3 Mistakes PARENTS Make in the MT College Application Process

college Dec 05, 2023

Written by: Chelsea & Cynthia

College audition season can be a stressful time, not only for students but for the parents and guardians who love and support those students. Take it from Cynthia, who is in the college application process with her son right now, and understands it more than she ever did before.

In this blog post, we are going to talk about three mistakes that parents often make, all in an attempt to help, but that can make the whole process even harder. 

Mistake #1: Not Having The Money Talk

This is a big one because there are a lot of adults who don't love talking about money in front of their kids. And in fact, their kids may not even know their financial situation. Many parents prefer their kids to feel comfortable, safe, and well taken care of, so it feels yucky to go to them and say, "Hey, listen, we cannot afford any college under the sun."

But it's crucial to have that talk with your kids about the reality of the financial situation and take that into account before you start to look at colleges and before you just let your student fall in love with all of these schools that may or may not be within the realm of possibility for you.

Part of the money talk is discussing what's in the family budget, but also what is the expectation for who's going to pay for what. This would include sharing with your student the percentage you are able to pay for, and whether they will need to take on personal/federal loans. 

 Finally, be sure to consider the costs that will go into applying - such as application fees, and travel costs. If you're traveling to schools or even traveling to unified, this would then include hotels, flights, food - all of it.

The earlier you can have this talk, the better. Freshmen, sophomore year, junior year  - so that you can be saving for those immediate expenses of your application year, but also having an awareness of what schools you're going to be targeting when they go to make their college audition list.

Mistake #2: Going Down The Online Forum Rabbit Hole

It's so tempting, and it's easy to get sucked into all of that stuff, but we are here to tell you, you can tumble so far into that rabbit hole. It can quickly become negative and obsessive and comparative and oftentimes flat-out wrong, you can often get just bad information that will lead you in the wrong direction.

 Then there's the feeling of competitiveness or comparison when you see "This person's daughter has already heard back from X, Y, and Z schools. We haven't heard back yet", "Well, they've already gotten their prescreen rejection, or acceptance" or, "They got into 12 schools and we've only gotten into one", blah, blah, blah. It gets really tough when you are comparing yourself, and your child's journey to hundreds of strangers on the internet. 

There are also a lot of parents who, again, I think with good intentions, have been through this process before and are considered kind of the "experts" on the process and they dole out a lot of advice, but the advice is not always correct. Let's say some kid goes into an audition for a certain school and gets asked for a Disney song. That might have been the only Disney song that was asked out of 500 kids who auditioned and it might have been because the pianist playing happened to see that they had a Disney song in their book, and so they knew they could ask for it. All of a sudden now online, people are sharing that this school is going to ask for Disney songs. Sending every upcoming audition prospect scrambling to perfect Disney songs. And it's like, no - that was one very specific incident.

These kinds of opinions, about what each school likes or looks for, are what we call game-playing and here at Broadway Vocal Coach, that is not what we're about. You cannot guess what people "want". You truly cannot play that game. It is not worth your time, energy or anxiety trying to guess how to be different for one school, program or director over another.

If you allow those voices to be really loud in your brain, we guarantee you, you're inviting more anxiety into the process. And this process is already difficult enough.

Anytime you hear anything that smells like, "What this school wants, or those faculty members like to see", flip that question around to, "What do you want to share about yourself?". So rather than playing the game, have your student think about what it is they want to share with them, because that is the only thing in your control.

This is also where working with a coach who has a lot of experience in this space can be helpful for students and parents, because you can have that voice of reason who can step in and say, let me help you see this objectively.

Mistake #3: Micromanaging Your Student Throughout The Audition Process

We care about our kids so much, we want them to do their best and get things in on time. But oftentimes, even despite our best efforts, our micromanaging can actually end up stressing out your student more - leaving them anxious and feeling less prepared.

So if it's something that you can afford, if there are any resources that you can utilize, do it. This could mean hiring a coach, going through a program like ours, BVC Aspire, or even just contacting the college counselor at school or an English teacher with whom you could spend some extra time with your child to go over their essays or whatever the case may be. But utilizing the resources in your life so that you as the parent are not the only person harping on your kid to get these things done in the amount of time you think it should be done in. Use your resources wisely here so that you can save your time and energy and the relationship some unnecessary stress.

There are so many places where you can find support. If you've got a favorite teacher, if you have a drama teacher, if you have a counselor at school, if there's someone at your church that you're close with, if there's even a family friend who is a good writer who can just help give some comments on those essays - reach out for a little support that isn't coming just from inside the family.

The bottom line is that you don't have to navigate this process alone! This is exactly why we created BVC Aspire, to provide you with all the tools and mentorship to get you and your student prepped, prescreen-ed, and beyond!

High School Class of 2025: Join us next summer for ASPIRE, our 4-month Musical Theatre College Audition Prep program designed to help you through the whole process!🥳

Early Bird Registration is now open! Receive $500 off your total Aspire tuition when you sign up before December 15th!

Click here to learn more about our BVC Aspire program

If you're interested in diving deeper into this interview or exploring other interesting musical theatre conversations - check out the Broadway Vocal Coach podcast! Or check us out on Instagram, and get involved in the conversation! 

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