5 Reasons Why a Pre-College Program is the Perfect Summer Choice!

Pre-College Summer Programs for High School Performing Arts Students

Are you a freshman, sophomore, or junior in high school having trouble deciding between applying for BA or BFA programs? Do you want to take your training to the next level? Does the idea of spending the summer with other talented students from across the country who share your same passion sound so much better than waking up at 6am for a lifeguard shift?

If you answered “YES!” to any of these questions, then a pre-college acting, musical theatre, voice, or dance summer program is a perfect choice for you. It may still be winter, but it’s time to seriously consider how you are going to spend your summer!

1. Test Drive the BFA before you Commit

The age-old BFA vs. BA debate. A BFA will allow you to focus on your craft for four years; a BA will allow you to double major and pursue many passions. How can you decide if a BFA is truly the right path for you?

A pre-college program is the best way to make absolutely sure that a BFA is your college path. You want to be 100% positive before you commit to the college audition process, dedicate your college career to this course of study, and pay for four years of a college education (seriously, you wouldn’t buy a $200,000 car without taking it for a test drive first). Because pre-college programs mimic the intensive training-focused BFA course of study, you will spend 4-6 weeks, 7 days a week, sometimes from 8am-10pm, eating, breathing, and sleeping your passion. If you love it, game on. If you miss science, history, or other liberal arts classes, then maybe another degree option is a better fit.

2. Get the Extra Edge in College Admissions

Whether you come out of the summer deciding that you definitely want to apply to BFA programs, BA programs, or a combination of both to keep your options open, spending your summer training in a pre-college program will help you no matter which track you ultimately choose.

Let’s pretend you are an admissions counselor. If you had to choose between Candidate A (who dedicated the summer to intense performance training) or Candidate B (who spent the summer lounging by the pool and having fun with friends), who would you choose? It’s a #NoBrainer, right?

A pre-college training experience also provides you with great material to discuss in college interviews and even in supplemental essays that will set you apart from the average high school musical lover. At many summer programs, you are even allowed to audition at the end of the program for the BFA degree before the department officially begins their college audition tour. If you are a perfect fit for that college and the summer program faculty has responded positively to your work, then this special end-of-program audition has major potential to seriously increase your chances of getting accepted.

3. Get Used to Living Away from Home

When I attended my pre-college summer program (many, many years ago), I had never spent more than a week away from home. At first, I had a great deal of anxiety about being away from my family and friends. How was I going to do my own laundry? Who was I going to sit with at the dining hall? How was I going to keep up with all of this work? About halfway through the program, I adjusted and got used to the intense schedule and newfound freedom. When I went away to college (farther away from home than my summer program), I discovered that I was able to adjust to college life very quickly and make the most out of my first semester.

A pre-college program can give you the experiences and confidence to make a seamless transition between high school and college. You also can use this opportunity to help you decide if you want to spend 4 years in a big city like New York City or a smaller town like Ithaca.

4. Take Your Training to the Next Level

Imagine being in a classroom where everyone is just as serious, dedicated, and passionate as you are about getting on Broadway someday or starring in a film or TV show. Add a world-class fa