

  • Usually the last month of auditions

  • Compare offers and make decisions

  • Results & Financial Aid offers are coming in


April of Senior Year

  • Many schools stated April as a "you'll know by" date

  • Compare offers, ask for more funding and make decisions

  • Decisions & deposits due by May 1


May of Senior Year

  • May 1 Decision & deposit deadline

  • First college bill

  • There are still scholarships out there, keep applying!

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