How should art students prepare for the college admissions process?

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Our counselors answered:

How should art students prepare for the college admissions process?

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

How should art students prepare for the college admissions process?

Look at portfolio requirements before your junior year and use junior year to work on your portfolio.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Portfolio, Check!

Carefully. Arts students will be required to demonstrate their artistic talent which will translate into additional time-consuming work on their part. 

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

Visit schools and submit samples

Art students may apply different type of schools with different requirements. however. they should pay a visit to the schools and speak to current students about academic requriements as well as other experiences. it is suggested that students should prepare art samples and profiles to show strong interests. it will help students to gain perspectives if they are parepared to submit best work.

Heather McCowen
Post Secondary Counselor The Chicago HS for the Arts

Arts Students and the College admissions process

Students in the arts have an extra layer of procedure to go through when they apply for schools. Step one is the application process, and all the different pieces- Transcript, test scores, recommendation letters and essays. Like any student, these must be submitted by the deadline. Step two is the audition/portfolio review. If the student is majoring in the arts, this portion can be as important, if not more important than grades. Colleges state very clearly what the portfolio or audition requirements are. The key is to be prepared for the audition/portfolio review, and to adhere to the requirements.

Mark Corkery
Head College Counselor International College Admissions Network (I-CAN)

The Portfolio is Very Important to Art Major Admissions

Art students wishing to attend college and developing their craft need to consider the portfolio from their freshman year of high school if possible. Do NOT throw anything that you have drawn, painted, sculpted, etc away. Your earlier work can provide a great perspective of the progression and sophistication of your work. Taking the highest level art courses in your high school is absolutely critical. So, for example, if you have AP Art at your school, best to take that class without a doubt. Not doing so may put a negative on your application, questioning your seriousness of going into the field. Attend portfolio days offered around the country. You can take a sample of your work which you intend to submit for review to the art departments of the schools you are planning to apply to. Deans and admissions reps are available in this college fair format to critique your work and give you pointers on what else you may want to work on to be competitive to their respective admissions committees.

Helen Cella

How should art students prepare for the college admissions process?

They need to prepare a portfolio

Erica White
College & Career Counselor Middletown High School

How should art students prepare for the college admissions process?

Most art students will be required to submit a portfolio of their work for acceptance. Art students should look at prospective schools and see what the portfolio requirement entail (how many items, what format, specific types of art, etc). This should be done early on in the process so that they will have enough time to put together all that is required. They should also work with their art teachers who have experience in this area. Many art schools will offer portfolio review days, where a student can bring their materials and get suggestions on what to add or change. I would highly suggest attending one of these local sessions, even if isn't at school they are considering.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

Artistic Students

If you are an artist, a theater major, film maker or a musician chances are you will be required to audition or present a portfolio. You must prepare your portfolio/audition carefully and methodically. Most portfolios are submitted online now, but don't wait until the last minute to put it together. As soon as you have a college list, read the audition requirements for your major and start preparing EARLY. Chances are you may need to travel to some of the auditions, so save your pennies. Begin during your sophomore/junior year looking at schools so that you will be ready to concentrate on preparation spring of your junior year and the summer before your senior year. The early bird gets the worm!

Ed Garcia
Assistant Professor/Counselor Austin Community College

The standard process versus the department

Some colleges have unique admissions standards for certain majors. An art student should prepare for the admissions process by first understanding the general admissions process, and then by understanding the departmental admissions process. What is the difference you might ask? The difference is that all students have to go through a standard admissions process, but there are some departments such as art, engineering, business, etc that might have a different process in regards to how they admit students. The best way to find out is by reviewing the online website for the department for the college you are interested in attending. An example might look like the following: 1. Standard admissions-combo of gpa, academic course work, extracurricular activities, SAT/ACT scores, etc 2. Art Department-Student meets all of the standard admissions process, and in addition must submit a portfolio and meet with the department chair. Always take the time to inform yourself of college policies and procedures. The more you know, the better!

Katherine Crane

Preparing for a Major in Art

Going through the admission process for a major in art is a little different than applying for other majors. A potential art student should be continually working on their portfolio and constantly seeking critiques. An artist should not only have a hard copy of their portfolio, but also be able to present it through an online portfolio platform. Typically students that want to major in art have probably taken Advanced Placement classes in art and are used to the rigor of portfolio review for potential college credit. They should be prepared for the admission interview but also for an interview with an art department representative whereby they can speak eloquently about art in general and be able to defend their ideas. They should also be open to constructive criticism and open-minded to all forms of art and opinion.