The 5 Things My Parents and I Did To Make The College Audition Process Easier

auditioning college inspiration Feb 03, 2023

Written By: Emily Baggarly 

Hello BVC Blog! My name is Emily Baggarly and this is my blog debut ✨

I am currently in my final semester of getting my BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in dance from Otterbein University and I am BVC’s social media intern. 

I recently went through the college audition process and I wanted to share some of my most important takeaways with you all. 

1) The Money Talk

Yeah, it's scary. Yes, it can be disappointing and stressful. But it is absolutely necessary that the student applying and their parent/guardian are on the same page about financials going into this process. Some big questions you could collaborate on when making your list of colleges to apply to are: 

  • How much is the tuition? 
  • Do they provide scholarships? 
  • What is the FAFSA and how can it help?
  • Can we afford to go to this school/can we get a financial plan in place to make this school a possibility? 

In my case, I have a twin brother, so we had to plan for two college tuitions, and therefore some schools went off my list. I’ve had friends who didn’t have the money talk with their parents, got into their dream school, and then couldn’t afford to go. This talk can be scary, but it’s important that the student and parent/guardian approach the process as a team from the beginning! 

2) Organizing The Auditions

Okay, so you get through the prescreens and receive some responses! Yay, you’re going to callbacks! 

Let me tell you, this part of the process can get overwhelming fast. You are going to want to have a system of organization that works for you in order to keep track of these auditions and any travel that is approaching. My mom and I are very visual, so we hung a giant piece of paper on our wall and made a calendar. Google calendars or google sheets work just as well, but hey if you are like us and need to see it all in one place then go for it. 

This is where the money talk comes in handy!  For those of you who don’t know, the callbacks for a performance degree are usually held in person (pending covid procedures) at conferences called unifieds or on campus. When scheduling, you want to make sure that your family is on board with travel expenses. If you can only attend one conference location, then make sure that all of the schools you got a callback for have an audition there. Then schedule your callbacks with enough time in between to safely get to each one. I ended up doing New York Unifieds and Chicago Unifieds because my mom and I ultimately decided that spreading them apart would be less stressful and worth the extra travel expense. 

 ALSO, and here’s a big one. Make sure you can miss those days of school if necessary!! Some of my peers missed more than 20 days of school during this process. A few days will be necessary (yay) but you still want to be on track to graduate high school on time. 

*Bonus Tip: When I had a lot of in-person auditions in one day, I would bring a binder with information from the different schools' websites. I highlighted what I loved about each program (be specific!). You will get asked in rooms, “why would you like to be in our program?”. When I’m nervous or overwhelmed I can have a hard time communicating, so this info binder was a lifesaver when I was going from room to room. 

3) Touring Schools 

This was something my mom decided early in the process. I would not tour any school before I was accepted there. This saved us so much money in the long run and probably saved me from some heartbreak. I also didn’t audition on campus unless the only callback option was on campus. You can audition wherever you would like, but don't stress out if all the different locations are out of your budget. I know plenty of people who got into schools from all sorts of locations (unifieds, zoom, on-campus), so there is no wrong choice. 

Some schools are now offering zoom auditions which is another great way to save money on travel and time! 

When you tour schools, talk to the students! While researching the curriculum is important, this step can be equally as important. Trust your gut when you are touring the campus. Be open to all possibilities because you might find your people on a different campus than you thought. Remember you will be spending four years here and how you feel matters a lot more than what the name of the school is.

4) Online Posts

Another thing my mom and I decided early on was that we would not post any results online unless it was an announcement of where I committed to college. 

Keep in mind that this process is really hard, regardless of your outcome. There is massive amounts of pressure on every kid in this process whether it’s working through rejection, or deciding between many different schools. I think this process is most successful when it is kept intimate and within the people who are making the decision.  It is really exciting when callbacks roll in and acceptances roll in, but I would take a moment and think about how this post might make someone else who is also going through the process feel. How would it make your child applying feel? 

5) Be Kind To Everyone You Meet 

Last but not least, be kind! You will find that many people who you meet in this process will either go to school with you or they will be friends with someone who goes to school with you. It is a small world. So be kind and lend a hand when you can. I had the most fun making friends at unifieds and I still bump into them all the time. 

If you are looking for a place to start, I would get in contact with any alumni of your high school who did the college audition process. Then, you can find programs to help you with your material and prep like BVC Aspire (which I wish was around when I was in high school. Check out their BVC Aspire walkthrough tour!). Help from professionals can help make the process so much less stressful and make sure that the student is confident in their material. 

The college process is rough, but it can also be a time filled with a lot of joy and new connections! I truly believe what is meant to be is meant to be. In the end, I was exactly where I needed to be after this process, and breathe because you will be too.

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 programBook a free consult with us - we can’t wait to hear your story and help you take the next step in your career. 

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