College Prep Timeline For The Arts: November
The monthly planning guide for visual & performing arts students
Thanksgiving and the holiday season are fast approaching, and the school year is suddenly beginning to fly by. As a student of the visual or performing arts, this is your cue to take these next few weeks to get your projects, assignments, applications, essays, auditions, and portfolios in order. It’s a lot to handle, but it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming — simply give your full attention to one thing at a time. Enjoy the holiday, and remember to give thanks for all of your educational opportunities!
Senior Arts Students — Keep track of deadlines. With all of the forms you’ll be filling out this year, you’ll need to know when each is due. Mark a calendar showing all application deadlines for admission, financial aid, and scholarships. Ask for recommendations. Give letter-of-recommendation forms to the teachers you have selected, and discuss your goals and ambitions with them so they’ll be better prepared to write about you. Get applications in order. As you finish application forms, proofread them, and have your parents do the same. Make sure you and your school’s guidance office are sending all required materials, including test scores, recommendations, transcripts, and essays.
Senior Parents — Our reco: check recommendations and applications. Monitor the application process to make sure all details are being addressed. First and foremost, take a look at application essays — your child may be able to overlap topics to reduce the workload. Then make sure that all teacher recommendations have been requested so they can be received before upcoming deadlines. As your child works on applications, offer to proofread and provide constructive criticism. Stay on top of any early application deadlines, and if possible, try to use time over the Thanksgiving break for a campus visit.
Junior Arts Students — Formulate a testing plan. Note when you’ll be taking important tests like the SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP exams, and mark the dates on your calendar. Leave plenty of time to prepare. Get help and gain an edge. There are many types of consultants and coaches available to help you plan, study, and get the results you’re capable of achieving. You may want to ask your guidance counselor for specific coaching recommendations.
Junior Parents — Take a drive across campus. Schedule a day trip to visit nearby colleges. Fall is a great time to look at schools because classes are in session and you can talk with students and professors. Don’t worry if these are places where your child won’t apply. The goal is to explore a variety of schools. Talk about the different types of schools with your child as well as which characteristics are appealing and which aren’t.
Sophomore Arts Students — Prepare for the ACT. Ask your guidance counselor about the PLAN assessment program offered by American College Testing. This program helps determine your study habits and academic progress and interests; it will also prepare you for the ACT.
Sophomore Parents — Practice and PLAN. Sophomore year marks the beginning of standardized testing. This year, students can take a practice PSAT/NMSQT — a preparatory step for the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT next year. For students planning on taking the ACT, the PLAN assessment is also administered in their sophomore year. Practice may not make perfect, but it can help!
Freshman Arts Students — Get involved. Extracurricular activities are an important part of high school even if some of them are not school sponsored. Make a real effort to get involved with groups, clubs, or teams that interest you. These activities can be fun and they go a long way to help make you a well-rounded student.
Freshman Parents — Help your child branch out. Freshman year is a great time to explore. Encourage involvement in a variety of activities both in and out of school. Give your child the freedom to seek out his or her comfort level as well as how much time can be dedicated without having a negative impact on schoolwork.
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