How To Choose Which Colleges To Audition For

college Mar 27, 2023

Written By: Julie Kavanagh 

Hi BVC Community! My name is Julie Kavanagh, BVC Aspire’s Head Coach, and I am so excited to share my first blog post with you all.

I am a performer and an educator and have worked with amazing young people over the past 7 years on their college pre-screens and auditions. One of the first steps you will take when beginning the college musical theatre audition process is creating a list of schools. And the spring of your Junior year is the perfect time to start diving in!

But HOW?

That’s why we are here.

As a part of BVC Aspire, we will work with you one-on-one every step of the way, including helping you curate your list of schools. And today, I’m excited to give you some tips on where to start!

First, ask yourself the BIG questions:

  • What sort of program are you looking for? BA; BFA; BM
  • What type of training are you interested in? Highly focused conservatory style; liberal arts
  • What kind of college experience are you hoping to have? Far from home vs close to home; large school vs small school; city campus vs rural campus; etc.
  • What do you want your day-to-day life to look like?

Make sure to have a wide range of schools:

We categorize schools into Extreme Reach; Reach; Target and Safety. This categorization is based on the numbers: the number of students who apply and the percentage that will be accepted. Again, this is just about the NUMBERS and not about the quality of the training or the experience you will have at the school.

  • Extreme Reach Schools have a less than 1% acceptance rate
  • Reach Schools have a less than 5% acceptance rate
  • Target Schools have a greater than 5% acceptance rate
  • Safety Schools are schools that are non-audition based.

You should have a few schools within each category.

Don’t add a school to your list just because “everyone is doing it”:

If there is a school that you feel you should add but you are not vibing with it, don’t force it! There are plenty of programs out there and it’s important to remember that on top of looking for great training, you are looking for the school that will be your home away from home during some of the most pivotal years as a young adult!


The best way to narrow down your list of potential schools is to research! Websites, Instagram, forums, and more are great places to start. Start a spreadsheet or folder where you can keep all of your research and notes in one place. 

And as a member of BVC Aspire, your BVC Aspire coaches and team will be providing you with detailed insight, information, and tools to help you narrow down your list, or find programs you might not have thought of initially!

Reach out

Students and faculty are usually so excited to share information about their program! So don’t hesitate to do a little outreach to learn more. There is no better way to get a vibe for the school than by reaching out to a current or recent grad or emailing a teacher to see if you can sit in on a class or even try a voice lesson.

Starting this process is a large undertaking and don’t feel like you have to solidify your list right away. That’s why I look at the spring of Junior year and early summer as….the dating process. No need to be so serious quite yet, you are just trying things out until you are ready to pop the question!

And if you’re ready to get expert mentorship and ongoing training as you prepare for college auditions, then you’re invited to join the waitlist for our BVC Aspire program! Book a free consult with us - we can’t wait to hear your story and help you take the next step in your career.

Click here for your copy of our FREE GUIDE to Starting the College Musical Theater Audition Process

Click here to join our Facebook group for parents and students. We host biweekly Facebook Live Office hours to answer your questions and facilitate great discussions.

If you're interested in diving deeper into this topic 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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